It's a hundred degrees and you've got a sweater on

To keep on our Music Day theme here at Barrelhouse: I've decided that The Promise Ring's Wood/Water — the band's last effort before, well, disbanding — is maybe my favorite summer album.

Something about the slow, jangly pace of the songs just seems perfect for the season of high humidity and moving around at three-quarter speed. It's accessible and easy to listen to but certainly not light or fluffy. It all sounds effortless, but in the very best sense of the word. Also, it's one of a small number of records (okay, CDs) I can put on in the car, listen to all the way through, and then listen to all the way through a second time.

Another summer favorite is Wilco's appropriately titled Summerteeth. The Barrelhouse editors have debated at great length about the best Wilco stuff, and while I'm usually one to defend their last couple albums, I still think this one's my favorite. I saw them play at the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday, and they put on a great show. They also became the first band I've enjoyed more outdoors than I did indoors. Something about their music just seems like appropriate accompaniment for standing around barefoot in the grass of an amphitheater. Although I could have lived without the obnoxious high school kids behind us, who seemed more interested in trying to find people to buy them beer and talking loudly on their cell phones ("I'm at a concert! A CONCERT!") than in listening to the tunes. I'm still wondering what they were doing there. I'm guessing they got their dates mixed up and thought they were coming for the Three Doors Down/Staind show next month.

1 comment:

dave said...

The one that always comes out of my collection for summer is Aux Trois Mailletz by Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon. That sounds like a pretty fancy album, what with the French words and all, but it's really just two of the best blues/jazz cats ever, in a way laid back live performance at some jazz club in Paris. You can hear the audience talking, and Slim and Willie Dixon talking to one another, and all the songs have a loose, bluesy, early rock and roll vibe that translates perfectly into sitting around drinking beer on a hot summer day.

I'm also the only one who really likes that first Wilco album, the one that was straight up Uncle Tupelo alt-country ("A.M."), much better than all the rest. I am simple.