Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's Summer Somewhere, Damn It

A storm is coming. I just opened the window in my room, and by damn I can smell the rain approaching. Mind you, in the last week or so, when -- aside from Sunday -- was there not a storm coming? And it's expected to rain almost continuously right through until about Monday, when with any luck we'll be able to enjoy sunshine rather than, say, sandbagging.

So, yes, all things considered, it's probably a stupid idea to start posting summer songs now. But what the hell! I had said I would, and I am nothing if not intrinsically stubborn very determined.

I assure you -- one day it will stop raining. It has to. I am convinced of this. And when it does, we'll all be able to roll down the windows when we're in our cars -- or open the windows very slightly, if we're on the bus -- and feel like everything is right in the world when this song starts up.

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - Gabe's New Joint [site | buy]

Aww, yeah. God, I love this genre. To most everybody else, Nigeria is some place far away where all the spam in their inbox comes from -- but they could produce a billion spammers, for all I care, and still they will never outweigh the good will Nigeria has built up from me for producing Fela Kuti and Afrobeat.

It should be no surprise to anybody that I'm a huge mark for Afrobeat; when you combine 1970s funk, traditional African rhythms, politically supercharged messages (not on this track, granted, because this one's an instrumental) and an ensemble of as many talented people as you can fit on stage, you are absolutely guaranteed my affection. Such is the case here!

Oh, and heads up -- Antibalas is coming to town (!!!), as part of the Jazz Winnipeg Festival. I'll get to the Jazz Winnipeg Festival in a future post, but suffice to say that this year's lineup looks awesome.

Where was I? Ah, yes. No matter how you're riding -- small car, big car, bicycle, bus, truck, go-kart, dune buggy, unicycle, horse -- you are going to feel like the absolute undisputed king of the universe when you are cruising through the city with this song playing. All is right with the world!

And then, inevitably, it'll be such a warm and lovely day that you'll just have to get stuck in traffic somewhere.

Keiichi Suzuki - Super Dry Dance [composer info]

This'll keep you entertained until the light changes.

Dig the faux radio static waxing and waning over the tinny cheerful ditty; doesn't this sound like the perfect background music for a flashback story about a guy getting hit in the face with a beach ball? I don't know how often you would need that kind of background music, unless it's a really good story -- but if such a situation ever arises, here it is!

Christophe Heral - Fun and Mini-Games [source info -- the internet has no idea whatsoever who this man is]

This song is a minute and fifty-four seconds long; I usually do my best to remedy this by listening to it five or six times in a row. That is my lone possible complaint with this track.

This is summer music, yes, but it is also excellent motivation music; this is just one of those songs that makes you feel instantly better at anything you're doing. It is considerably difficult to be simultaneously classy and dangerous -- not that I'm any good at being either, but humour me on this one -- and this slice of majesty combines the two so effortlessly that everyone and everything in its presence is heightened dramatically. Do not play this song during a game of beach volleyball, or I will try to put the ball through your face -- and I'm not even any good at beach volleyball! Such is the power this song harnesses.

Vic Thrill + the Saturn Missile - Hi on Wade [site | buy]

If you're packing up your car for a nice weekend out at the lake (and again I'm back to our magical hypothetical world where it isn't raining on us constantly), my suggestion is to time your music arrangements so that this song, this... beast, starts playing just as you're hitting the highway and speeding up. Just as with the first song I posted today, it won't matter what piece of crap you're driving -- you will feel like a god when this song kicks in.

(But, er, don't go too fast. The above situation is not one you can casually explain to cops as a way of avoiding speeding tickets.)

I had classified the above music as motivation music, and the same tag fits perfectly here as well; this track is far less accessible than the one preceding it (which is a gentler way of saying that I've probably spooked most of you just for posting it), but damned if this song isn't exactly what music would sound like if you could play jet fuel and determination as instruments.

Granted, this is not music for every situation; you would just end up confusing and scaring people if you played it at, say, a social. But if you need something to boost your adrenaline, keep you awake, hurry you up when you're running late, motivate you over an immediate problem, or just generally make you feel like a nigh-invincible conqueror of worlds -- then fire this bad boy up, because it is unquestionably the song for the job.

The Go! Team - Panther Dash [site | buy]

Now, this track could be used as highway music, but to me it always sounds more suited for urban situations; this is downtown hustle-and-bustle music in its purest form, just like Miles Davis' On the Corner would be if I weren't the only person I've ever met who loved that album. (And damn you all for that, while I think of it. That album is gold. Gold, I say! Grr!)

I'm not saying that cop cars plowing through wooden crates in a back alleyway is guaranteed when this song is playing, but I would suggest the probability of such an event happening raises significantly. Just you wait!

I imagine I'll be posting a lot more music as we roll on into the summer; I can assure you, if you were weirded out by these selections (and I wouldn't necessarily blame you), that future tracks will be far easier to fit into more conventional genres. Hooray for music!


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