This weekend we celebrate the beginning of the summer, whether we call it Memorial Day or not. Barbecues and swimming holes and sun hats beckon. Our public pools shall open, we shall brush last summer’s sand from our sandals, and hopefully the sun will emerge long enough to let us enjoy at least one of the two. This, I must admit, is my favorite time of the year.
The glorious day my parents finally caved to my manipulative whining and added MTV to the list of our available TV channels - thus freeing my sisters and me from suffering through endless and truly mind-destroying episodes of VH1's Pop Up Video feat. Duncan Sheik Barely Breathing - coincided, magically, with a sick day home from school. At 10 AM, Channel 52 went from static to transmitting a clear picture of Carson Daly's face, and ahead of me stretched a long day to lie on the couch in the warm sunlight and eat cinnamon sugar toast, to watch MTV Jams and read Seventeen magazine in the ad breaks. In this memory I believe I feel the pure, unadulterated joy of youth.
As we really start feeling the closing in of the daylight hours (yikes!), our Silver Linings Playlist is here to help, and also to make you feel a little bit like how we imagine J. Law feels 99% of the time.
To the surprise of no one, I was a stressed out, asocial high schooler with an unfortunately dorky and fairly undiscerning musical taste. I basically liked the widest range of music one is capable of liking, but not in an awesome way.
Let’s face it: The golden days of summer are here and it’s too hot to function. Stop trying—and flee. Pack up the wicker picnic basket your mother gave you (she didn’t give you one, too?), hop on the commuter rail, and head to your secret lake, your secret meadow, perhaps alone or with your secret friend.
It doesn't matter if it's the Ritz, a Motel 6, or the Heartbreak Hotel itself, a hotel room is never a home. It's just a transitory space filled with ghosts, free shower caps, and your own thoughts, to be purposed as circumstance demands - be it love, crime, consoling a heartbreak, escape, a good night's sleep, or work.
This month, in the midst of our holiday, we take a turn for the contemplative - the brooding type of contemplative, to be exact; the type that comes from a hotel's particular mixture of freedom and loneliness, like unmixed hot and cold water from two taps - to collect a small bouquet of hotel songs for you.
It may be June 8th - the prime of glorious early summer, which my Susan Miller horoscope tells me will be a great day (and I trust her unfailingly) - but, let's face it, we're still in Mercury Retrograde. And it is a Monday, after all.
This first of several HOLIDAYS ISSUE mix tapes is a wild, flotsam-and-jetsam, fruits-of-the-sea assortment of sailors and sea-shanties, Belle & Sebastian and British Sea Power, Händelian hornpipes and Frank Ocean. It's like a confused but energetic surf, the point of a beach where two opposing currents collide: in other words, it's areal mix.
For May and our TIME ZONES issue, we bring you a playlist of pop from the recent past: songs mostly about love, which are really all about time...
Image, from left to right: Salvador Dalí "Metronome," 1944; Man Ray "Indestructible Object," 1923 (1965) and Claes Oldenburg – Coosje van Bruggen "Silent Metronome," 16 inch, Version Three, 2005 (Photography: Attilio Maranzano)
A low key collection of songs for these silvery grey days of ambivalent spring weather and weak sun. A mix like you might've made in high school, as you avoided doing whatever it was you had to do in those days before you graduated: Debussy, Rufus Wainwright, Django Reinhardt, Brian Eno, Liszt and Cat Power and more. Whether in mood or harmony or text, they've all got these grey spring vibes, beneath a cover of cloud.