Songs for summer: the video edition.

Tonight, while I'm going through yet another bout of being sick--and can I just say that it would be both a lot more titillating and not a little more terrifying if I were in a position to be thinking, "Two spells of sickness in three days... um... am I...?"; but it would take a true miracle for a Small S to be involved in my having lost my dinner--I'm going to take advantage of someone else's having posted a blog meme. And am I a sell-out of my own blog's attempt at aesthetic principles if I embed some YouTube clips for you? Probably. But remember what Whitman says: I am large. I contain multitudes. (Just not that kind of multitude. I swear that's not why I'm throwing up.)


By the Rules of the Meme, I'm now supposed to tell you the Rules of the Meme, which are that after I've told you the rules, I tell you the seven songs that are shaping my summer.

If I could just follow the rules, things would be easier. But grad school helped me cultivate the part of me that used to provoke the following conversation with my father:

Papa of Someday-Dr. S: Why are you so contradictory?
Someday-Dr. S: I'm not!
Which is to say that I apparently need to do this My Own Way. Here, then, are seven songs that have shaped some summer of my life, and that have awesome, awesome videos. Which you can watch right here, thanks to the magic of YouTube. And I do mean magic. This afternoon, I found a video someone has posted that sets scenes from Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice (2005) to the B-52's "Dance This Mess Around." We may watch that on the first day of one of my fall courses, if it's still up.

Without further ado: songs that kick ass, or have kicked ass, in the summer. Tomorrow, if I've stopped being sick for no apparent reason, I'll actually write something for you. (Ironically, tonight's post was going to be about how yoga leaves me feeling as though my body is all working properly and proudly, something I especially felt when I was able to do a half-lotus and grab my left toe by reaching my left arm around my back.)

(These are in no particular order.)

1) Talking Heads, "Burning Down the House." (Summer shaped: Um, all of them since it came out.)

2) The New Pornographers, "Challengers." (Summer shaped: 2008.)

3) R.E.M., "Driver 8." (Summer shaped: 1989.)

4) Junior Senior, "Can I Get Get Get." (Summer shaped: 2007.)

5) Bananarama, "Cruel Summer." (Summer shaped: well, this one is a cheat, because it never really shaped one of my summers, though it seems to me that it was always in the background--probably because Bananarama kind of always was in the background, and I did love them a lot in 1987. They make it in! Also, hello, New York City!)

6) Sufjan Stevens, "To Be Alone with You." (Summer shaped: 2006.)

7) Kate Bush, "Wuthering Heights." (Summer shaped: 2004. Now, you have to know that I didn't really know Kate Bush's music before that summer, and that I listened to her a lot while I was moving into my house in mid-Ohio. You also have to know that this video might be one of the classics of all times--a video in which so many things are going so wrong that it's wonderful--and that that has even more to do with my putting it in here than anything else.)

8) (Bonus!) Luscious Jackson, "Ladyfingers." (Summer shaped: 1999. "It didn't come easy to me either / from the freezer / to believer / in love / in love." Yeah. There's maybe no song that says it so well for me, now that I listen to it again.)

Oh, there are so many more. How, for instance, you might ask yourself, can there possibly be no Beastie Boys tracks on here? But these should get you started for now. Bless your big technological heart, YouTube.

(A postscript on Wednesday morning: I can't leave the Beastie Boys out. Here's your second bonus, "So What'cha Want," summers 93-94. In 1993, Beavis and Butthead said "GarDEEnya," and my brother and I died laughing. In 1994, I put this track on a mixtape, and my brother and I drove around our Indiana town feeling way cool--probably way cooler than we were. "I got news for your crews: / You'll be suckin' like a leech.")

And if that leaves you wanting more, go visit summer 2004. Good times.