Everyone’s made a mix tape or mix CD in their time — whether you want to admit it or not. You’ve probably made at least one CD entitled something ridiculous like Love: The Album to be the soundtrack to a date night that never happened. I never did that. But you’ve probably made at least one mix for your Discman back in college to work out to or maybe you made 200 of them as a wedding favor. Or, if you’re special, maybe you’ve compiled so Dirty South hip-hop classics and given the discs to your co-workers and simply entitled it Boner Jams. My wife has never done that.
Anyway, I digress. We love making mix CDs or compiling playlists on our iPods. Unifying artists from all walks of life under one theme to create the soundtrack to a mood, a person, a time, a place, the touch. It’s an awesome experience.
Since we’re all about lists and music on the blog, we decided to start a new Monday column called Mix Tape Monday, where we pick five to 10 songs and bring them together under one unifying them. We’ll include a YouTube clip of the song so you can check it out, which we hope will inspire you to head over to iTunes or wherever you buy music and add it to your own, personal mix.
— Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkin’s Endless Summer Mix
Seriously, January sucks. It is so cold out, and with rumblings of another gargantuan snow storm about to pummel my beloved Jersey Shore, it makes me want to punch a hole in my face. Right now, I’m in the mood for 85 degrees, the smell of Coppertone, a sweaty bottle of beer (preferably Landshark or Sol), my beloved wife reading a horrible gossip magazine and nothing but a warm sandy beach and blues waves in my sight. Basically, I want to go back to Hawaii … immediately.
However, due to money, time, work and everything else going on in my life, that won’t be happening. But there are songs that can transport me to that special place — even if it’s snowing with fury and reckless abandon. So here’s my “Endless Summer” mix.
Donavon Frankenreiter — “Move By Yourself” (2006)
Believe it or not, this first time I heard this wonderful mash-up of blue eyed soul and white boy funk was at The Nordstrom in Freehold Mall in early ’08 while my girlfriend (now wife) was shopping in the Brass Plum section of the store. They often play music videos on the TVs, and while my lady was off in search of that ever-elusive “cute top,” I was struck by soulful vocals, infectious energy and Hammond-organ-laden grooves. I instantly fell in love with this song created by the surfer turned Jack Johnson acolyte. In fact, this is the only song I’ve heard by Frankenreiter, and that’s perfectly fine by me. This song makes you want to dance, it’s so beachy that it makes you want to run out in flip flops amidst six-foot snow drifts.
Dispatch — “Here We Go” (1998)
Dispatch was actually the inspiration for this mix. The band just announced a new North American tour after years of retirement, and I am completely stoked. The band’s mash up of reggae, indie, folk, ska and all sort of jam band grooviness just scream summer. Hackey sack games and Frisbee on the beach, bonfire acoustic jams, surfing, you name it. “Here We Go” is my favorite Dispatch song. Off their seminal album Bang Bang, this song is a soulful, fun and flat out fantastic mix of surf rock, rap and jam in all its hemp wearing, dreadlocked glory.
Barry And The Penetrators — “Reggae Party” (2009)
The definition of reggae at the Jersey Shore. It’s fun, it’s alive, it makes you want to drink a beer and forget all your cares. “Reggae Party” is summer at the shore. And it makes perfect sense. The band, as described by Barry himself: “I truly believe in my heart that’s a lifestyle band. We surf, we live on the beach, we skate … well, not so much anymore because we’re getting old … we snowboard. We practice what we preach. We smoke, we drink, we party, we live by the beach. We definitely live the lifestyle we play songs about. We represent the Jersey Shore lifestyle.” Need we say anymore? Here’s the band performing the song at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
Vampire Weekend — “Cousins” (2010)
I know, I know — this is total hipster heaven. But hey, I have an iPhone now, so I’m a bit hipster these days. While the song was produced by your classic summer fun band, the driving drums and frantic guitar work are seem so surf rock inspired. Like if Dick Dale hung out Rivers Cuomo in Brooklyn, had a few PBRs, talked about vinyl all day and then had a jam session. Maybe that’s a bad example, but “Cousins” is just so fun and upbeat, that I always want to hear this song while I’m driving up and down boardwalk towns.
7 Minds — “Seaside Tony” (1997)
Best song about Jersey ever? Possibly. While it may not have the cultural impact of an E. Street song or the emotional connection of a Bon Jovi ballad, “Seaside Tony” is a Jersey classic. If you live down the Shore, you know when this song starts hitting the radio, it’s time for summer. See, this ska classic is the signal that the “bennys,” “guidos” and “Seaside Tonys” are returning to our area — so be warned. As a song, it’s lyrical content is both spot-on and hilarious. Musically, it’s quintessential summer — high energy and fun. And you can’t beat 7Minds’ horn section mimicking techno and house beats.