Best Summer '14 Tunes!

It must be said that nothing can encompass summertime quite like music can. There is always that one song, or often collection of songs, that can immediately transport you to a certain summer with a certain someone or something that you just couldn't get enough of - music is special that way. It deepens the imprints of our most poignant memories and plays them to a personalized soundtrack. 

Below are a few of my favorite songs of this summer, along with a few recommendations from my buddy and music twin, Tyler, who has always had an eye and an ear for what's wonderful. 

Vacationer - "The Wild Life"

There's a reason the band's name is Vacationer. Listening to this song makes you feel like it's the first day of summer every time... Perfect to kick off a care-free roadtrip to the beach.

Vance Joy - "Riptide"

I SWOON for James Keogh's voice and sentimental-yet-upbeat melodies. It gives me the feeling of having nostalgia for the present, which I once wrote about here. Especially fitting for late night beers around a fire pit with friends and family.

Bleachers - "I Wanna Get Better"

This song is pure fun wrapped up in some solid lyrics. PLUS, a decent music video for once! Very refreshing.

Cherub - "Doses & Mimosas"

A whimsical sound that lies somewhere between Blood Orange and Twin Shadow and may just be the most wonderful day-drinking-with-your-best-friends-from-college-song.

A-Trak and Cam'ron - "Dipsh*t"

Because, duh. Sounds like something I would have listened to school sophomore year (perhaps Nelly's Heart of the Champion?) whilst speeding out of the high school parking lot after school. And I fucking dig it.

Kiesza - "Hideaway"

Finally, a new-age Janet Jackson meets Tegan & Sara in this phenomenal song that I've strangely only heard on Canadian radio so far even though the entire music takes place in what I assume to be Brooklyn. It's like the 90s grunge scene meets 80s house meets some serious choreography. 

Spoon - "Do You"

'cause you can't go wrong ending it with a Spoon Song.

Summer Reading & Best Sites for the Bookworm

It is never truly summertime until I have 1) managed to get margarita-drunk on a weekday in celebration of absolutely nothing other than the weather, 2) accumulated both forehead and boob sweat within 5 seconds of being on the 1 train and 3) compiled my summer reading list.

Alas, it is now officially summer as I have completed all three impressive-I-know tasks.

Reading has always been a favorite pastime of mine. A truly cathartic activity, certain books have inadvertently given me perspective on different aspects of my life at different times – not to mention, the required suspension of disbelief provides for some nice right-brained exercise. And most importantly, it makes me feel better about all the other unproductive shit I take part in on a daily basis while giving me some $10 vocab words to almost always improperly insert into casual conversation in an attempt at genius (“A” for effort, though, amirite?)

Anyway, here’s a list of some classics that I’ve conjured up for this summer:

Gettin effed up on knowledge.

Gettin effed up on knowledge.

A Dystopian Novel to Keep My Anxiety Mounting: Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

A Love Story with Big Words: Emma, Jane Austen

A ‘To Read in Your 20’s’: On The Road, Jack Kerouac

Mo’fckin Feminism: A room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

So I Can Intelligently Join the Next Cocktail Party Discussion: Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

A High School Re-read, since-forgotten or previously only spark-noted: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Le

If you’re having difficulty narrowing down your summer reading list, have no fear. You can outsource your indecision to the Pandora-like http://whatshouldireadnext.com where recommendations are provided based off the book title you input into their system.

Or, if you’re looking for something more specific/want to make sure you have a variety of different books on deck, I like http://www.openingthebook.com/whichbook/. This site enables you to combine and weight different characteristics of a book (from the plot to the mood of the writing).  

And, naturally, you can never go wrong with the lists over at www.goodreads.com