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wonders never cease Wednesday, July 7, 2010

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7th, 2010a baker's dozen for the baking DCers.

heatwave2 The summer of swelter continues, and we can think of nothing else. The streets are shimmering and empty and the few souls we come across manage a languid shuffle from shady spot to shady spot, pausing to mop their brows and mutter under their breath. Unfortunately, we have tons to do to get ready for our gigantic annual summer sale, but rest assured, we're doing it with visions of ice cream cones dancing in our heads and cold drinks only a few slow steps away. For those of you who can, stay inside, try to stay cool, kick back with an icy drink and check out our play list of the week. We'll try to keep the write-ups short and simple so that minimal exertion is required to enjoy:

1. Too Hot - Prince Buster and Lee Perry
Born Cecil Bustamente Campbell in Kingston, Jamaica, Prince Buster was a major figure in the ska and rocksteady movements that influenced the up and coming reggae artists. He later converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammed Ali after meeting the boxer of the same name. Now that's our idea of a meaningful first impression.

2. Summer In The City - The Lovin' Spoonful
The first line sums it up, "Hot town, summer in the city. Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty. Been down, isn't it a pity, doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city. All around, people looking half dead, walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head."

3. Hot In Herre - Jenny Owen Youngs
Owen Youngs covers this Nelly hit and looks pretty lucky to be chillin' in igloos with arctic wildlife, including one very randy polar bear. Maybe there's hope for the survival of that species after all.

4. Too Darn Hot - Erasure
Eighties synthpop duo pitch in to help fight AIDS with this Cole Porter classic from Red Hot and Blue, the first of twenty Red Hot fundraising releases.

5. This Heart's On Fire - Wolf Parade
Canadian rockers with their hearts on their sleeves, earnestly and politely pledging their passion repeatedly.

6. 99.9o F - Suzanne Vega
We'd take it after the last three days of topping that temperature.

7. Hot Hot Hot - The Cure
Robert Smith actually looks hot under those lights with all that hair, but he manages to get through it with his mascara intact.

8. Cruel Summer - Bananarama
The first top ten hit for the British pop band, the song was boosted by inclusion in the 1984 hit film The Karate Kid, despite the fact that the band refused to allow the year old song on the film’s soundtrack. While we don’t see that as a shrewd business move by an up and coming band, we see no flaw in the wisdom of making the video like an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard.

9. Sweat - Oingo Boingo
Before he wrote the heme for The Simpsons, sang the part of Jack Skellington in Nightmare Before Christmas, and composed blockbuster movie scores, Danny Elfman fronted a band of alt-rock pioneers called the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.

10. Hot Pants - James Brown
Just watching "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" do his thing makes us break a sweat. He really sounds like he knows what he's singing about, too.

11. Melt! - Siouxsie and the Banshees
More eighties alt-rock referencing hot times. Were these goth-rock groundbreakers already clued in to global warming or were they just overheated from wearing too much black on hot sunny days?

12. Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective
From last year’s critically acclaimed Merriweather Post Pavilion album, this song paints a vivid picture of a hot, sleepless night: “Sweet summer night and I’m stripped to my sheets. Forehead is leaking, my AC squeaks.”

13. Feeling Hot Hot Hot - Buster Poindexter
This song makes being hot seem fun and cheerful, but that's not how we're feeling at all. Perhaps we just need some colorful puppets.

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