We have the Summer Mix now in tow this year. As with last year’s mix, this year the mix is designed to listen to “on random” or shuffle. And since the compact disc has fallen to digital music players, the mix isn’t limited to 15-18 tracks. It’s 25+ this year.
Tracey asked me what the theme is… I dunno. I threw 30+ songs together a couple of months ago, drank a beverage, and then started swapping out songs. Actually I started with a lot of songs with the intent of cutting the list in half. Weekend nights quickly revealed that 30 tracks was a good number for searing dead animals and drinking beverages. So… it stuck.
Here’s the list (as played “on random” this Memorial Day’s Eve):
- “Toes” by the Zac Brown Band: Heard this band open for DMB last summer and they were impressive. This song stuck for obvious reasons.
- “Summer Nights” by Van Halen: I heard Sammy Hagar tell the story behind this tune in an interview just a few months ago. I remember 5150 coming out while a kid in Miami. We wore this LP out. Cheers to my best friend Dan who is now a father for the first time! “We’ll celebrate when the gang’s all here…”
- “1979” by Smashing Pumpkins: Just love the groove of this song. In 1979 I was a kid in Slidell, Louisiana. Wow, did we have summers there! There wasn’t a care in the world.
- “Peaches” by President’s of the United States of America: I think Mim-Maw would like this song. She and I would stop at McCaig’s Grocery and Gas in Falkville for a Nehi Peach soda – the perfect drink to quench your thirst on hot summer Morgan County days.
- “Born Free” by Kid Rock: I have to admit I get a little emotional when I listen to this tune thinking of all my ancestors that fought to give us and keep us in Liberty. Perfect for the start of Summer!
- “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty: Perhaps another salute to my Florida buddy who got his undergraduate degree at UF. I dunno, just a great Petty tune that my grand kids will pick up and one of those songs that fits a lazy summer day.
- “Santa Monica” by Everclear: A great tune when I worked in radio in Columbia. Doesn’t everyone dream of swimming “past the breakers”?
- “Smooth” by Carlos Santana with Rob Thomas: “It’s a hot one…” says it all as this song opens up. Picture yourself behind the wheel of a classic Buick Skylark convertible cruising south on Highway 1 in Florida…
- “Drift Away” by Uncle Kracker: A great cover that was a must add to this year’s mix. Summers… drifting away… Who really thinks things start over on the New Year?!
- “Root Down” by the Beastie Boys: Sirius/XM reintroduced me to the Beastie Boys on a recent trip to Florida. I absolutely love the bass and organ in this track.
- “Electric Relaxation” by A Tribe Called Quest: Now we’re in the mix. “Relax yourself…” Summer’s in Atlanta back in ’94 – ’95 are kind of haze for me but A Tribe Called Quest stuck with us. Must of been good times. 😉
- “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams: Yes, a standard summer tune for us that grew up in the 80’s. “Those were the best days of my life…”
- “Ride the Tide” by the Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies: Another great band I discovered while living in Atlanta. A friend from Nashville actually knew these guys. They were fairly big when their first album broke. Don’t know what really happened to them after – they never really took off. A shame…
- “Dreamgirl” by the Dave Matthews Band: I didn’t realize it until reviewing the past Summer Mixes but this is a repeat. Sorry. I guess it’s the “top is untied and I thought how nice…” line that causes me to return to this one. We see DMB each year – it wouldn’t be a summer without them. See you soon in Atlantic City!
- “Thanks and Praise” by G. Love and Special Sauce: And speaking of Atlantic City, G. Love and Special Sauce just got added to the Caravan bill. Can’t wait to see these guys live in just a few weeks.
- “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” by Motley Crue: C’mon, who doesn’t like the way this song starts?! A strong electric big hair guitar cord followed by acoustic notes… Saw Motley Crue at the Blaisdale Arena in Honolulu somewhere around 1990. It’s summer there 365 so “salud!” to ocean breezes, palm trees, exotic drinks, and rock shows with half dressed girls wrapped around stainless steel poles.
- “Las Vegas Nights” by Hootie and the Blowfish: They love ’em some Hootie in Columbia. We took toddler Taylor to a free Hootie show in the park one summer – hot as blazes. It felt like Las Vegas.
- “Semi-Charmed Kind of Life” by Third Eye Blind: Maybe it’s all the cheese I ate when living in South Carolina (working for Clear Channel radio) but my toes really come to life when I hear this. At track 18, it’s also a good time to run to the fridge.
- “Hotel California” by the Gypsy Kings: I think some may have been offended that we actually give the Gypsy Kings 2-disc hits collection as part of a wedding gift package. The package includes The Big Lebowski and a Margarita glass set. I think our weddings are over but the Gypsy Kings get played often at LAN with a healthy pour of Cabo Wabo.
- “I’ll Take You There” by Sammy Hagar: Need we say more? Cabo has to be the next real vacation!
- “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” by Genesis: I saw Genesis in the summer of 1986 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, the real Orange Bowl. I had never seen a major stadium show to that point. It was impressive, probably the last real big Genesis concert tour. They sold out the Orange Bowl two straight nights. This is one of those songs you seek out late at night.
- “It’s Late” by Queen: I started this year’s mix looking back at old albums and I can recall the day my brother brought this LP home from the store. We listened to it in his room right out of the bag. Most people know We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions from this album but this track is my personal favorite.
- “Summer Breeze” by Jason Mraz. Tracey can’t stand the fact I threw this cover in but I couldn’t resist. Mraz adds some pep to the 1972 track, kind of makes it modern with a subtle groove. Hit the fast forward if you disagree.
- “Something Beautiful” by Trombone Shorty with Lenny Kravitz: Yep another band we saw live last summer opening for DMB in Charlottesville. We managed to get a few autographed copies of the CD. These guys sounded great and the fact their roots are out of New Orleans is even better.
- “Stir It Up” by Bob Marley: I think there’s a Apple conspiracy because the iPod always manages to find the optimal mix. Anyways I was just wondering where this song would be inserted into the playlist. Bob Marley is a must for any summertime mix.
- “Summertime” DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince: Another repeat from mixes of old. If there’s a theme to this year’s list it would be “soft subtle mix….” although depending on your genre preference you may trip across a song or two that is anything but subtle.
- “Santeria” by Sublime: This is a common tune played before summer concerts, or at least I seem to recall hearing quite a bit before shows we’ve seen in recent summers.
- “It’s Time” by the Baby’s: Tracey laughed when she heard this song on the mix. Tim passed over some props. I love the horns in this track.
- “It’s Love” by Train: Tracey is a big fan of the Winger reference. I like the song – strong hook, subtle jam, and it’s a relatively new song to pep up the entire list.
There you have it, the 2011 Summer Mix from LAN. There is no special title for the mix. Make it your own, add to it what you will, take away what doesn’t work for you. Just do one thing:
Enjoy your summer!