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wonders never cease Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30th, 2010play list of the week: we wish we were swimming.

michaelphelps[1]We are glad to see this June of the record-breaking heat come to an end. Can the karmic weather gods grant us an unseasonably pleasant July to balance out the sweltering heat we barely survived? Can we at least get the people who claimed last winter's snowfall disproved global warming to stand on street corners around the Capitol in winter coats making the same claim in July? Probably wouldn't make things seem cooler, but it would be a bold statement and prove they had the courage of their convictions. Ourselves? We'd prefer to spend these broiling days dipping in and out of cool water wearing as little as possible and watching the kids all try to be like Mike. Michael Phelps, that is, winner of 14 Olympic gold medals and 25 years old today. We wish a very happy birthday to the Baltimore Bullet and invite him to join us at one of the many delightful public pools that are free to the overheated residents of our great city. Hopefully we'll see you there too ...

1. The Swimming Song - Loudon Wainwright III
Rufus and Martha's dad delves into the magic of the water with a childlike sense of wonder and his signature subtle humor and irreverence, singing "This summer I swam in a public place, and a reservoir to boot, at the latter I was informal, at the former I wore my suit, I wore my swimming suit."

2. Beautiful World - Colin Hay
Former Men at Work frontman marvels at our planet and the simple pleasures that it provides us, like the joy of swimming in the sea, out past the breakers "where a man can still be free, or a woman if you are one..."

3. Wade In The Water - Eva Cassidy
Another excuse to showcase one of our area's treasures, with Cassidy putting her ample talents to good use on this classic spiritual recorded in our legendary neighborhood blues venue.

4. Nightswimming - REM
Athens alt rock pioneers lyrically transport us to a peaceful pool shimmering with moonlight while remembering the thrills of the stolen swims of our youth.

5. Swimming Song - Florence and the Machine
British singer-songwriter Florence Welch repeatedly references water in this song that first appeared on the iTunes version of her debut album, 2009's Lungs.

6. The Sea And The Rhythm - Iron & Wine
Another enchanting, meandering narration from VCU grad Samuel Beam and his gentle guitar, this song is the title track from Iron & Wine's second EP.

7. Rock Lobster - The B52s
Another song from alt-rock pioneers out of Athens, GA. Just what was in the water in Athens in the 80's? Alt-rock lobster bisque? And where did everyone get those matching towels?

8. Swimming Pool - The Submarines
A track from the second album of the red hot indie duo whose songs have appeared in Nip/Tuck, Grey's Anatomy, Weeds, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, Gossip Girl, The Pixar Story as well as two differnet Aplle commercials. We weren't surprised by the critical acclaim, commercial success, and indie cred once we learned that many of the songs are written by band member Blake Hazard, the great-granddaughter of F Scott Fitzgerald.

9. Like Swimming - Morphine
The title track from their fourth album, Morphine bring their signature low-register sound into the pool with Mark Sandman's soothing baritone paired with Dana Colley's haunting sax to make us feel like we're floating with our nose and toes in the air but the rest of us blissfully submerged.

10. Backyard Beach - Phineas and Ferb
The inventive little brothers from the Disney channel really know how to make the most of a summer day, but we get the sense that their hometown of Danville isn't quite as hot as DC because this kind of heat would manage to sap the creativity from these two energetic lads.

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