It’s a two-fer Tuesday on
with double the tracks for twice the fun!
Every summer since 2004 I’ve made a mix for the season, and I’ve just put the finishing touches on 2014’s playlist, “Hot Dog!” The first mixes were burned to CDs and saved in MP3 players long gone, but with the technology of today I am going to share the current mix, that you might go forth and make your parties and road trips that much more awesome!
Summer Mix 2014: “Hot Dog!” * **
1. “Ain’t It Fun” – Paramore
The first song of the summer mix might be the most important. It sets the tone for the whole sonic season. “Ain’t it Fun” is a single off Paramore’s latest album, which finds the band down two guitarists and much more experimental. This fun track hinges on a great New Wave-tinged instrumental and Hayley Williams’ teasing, uninhibited vocal. It also has a fun video that can be viewed in the YouTube playlist of the mix, above. Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande can step aside, this is the song of my summer.
2. “Problem” – Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea
They may have stepped aside, but not that far! This earworm is a fluffy blast of fun with a great beat. Try to be too cool for it, it’s gonna get you anyway.
3. “Hideaway” – Kiesza
A new track with early-90s dance flair, that eases the mix from pure summer fun into the nostalgia section.
4. “Say You’ll Be There” – Spice Girls
Are you a Katrina Highkick or a Blazin’ Bad Zula?
5. “Of the Night” – Bastille
This thundering cover of Corona’s ’93 party anthem is perfect for hanging out in the warm night air, cruising the streets or wrecking some soft serve at Foster’s Freeze (A California Original since 1946.)
6. “Word Crimes” – Weird Al Yankovic
Al is timeless, he provided the music for the groomsmen’s dance at my wedding. I wasn’t able to get into last summer’s smash hit “Blurred Lines” due to rapey lyrics, a grotesque video, and the general skeeviness of Robin Thicke…but Al’s (mostly) grammatically correct reworking makes it all okay.
7. “Bust A Move” – Young MC
If it’s any kind of summer at all, at some point you will party. If you’re gonna party, you know what to do, hey. Bust a move.
8. “Sing” – Ed Sheeran
A little later at the party, people are drunk and the lights in the pool are casting a bluish glow in the darkness. Tiki torches are flickering and everybody is just managing to keep up with the chorus on this funky, Spanish-guitar-infused track.
9. “This Head I Hold” – Electric Guest
Barbecues and beach days, the pleasant blur of a sunny season well-spent.
10. “Stranger to My Happiness” – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
A stylistic companion to the track it follows. This soul-revival track is fast and fun but not lightweight, ‘cuz I’m not a kid anymore.
11. “Addicted to You” – Avicii
Vintage-styled modern music, from the speakeasy to the club.
12. “Sewanee Mountain Catfight” – Old Crow Medicine Show
Get down in the holler with some insane bluegrass silliness. The kind of party where people are barefoot and sloppy drunk, line dancing and as likely to stay and dance as they are to leave and go fishing or mudding. You may need to be something of a hick to relate.
13. “Glory” Wye Oak
The apex of a sunbaked July, on the edge of too much sun.
14. “Time of the Season” – The Zombies
A summer classic, bringing the mix into the slow, sticky days of August heat.
15. “Do It Again” – Royksopp & Robin
We aren’t done yet. There’s more joy to be squeezed out of the season, and we’re getting every drop. A bright, simple, insistent electronic track that refuses to be ignored.
16. “Boom Clap” – Charli XCX
The dog days of summer love, a sweet song with New Romantic influences that just happens to be attached to the big novel-based tearjerker of 2014: The Fault In Our Stars.
17. “Love Runs Out” – OneRepublic
The last beach weekend or road trip of the season, soaking up that golden light to get through the winter.
18. “Perfect World” – Broken Bells
A mellow electronic track that cools the vibe of this mix like a September breeze cheating the line into August.
19. “Seasons (Waiting On You)” – Future Islands
Late summer lethargy, with autumn in sight and that carefree feeling fading away. Back to business.
20. “Blue Moon” – Beck
More blue than gold.
* This mix is meant to be listened to in the order in which it is presented. I cannot be responsible for the results of unsupervised deviation!
** The YouTube Playlist has a bonus song not listed here, can you discover it? 😉