Song of the summer

For several years running there has been, by common consent among friends, an official/unofficial, sometimes disputed, song of the summer.  After an extended email conversation recently with a beloved former contributor (he who shall not be named), I decided to collect a few nominations.  Past songs of the summer have been big and epic with crazy surprises and cuckoo lyrics and of course are catchy as hell. These are the songs that remind you school nights are temporarily on hold, that the seasons have shifted, that it's time to kick up the volume, pour your favorite drink, and let the evening really take off.

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In 2003 it was !!!'s “Me and Guiliani Down by the School Yard (a true story).”


In 2004 it was Fiery Furnaces' “Chris Michaels.”


2005 I can't remember. Can you?

2006 I can't remember. Can you?

In 2007 it was Dan Deacon's “Wham City.” Let us not forget Bryan Waterman's ecstatic post declaring it so.


In 2008 we had MGMT's “Time to Pretend.”


In 2009 I gave it to Black Eyed Peas' “I gotta feeling.”


You've got the idea, right?  The thing is, I'm not sure anything this summer really lives up to the roof-raising expansiveness of those previous summer songs, unless it's Robyn, but her song may be a bit too melancholy. (Melancholy summer songs are another thing altogether, and the ones listed above tend to be something other than brooding about summers gone wrong, or else we could go for Best Coast's “Boyfriend,” or something like that, right?) So this is where I need your help. Suggestions, please. Do we have a summer song in 2010?

Here are a few preliminary nominations.  Big thanks to Lisa Tremain and John Wood, Dave B and F. P. Smearcase, ex-contributor and some of his Twitterific former students, and, of course, the lovely Trixie Honeycups for all their useful input.











27 responses to “Song of the summer”

  1. Josh K-sky says:

    It just seems cruel to make all those underfed children get in the ring with Tightrope.

  2. Rachel says:

    I love me some Robyn (and last year it was all about her singing on Royksopp’s “The Girl and the Robot”), but this is indisputably the Summer of Janelle.

  3. ScottyGee says:

    Ke$ha; Duh!

    -Janelle is amazing, but we’ve discussed her enough on TGW.
    -The Converse tune is really good, and the video is really sweet — I’d likely put this one in second place.
    -The Roots: not my thang.
    -I love the Beach House tune, but it’s already a special song for me; it fills my heart with love feelings for
    my sweet JZ
    -Robyn: ??
    -Twin Sister: great song and vid, but not big enough to be named the Song of Summer.
    -LCD Soundsystem: Kind of over it.
    -Katy: I’d be hard pressed to imagine liking this song if it were not for the inclusion of Snoop Dogg (but in
    the towns he sounds off, he never mentions the LBC) and that zany ass video. The song on its own
    though, “Daisy Dukes and bikinis on top?”

  4. Farrell Fawcett says:

    ScottyGee, I love you for your fearlessness. Ke$ha; Duh! I’m so shamelessly right there with ya. And I agree with just about every thing else you said. Except I’m not quite done with LCD and if you can shake it to Madonna or Abba, why not Robyn? The Katy song though is totally absurd. Any other song we overlooked?

  5. ScottyGee says:

    You did overlook the obvious Ke$ha tune:

  6. I think my contribution to the nomination process was more or less “you kids and your ‘Beatles’ and your ‘Elvis Presley’!” The Beach House tune is most up my alley but I think the New York Whatsits might excommunicate me if I vote against Janelle M.

  7. Andrew says:

    Oh man, I love me some Ke$ha (I really wish my name had an S in it to replace with a dollar sign). I think the Janelle song has that beat though. Such a good tune. Also, this one is a really fun summer song:

    And just because I hate the Black Eyed Peas so much, I prefer to think of this as the song of last summer (and also just a super fun video):

  8. Josh K-sky says:

    “Me and Giuliani” is a song I’ve heard named more than played, and it isn’t half bad, but I have a hard time believing in even a corner of chunkiest-glasses Brooklyn where “Crazy In Love” was not the song of Summer 2003.

  9. Josh K-sky says:

    Also, there’s a reason you can’t remember 2006.

    (To be fair, this was by much less universal acclaim. But it selected by Todd at sea level records in Echo Park, and he should know.)

  10. Josh K-sky says:

    Andr€w, think globally.

  11. $wells says:

    Ke$ha, obvs, but I must shamefacedly add that one mash-up song of “Werewolves of London” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” “We were smokin’ funny things, makin’ love down by the lake all summer long, drinkin whisky out’the bottle, not thinkin’ bout tomorrow . . . ” I’m not wrong, people.

  12. $wells says:

    Okay, I’m really embarrassed that I didn’t Google that first to find out that I was about to suggest a Kid Rock song. I didn’t know!! What can I say? Beats don’t lie.

