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:
- Disney’s D23 Expo was last week and, given that the Mouse now owns ALL THE MEDIA PROPERTIES, there was plenty of news for every stripe of geek. Here are the winners from their official costume contest. Now that Amidala qualifies, I imagine her costumes will be taking home the gold every year from now on…
- At Overthinking It, Mark Lee determines the words covered per minute in big book to film adaptations.
- Speaking of The Hobbit films, here’s a blurry, low-res, and leaked picture of Beorn! This is the first time since Freeman’s casting that I’ve actually been whimsically excited instead of cautiously excited.
- Vaginal Fantasy Book Club is a Google hangout webseries that features Felicia Day, Veronica Belmont, Bonnie Burton and Kiala Kazebee talking about romance novels every month. Their most recent episode covers Tipping the Velvet. I have to watch this.
- tumblr user t-funster gives us a beautiful image that encapsulates why representation is important.
- This week’s adorable gay wedding is Batman-themed!
- At The New York Times, Judith Warner revisits the women she highlighted in an article about businesswomen “opting out” of professional lives to see how they’re getting along. It’s a long, good read about trying to negotiate your desires, needs, and ambitions in our society.
- In Catching Fire news, I will be blowing my paycheck on CoverGirl’s Catching Fire makeup line. Critiquing how we consume The Hunger Games in a fashion similar to the Capitol citizens with eyeliner! Oh, genius.
- Coldplay will also be contributing a song to the soundtrack. Pound the alarm, people.
- Alasdair Czyrnyj reevaluates Prometheus, getting at a lot of the themes that motivate my desire to see Prometheus 2. I imagine it as a quiet but desperate existential howl.
- A character in Breaking Bad talks about his Star Trek script while under the influence; somebody on the Internet animated it. I love the Internet.
- Katy Perry’s “Roar” sounds similar to Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.” The only solution is a mash-up.
- In high school, we were given a choice of reading How I Live Now or Code Orange. I read Code Orange, whose structural flaws made me realize I could edit, because How I Live Now featured cousin incest. Had I also known it featured World War III, I may have picked that up instead. In any case, here’s the trailer for the film adaptation.
- “My mom’s mistake was to try to control when she could not persuade.” Captain Awkward tackles that thing when your parents threaten to pull financial support if you don’t do X.
- Hanne Blank reminds us that all women are real women.
- Belated Media finally posted “What If Star Wars Episode II Were Good?“, giving us more of his vision of the prequels as Obi-Wan’s story.
- Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton are being tapped to play Moses and Ramses in a film about Exodus. I can’t even communicate how awful that is.
- Sam Spratt did the covers for Janelle Monáe’s new album, The Electric Lady. Have some in-world lore about them!
- Disney teamed up with Harrods to create ten designer gowns inspired by their princesses to auction off for charity.
- Want a television show about three black women, one of whom is queer? Then make some noise for Lena Waithe’s Twenties, which is just the sort of thing we need on television.
- At Tor.com, Emily Asher-Perrin reminds us that Hufflepuff is amazing. Puff pride!
- Soraya Chemaly at Salon talks about the ways women go out of their way to avoid sexual assault. She opens by pointing out that going to the bathroom in groups, a much-mocked female behavior (by hack comedians), stems from being told “there’s strength in numbers” over and over again as girls. Chilling.
- At Racialicious, OnTay Johnson discusses how race affects what’s considered “pop culture canon” and how we look at pop culture.
- Bookshelf Porn. You weren’t doing anything today, were you?
- Brooke Jaffe at The Mary Sue talks Pacific Rim and gendered behavior, pointing out how subversive it is.
- Cameron Esposito’s “What Not To Yell at a Lesbian Comic” touches on heckling, male privilege, and the porn industry.
- Wonder Woman got a DC Nation short. It’s all very seventies—Paradise Island is full of muscle cars, hoop earrings, Converse, and long hair.
- At the New Statesman, Sophia McDougall tears into Strong Female Characters, the danger of one representative, and how giving women the power of violence is not the answer.
- Humans of New York gives us an important life lesson about happiness.
- As an assignment, artist Jason Kang developed Assassin’s Creed: The Land of the Morning Calm, an installment of the series set in Korea during the Japanese occupation.
- Photographer Todd Cole and fashion house Rodarte team up for a dreamily retro geek short film about a teenage girl taking the mantle of Dungeon Master from her tardy DM. This is what my internal visual monologue looks like. (Except for talking to creepy dudes.)
- Anne Helen Petersen talks the concept of “negotiated pleasure,” where you understand the problematic nature of something you enjoy, but enjoy it responsibly, when it comes to her teenage years cheerleading.
- The Lion King reimagined as a live action picture about the civil rights movement.
This week’s acquisitions:
Added: Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie (via Twitter)
Do you have any songs that remind you of the last gasp of summer?