Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer Jam.

(Picture found conveniently via Google image search. Thanks to whoever made it.)

My sister and her friends do this cool mixtape thing where they create themed playlists and send them to each other. OK, I guess that’s not so much a “cool mixtape thing” as much as it’s just a mixtape. Well, whatever. I thought it was pretty cool and when I was asked to come up with one with the theme of “summer music,” I was more than happy to play along.

Part of the fun is that you have to explain why you’ve included each of the songs. Since this is all done digitally with the aid of Megaupload, the explanations are usually included in the .zip file with the songs. I say usually because I’m putting my explanations here. I am naming my mix “Summer Jam,” so that image up top is my album cover. Theoretically. Anyway, without further ado, here’s my mixtape:

1. Beheading of a King – Prelude

This is an instrumental track that I think works well as an opener. It’s nice and heavy and brisk, which sort of sets a tone for the rest of the “record.” The briskness, that is. I don’t really have much of an explanation behind this song, I just think it’s a good opener and I’ve listened to a bunch of Beheading of a King this summer.

2. The Suicide Machines – New Girl

Back in the summer of 2000, I got a demo disc for my Sega Dreamcast that included a demo of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. It was the opening level of the game, you had to skate as Tony Hawk and “New Girl” was the only song that played. This has had the unintended effect of forever linking this song and that game to summer in my head. Which is fine, it’s a fast, fun skacore song that was nearly the opener on this mixtape. I think it’s a very summery song.

3. Breathe Carolina – Down

I am an unabashed fan of covers. I also really like a lot of dance pop. “Down” is the first song off of Punk Goes Pop 3, a record of covers by “punk” (well…) bands. I tend to like the Punk Goes albums a lot. “Down” is unbelievably catchy and fun. It’s one of two “club” songs on here and you kind of have to have club songs on a summer-themed record.

4. Set Your Goals – Summer Jam

Fun pop-punk song that is pretty much just included as a title track for the mixtape. I like Set Your Goals a lot, though.

5. Old Man Markley – Do Me Like You Do

I saw Old Man Markley play with NOFX back in June and was completely blown away. They’re just a super fun, fast country band with a punk feel and attitude. They were amazing live and I walked straight to their merch table and bought Guts N’ Teeth, the record that includes this song. It’s very different from the rest of the mix, but it’s still very good.

6. A Day To Remember – NJ Legion Iced Tea

Part of me is getting really sick of A Day To Remember, but this song rules. I think it’s the best song they’ve ever done and it’s the song that made me start listening to them. Well, besides their cover of “Since U Been Gone.”

7. August Burns Red – Internal Cannon

August Burns Red is one of my favourite metal bands going and Leveler is right up there amongst my favourite records of this year. They’ve become a band I associate with summer so I figured I should have them represented here. “Internal Cannon” works for me.

8. Teenage Bottlerocket – Skate or Die

I suppose I can’t say that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater makes me think of summer and then ignore a pop-punk song about skateboarding, can I?

9. Major Lazer – Mary Jane

This would be the second of the “club” songs on the mix. The lyrics really aren’t anything I can get behind, but like most of Major Lazer’s work, this song has an incredible beat and oozes style. Really fun and very summery.

10. Sum 41 – Summer

Too literal?

11. Goo Goo Dolls – Long Way Down

Even if this wasn’t a song that I thought was really great, a song that I started listening to last summer after hearing a cover by a different band that would turn out to be one of my favourite bands ever (more on them in a bit)… I have to include this simply for being on the soundtrack of Twister. Have to.

12. NOFX – Mattersville

NOFX is my favourite band and there is pretty much no theme you can ever give me that I won’t be able to link them to somehow.

13. The Killing Moon – You Oughta Know

Another Punk Goes… cover. This one is off of Punk Goes 90s, is the only The Killing Moon song I’ve ever heard and is really great. I like this better than the Alanis Morissette original, which is a great song in its own right. It’s a fair bit darker than anything else included here, too, which is a nice change.

14. Ace of Base – Cruel Summer

I love Ace of Base. This is, again, maybe going a little too literal with the songs, but oh well. Also: another cover!

15. Goldfinger – Superman

Another song from the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack and, in my opinion, the greatest ska song of all time. I almost forgot to throw this on the mix. What a disaster that would have been.

16. Haste The Day – When Everything Falls

My favourite song by one of my favourite bands (the one mentioned earlier via Goo Goo Dolls). The first time I ever heard this song, it was summer. That’s good enough for me. It’s a perfect record closer unless I decided to put a bonus track on here.

Which I did.

17 (Bonus). Rebecca Black – Friday (Dubstep)

I unironically adore this version of Rebecca Black’s awful original. I found it on YouTube in the days after the original “Friday” came out and thought it was just great. And really, what is summer if not one giant Friday? Everybody’s looking forward to the weekend (weekend).

You can find a link to my Summer Jam mix below. Obviously I do not own any of the songs or the pictures contained in this post.


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