  13. ScottyGee says:


  14. jeremy says:

    Didn’t BW declare SSPU’s Carnavas the album of the summer in 2006? Not sure which song would’ve been “song of the summer,” though…

    And who is Josh K-sky? And how do you know Todd from (the sadly defunct) Sea Level? Hmm. (I worked there for one day back in 2006…)

    Oh, Farrell, I love it when you write about music…

  15. Tim says:

    Do. Not. Get. Obsession. With. Kesha.

    (Note refusal to type her name with a dollar sign.)

    I think, however, that I’m just the wrong kind of music enthusiast to ask about this.

  16. Josh K-sky says:

    And who is Josh K-sky?

    Came over from Unfogged for the A White Bear and Dave, stayed for the bonhomie. I’m well known in certain circles. Todd was nice to my band.

  17. ScottyGee says:

    Tim = $tickInTheMud.

  18. jeremy says:

    Josh K-sky: Awesome, good to have you here. I just thought, wow, someone dropping a reference to Sea-Level Todd, and an East-Coaster, to boot! I ran into Todd about a month ago in the Mac’ ‘n Cheese place near my apartment in downtown LA….

  19. trixie says:

    hi pals,
    i am a little late joining in to this convo tonight…darn that stupid work obligation!

    3,4,5,7,11: i am also a ke$ha enthusiast. sometimes trashy is good. that’s the only way i can make sense of it. i’m $orry. as $wells said, beats do not lie.

    7: you helped me remember this DR song which for us was very iconic last summer. and in fact i just recently leapt out of a car in order to be able to take a photo of a restaurant that was in all sincerity a pizza hut and taco bell:

    for me there was also this:
    animal collective summer clothes. just loved everything about it. true summer anthem.

    hey this was a fun conversation!
    i’m ready for more.
    who’s doing the next playlist?


  20. Tim says:

    Tim = $tickInTheMud.

    You’ve just figured this out? Clearly I’m not working hard enough.

  21. Trixie Honeycups says:

    well i just wrote a comment that accidentally got deleted.

    here are the high points:

    1. I can’t help it. Ke$ha gets me going. This summer, her ability to rouse me is specific to one song:

    $teph is right. beats don’t lie.

    2. Josh K-Sky- I agree about DR, but this was the song for us last summer (and kind of also this summer as we were just in a rural place where there actually are pizza hut and taco bell combination restaurants…

    3. would have to add animal collective “Summer clothes”. i just felt like listening to it a lot last summer. that’s sort of what this is about, right?

  22. Trixie Honeycups says:

    lame. my links didn’t work except for #1,

    das racist:

    animal collective:

    i am a sucker for that robyn song, as anyone who has spent time with me this summer can attest.


  23. Trixie Honeycups says:

    also, i hate the black eyed peas.
    wanted to get that down in writing.

    but, however, in spite of that, i still have the song F mentioned on my ipod and sometimes it helps me keep running when i would otherwise be totally into stopping. for what that’s worth.

    i hope this means that i never have to go out to dinner with fergie and josh and will.i.a.m.

  24. ScottyGee says:

    Tim, but you know that I love you!

  25. Tim says:

    Of course I do, ya big galoot! And I love you, too.

  26. autumn says:

    Oh how I love a Summer Jam. Since reading this post, I have been thinking A LOT about what my Summer Song of 2010 would be; nothing was immediate, and that bothered me. Since hot summer days have JUST arrived to the city of Angels, it seems appropriate that I would finally have it narrowed down. So for what it’s worth, I’ve tracked back through TGWI to add my picks to this post here.

    Like Trixie, I’m a fan of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and this was an early contender. It was traded early in the summer on a self-made Robyn mix that the lady friends groved to. Other tracks were “Cobrastyle”, “Handle Me” and “Konichiwa Bitches” from her earlier albums….’call me next Tuesday, you is a punk.’ What I have found longstanding about the new Robyn single is the fantastic remixes that have come around; the one with dirty south style beats being my favourite.

    But really, here in the heat of August, I must say, the track “We No Speak Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool vs. D-CUP is really making me happy.

    You’re acting all american,
    american, american,
    listen here: who’s asking you to?

    While it is not a political song, per se, it is a song I hope they are rocking in Arizona.

  27. farrell fawcett says:

    official near unanimous consensus on the song of summer 2010 was reached over the weekend at the glorious wedding of two sexy ladies.

    apparently this has been viral on the interweb for a couple of weeks. trixie and i just saw it for the first time two days ago. and cannot stop singing it and playing it.

    it helps to have scotty and jeremy singing along the first time you see it, so try to imagine that if you can.

    watch the newsclip first and then the second link.