IS THERE THE SONG OF THE SUMMER?

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I recently participated in a lil online debate over the notion of there being the song of the summer, i.e. “one song to rule them all.”

This stemmed from a piece by Slate’s Chris Molanphy and that turned into a Facebook discussion which then turned into another Molanphy piece, which you can read here.

The gist of his argument is that most summers, there is one dominant summer hit that ends up becoming “the song of […]

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LIFE’S A BEACH (WITH THE PRINCE OF BALLARD)

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The Prince of Ballard used to run Armed Snobbery (though he shuttered the doors in December). If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he put together one of the sickest remixes to grace our pages, flipping Bobby Reed’s “Time Is Right For Love.”

Mr. POB recently hollered to let us know about Beach Life, an “album” of sorts featuring summer-inspired remixes and edits, just in time for the last month of the season. We’ve been sampling through it this morning and…it is awesome. I’ve never met him in person but […]

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SUMMER SONGS: MORGAN RHODES

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(Editor’s Note: I met Morgan Rhodes when we both came in to record a Tuesday music segment for KPCC’s Take Two.1 Among other things, Morgan has been the music supervisor for Ava Duvernay‘s Middle of Nowhere and The Door. She also hosts both The Listening Station on KPFK and Wonderground on WURD (Philly, holler!). –O.W.)

D’Angelo: Jonz in My Bonz
From Brown Sugar (Virgin/EMI, 1995)

Just like I had been in the three summers before and the eight summers after, I was in love that summer, the summer of 1995. […]

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SUMMER SONGS 2013: MICHAEL GONZALES

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(Soul man Michael A. Gonzales has written about music, film and art for Wax Poetics, New York, XXL and HYCIDE. A prolific short story writer, his latest “Jaguar and the Jungleland Boogie” appears in Black Pulp (Pro Se Press). He blogs at Blackadelicpop.blogspot.com and lives in Brooklyn.)

Prince: When Doves Cry
From Purple Rain (Warner Bros., 1984)

It was Orwellian summer of 1984 and big brother Ronny Raygun was in the White House cutting social programs and replacing them with crack. I was living in Harlem with my grandmother […]

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SUMMER SONGS 2013: EOTHEN “EGON” ALAPATT

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(Editor’s Note: How is it possible I hadn’t had Egon on to do this before? I’ve known E going back to the late ’90s, when he was still an undergraduate at Vanderbilt and I was still living in Oakland – shout out to Byze One, who connected us. Since then, I’ve followed his career to become one of the biggest forces in soul/funk/psych record rediscoveries, first at Stones Throw, now at Now-Again. And heck, we live only 15 minutes away from one another so we’re practically neighbors. For […]

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SUMMER SONGS 2013: JOAN MORGAN

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(Editor’s Note: I first “met” Joan Morgan through her writing. It’s no exaggeration to say that she’s been one of the most important and formative music critics out there, part of the golden era of the Village Voice’s hip-hop squad. She’s also author of the groundbreaking work of hip-hop feminism, When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost. And most recently, she’s decided to enter the world of academia and should be within a few years of adding the title “Dr.” along her other honorifics. Mostly though, Joan kicks ass as one of […]

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SUMMER SONGS 2013: CHOIMATIC

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(Editor’s note: It’s time to bring back the Summer Songs after two seasons off. Our first guest is Moe Choi aka DJ Choimatic. I’ve known Moe for years, back when he was a big presence in the NY hip-hop club scene but in more recent years, Moe has branched out into everything from swanked-out weddings to Fashion Week runway shows to, you know, DJing parities on the roof of The Met. He’s got Billy Danze’s number on speed dial and the inside lane on YSL couture; […]

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SOUNDS LIKE SUMMER

I may revive the Summer Songs series this year and if I do, you can partially thank J. Cole for that. Listening to his “Cole Summer” (“this is not a preview”) just puts me in that zone.

MY SUMMER PLAYLIST

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This is the first year where I’m putting the Summer Songs series on hold – too much else going on – but that doesn’t mean my summer listening has disappeared or anything. The thing is though…in any given summer, my heaviest rotation songs are almost never from that actual summer and 2012 (so far) is no different. Here’s the top rundown:

Lianne La Havas: Is Your Love Big Enough?
From digital single (Nonesuch, 2012)

Lily Allen: Smile (Mark Ronson Revisit)
From internet single (2007)

Cloud Control: Just For Now
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NPR’S SUMMER SONG MIX

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This is the first year in many that I haven’t organized a summer songs segment for the site. And honestly, it’s because even though I know it’s summer (yesterday being the first official day), it hasn’t felt like summer to me and in combination with other things, I just didn’t have the inspiration to pursue it this summer. It will return at some point, trust.

In the meantime, NPR’s feature, The Mix, has their own 50 year summer songs mix for you to check out.