The Sunday Salon: The End of Summer

Fall might officially start on September 22nd and it might be in the nineties in Denver (sidebar: dry heat is worse than humidity, I have been lied to), but once I sight the end of August on my chronological horizon, it’s the end of summer. It’s a side affect of Georgia’s academic schedule, which usually starts this week. (Weirdly, I start my new job tomorrow, keeping the tradition alive.)

I’ve always made summer and winter playlists (as spring and fall are laughable concepts in the South), but my summer playlist recently lost its ripeness for me. It was just… too July. I tried making a thematic “Summer Sunset” mix, but that fizzled out at three songs. I’m still going to work on it (when I’m not bawling over my Khan/McGivers fanmix), but I thought I’d share those three songs that scream “the dying embers of the summer sun!” before time got away from me and fall was already here. So imagine yourself on a beach at sunset, your shoulders still on fire from the sun that just dipped below the horizon, conscious that an autumn wind is blowing somewhere.

(“Get Lucky” is not included, because it should be assumed that, when the temperature is a certain degree, it is playing somewhere.)

“Good Vibrations,” the Beach Boys

I heard this song for the first time last month, when Matt Fraction and Mike Allred included it on a summer party mixtape they made for The A.V. Club. (I was raised by ABBA-loving French wolves, so I know nothing about the Beach Boys. I just listened to the Beatles’ discography for the first time, gimme a break.) This “pocket symphony” covers a lot of ground, but the ethereal first twenty-five seconds capture the languorous feeling of recovering from being too hot to move. The rest of it is catchy, bubbly, and delightful, but it’s that that makes it a end of summer song.

“Electric Feel,” MGMT

This is included on that Fraction and Allred playlist as well, but theirs is more… July. I recently listened to MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular and Congratulations. While I didn’t take to either, I did come away with a few songs I liked—”Kids,” “Time to Pretend,” and “Lady Dada’s Nightmare.” But “Electric Feel” remains the smoothest of their songs for me, swaying, hypnotic, and a little surly, like teenagers trying to use every last ounce of summer that they can before it’s taken away from them.

“Girlfriend,” Icona Pop

I linked to this two weeks ago, and my main complaint still stands: straight ladies, please don’t call your platonic friends your girlfriends. That is not what that word means. Still, given that it’s a song about how strong these two ladies’ friendship is and how valuable it is to them, it’s fantastic to hear on the radio alongside songs that place women in competition to each other. (Like that previous “Girlfriend” song…) “Girlfriend” is the walk back home from the beach in the early morning with someone you trust, stepping around dead campfires towards autumn.

Not much to report from this past week on As The Clare Turns. I really hate transition weeks and I’m really looking forward to starting work.

This week’s links:

This week’s acquisitions:

Purchased: None
Added: Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie (via Twitter)

Do you have any songs that remind you of the last gasp of summer?

9 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: The End of Summer

  1. I hear you on the Beatles. My parents’ old records were Dionne Warwick and The Carpenters, no Beatles whatsoever. I am still not very knowledgeable about their songs. As for Beach Boys, I’ve always been partial to “Don’t Worry Baby.”

    The New York Times piece following-up on women who chose to opt-out was interesting, thanks for including it in the links. Also, the NYT has one of the few comment sections I can stand reading.

    • I concede no good television, but I’m so cold-blooded that other cold-blooded people go “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.” I can dig the summer heat. However, the fact that the holiday season will soon be upon us is glorious.

  2. Pingback: Sunday Caught My Interest | Reflections from the Hinterland

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