Suddenly, This Summer: A Playlist

Today’s the first day of summer! Here are some tunes that’ll be perfect for that unforgettable summer car trip – you know, where you go to Home Depot to buy an air conditioner, so you can close all of your windows and watch reruns until the leaves start to turn.

1. Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
It’s no contest. This is the song of Summer 2011 – masterfully syncopated verses from one of the most creative rappers around; soaring, shiny synth hooks, and an infectious onomatopoeia (“boom-ba doop boop, boom-ba doom boop, yeah!”).

2. Prince – “Play in the Sunshine”
Worried that the world’s going to shit and you’re never gonna find true happiness? Take a page from the Prince playbook, and dance your way to enlightenment to this exuberant blast of synth pop  – “Some way, somehow, I’m gonna have fun.”
 

3. Gordon Lightfoot – “Carefree Highway”
This makes me want to drive drunk.

4. Kylie Minogue – “Get Outta My Way”
A beautiful summer day can make you feel invincible. Add an irresistible dance song with defiantly independent lyrics, and you might try to walk on water.

5. Lil Wayne – “Best Rapper Alive”
Speaking of bouts of egomania, this straight-faced claim of greatness from a pre-superstardom Weezy is guaranteed to get the adrenaline flowing while you mow your parents’ lawn.

6. The Velvet Underground – “Who Loves the Sun”
What would the summer be without that crippling moment when you realize that all the good weather in the world won’t keep you warm at night?

7. Led Zeppelin – “The Ocean”
“Singing in the sunshine/Laughing in the rain.” Not the most bad-ass lyrics in Zeppelin’s oeuvre, but when you throw in Page’s gnarly riff and Bonham’s massive beat, you’ve got something earth-shattering.

8. The Beach Boys – “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”
Forget “California Girls.” This beautifully arranged cut (woodwinds!) about forgetting somebody’s number, then remembering it, then calling them and getting no answer, then writing them a letter, perfectly captures the vibe of a lazy summer day.

9. Outkast – “Skew it On the Bar-B”
Whether you’re an old school player or new school fool, this cut showcases Andre 3000, Big Boi and Raekwon at the top of their game – it’s guaranteed to make your barbecue sizzle.

10. The Zombies – “Time of the Season”
A sexy hit single from a British Invasion band previously known for expressions of towering wussery, this song’s percussive “ahhs” and “Who’s your daddy” pick-up lines could be seen as a relic of the late-’60s. But when the warm weather hits, that groove sounds like it was meant for today.

An Easter playlist

Easter pales in comparison to Christmas – it’s Jesus’s comeback album, which, while enjoyable, just can’t compare to his debut. But one thing that Easter does have over the Yuletide is a lack of musical accompaniment. Without a “Rockin’ Around the Butter Lamb” to dominate our stereos, we can play whatever we damn well please. Here’s what I plan on spinning this Sunday:

Mark Morrison – “Return of the Mack”

“And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, upon which it became clear. The mack hath returned.”

 

A Tribe Called Quest – “The Hop”

Just drums, a standup bass loop, some light electric piano and the effortless flow of Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. One of the most addictive cuts from one of history’s most addictive groups.

 

Jefferson Airplane – “White Rabbit”

Dude, that fucker on the PAAS box is looking at me. He knows something, man. It’s like I’m naked. He can see everything. HE CAN SEE EVERYTHING!!!!!!

 

Beastie Boys – “Egg Man”

A way better theme for an egg hunt than the stupid-ass bunny hop, this is the only song I know of that’s cool enough to sample Curtis Mayfield and reference Pink Flamingos.

 

AC/DC – “Highway to Hell”

Lent is over. Satan in the hiz-ouse!

 

Bjork – “Hidden Place”

A song about the beauty and fragility of sexual intimacy, or a metaphor for kids searching for baskets filled with shit from the drugstore?

 

Peter Tosh – “Legalize It”

It’s time to decriminalize Easter grass, people. Shredded plastic is processed from oil, which is all natural, man.

 

Chumbawamba – “Mary Mary (Stigmatic Mix)”

As you know, this was on the Stigmata soundtrack, a movie that was ironically full of plot holes. It appears that the song isn’t available on mp3, but I imagine it’s about how Jesus got knocked down, but then got up again.