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Is This the Ultimate “Summer” Playlist?

29 May

The cassette tape may have gone the way of the dodo, and the iPod may have replaced the CD-R, but the mix lives on.

Of course, now, instead of calling it a mix, we call it a “playlist.” But no matter.

Making playlists is one of my favorite activities, whether I’m compiling single-artist playlists, playlists for a purpose (e.g., working out, relaxing, or driving), playlists for holidays (Christmas, yes, but also Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day), or time-capsule/state of the iPod/things I’m listening to right now playlists.

But those don’t hold a candle to the thematic playlists I create.

For example, I have a patriotic playlist called “American Tunes” that’s mostly a collection of songs where “America,” “USA,” or some related word figures prominently (“Surfin’ USA,” “Pink Houses,” and “America, Fuck Yeah,” to name just three).

I’ve made a similar mix for rainy days, where some form of the word “rain” figures prominently in each tune, and for when I’ve traveled to various cities, like Las Vegas.

It’s a hobby reminiscent of those days when I went to summer camp and we did “Sing Downs,” where a counselor would throw out a word and we’d have to think of as many songs as we could that referenced the word. The team that thought of the most songs won.

The idea’s not so stupid: The recent “Big” issue of Rolling Stone included a “Big Playlist,” with every song on it featuring the word “big” in the title or in the artist who sings it — or both (e.g., Bob Dylan’s “You’re a Big Girl Now,” and “Big Time” by Big & Rich).

Anyway, I realized this weekend that I’d never created a “Summer” mix, so I finally made one. Continue reading

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