Friday, July 8, 2005

sounds like summer

Don't worry kids! I'm still here, checking up on my cyberspace alter ego every week or so. What can I say? When the sun is shining and summer is plying us all with its heady trade, how can a girl resist? She has to get in her best sun-catching outfit and go into town, or else get into messy pants and a shirt that reads "UCCB Women's Basketball" and go make that money in the pottery shop. And, every once in a long hot while, after she's made a veggie-and-pasta salad to cool (for later when she and her mum will drink tall cans of imported beer and watch a video) and while wearing a sarong, she can explore option #3: the internet.

So, here I am. The weather is fabulous, the salad is cooling, and the beer is chilling in the fridge. I've had a great day off--Monty fixed my glasses at 9 am (canceling the worries I'd had of being blind for weeks until I could get time off and organize rides to Sydney to see the optometrist), which pretty much set me up for the day. Happily able to see again, I went home to Mum's, then into town to meet the lovely Catriona. We had lunch at The Water's Edge, a new cafe in town (with a $1.75 bottomless cup of coffee--how can I stay away?), checked things out at the library (got a new book by Alice Walker, hurrah!) and then she went to work. I continued wandering the town, meeting all sorts of people I knew and chatting with them ("Isn't it a beautiful day?" "Oh my goodness yes, isn't it!") before meeting up with Nicole, my brother's boss and my ride home. We happily spent time perusing the great clothes at the Outdoor Store, commiserating with the sales lady over sports bras and price tags. I said I'd be back when I had a pay cheque to use up.

Now I'm home. The weather and the time off is making me wonder about that most pressing of world topics. No, not terrorism (don't I wish it would take a summer vacation), not global warming (because it's on my mind enough), and not the new romance between Tom and Katie (it's a PR stunt, now can we all get over it?). No, the issue rolling around my brain like clothes in a dryer is: what are the best albums for summer listening, of all time?

At the moment I'm letting Blackalicious stir my bones and sass my thoughts; his album "Blazing Arrow" is, in my humble opinion, up there for one of the best summer albums. We all know it's good, but why summer? Well, there's the beats, perfect for dancing. There's the lyrics, that touch the spirit and the mind, rare but wonderful in hip-hop. And there's the obvious reference to summer heat in the very title.

What else should be part of the perfect summer playlist? I want to know what you think. I've got more candidates: anything by Jill Scott, but especially Experience Jill Scott: 826+. Van Morrison's Moondance (no better soundtrack to fall in love to, even if you're falling in love with a swimming hole or friends or a book). Any artist who does the song "Summertime", especially the soundtrack to Porgy and Bess (the original), the West Coast band Sublime (rest in peace, Bradley) or Molly Johnson (her jazz is as smooth as silk). Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt for getting to the beach, and Nick Drake for coming home, a little sunburnt and a lot happy. Anything Top 40 for the sort of dancing that nighttime calls for, and something jam-band-y (Slowcoaster?) even if you can't get to the summer festivals.

I might not have much advice for fellow human beings, but here is one tip I can't avoid passing on. To truly enjoy your summertime, even if it is short, and loaded with work, put on music you can shake to, and turn it up. Then turn it up a little more, and enjoy. Whatever way you know how!

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