I recently got back from a nice week long vacation in sunny San Diego, CA and I think that's as good a reason as any to start thinking about my summer play list. All winter long, and in New England it's a long winter, I've been eating up a steady diet of gloom and doom metal tinged hardcore (Trash Talk, Meltdown, New Lows, Pulling Teeth) and outright depressing indie rock (either Archers of Loaf or Morrissey's Every Day Is Like Sunday on repeat). But now that the sun is finally shining and the birds are singing it's time to switch gears and get in the summer mindset! Here are a few of my personal favorite Summer Time Feel Good selections.
- Green Day - Dookie. So bouncy, so fun. This album makes me feel like I'm in middle school again.
- H20 - H20. A great sample of NYHC. Everything they put out is great, and while I'm stoked for their new album this summer on Bridge 9 Records, it's going to be hard to top this first album. "My friends look out for me like family."
- Grade - Under The Radar. If only for the track Stolen Bikes Ride Faster. Great melodic hardcore, full of hooks and sing alongs.
- Jawbreaker - Selected tracks from all of their albums. I couldn't pick just one release for ideal summer listening. The perfect soundtrack for late night campfire talks, Sunday morning drives along the beach, and bittersweet summer romances. Must listen tracks: Chemistry, Boxcar, West Bay Invitational, Kiss the Bottle, Shield Your Eyes, Chesterfield King, and Bad Scene, Eveyone's Fault.
- Peter Gabriel - The track Solsbury Hill. At the end of the summer I will use this as the soundtrack for a slide show of my summer photos.
- The Stranglers - The track Peaches. Very beach time fun punk. "It looks like I'll be stuck here all summer... what a bummer."
- Gorilla Biscuits - Start Today. Possibly the finest of the early Revelation Records releases (and that's some strong competition) this is a great "kick start your life" type of album. Stage dives are key to enjoying this record.
- Nearly everything Vagrant Records released circa 2000. Vagrant was the emo / pop punk powerhouse of the underground before emo really broke into the mainstream. Think Chris Carrabba playing in a coffee house to fifty kids, not Dashboard Confessional as a full band playing their Spider-Man soundtrack hit to a sold out arena.
Three albums that I will be listening to on repeat until the first snow fall will be:
- Saves The Day - Through Being Cool
- The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About
- The Anniversary - Designing a Nervous Breakdown
Hopefully some of you take a moment to look into some of these bands. There's not a lot of big names up there, but each album is worthy of wider recognition. If you've got a spare moment, and a few extra bucks, look into one of these albums for that perfect soundtrack to celebrate your first trip to the town pool, or throw one in the cd player at your next weenie roast. They'd even work as a nice distraction from mowing the lawn in the midst of a heat wave. I'm talking summer classics.
Feel free to pass along your own summer soundtracks! I'd love to hear what everyone else is listening to as seasonal pick-me-up music.