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Your Friday Five: Five Albums for the end of summer

August 20, 2010

I’m lookin’ for some country life/some kickin’ room/ no more city life/I want the river

  • Dennis Wilson – “River Song” from Pacific Ocean BlueDennis channels his inner Randy Newman and crafts (along with co-writer and bro Carl) one helluva epic track that swirls with choirs, strings, and his brother’s Beach Boy harmonies. This is the track that should have given Fleetwood Mac a run for their money, but the album (despite a respectable placement at #96 on the Billboard Album Charts) sorta faded away and quickly went out of print. Pacific Ocean Blue is my favorite type of end of summer album, it’s bittersweet and it aches. After 15 years of being out of print (on CD anyhow…) it was re-released two years ago and is still readily available for all your shopping needs. This album sounds perfect coming out of car speakers. Just sayin’. More:
  • The Raveonettes – “That Great Love Sound” Oh The Raveonettes, how I love The Raveonettes. I never ever get tired of this song even though it’s always on my iPod and even though it was in a goofy Kmart commercial. “Changing your strut ’cause you know I’m behind you” still just makes me all giddy and twitterpated. What a great line. Long before Best Coast, Dinosaur Feathers, Vivian Girls, and the like all started skronking and fuzzing up the road paved by the great Girl Groups and those Brill Building songwriters (I see you, Neil Diamond!), Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo were stomping on their distortion pedals and rewriting “My Boyfriend’s Back” as kick-ass, rough and tumble rock’n’roll songs. They even got Ronnie Spector to guest on their, “Ode to L.A.”. All of their albums are top-notch, but a good place to start is with Lust, Lust, Lust or Chain Gang of Love. Damn, here’s another:
  • Jay-Z – “The Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)” I have listened to this over and over and over as I drink a beer on my walk to the MAX line. Nothing else quite fits right. I dunno, this is my favorite Jay-Z album. It makes me feel invincible. I’m gettin’ old guys, that invincible feeling doesn’t come as easy as it used to. And doesn’t every summer album need a song about girls?
  • Super Furry Animals – “Sidewalk Serfer Girl” from Rings Around the World. Rings was the Super Furries exercise in genre hopping blah blah blah blah blah blah blatther. Yeah, yeah, I could prattle on about that, but really it’s a super-sunny sorta psychedelic rock album! Get your headphones out and like, tune-in man.
  • Spiritualized – “Lay Back In the Sun” from Pure Phase. If the Super Furries didn’t fry your brain enough, Jason Spaceman will finish the job. Geee-tar bliss. Let those synapses fire, and “Let it Flow”.

It’s already going to be in the 60’s again in Portland. I’m gonna think sun, and play these over and over until the sun comes back. Maybe if we all put these on… c’mon, let’s bust some clouds guys.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 11:33 am

    Thanks for the heads up about Dennis Wilson! I’ve never been familiar with his solo work but really enjoyed the clips you posted. He was always the most under-appreciated Beach Boy (understandable considering mad genius Brian and angelic-voiced Carl).

  2. August 20, 2010 11:37 am

    The end of summer always makes me melancholy, so I pull out my Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits albums. Of course, I feel like summer should be ending, what with kids going back to school and all, but I’m in GA, so it’s gonna be 100 degrees outside for the next 2 months.

    I love The Raveonettes! And I love that Jay-Z album, too!

  3. August 20, 2010 12:06 pm

    Oooh, thank you for the Dennis Wilson track! And my goodness what righteous facial hair he’s got going on. I think I might love this more than Smile. Is that terrible to say?

  4. August 20, 2010 12:42 pm

    @scribblings: Yeah! Dennis is the rough road of the Beach Boys. His voice is a little scratchy and he’s damaged goods, but I think damaged goods always make the best art…

    @eieioj: yeah, Leonard can really pull the sunshine right out of a day, can’t he? And Tom, well, I love crooner Tom the most but noisy, cranky, cantankerous Tom is always fantastic too.

    @Snarky: NO! I’ve played the hell out of Ocean Pacific Blue and I actually find it to be weirder and more sad than Smile. It’s pretty fabulous.

  5. August 20, 2010 12:44 pm

    And Snarky, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dennis’ beard required it’s own microphone for the recording of Pacific Ocean Blue.

  6. Alyx Vesey permalink
    August 20, 2010 1:04 pm

    “Heart of the City” is a must! Excellent choice. This is a total American white music geek pilfering exotica type selection, but I have to listen to Os Mutantes in the summer.

  7. August 20, 2010 2:10 pm

    @poplife – I am in LOVE with Dennis Wilson album. Thank you again, for steering me towards music I love, that also makes me appear to be hip and with it.

    Wait are the kids still saying, “With it”?

  8. August 20, 2010 3:11 pm

    Thanks for these selections, most especially the Dennis Wilson, which I had heard stories about previously but had never heard any of the actual tracks from… it’s clearly a fascinating work in its own right!

    The end of the summer really is always filled with mixed emotions. The warm weather and the fun of long days of play would soon be over, but the new television season filled with new Saturday morning cartoons and shows and new prime time programming would be back, but so would the homework.

    But so would new and interesting classmates! I’d rather celebrate the start of the new than lament the loss of the old…

  9. August 20, 2010 3:37 pm

    I miss Pepper Ann!

  10. August 21, 2010 9:35 am

    ok, I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but I’ve been excitedly waiting for you to write about Dennis Wilson after I sneaked a peek of the subject line in the draft folder here! I love that album so much (and I wasn’t able to get into Smile unfortunately).

    I like the remix of Girls Girls Girls, too. Maybe even better?

  11. August 21, 2010 9:36 am

    oh, someone said cloudbusting?

  12. August 21, 2010 7:58 pm

    I loooove the Super Furry Animals ­čÖé Rings Around the World is probably my favorite album of theirs, if not Fuzzy Logic.

  13. August 22, 2010 10:27 am

    @liz. They really are fantastic, aren’t they? One of the funnest bands to listen to. Just, pure, joyful noise. I wish they were more popular in the States.

  14. August 22, 2010 11:29 am

    I am going to listen to Super Furry Animals and I will travel the country making them famous. Like I did with NRBQ

  15. August 22, 2010 1:45 pm

    I smell Mega-Mall Co-Headline Tour!

    Man, NRBQ rule.

  16. August 22, 2010 5:00 pm

    Actually, the Mega-Mall tour would rock Wet Seal out of the building. Also, the only thing NRBQ needs is a few more beards of awesome!

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