Friday, May 23, 2008

Summer of Great Music . . .

It is going to be in the mid-80s and hot and muggy this evening here in Wichita. That means just one thing. SUMMER is upon us. Not officially - that happens, of course, in late-June but the "unofficial" start of summer comes at around 5:00 p.m. CT today when we all roll outta here (those that are left, I'm bailing mid-afternoon) for the three day weekend that is Memorial Day.

For some reason, Memorial Day weekend always makes me thing of great music. I'm not sure why that is but I can think of and name - off the top of my head - the "anthem" of my summer from the last 15 or so summers off the top of my head and to this day when/if I hear any of them, they make me immediately nostalgic for that particular summer and where ever I was in life at the time. Here are a few examples . . .

Summer, 1991 - Summertime, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I was working at a summer camp and Jess, Darcy, Debby and I would bop around listening to the MTV Party-to-Go TAPE singing along and loving life.

Summer, 1994 - Fallin', Teenage Fan Club and De La Soul. I was graduating from high school and I was pretty sure I knew all I needed to know about life and the adventure of it. Me, GUYK, Joey Weeks, Melly-Mel, Kim, Reddy-Red, Loro, Brie and Snnut used to roll the mean streets of Groton, New York listening to this song, off the soundtrack to the movie Judgement Night hoping that summer would last forever!

Summer, 1996 - What I Got, Sublime. College. Just loving life. This song always makes me think about the first time I smoked a cigar (I had a terrible sunburn and was generally miserable and the cigar just made it worse and worse and worse).

Summer, 1997 - Every Step I Take, Puff Daddy, Faith Evans and 112. In my random, random brain there are few people that I just plain admire for who they are, how they go at life, what they are getting out of life and how much fun they seem to have doing all of the above. One of those men is Sean Combs. A.k.a. Puff Daddy, Puff, P-Diddy, Diddy, D.I. S-Combs, etc. etc. etc. Puff gave the world Mary J. Blige. He gave the world Christopher (Notorious B.I.G.) Wallace. He gave the world Making the Band II, III and IV and he gave the world Citron vodka. More importantly, he gave me Bad Boy records, a deep love of the "sample" and the strenf (that is not a typo) I need to live on. I miss you every day, B.I. Thank GOD I have this anthem to remember you - and the summer before my senior year of college - by! Keep up the great work, Sean!

Summer, 2000 - Big Pimpin', Jay-Z. Jess and Tim were still moving to DC so Jess was bunking with Bob and I at the apartment. We were loving life and laughing and hanging out and having fun, fun, fun. I was finishing graduate school. I was crashing the White House Coorespondents Dinner for Bill Clinton's last year as President and I was gaining weight at a scary, scary pace. My lymph adema started this summer and so did my love of Jay Z. Another GREAT man named Shawn who lives life with great zeal. WARNING - The link above takes you to a video/song with lots of four, five and six-letter words, you've been warned.

Summer, 2005 - Stay With You, John Legend. I kicked off the summer of 2005 by marrying my beautiful bride, Joy. This song was SUPPOSED to play as we walked back down the aisle after our ceremony but, human error had us exit the ceremony to a song I've never heard before. Regardless I listened to this song for a good part of that spring and summer and, to this day, when I hear it I get a little teary about how emotional it was for me to marry Joy and how blessed I feel to have had that experience and to have her in my life. We

Summer, 2007 - Umbrella, Rihanna. Jay-Z gave us Rihanna and Rihanna gave us the umbrella, ella, lla, a, ey! This song makes me think about the days when I was first losing weight after surgery and we were starting to talk more and more seriously about moving to Kansas and I was trying to figure out how to have it ALL and keep my sanity in the meantime. I still listen to this song almost every time I'm at the gym (ahem) as it is on my gym playmix and I have six different versions of it (including one by Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban) on my iTunes that I listen to. Just a great song that makes you tap your toes and lets you know it will all be fine as long as you have some protection from the rain and someone to ride it out with.

So what is Sean's summer anthem for 2008? Hard to say. I have a lot of great music that I am very, very excited about coming my way this summer. Alanis, Coldplay, Weezer and My Morning Jacket are all back and I keep finding new (to me at least) artists on iTunes that I love too.
I have aome ideas though. So far I'm torn between The Greatest Man That Ever Lived by Weezer (a nice play on the Shaker Hymns that seems to sort of reflect my current attitude (insert disappointed headshake and scornful look here)) and Viva La Vida by Coldplay (a song that makes me think about who I was, who I am and how much I have loved Coldplay since they first entered my iTunes with Yellow (a song that still gives me chills when I hear it) in 2000) but - I still have a three day weekend to decide what will get me through my first full Kansas summer.

Other suggestions are welcome!

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