Thursday MixTape: Summer Takes Her Shit & Splits

I can think of no sadder fate for a generation than to have no fucking idea what a mix tape is and how, even in digital form, they just don't compare to their cassette brethren. Oh, the fucking care one would take when they undertook the task of creating a mix tape. It was literally like standing in front of 30 minutes (per side) of blank canvas. Sometimes the empty space felt too daunting, to pure, that each song just had to be fucking perfect.

And if you made one wrong choice, you didn't just rewind and start over. Nope, when one song mixes seamlessly into the other, a mistake almost always means starting from scratch. Of course, doing so completely destroys the spontaneity, the raw emotion, the monumental "this is where my heart was" perfection of creating something capable of speaking straight to a lover's heart, or moving an entire room to sway in time to the beating of your heart, albeit in musical form.

Ah, what the fuck am I going on about? Cassettes?! "Tell us about cassette players, Gramps". Ah, fuggoff!

Maybe, just maybe we can make do here on this day before the weekend. I wanted to call this "Friday MixTape", but figured most of you were probably blowing off work on Friday so I moved it up a day.

This week's theme is "Summer Takes Her Things And Goes", which, of course, is a not-so-thinly veiled ode to the end of yet another summer. Come back, we hardly knew ye.

We'll start the MixTape rolling with something not so much "summery" as late "summery"; the jovial, buoyant, and downright playful sing-along "Roll With The Punches" by Lenka.

"Pigs In Zen" has always sounded to us like a city burning to the ground in the midst of a hedonistic city-wide celebration. Damn hippies, can't take them everywhere. They ruin everything. I'm now imagining that crowd at the Dave Matthews Caravan Festival...a sea of upscale tie-dye and painfully new Birkenstocks...when Jane's Addiction circa 1989 hits the fucking stage and rips their goddamn heads off. Oh, hell yes.

Okay, now that we've scared off all the lightweights in the crowd, we can get down to some funky shit, holmes. You with me? What does summer mean to you? To me, it means love, pushing past your boundaries, living above your means, knowing that you can always hunker down come winter. The memories you make in the summer are what you'll replay in your mind in freakin' January or February to keep you warm.

So, what have you done so far this summer to take with you into the cold, dark nights that lurk around the corners of this fair city? Anything?

What I love about this Jane's clip is that it's TEN FUCKING MINUTES LONG, man, but it feels like so much less because you just watch the whole thing and can feel the danger that that fucking band had back then. Plus, Perry looks freaky as shit. I actually saw Jane's for the first time that same fucking week and Perry's look tore my head off. I already thought L.A. was full of freaks and addicts, but these guys embodied it, embraced it, fed off of it, and regurgitated into the mouths of middle America so that we could taste the fucking danger.

Yeah, yeah, this song ain't exactly hip with the hipster set, but, damn if this song doesn't go down nice and easy when you're stuck in some beer tent at one of the last street festivals of the summer, drinking warm Bud out of a plastic cup and trying to remember how you ended up here. Then she walks by. Holy shit, did you see that body? Suddenly, you're no longer questioning the poor life choices that brought you to be at this exact location when the most beautiful girl you've ever seen just walked by. Suddenly, you believe in a higher power. It all makes sense.

Man, if that last tune didn't move you, then we's gonna have to pull out the heavy artillery. Fact: nobody doesn't like Greg Kihn's awesome summer jam, "The Break-Up Song". The minute you hear that familiar refrain, you're suddenly taken back to a time when summers were so fucking carefree, back before we had a care in the world and way before things got so damned heavy, man.

This one's a favorite of ours...a rocking revamp of Dusty Springfield's iconic hit "I Only Want To Be With You". We've always wondered what this would have sounded like if a girl-group like the Supremes had gotten hold of it, but this SORELY underrated British band gave us the best of both world with girl-group vocals set against blistering guitars. If the gal singer looks familiar, she went on to front another UK band by the name of Eurythmics.

It literally kills me that Jets To Brazil are no longer a going concern. Back when they were still around, the world seemed so much cooler. Whenever I hear a new Wilco song that fails to move me, I just think of Jets To Brazil and the fact that they totally fucking nailed the vibe that Jeff Tweedy is just trying way too hard to capture with his well-paid, overly-esoteric indie-rock super-group. There, you try ending a sentence with four fucking brilliant examples of hyphenation!

Word of the day: interrobang.

Sounds dirty, doesn't it? Or like the name of a fictional band with its own TV show on [Adult Swim], or something. It actually means a cross between a question mark and an exclamation point, indicating a mixture of query and interjection, as after a rhetorical question. Bet you don't expect to learn anything read this, did you?

Okay, now back to the MixTape, bitches!

Jets To Brazil, yeah, "In The Summer Is When You Really Know" is such a great song, so wistful, yet oddly hopeful, even as the end becomes unavoidable. In doing so, it totally captures that moment when you have to kiss summer goodbye.

I always like to end my MixTape with a real "WTF" track, just to keep you on your feet. Admit it, seeing The Bangles performing Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love" is pretty hilarious. What does this have to do with summer? I dunno...maybe the fact that for one summer, I had the major hots for Susannah Hoffs. Of course, that was only to make Jane Wiedlin jealous...

Anyhoo, until next summer...

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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