The Bee Side

"If the world is so wrong, then you can take it on with one song."

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Searching for my next summer soundtrack

We all have them: songs and albums that invoke warm breezes, patio drinks under white lights, flip flops and drives with the moonroof open.

Summer music.

No other season moves me to curate my very own playlist of fun, sing-able, carefree tunes for patio beers and drives to the beach (and let’s be honest. When was the last time anyone talked about autumn music?) 

What qualifies as summer music is purely subjective. The Beach Boys, while beachy, is a band I can dig any time of the year. But Bob Marley is strictly summer for me. Years before I became a mom, I could not escape Marley on my Friday and Saturday patio beer adventures. I can’t separate him from summer.

There are albums in my life that remind me of summer because they consistently found their way into my boom box or car during July and August. Metric’s Fantasies immediately comes to mind as one – I had picked it up one spring and it didn’t leave my ears for months. The first Foo Fighters album brings me back to summer mornings in a basement apartment in Saint John, when I’d blare it while I was still living alone. So every year around this time, these records make their way back to my rotation.

But this isn’t a post about the past. Vacation time and lazier, schedule-free days are fast approaching and only here for a limited time. I have a stack of books I plan to read, as many of us do this time of year. Likewise, I’m looking for something light and breezy for those roadies to the beach and that long drive to Montreal in July. Here’s a few albums i plan to pick up:

Joel Plaskett The Park Avenue Sobriety Test

This one has been out for a few months, but I haven’t managed to pick it up yet. I have heard a number of tracks already, partly due to Radio 2. Plaskett and his beloved Emergency performed the title track at their magnificent Harvest gig last September and I knew then this album would be a treat.

I like that I know what I am getting into with Plaskett. The songs can either rock like this is his last stand, or they cut deep like your heart is being ripped in two at the realization that your crush just isn’t into you. He’s fun, he’s clever, he cares. And he’s walking down that same path of nostalgia that many of us at our age do.

Jenn Grant Compostela

This one has been out even longer, so I don’t know what the hell I have been waiting for. Jenn performed on The Strombo Show a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to catch her acoustic performance on a drive home from Halifax. Jesus, that voice. Description doesn’t do it justice, so i won’t even bother. It really is incomparable. And she is just a lovely person. Please watch this performance of “Bring Me a Rose” and if you don’t like it, ask yourself if you have a soul.

Dawes All Your Favorite Bands

I know very little about Dawes, except that the few songs I have heard I have liked immensely. So I am willing to give this one a try. They remind me a bit of the Wallflowers, if “Bringing Down The Horse” was sung in its entirety by Jackson Browne.

Metric “The Shade”

Yes, here’s Metric sneaking its way back into my summer soundtrack again! And yes, that’s a single. I was bummed to hear their new album isn’t out until September. But in the meantime “we got the sunshine, we got the shade, we got temptation, we got it made.” Emily Haines and Co. doesn’t disappoint.

So what about you? What will be making your summer playlist?


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Today in Guilty Pleasures: “One Night Love Affair”

When you’re driving home in the dark after a long day of fun with the kidlets, and the iPhone is on shuffle, you perk up when certain tracks pop up. And if you were 11 years old when this album was released, you don’t even apologize for loving this song.

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Insanely Great Album Review: In the Aeroplane Over The Sea

Confession: I really don’t know much about Neutral Milk Hotel. I do, however, know a lot about April Ludgate of my favourite Thursday night story Parks and Recreation. A friend posted this on FB tonight from Vulture and I just had to share. Favourite line:

Once you hear Jeff Mangum howling about Anne Frank and ghosts and semen and bombs and medical specimens in jars and teeth and dead dogs and Holland in 1945 and synthetic flying machines and your mom sticking a fork in your dad’s shoulder, you will never be able to listen to, like, Third Eye Blind again without ripping your ears off.

April Ludgate, Pawnee’s finest music critic.

(props to my beloved Spiritual Twin for the clip – and trying to help me remember NMH’s music!)

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Stuck Between My Ears*: Mo Kenney

*in which I briefly tell you what random song is stuck in my head. It’s that simple.

My girl had a funspiel in Moncton this past weekend, so I completely missed out on Fredericton’s Shivering Songs Festival which featured, among others, Mo Kenney (you’ll find a review on last Saturday’s lineup here at Ride The Tempo) Kids come first and there’s always next year. But back to the matter at hand: “Sucker” has been getting mad spins over at the Mothercorp and this single has been growing on me (really, the best kind of music love). I like this version posted by CBC Music featuring her pal and producer Joel Plaskett. Stripped down to the core, you really sense the vulnerability in her lyrics.

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How to endure winter: attend a gig, rinse, repeat.

hip b&wI didn’t go out of my way to make New Year’s Resolutions, although I did promise myself to write more. And since the only way I can get my dear West Coast friend S’s voice out of my head reminding me “Yeah, get on that! I’m tired of going to your blog and seeing that picture of Kathleen Edwards,” here I am on January 16, excitedly chatting about a few gigs I’ll seeing soon. Thanks for your patience. Continue reading

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Cover Me: Springsteen Songs Not Performed By Springsteen

Tonight’s post was inspired by a conversation I had earlier this evening with my hairstylist of 13 years. She was trimming my wet, freshly coloured hair, while I watched video footage on her iPhone of the Ben Harper gig she saw in Portland. She had also seen him in Halifax. I sighed that I regretted missing him, but I’d spent my concert dollars most recently on Kathleen Edwards at Harvest and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Moncton. “Speaking of Bruce,” she piped up, and proceeded to search for Ben Harper’s cover of “Atlantic City”. Continue reading