It’s finally here! Bomb Diggity Jams – Volume 2, Summer ’08 edition. This thing took a lot of time. I started working on it a few months ago, and I actually went through my entire library to compile 300-400 songs that had a “summer” feel to it. That’s an unprecedented number of candidate-songs for any mixtape so far. I don’t know what got into me; I guess I was really excited for summer.
From there, it was a process of elimination. As usual, when it got down to around 40 or so songs, I started to arrange them so they had some semblence of continuity, eliminating tracks that didn’t fit with the rest as I went along. And…voila! I finally had a nice mixtape to provide a soundtrack for summer.
Put it on a CD, mp3 player, laptop, whatever. Play it at work, school, home, on the road with the windows down and speakers blasting. Let this be the soundtrack to usher in the warm rays of sunshine, the cool melt of popsicles, sandy beaches, care-free lazy days, innocent summer flings, rekindling old romances, memory-filling road trips, breathtaking sunsets, warm nights, stomach-filling barbeques…and all the rest of the delightful things summer brings.
Did I tell you that I love summers?
1. Wilco – “Either Way”
2. Jason Mraz – “Summer Breeze”
3. John Legend – “Save Room”
4. Feist – “Gatekeeper (One Room One Hour Mix)”
5. Rachel Yamagata – “1963”
6. Ben Harper – “In the Colors”
7. Rilo Kiley – “Silver Lining”
8. LFO – “Summer Girls”
9. Jack Johnson – “Mudfootball”
10. Simon & Garfunkel – “Cecilia”
11. The Kinks – “This Time Tomorrow”
12. Coldplay – “Strawberry Swing”
Side B (available for streaming on Muxtape):
1. Phantom Planet – “Lonely Day”
2. The Decemberists – “July, July”
3. Death Cab for Cutie – “Crooked Teeth”
4. Delta Spirit – “Streetwalker”
5. Sondre Lerche – “On the Tower”
6. Goldspot – “Float On (Modest Mouse cover)”
7. Blue Scholars – “Inkwell (Crashed-Cop-Car Remix)”
8. Wale – “W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.”
9. Calvin Harris – “Merrymaking at My Place”
10. The Virgins – “Rich Girls”
11. Sebastien Tellier – “Divine”
12. The Strokes – “Someday”
I split the mixtape into two distinct sides. I’ll break down each side using even more summer analogies.
Side A is for taking an aimless drive in the afternoon with one hand out the window swimming in the wind; lazy, slow summer days lying in a hammock; or drinking a bottle of wine on a dock at the lake. Towards the end of it, you could probably invite one or two friends over and crack open a few beers.
It is very piano and guitar based with a stripped, acoustic feel — nothing but the tunes and the happy vibes. I never realized how perfect for summer the piano was. It has to be the most versatile instrument ever invented.
Side A ends on a series of guitar and hand-clap led tracks, starting with Jack Johnson’s “Mudfootball” and ending with Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing.” I was trying to resist putting LFO in, but c’mon, what’s a summer mixtape without LFO?
Side B, on the other hand, is for getting ready for a night out, partying with friends, or just dancing like crazy in your room ‘cos you have nothing else to do. If Side A is for sitting back and taking in the warmth and sunshine, Side B is for running around the fields, dancing in your room or parties and reveling in it the whole time. It’s for jubilantly doing things that you’ll probably regret in the fall and winter.
Side B gets more electric on you with more upbeat and louder songs. It starts off with Phantom Planet’s “Lonely Day,” which musically illustrates the impossibility, or pointlessness, of being sad and emo in the summer. The lyrics are so sad but c’mon! It’s the summer! So of course the music can’t help but be incredibly happy.
There are 3 songs on here that I knew would end up making the mixtape from the very beginning: “July, July!”, “Streetwalker”, and “Divine.” I basically built the rest of the tracks around these three.
I kind of cheated on the transition from Goldspot’s cover of “Float On” to the Blue Scholars’ ode to the city of Seattle, “Inkwell” (credit for this song goes to Paytorr, who recommended these guys). The two songs really don’t sound anything alike but they’re both takes on Modest Mouse’s original “Float On.” Goldspot completely changes the sound of the original, while the Blue Scholars lifts the track directly, infuses it with a beat, then raps over it. So I guess the songs are bridged by what original song they draw from. It works for me. [Note: “Inkwell” is a slightly lower quality 160kbps file and the volume is significantly lower than the other tracks. I looked everywhere but I couldn’t find a better quality version of the song.]
“Rich Girls” is the perfect song to play while getting ready to head out on the town. I don’t know how you can’t feel pretty damn sexy after half-dancing, half-getting ready to go out with that song playing in the background…not that I would know.
Well, I’ll let you listen to the mixtape. I hope you enjoy it and here’s to a wonderful summer full of good times.