News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Equalizer: Summer Sounds
BY JONAS BEALS
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Two benefits of our recent nonexistent winter:
- Heating oil bills were only mildly crippling.
- A premature jones for summer music in April.
I’m not about to define summer music, but it’s best if it can inspire some vintage Annette Funicello-style rump shaking.
For me, summer music isn’t necessarily of the “beach music” or reggae varieties, both genres having a sort of built-in summer vibe. In my opinion, most Beach Boys songs don’t qualify as summer music.
The songs I want in my summer mix are not overt summer anthems (country music, I’m looking at you). I’m looking for something breezy, something sunny, something positive that works whether you’re playing horseshoes, hanging out on the deck or wakeboarding.
Here are some worthy tracks:
by The Sandals
Let’s start simply. Summer lends itself to instrumentals better than any other season, considering any music played outside has to blend into the background on occasion. This is a classic ’60s summertime surf jam. In fact, it was written for the soundtrack of “The Endless Summer.”
“Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi”
by Jacques Dutronc
Perhaps because of the above-mentioned background music duties, summertime is a good time to break out the foreign tunes. And it can work to your advantage. This simple rock song is perfect party fare, despite lyrics that deal with living among overwhelming global tragedies. Your guests will never know the truth.
“Nao Bate O Corocao”
by Astrud Gilberto
Let’s keep the foreign-language hits coming with something from Brazil, the world capital of laid-back summer music. But there’s a twist—this is an unusually high-energy, driving piano tune from the queen of hypnagogic jazz vocals. Simultaneously lazy and energetic. That’s summer.
by Jay Ferguson
This is also from another world—1970s America. Forget the treacly Rupert Holmes schlock and take a swig of this sweet island concoction, complete with soaring choruses and fiery guitar solos. If this doesn’t make you want to sport your old cutoffs, nothing will.
by Nancy Sinatra
Did I include this one because Sinatra is wearing a suggestive pink bikini on the album cover? Mostly. But I would also be hard-pressed to find a more representative piece of pure pop candy than this track. It might be the gold standard of sunny pop songs.
“Here Comes My Baby”
by Cat Stevens
There was something in the water in the late ’60s, and Internet research says it was probably “ludes.” Whatever it was, it made for some seriously sunny music. Tinkling piano and chiming bells provide a perfect summer pop song, despite lyrics that reveal a painfully unrequited love.
“Mind Your Manners”
by Chiddy Bang feat. Icona Pop
No matter how old you are, each summer should give you at least one moment that inspires youthful feelings of invincibility. This pop hip–hop track was made for just such a moment, or it was made to create such a moment.
by Clive Tanaka y su orquesta
Again, the lyrics might not exactly jibe with an afternoon on the yacht, but the music is such a massive sunshiny pop explosion that it’s impossible to leave it off the playlist.
Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036