The full heat of summer has finally descended on our fair city, and the cicadas have come out to play. (Considering that their ideal temperature for vocalizing is 84˚F, they must be preparing magnum opuses daily…) Nature seems determined to provide its own soundtrack. So with cicadas singing at a fever pitch, we thought we’d join in the fun. We’ve selected a few tracks that herald the end of the season. Which songs mean the same for you? 1. "Susie at the Seashore" - These United States A funky rock tune from local heroes' superb last cd, Crimes (available at Proper Topper), to whet our whistle for the Everything Touches Everything release party, Saturday at The Black Cat. 2. "There's a Girl" - The Ditty Bops This cheerful pop piece sounds like it's being performed on the beach bandstand illuminated by tiki torches and japanese lanterns. Nice surf guitar riff in the middle too. 3. "Barefootin'" - Mott the Hoople It's a classic song about dancing barefoot. What more needs to be said? 4. "Absolutely Cuckoo" - The Magnetic Fields A short, sweet, fun song from 69 Love Songs, Stephin Merritt's profound musings on all things relating to romantic love. Rockin' use of a ukelele, to boot. 5. "Middle Cyclone" - Neko Case The title track from the magical songstress' latest amazing cd, employing a music box riff that could have been recorded directly from our own beloved Smithsonian Carousel. 6. "Hello It's Me" - Joe Pernice Low key cover of Todd Rundgren's 70's hit ballad from Pernice's soundtrack accompanying his own brilliant debut novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop. 7. "Come Dancing" - The Kinks Great song, great band. Summer, like all good things, must come to an end. 8. "Hymn #101" - Joe Pug Wistful and beautiful song about holding onto hope in a rough world. 9. "Wish We'd Gotten Drunk" - Amber Rubarth From the winner of the International Songwriting Contest, (judged by Tom Waits, no less), this quirky, catchy tune will have you whistling along in no time. 10. "Love Don't Live Here" -Lady Antebellum For the country-lover in all of us: a catchy tune to play with windows down (while you still can!). 11. "Whole Wide World" - Wreckless Eric Sweet, simple, and inexplicably summery, a great song about hope or foolish dreams, depending our your outlook. Plus, how can you not love a song covered by Elvis Costello, The Monkees, Paul Westerberg, The Proclaimers, and Will Ferrell? 12. "Brown Eyed Girl" - Van Morrison Classic nostalgia, and mostly, a great song about singing. Bill Clinton's top iPod pick. Too bad Van Morrison never received a dime for writing and recording it...crazy music industry. 13. "Beverly Cleary's 115th Dream" - Vandaveer The local treasure's closing song on their breathtaking new release, Divide and Conquer (available at Proper Topper). More Dylan than Ramona Quimby, it's a beautiful duet, happy and sad, silly and serious, wistful and hopeful. Full of wonder.
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