WBEZ | summer songs http://www.wbez.org/tags/summer-songs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The sweetness of summer http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-06/what-are-other-parts-summer-107896 <p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5899319161_5d68093fc4_z.jpg" style="height: 419px; width: 620px;" title="(Flickr/angela larose)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Summer was easy in childhood. For one, everything could be contained to one block. I spent many summers at my grandparents&rsquo; home in the Austin neighborhood while my parents worked during the day. As I got older, I began to spend more and more time inside, not because there was little to do outside, but because the containment of the block was no longer satisfactory. But as a child, it was easy to acquire as much of the goodness of summer in one block as it was to spend time moving from neighborhood to neighborhood and activity to activity. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">I&rsquo;m thinking about the women who put up snow cone stands. I can&rsquo;t remember how much they cost (probably not a lot). What I do remember is how sticky and messy they were and how that seemed unique to summer as well. Summer is a time of cold, meltable treats. A sweet relief comes in the form of sticky fingers and a messiness that was more or less acceptable. As an adult, I still face that: the sloppiness of summer, the ways in which we are subject to the heat in all of its glory and frustration. We wait all winter and spring for the heat and then, when it arrives, we forget everything else that comes with it. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">I&rsquo;m thinking about barbecues as well. We are nearing the Fourth of July. Although Summer has technically just started, in our minds, it truly hits around Memorial Day. That is when the laziness of extra-long days feels acceptable. Barbecues are a means of indulgence in a manner that feels in opposition to the indulgence of winter holidays. For one, in summer, it feels easy to &ldquo;keep going.&rdquo; Once I stop eating during a holiday dinner, my relatives rarely question my actions. But in the summer, another plate can be found just waiting. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">Summer is a time of being young. And if that is out of grasp, it is a time of feeling young, too. When I think about my favorite songs of summer, I remember my favorite films nd television shows about youth. These films might not have taken place in summer, but they successfully invoked the best feelings of being young, and so songs like Space&rsquo;s &ldquo;Female of the Species&rdquo; (as heard in <em>My Mad Fat Diary</em>) or Supergrass&rsquo; &ldquo;Alright&rdquo; (as heard in <em>Clueless</em>), feel especially right for the right now. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">And waiting too feels inherent to the spirit of the season. I sometimes forget that fall is quietly waiting. And so I too wait &ndash; in lines, in stores, at parties, for transportation &ndash; all for the chance to experience the things that were taken from us the other nine months of the year. What are those things? Maybe the sticky sweetness (like mentioned above) of gelato. A Sunday evening is sometimes spent waiting for a scoop or three of Black Dog Gelato, but it all feels worth it. Treats are available throughout the year, but warmth trumps deliciousness.</span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">Maybe too I&rsquo;ll wait for a party or performance in a way that seems unfeasible in the winter. </span></p><p><span>&ldquo;I do NOT wait in lines,&rdquo; I used to say to friends, not because I thought I deserved better treatment, but because the cold was too much to bear for a good time. </span></p><p><span>But in the summer evenings, when the breeze is just right, I can wait in line longer than expected, all for the sort of magic that only brews when the days and nights are equally enjoyable.&nbsp;</span></p><p><em>Britt Julious blogs about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 12:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-06/what-are-other-parts-summer-107896 Music Thursdays with Tony Sarabia: Summer Songs http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/music-thursdays-tony-sarabia-summer-songs-100257 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/beach headphones flickr valentina calosci.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe frameborder="0" height="250" src="https://rd.io/i/QX9-5DNR5l8" width="500"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: left; "><em>The playlist above has been updated to include listener-submitted suggestions, so take a listen!</em></p><p>Well, summer is here. Time for care free days, al fresco dining, Frisbee, outdoor music festivals, road trips and a soundtrack for the season.</p><p>Summer is our focus for this week&rsquo;s Music Thursday. My usual partner Richard Steele is dodging the heat in New Orleans so in his stead we have Mia Park.</p><p>You may be most familiar with Park as creator and host of the kids TV dance music show <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chicagogo"><em>Chic-A-Go-Go</em></a>; there&rsquo;s a famous episode that features a &quot;band&quot; with members Jerome McDonnell, Ira Glass, Peter Sagal and Gretchen Helfrich. Mia is a real musician. She plays percussion/drums in rock bands. Park also produces benefit music shows and theater productions.</p><p>Our task was to come up with a few of our favorite songs either about summer or tunes that remind us of the short season. For Mia, summer music is music that not only rallys activity, but also boosts her mood in an upbeat, positive way.