Archive for BBQ

Summer Essentials – “The Very Best of…”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2009 by JD

TootsP1982Knock Just when you were probably thinking I had something against “island” music played by actual inhabitants of the islands, I spring this one on you.  Anyone who knows me and knows my taste in music knows that I am really not a fan of reggae, in fact I used to dislike it so much I’d leave the room if it was on.  Then along came my wife who introduces me to Toots, one of the original reggae “masters”, and in my opinion, the man who funkified Reggae.  My eyes were opened and now every summer out comes “The Very Best of Toots & The Maytals”.  When Toots comes from the speakers at any party, you know it is time to do some major chillin’.

Since this is a Greatest hits album it is hard to choose only a few songs to add to your ultimate summer playlist, but tops in my book are “Funky Kingston“; which, if you watched TLC’s Miami Ink, you will remember as their opening theme song.  I love the vocal flow of  “Pomps & Pride“, it has the ability to put a smile on my face every time I hear it. A tough choice for the third song you need to add would be a song you have probably heard Hundreds of times, but probably not this original version. “Pressure Drop” was probably made most famous by The Specials, but was originally recorded by Toots & The Maytals in 1969.

So there you go, probably the only “real” reggae album you will see on this list, so take it all in if you are a fan of Reggae.  Some people say Reggae IS summer music, but when all you listen to is Reggae all summer long, it definitely gets old.

Make some summer noise!!

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Summer Essentials – “Vampire Weekend”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2009 by JD

vampire-weekendOkay, I know, I know….probably the most overplayed album of last summer, but get over it folks, this is truly an amazing album, especially for everything summer.  Whip this out at the BBQ and everyone will be jigging, except maybe the hipsters in the corner busy being frumpy because they knew about Vampire Weekend before the band was even formed and it’s not cool to like bands anybody else likes.

So which of numerous great songs on this album do you need to add to your summer playlist?  “A-Punk” is a must have, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” follows right after it and is another one to add.  I really like the simplicity of  “Campus“, a lot of stop – start, really basic beats and a good build up – slow down rhythm to it.  “Walcott” is the next and last song you should add to that playlist of of yours. I really love the piano and cello mix in this song, along with the vocal build up of each verse leading to the chorus.

Honestly, if you don’t have the time to put together a playlist because you are busy making mojitos and preparing the BBQ, just download this entire album and throw it on, there will not be a disappointed person at the party (except, like i said, the hipsters in the corner who are too cool to be there anyway and just came along for the free beer in the cooler, even though it’s a local microbrew, which is so not cool….microbrews are so 2005….cheap ghetto beer is the thing now dont’cha know?)

Hmmm…..what is it with white boys from the east coast? I just realized the last two summer essentials were from east coast whities playing music with a distinct island tinge to them. I guess Bedouin does have 1 member to make them “legit”, but these Ivy League boys are about as not-from-the-islands as you can get.

Make Summer Noise

Summer Essentials – “Sounding A Mosaic”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by JD

bedouin2One of the last places you might ever expect a summer essential album to come from would be Canada, no? Well these guys from Toronto definitely embody the sound of the islands…which islands? Who cares, just islands okay?!  Work with me here….

“Sounding a Mosaic” is Bedouin Soundclash’s second album, but the first one that really got them any notoriety outside of Canada. Imagine Toots with a bit of Marley kicked up a notch or two and written for us 21st century folks. It definitely has a bit of a hip edge to it, probably having worked with Darryl from the Bad Brains during the recording of the album. Hell there’s even electro DJ remixes as the last two songs on the album.

So the standouts to add to your summer playlist?

The title track, “When the Night Feels My Song” is surely an essential for any get together and “Living in Jungles” has a bit of a faster beat if the party needs a bit of a pick-me-up. Keep the people shakin’ it with “Gyasi Went Home” and give the party a bit of a Marley tune without the Marley (not that there is anything wrong with Marley, but everyone plays that at BBQ’s) by adding “Money Worries” to that playlist.

As a bonus:
If you like “Sounding A Mosaic”, go out and get their follow-up album, “Street Gospels”
Some standouts form that album are “Until We Burn In the Sun“, “Walls Fall Down“, “St Andrew’s“. I highly recommend downloading “St Andrews” right now if you need a happy little tune to give your day a pick-up.

Make Noise this summer!

Summer Essentials – “Beat This!”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by JD

English Beat The Best of English Beat – “Beat this” is the first of many essential summer albums I recommend picking up.  In case you think you don’t know English Beat (or The Beat), if you have ever seen any movie with Jon Cusack in it, you’ve heard them and you just didn’t know it. You have probably heard some of them in one of their many projects since leaving The Beat as well, such as Fine Young Cannibals, Big Audio Dynamite or General Public. Mixing reggae, ska, punk, soul and pop together into one great sound, these boys from England have the perfect sound for your summer parties.

“Beat This” is a greatest hits album, so there aren’t really any bad songs on it, but there are a few standouts for hanging out around the BBQ and playing badminton with friends.  “Hand Off She’s Mine” is a bouncy little tune with a bit more of a reggae influence, complete with the steel drums any good summer song needs in order to make your guests feel like they have been whisked away to a desert island.  “Rankin Full Stop” is another essential on your summer soundtrack; a perfect classic ska bouncer. But the one song on this album that you cannot forget to put on you ultimate summer soundtrack…….a cover of Smoky Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown”  If you don’t catch people shakin’ their butts to this one, then you really need a new group of friends.  In my opinion, this is one of the happiest damn tunes ever, despite what the lyrics actually say if you listen to them.  Somehow the English Beat has made crying clowns one of the happiest damn things ever!

There you go…..the first essential summer album and some primo songs from that album to add to your ultimate summmer playlist.

Make Noise this Summer!

Top Summer Albums

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by JD

summer cocktails Who doesn’t want to know what some of my favorite summer albums are? I know you have all probably been holding your breathe just hoping this post would eventually come up.  Well here it is!! Start breathing again and get ready to start putting together some of the best summer BBQ playlists you’ve ever had. You will gain new friends, impress the neighbors and probably even get it a little more often from the significant other (or even random strangers who wander into your yard just to listen to your sweet summer mix).

Oh….you thought I was going to just give you a list of albums to go download? What fun would that be? I think i’ll stretch this out for all it’s worth. It’ll get me several more posts on the old blog and keep you entertained for weeks instead of a simple quicky. Don’t worry I’ll sum it all up later….hell, I’ll even create my ultimate summer mega-mix for you to compile just in time for your big Fourth of July BBQ.

Starting tomorrow I’ll go over my choices for albums you NEED to listen to this summer (or any damn summer really) as well the highlight song on that album to be added to your megamix.  No, they aren’t all new albums you need to check out this summer, no summer mix can consist solely of shit no one has ever heard before, there needs to be classics, soon-to-be classics and those few weird songs which make everyone question your sanity and taste in music.

Make Noise!