The Songs of Summer

by Rick Rockwell

Officially, summer doesn’t arrive until next week, but for some, after Memorial Day the summer mode has definitely settled in and the search begins.

The search? The search for the summer song, of course.

A few weeks ago, as the unofficial summer began, on the podcast, iVoryTowerz Radio, the call went out for the anthem of the Summer of 2007.

Everyone seemingly has found a summer anthem, even if they don’t find one every summer. It’s that song that just keeps playing and becomes the soundtrack for the long lazy days.

For this writer, eons ago, Steve Miller’s Fly Like an Eagle, the entire record, seemed to be the soundtrack of a summer. But that was before university days and more complex sounds. In graduate school, just cue up Core by The Stone Temple Pilots, another entire disc that brought the same heat as a summer in Southern California.

Of course, the single song summer anthems are easier: Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” Foghat’s “Slow Ride,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” Genesis’ “Abacab,” The Talking Heads with “Burning Down the House,” ZZ Top’s “Legs,” Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator,” U2’s “Mysterious Ways,” and Jane’s Addiction with “Been Caught Stealin’.” More recently: Velvet Revolver’s “Slither,” and Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” filled the bill. And there are more.

The B-52s seem to have the ability to capture this writer’s heart in the summer with at least three summer anthems: “Rock Lobster;” “Roam;” and “Love Shack.” The B-52’s just seem to have a certain summer vibe: light, funny, catchy music with a good groove.

So far, this summer has some good candidates but no definitive anthems. On the list: Modest Mouse with “Dashboard;” the new White Stripes’ “Icky Thump;” Wilco’s new “Let’s Not Get Carried Away;” and “Tarantula” by the reformed Smashing Pumpkins.

Feel free to post your own nominations. Something fun with a nice hook is preferred.

(Photo by heydrienne of San Francisco via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license.)

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