</p><p>Here are Mia&rsquo;s picks:</p><p><em>In general, I think of anthemic songs when I think of summer. Music that not only rallies activity, but also boosts my mood in an upbeat, positive way.</em></p><p><em><strong>&quot;Funky Town&quot; by Lipps Inc.</strong>&nbsp;is the ultimate summer dance song. Grooving to this song, you can easily do the robot, disco, roller skate, pop &amp; lock and play the meanest air violin and air cowbell, ever. Also, this song has great electronic sounds and voices in it that remind me of kraftwerk and their ground breaking electronic music movement of the late &#39;70s.</em></p><p><em>I very much love American music from the &#39;50s and early &#39;60s and spent over a decade immersed in the rockabilly scenes of Philadelphia and Chicago. There are so many faster paced rockabilly songs that are driven by teen angst longing for summertime fun, but <strong>&quot;Sleep Walk&quot; by Santo and Johnny</strong> has that swaggering sway that reminds me of slow walks on hot sticky summer nights under midnight shady trees with someone you can&#39;t wait to kiss.</em></p><p><em>Ohmygawdiloveduranduran! <strong>Duran Duran</strong> was my ultimate high school band. I spent a lot of energy loving this band. <strong>&quot;Is There Something I Should Know?&quot;</strong> is such a great representative of &#39;80s pop new wave that makes me feel summery year round. Thinking of cute British boy musicians always makes me feel giggly summer time girly. I can&#39;t listen to them late at night or I can&#39;t sleep. I get too excited.</em></p><p><em>Kathleen Hanna fronted this great female punk band from Washington state and <strong>Bikini Kill</strong> was my favorite of the riot grrrl groups. Her songs are terribly catchy with smart feminist lyrics. Her &quot;statement&quot; reminds me of the energy of restless youth that the rockabilly&rsquo;s captured so well. Her voice is as bright as the summer sun and <strong>&quot;Statement of Vindication&quot;</strong> is a great summer road trip song for me, especially if the road trip is only an hour and fifteen minutes.</em></p><p>So Mia ends with a reference to road tripping, but unlike Mia, I love a long meandering road trip; pack up and head out without an agenda. One song in particular always reminds me of a summer road trip.</p><p><strong>Joni Mitchell</strong>&rsquo;s &quot;<strong>Coyote&quot;</strong> comes from the album <em>Hejira </em>which loosely means &quot;journey.&quot; All the songs on the album were written while Joni was traveling cross country and &quot;Coyote&quot; hits it on the mark as a chance encounter while on the road. But it&rsquo;s not only Joni Mitchell&rsquo;s usual poetic lyrics (&quot;a prisoner of the fine white lines of the freeway&quot;), but the breezy and spacious&nbsp; feel of the music; the opening tuning of her guitar and the fretless bass playing of Jaco Pastorius; like an open road &ldquo;in the middle of nowhere.&quot;</p><p>Supposedly the song is not about just any chance encounter but a brief affair Mitchell had with playwright Sam Shepard &mdash; oh the intrigue.</p><p>You can&rsquo;t do a show about summer songs and not include<strong><em> </em></strong><em>the </em>Summertime: Gershwin&rsquo;s<strong> &quot;Summertime.&quot;</strong></p><p>The challenge is choosing just one of the many superb versions. I was leaning towards the Billy Stewart&rsquo;s rendition with his rolling of the tongue and scatting. Instead I picked <strong>The Zombies</strong> take on the classic.</p><p>The British Invasion popsters&rsquo; &quot;Summertime&quot; comes from the group&rsquo;s 1965 debut and it sticks to the dirge like quality of the original with some the somber vocals by Colin Blunstone and keyboard work by Rod Argent. Very nice.</p><p>The year was 1975; the month was June when one of the hottest summer singles hit the airwaves. Low Rider was one of two singles released from the seventh studio album by <strong>WAR</strong>. The other single was the title track &quot;Why Can&rsquo;t We Be Friends?&quot;&nbsp;Low Rider went to number seven on the Billboard Pop chart, number one on the R&amp;B chart. One of the lesser known songs is <strong>&quot;Heartbeat.&quot;&nbsp;</strong>It most likely didn&rsquo;t get played on the AM stations because it clocks in at seven-plus minutes.</p><p>The song is a funky workout for the whole band as vocalist and drummer Harold Brown calls out each member to give the listeners a taste of their playing.&nbsp;This is the type of summer song you want to slowly groove to in order not to work up a sweat; pace yourself during those seven minutes.</p><p>Like most of WAR&rsquo;s music, Heartbeat always conjures summer. Heartbeat was a big hit in Brazil when it was released. The song has been sampled numerous times.</p><p>I love the idea of dancing on a beach during the summer months even though I&rsquo;ve never done that myself and Latin boogaloo would be my choice for such an occasion.&nbsp; More specifically the song to start the Latin beach party would be &quot;<strong>Spanish Grease&quot;</strong> by the great percussionist <strong>Willie Bobo</strong>. Like WAR&rsquo;s &quot;Heartbeat,&quot; Spanish Grease is a slow cooker; a &ldquo;sway back and forth maybe a few cha cha steps&rdquo; tune.</p><p>&quot;Spanish Grease&quot; is from Willie&rsquo;s 1965 release <em>Uno, Dos, Tres 1.2.3.</em></p><p>Okay so there you go; some songs of summer that hopefully will allow you to have one of those lazy hazy crazy days&nbsp;between now and September 22nd.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 21 Jun 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/music-thursdays-tony-sarabia-summer-songs-100257