it’s most likely hot outside wherever are, so you probably need some warm weather tunes to keep you cool (double entendre? yeah, i think so). when the weather heats up, i have four go-to albums. they’re perfect for a long drive, trip to the beach, bbq or whatever. the following albums need to be #onrepeat on your stereo during the summer:
bob marley: songs of freedom box set (disc 1 only): you’re probably thinking, “what a cop out. everyone puts on bob marley when the weather gets warm.” stop right there. this is not your run-of-mill carnival cruise line kind of bob marley. disc 1 is the early, early bob marley and the wailers. it’s the music rooted in american r&b and soul, and it’s fantastic. towards the end of the disc 1, you hear the makings of ska and reggae, but your safe from “three little birds” and “no woman no cry” until later in the box set.
dick dale and his del-tones: surfer’s choice: surf music starts with dick dale. he literally invented the sound with the help of his good buddy, leo fender of fender guitars. dale wanted his music to reflect the sounds he heard in his mind while surfing. i would say he succeeded and that’s evident on his 1962 debut album, surfer’s choice. if you’ve seen pulp fiction (shame on you if you haven’t), you’ll recognize “miserlou” from the opening credits. it’s the one with the slick, reverb-heavy guitar that slaps you right in your jaw. the rest of surfer’s choice is a lot like it i.e. perfect for a day at the beach or riding some waves.
stan getz and joao gilberto: getz / gilberto: this is the album that bought bossa nova to the masses in the 1960’s. i honestly couldn’t tell you what the hell bossa nova is, but that doesn’t matter. this album is like drinking the world’s best mojito on a hot day. it opens with a little number you might have heard of called “the girl from ipanema.” the 7 tracks that follow are just as good. put it on when you’re having a few friends over for a cookout or your trying to impress the girl in the apartment down the hall by appearing “well cultured.”
soul jazz records presents tropicali: this is where things get weird. tropicali is a genre of music that came out of the 60’s that blended rock, bossa nova (there it is again), soul, and a bunch of other sounds and rhythms to create a whole new movement. (quick heads up: it sounds like there might have been some drugs involved in the making of this music.) i don’t think the movement lasted very long, but this compilation captures some of the best tunes from this experimental period. be sure to check out gil gilberto’s “bat macumba”, os mutantes “a minha menina”, and caetano veloso’s “irene.” it’s trippy. don’t say i didn’t warn you.