Tag Archives: Summer

How do I do this again?

I’m baaaaaaaack.

Indeed my friends I have returned, and as a graduate no less! Feel free to applaud if the compulsion takes you. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels not to be a high school student any more. You know that part in the “Shawshank Redemption” when Andy Dufresne climbs through the 500 yards of crap to escape the prison and then at the end he comes out of the tube and it’s all like rainy and jubilant and he just kind of lays there relishing in the freedom? That’s kind of like what is feels like, only a tad less dramatic and sans copious amounts of human waste. Anyway, since I am now as free and untethered as the majestic eagle I can focus on what undoubtedly you’ve all been waiting for (right?). That’s right, the early-summer-promising-singles-collection-thing! Although I haven’t been as active on the bloggy-wog as perhaps is appropriate, I have been listening and compiling and thinking about things to say once we had met again. So, without further fanfare or pointless pre-amblage here it is!

The Early-Summer-Promising-Singles-List/Collection-Thing

(a better name for this would be much appreciated)

1. Land of Feeling – Here We Go Magic

It may be summer, but just think of this song as easing yourself in to the icy cold musical pool. Since Here We Go Magic’s self-titled debut last year, a lot has changed. Luke Temple has got himself a band and gone, dare I say it? Krauty! Although Temple’s dreamy vocals are still there for us to drink in and enjoy, the hiccupy 8-track roughness has been abandoned in favor of tight synth lines and structured melodies. So if you like getting in touch with your inner German via Kraftwerk and Neu! and you dig sweet upbeat (but not neurotic) summer tunes then this might be just the thing for you. Guten Apetit!

2. Solitude is Bliss – Tame Impala

OK, so we’re in the pool. We’re floating around, you know, chilling on one of those inflatable beds, sipping a cocktail with a little umbrella in it. Now we are in the proper state of chillness to listen to the next track. To say that I have been obsessing over Tame Impala’s recent release InnerSpeaker would be like saying the BP oil disaster was  a bit of an accident. I can’t really explain why I like this album so much, it might be the psychedelic influences tempered with electronic sensibilities, it might be the fact that the album was mixed by Dave Fridmann hell, it might be the fact that the lead singer sounds creepily similar to John Lennon. In any case this song is sweetly fun with just enough melancholy to prevent cavities. Also, the music video is AWESOME! I’m not in to animal cruelty, but when he punches that dog I was just like, “HECKyeah!”

3. Havin’ My Baby – Think About Life

We’re warming up now! We’re out of the pool (the pool thing ends here I promise). This song is riotously fun. From the first snippets of the sampled vocals and that twinkling keyboard chord that won’t let up I feel the need to, in the parlance of our times, shake what my mother has given me. While indulging in this song’s frenetic energy any red-blooded kid should need to dance and clap and just be happy that they aren’t dead. This is legit.

4. Stay Close – Delorean

I’ve been a fan of these guys ever since the Ayrton Senna EP they dropped summer of last year. Although I can’t say that the album as a whole was as satisfying as the EP, this song is just too damn uplifting to ignore. Although I can’t really understand what the lead singer is saying most of the time, the music compensates (and then some) for all that which was lost in translation. These Barcelonese (and yes I had to google what you call multiple people from Barcelona) have got the whole synthpop thing DOWN and I am just like, loving it.

5. Real Life – Tanlines

Kind of in the same synthpop vein as Delorean, but a bit more ethnic and funky. It’s funny because the lyrics are like what you would tell a shrink; like all of these deep human issues: lack of meaning in life, feelings of isolation and latent spirituality. But it’s set to this calypso beat so the seriousness of the issues is overshadowed by the fun synth line. I can’t wait to walk into a club and hear all of the kids flailing around drunk screaming “It was a past life thing.” Funny right?

6. Helplessly Young – Oh No Ono

“I don’t know what to say/She reminds me of the future” OMG I WAS THINKING THAT TOO!!1! I love it when songs inadvertently (or advertently… you tell me) describe their members. Oh No Ono, although absent of “shes”, definitely have FUTURE written all over them. This song is so AWESOME. The singer’s vocal style is similar to that of his fellow Scandinavian Karin Andersson (I promise I am not being racist), so it’s kinda like happy Fever Ray. Epiphany pop at its best people. NOM.

7. Gay Human Bones – Harlem

And now for something completely different. Ya’ll know about my love of garage rock à la White Denim or perhaps even early White Stripes stuff. Harlem is in that same tradition, only way less calculated. When I listen to this song I just have this mental image of the Fonz or Elvis walking through a junkyard and just doing that double pointy thing at random junkyard workers and like disused carburetors. Take that as you will.

So enjoy! I just realized that my list contains a disconcerting amount of electronica and/or pseudo electronica, but honestly these songs work best in this summer-y context. In other news, I am going to LANDAN next week so I am thinking about doing a bit of a travel diary sort of thing. You guys game? Give me your opinions!

By the way, I’ve missed you.

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Summer couldn’t come quicker

As is its crazy custom, the blogosphere is all atwitter (no pun intended) with predictions of the song of the summer. There are many strong contenders, including but not limited to that crazily catchy tune by Foster the People. However, Pumped Up Kicks has some strong competition on the “summer song” front; some strong competition indeed.

Although his 2007 debut has been deemed an “indie classic” (whatever that means anymore), I first heard David Vandervelde featured on Fader’s Youtube channel Fader TV. Lying on a grassy lawn David, with a strange friend resembling a bizarre amalgamation of Charles Manson and an indie version of Danny DeVito, made a beautiful pair. Anyway their appearances, although interesting, are beside the point. I was intrigued with the juxtaposition of lyrics like “You were talking shit/Didn’t know how to tighten your lip” and the bluegrass/pseudo-country vocal stylings. So I went out on a limb and bought the EP.

