Man Overboard, it’s Summer Fridays 4.1!

27 May

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and that, of course, means the start of the fourth year of these seasonal mixes. Please enjoy whether you’re heading out of town for a three day trip to the beach, or use at a backyard bbq, or just clogging up your hard drive unzipped. Sunbathing season hasn’t really started yet, so this mix is pretty damn white. Please enjoy the quality pop tones within. Cover art this week designed by Kate Bryant who has helped kick off nearly every season of Summer Fridays since the beginning so long ago. Enjoy.

DOWNLOAD SUMMER FRIDAYS 4.1

Tracklist:

1. Let’s Wrestle – In Dreams Pt. II
2. Eternal Summers – Prisoner
3. The Belltower – Outshine the Sun
4. Terry Malts – Distracted
5. Comet Gain – Thee Ecstatic Library
6. The Modern Lovers – Dignified and Old
7. Milk Maid – Not Me
8. Boat - Kinda Scared of Love Affairs
9. 20/20 - Yellow Pills
10. Pete & the Pirates – Little Gun
11. The Wedding Present – Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)
12. Gold-Bears – Totally Called It
13. Radical Dads – Walking Wires
14. Slade - Coz I Luv You
15. Gross Relations – Blame the Records
16. The Strokes – Machu Picchu
17. The Hairs – Duh x 12
18. Crystal Stilts – Death is What We Live For
19. The Feelies – Nobody Knows
20. The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon

Like I always always always say, these mixes are actually, you know, mixed together. So no skipping! Liner Notes after the jump.

1. Let’s Wrestle – In Dreams Pt. II
Wesley Patrick Gonzalez doesn’t get enough credit as a lyricist. He’s thoughtful and funny without ever writing “jokes.” And he’s writing some of the best love songs of the moment, if you ask me. “In Dreams Pt. II” is mostly stream of (un)conscious imagery, but the chorus: “In my dreams, they never understand me, but when I tell you, you get it right away.” That’s the kind of thing anyone would want to hear. It’s set to a pretty rockin’ tune too. New record was recorded by Steve Albini, which gives it a little more umph.

2. Eternal Summers – Prisoner
It still amazes me that there are good bands in Southwest Virginia and Roanoke’s Eternal Summers are just getting better. This is the title track from their new EP, Prisoner, maybe my favorite song of their’s yet.

3. The Belltower – Outshine the Sun
This goes way back to 1991, one of the better American shoegaze bands. From their first, best, EP. The Belltower are better known for what they became: Jody Porter and Adam Schlesinger went on to be in Fountains of Wayne, and singer Britta Phillips (who was the voice of JEM) later joined Luna and married frontman Dean Wareham.

4. Terry Malts – Distracted
What’s this? Fuzzed out pop on the Slumberland label? The World has gone topsy turvy! Ok, that’s some indie rock humor there, kind of. Slumberland pretty much has the market cornered on this kind of stuff. In this case it’s Magic Bullet in scuzz-twee alter ego mode. My favorite of the three tracks on their 7″.

5. Comet Gain – Thee Ecstatic Library
Indiepop legends Comet Gain return with a new album, Howl of the Lonely Crowd, another fine showcase for David Feck’s good taste and lyrical abilities. The music will save you again and again. More than a little Modern Lovers in this one which leads me to…

6. The Modern Lovers – Dignified and Old
I can take or leave a lot of Jonathan Richman, but that first Modern Lovers album…it’s perfection. Actually, “Dignified and Old” was not the original version of the album but was from the same sessions and has been amended to it since the ’80s. Self-loathing, but motivated. With a killer groove.

7. Boat – Kinda Scared of Love Affairs
One of the nine album covers depicted on BOAT’s Dress Like Your Idols‘ artwork is Built to Spill’s Perfect from Now On and its influence is pretty clear on this track. Good looking is the only way to be.

8. Milk Maid – Not Me
From Manchester but you’d never know it. Kinda sludgy, kinda JAMC, kinda ’90s, completely catchy. (And kinda a lot like House of Love’s “Christine.”) Milk Maid’s debut album, Yucca, is out next month on FatCat.

9. 20/20 - Yellow Pills
Though they never scored a chart hit like “My Sharona” or “American Girl” or “Best Friends Girlfriend,” Tulsa’s 20/20 are beloved by powerpop enthusiasts and this here is an all-time classic. “Everybody’s feeling groovy/Everybody’s got their tight pants on” — not much has changed in 30 years.

10. Pete & the Pirates – Little Gun
When Pete & the Pirates played CMJ 2009 this is one of the new songs I distinctly remembered. The band has those kind of choruses that stick with you after one listen. A year and a half later, it’s on their second album, One Thousand Pictures, that just came out this week.

11. The Wedding Present – Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)
All bands should look to The Wedding Present (if you’re not looking at The Fall) for how to do covers right. Mainly the make them sound like they wrote it. Here they cover glam rock one-hit-wonders Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebel’s contribution to popular culture. I love the really long break where you think the song is over but then…

12. Gold-Bears – Totally Called It
Somewhere I described Gold-Bears’ live show as “Superchunk covering The Wedding Present” and I think that pretty much gets it if you follow the references. Jeremy Underwood has similar phrasing to gedge and a similar guitar attack, though he’s got a poppier songwriting sensibility. Live, the band thrash and jump around like they’ve got ants in there pants. It’s pretty much all you need.

13. Radical Dads – Walking Wires
Radical Dads will not deny their ’90s influences, which is good because they’re all over their terrific debut album, Mega Rama, which is also a contender for Album Art of the Year.

14. Slade – Coz I Luv You
Two glammy on this mix, I guess I’m just in a mood. I really like Slade. Pretty sure they were the first band to make a real point of mispelling things on purpose. Warning: there is slightly Celtic violin on this track.

15. Gross Relations – Blame the Records
Blame the Rentals? Another band with undeniable ’90s influences. One of many digital singles the band have released this year, all of which are free downloads from their Bandcamp site.

16. The Strokes – Machu Picchu
I’m no giant Strokes fan but there’s always at least one song per album that is pretty undeniable. For their new one it’s “Machu Picchu” which I guess is about the ancient Inca site in Peru but who really knows what Julian Casablancas is writing about. I do like the lyric “Putting your body on the line…for less.” Sounds like a PC Richards slogan.

17. The Hairs – Duh x 12
This is the new band from Kevin of Knight School and L’il Hospital before that. Maybe it’s the presence of a bassist, but I think The Hairs is the best thing he’s done yet. There’s a cute video for this song too.

18. Crystal Stilts – Death is What We Live For
I was kind of obsessed with Crystal Stilts in 2008 and saw them, like, 20 times between April and December of that year. This was one of the many great new songs that made their debut during that time. Frankie Rose left the band before the recording but I think the fingerprints of her relentless drumming style are still all over this track. Kind of a bummer title but it sounds right for a Summer Fridays mix. Drive that cattle, hyah!

19. The Feelies – Nobody Knows
I do wish the new Feelies album was a little more frantic at times, but Glenn Mercer and Bill Million are older now and no sense in trying to pretend you’re still 22. Plus, I can’t really fault the midtempo grooves found on the band’s first new album in 20 years. It’s actually a lot like The Good Earth: acoustic, chill but still groovy. Just good to have them back.

20. The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon
There’s probably gonna be at least one song per mix with the word “Summer” or “Sun” or some variation of those in it, whether I do it on purpose or not. In this case it was intentional but Ray Davies subverts the intentions of the title. Resentful seems to be the word here, but it’s also got that summer feeling too.

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