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The Conversation: Summer Music


“Maybe I’m craaaaazy.” “Applebottom jeans, boots with the fur (with the fur!).” “Hey Macarena!” It’s summer, and nothing goes better with open windows and sunburn than music. What’s going to be on the airwaves and stuck in your head all season? Here to discuss are Press staff writers Jaclyn Gallucci, Brad Pareso and Editor-in-Chief Michael Patrick Nelson.

Brad


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I think it’s about time for a Sugar Ray revival.

Jaclyn

“All I wanna do is zoom a zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom. Just shake your rump.” For the less sophisticated in the room, that is a golden nugget from the summer of 2003’s aptly named “Rump Shaker.”

Brad

Put a few drinks in me and I’ll shake my rump, your rump or anyone in a 50-foot radius’ rump. What is it about sunshine and temperatures that start with an eight that makes our ears crave three-minute pop songs?

Michael

Does the concept of “song of the summer” still exist in the age of file-sharing and iPods and satellite radio? In the post-MTV era? I dunno. For what it’s worth, the songs I seem to hear pretty much everywhere I go—meaning, like, the gym and the supermarket—are “Alejandro” by Lady GaGa, “California Gurls” by Katy Perry, and everything by Ke$ha. And once I hear them, they’re as hard to shake as fruit flies around rotting mounds of citrus.

Jaclyn

Tell me about it—I actually switched from RXP to Ke$ha this morning. I blame the heat. I actually get mad when “California Gurls” comes on and I think it’s “Your Love is My Drug” because they both start the same. That may officially qualify me for a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold.

Michael

If it helps, they’re both written by Dr. Luke, who is also responsible for, like, 35 percent of music played on the radio over the last five years, so you’re not imagining things or going crazy: It’s just one guy whose songs sound a lot alike.

Brad

Jaclyn, we can throw Ke$ha in the loony bin with you, because allegedly she “needs some rehab. Or maybe just need[s] some sleep.” I think she needs a muzzle personally, but I’m not the one diagnosing her here. To Mike’s point, I think we still have “songs of the summer,” we’re just consuming them from different places. Anything that is getting Top 100 play is all over iTunes, so kids who LOL when their parents mention FM radio are going to have the same verse-chorus-verse stuff jammed down their ear canals.

Michael

So what will be remembered as the songs of the summer once the summer is over? Aside from the three I mentioned, I’ll also make note of the new song by Eminem and Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie,” which is aggressively irritating and totally without any artistic value, as well as Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” which sounds like it was created without any human involvement whatsoever.

Jaclyn

I’m going to say B.o.B.’s “Airplanes” since its lyrics are slapped all over every 13-year-old girl’s Facebook page—the new, unfortunate definition of “song of summer.”

Brad

I don’t know if we’ve heard 2010’s song of the summer yet. The songs we’ve mentioned so far are everywhere, but they suck. Not a “this song is so catchy—it sucks!” way, but a “this song sucks, someone give me a lobotomy” way.

Michael

Unlike “Rump Shaker” and that “Applebottom jeans” song? Doesn’t the “Song of the Summer” kind of suck by definition? Having said that, I actually like Ke$ha. And Lady GaGa. It may not be what I listen to on my iPod, but when it’s on the radio, I don’t change the station.

Jaclyn

I LOVE LADY GAGA. But you already knew that. And my obsession is scaring our publisher. So I’ll stop there.

Brad

I remember when Kanye West released his moody singing album, 808s & Heartbreak, it was the winter. It was great to listen to that during the cold months, but once May rolled around, I couldn’t hear it anymore. It wasn’t that I was tired of it, it just didn’t fit the warm weather and chirping birds. Am I alone in this?

Jaclyn

Yeah, it’s kind of like when they air Christmas specials in August.

Michael

Yep, as the summer rolls in, so too do idiotic earworms constructed with the express purpose of being blasted in myriad outdoor settings, so that people of all ages and demographic backgrounds can say, “I’m so sick of this song, turn it off.” Till that tipping point has been reached, we’ll all be treated to countless spins of Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” and we’ll be asking ourselves and those around us, “Wait, is this Jason Mraz or Maroon 5?” In paint-peeling 110-degree heat. Thank God for Shazam! Thank God for summer!

Brad

And thank God for noise-canceling headphones!

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