Goodness gracious. It’s like they just took a disc and just dipped it summer. I love this song so much, and it’s making me even more excited for the amazing few months to come. If you’re a fan of The Sleepy Jackson, then you will LOVE this.

Learn How To Hang – David Vandervelde

(Not So) Guilty Pleasures

With the summer sun and warmer weather comes fashion you would feel stupid wearing otherwise; whimsical florals, short-shorts, and crazy sandals. Now, I’ve got to be honest with you when I say that I’m not the biggest fan of summer fashion seeing as I’m addicted to layering. However, this summer’s looks has renewed my faith in the sartorial integrity of the warmer months. So without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite styles for summer:

1. Rompers

Now it seems like alot of people like the idea of these amazing body-sacks, but for one reason or another refrain from purchasing them. Perhaps because of their blatant ’70s aesthetic, or maybe it’s because of their blatantly pre-school aesthetic. All I know is, that I absolutely LOVE this style for summer.

These lovely rompers are all from Urban Outfitters (since I couldn’t be bothered to scour Lookbook or search elsewhere). As you can see the romper can be very versatile as well as comfy and practical for the summer months. I own the center romper and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s great for wearing over a swimsuit or for wearing with some cute tights and heels for nightime. It also makes me feel like I’m 4 years old, which is always a good thing right?

2. Animal Print Tees

Once again, these items (which have become a staple of my wardrobe as of late) seem to lie in the love/hate category for most people. And for good reason! If styled incorrectly wearing an animal print tee could make you look like a sad 80’s reject instead of a playful nature lover.

Picture 2

You should know from previous posts that I’m a big fan of intentional kitsch, and specifically wolf tees. I suppose it’s because wearing a dangerous animal on my shirt makes me feel alot more dangerous myself! I really love this look from Tamara C. The animal tee paired with the distressed denim jacket adds a hint of grunge to an otherwise neat look. It also just looks damn hardcore, which is the important part.

3. Tie-Dye

I’m starting to see a recurring theme here. It seems as if all the things I loved wearing circa 1997 are making a comeback in my summer wardrobe this year. Curious. But whatever, if I’m regressing then I’ll do it in glorious technicolor! Tie-dye is another one of those things I mentioned earlier that I would feel silly wearing at any other time of year.

Whether it’s a deconstructed tank or a pair of wicked jeans, tie-dyed clothing has captured my heart. At least until I can wear faux-fur boleros and scarfs again!

4. Bodysuits/Leotards

I suppose these could have gone under the Romper heading, but in my opinion bodysuits and and rompers present very different aesthetics. Having been trained in classical dance for 8 years, I’m no stranger to the leotard. I find them really comfy to wear under shorts or skirts, and their breathable material make them great for summer. Here are two bodysuits from American Apparel that I’ve had my eye on for a while:

serve serve-2

I think it goes without saying that that I would NEVER wear these by themselves. But I think they could look cute if paired with some more conventional pieces like cutoffs or harem pants.

5. Crazy Sunglasses

This probably comes as no surprise to most, as sunglasses are one of the best parts of summertime, but my attachment to this particular type of eyewear is a bit strange. I already wear “normal” eyeglasses in order to see and my parents are super cheap, which mean I can’t get prescription sunglasses. This has resulted in my accumulation of several pairs of sunglasses that I hardly ever wear for fear of running into a tree or getting hit by a car.

SUMMER!

Here’s my collection… I wish. It’s sad, but my love for sunglasses seems to grow with each passing year. Perhaps this year I will finally make the switch to contact lenses so I can finally enjoy sunglasses properly, but until then, I’m content to ogle and sigh.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my long misguided entry about summer fashion. To close, I’ll leave you with a classic summer track. Enjoy and happy shopping!

Alright – Supergrass

Summer with Mr. Bones

So once again German weather is not coinciding with my summery dreams. It sucks, and my favorite shoes are completely soaked. The only thing dulling the cloud-induced pain right now is summer music. In my never ending quest to find the perfect songs for my semi-annual summer mix, I have found a little group called Sean Bones. Stemming from the solo efforts Mr. Bones (aka Sam Sullivan a la Sam Champion), the Easy Street 7″ is an upbeat combination of reggae chillness with alt-rock influences. I really like it because it’s summery and cool without becoming saccharine sweet. I’m looking forward to the debut, cryptically entitled Rings and set to come out July 21st.

Hopefully the weather will clear up and I’ll have occasion to properly enjoy Sean Bones’ toils in the sun. Until then, check this out:

Dancehall – Sean Bones

We all love versatility!

Yesterday I went to American Apparel and lordy-sweet-Jesus I fell in love. Not with the hot shopping attendant mind you, but with the relatively new American Apparel circle scarf! Now, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on one of these sweet wardrobe essentials for a while now and I can’t tell you how excited I was when my friend Kasia finally convinced me to fork over my hard earned cash and I had it in my loving hands. Check this out:

This thing is amazing! Not only does it offer the oh-so-chic hooded scarf I was looking for, but it also can be worn as a skirt, several different tops, or a variety of dress styles. Right now I have the scarf in heather gray, but I’m definitely going to head back and pick up a few different colors. The hooded scarf looks great with shorts, a cool cardigan, and some kick-ass shades, giving off hints of old hollywood glamour while still loking fresh. Hurray for versatility!