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  • July 2013
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Summer Jams

There is no debating about which song ruled the airwaves of summer 2012.  I think we’re all still trying to recover from that one.  But have we collectively decided what this summer’s omnipresent jam is yet?  I have a solid guess myself, but it seems like the summer has just gotten underway and the title is still anyone’s for the taking.

Thinking about what the unofficial song of the summer of 2013 will be has got me waxing nostalgic.  I started reminiscing about the summer between my junior and senior year of high school and the band, hit song, and album that completely took over my life.  On the night of the last day of school, my friends and I went to an to see a fairly well known band from England.  But it was that night’s opening band playing to a near empty room that stole my heart.  I just had to meet them.  My friends and I wormed our way backstage and buddied up to our new favorite band.  We even ended up in their van at the end of the night driving to their hotel room to hang out until dawn.  I recognize that this sounds very, very stupid and WAY worse than it actually was.  But honestly, it was all very innocent.  We spent the rest of the summer and fall writing letters back and forth with band members (this was before the internet and email was totally ubiquitous) and sneaking into clubs meeting up with them whenever they came touring our way, which was actually fairly often.  But soon, the band got big- like REALLY BIG – and our little friendship couldn’t survive their new-found, massive fame.  Even though I quickly outgrew their music, when I hear those first singles from their first album it takes me right back to a time I remember fondly.  I really felt like I was on the verge of adulthood and my life was shaping up to be very exciting.  I will never tell you which band it was because it really is just way too embarrassing to share, but you guys are all welcome to speculate!

I asked my fellow Teen Specialists to share their favorite (or most memorable) summer jams and below are the results:

Annica from West End:  Listen to this song and you’ll know how my 16th summer went.  Memories come flooding back and give me chills every time I hear it.

Micheal from Hazelwood:  In the summer of ’99 there was one song that was impossible to escape!  I give you, Len’s one hit wonder “Steal My Sunshine”!

Lauren from Woods Run:  It was the summer of 1996 and I was working at Kennywood Park.  My food stand was close to the Musik Express and “1979” was in such heavy rotation that I swear it played every 15 minutes.  Just like the staff in “Adventureland”, we got very sick of that song by the end of the summer!  When I hear it now, I think back to all the fun I had working at an amusement park.

Molly from The Labs:  When of Montreal’s The Sunlandic Twins came out in the spring of my junior year, it changed my (music) life.  Although I still listen to the album year-round, “Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games)” has always felt particularly summery to me, with its heartbeat-like intro (reminding me what it’s like to be able to run outside again), whimsical lyrics about escaping through imagination, and a fast, danceable tempo.  It’s definitely on my list of songs to put on while driving in the sunshine with the windows down.

Tessa from East Liberty:  “It Must Be Summer” by Fountains of Wayne is perfect for driving to the mall with your windows open, or driving to Sheetz so you can buy food and hang out in the parking lot of the Sheraton (these were summer activities in my hometown).  Fountains of Wayne are the masters of the happy but yearning pop song.

Another from Tessa from East Liberty:  And if you’re just sitting on your porch wishing you had air conditioning I recommend “How Many Cans” by Soul Coughing- it has a slow, fat bass line that is probably just the right groove for the sweat you hate to feel dripping down your back.

So, what do yinz think will be the song of summer 2013?

Want to play this summer’s hit songs on the ukulele?  Join us on Tuesday, July 23 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm in the CLP – Main Teen Meeting Room for Ukulele Mayhem.  We’ll be learn a few simple chords and pop songs and record our epic, ukulele jam session for all of posterity!  Bring your own ukulele or play one of ours.  All skill levels are welcome.  Participation in this program is limited to teens.

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