Today, we’ve invited our friend and volunteer Diana to write a post on the topic of her choosing. (She has her own blog, wouldn’t you know?) Enjoy!
The ice cream trucks are tinkling away, mosquitoes are out for blood, and free summer concerts have begun. Despite the fact that we are still twenty-one days away from opening day at the NYC public pools, I think that anyone would agree that it is summertime in the city. And what better time of the year to set aside your minimalist avant-garde jazz for fluffy pop songs? And for that matter, what better place than indeed your local swimming hole?
Growing up as a pool rat, from sun-up to sundown I was steeped in summer pop. And it seems to me that each pool I visited had a unique musical personality. The pool closest to my home had a real DIY attitude – whoever brought the biggest, loudest stereo from home dominated the airwaves. The water park had a wave pool that played either the Surfaris’ “Wipeout” or the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ Safari” every single time the waves were activated. EVERY. TIME. There was a pool across town that simply played the classic rock radio station, which meant plenty of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City,” because classic rock DJs are clever. The pool where I had swim practice every morning drew a younger crowd, and appropriately their tunes were a real taste of the musical zeitgeist. I’m outing myself as a youngster by saying that a sampling of the memorable summer tunes through the years at this pool included the Spin Doctors’ “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979,” and Britney Spears’ “… Baby One More Time” (featuring a fresh-faced, relatively innocent, pre-nervous breakdown Britney.)
The ARChive isn’t just about collecting records that were made fifty years ago. We’re here to collect the records that are being made today, too. That is why I insist that we have on file the two songs that I predict are going to be the songs of the summer of 2007. Maybe not for you, maybe not for me, but mark my words one of these two jams is going to be the song of summer 2007 for somebody. The first one is Gwen Stefani’s “Sweet Escape.”
Don’t fight it. You can’t. Every retail store across America is playing this song 24/7 and I can only assume that when the pools open they will be blasting it, too. The sleazy synths and lackadaisical pace of the song would have been recipe enough for a decent hit, but when you add Gwen Stefani’s simpering sweet voice on top and throw some record label promotional bucks behind it, this song becomes a force that cannot be stopped by mere mortals. The other is Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend.”
The first time I heard this song it was in a room full of dudes who normally listen to hardcore and loud rock music. They were going nuts for this song. I went nuts for this song. Sadly, we are adults – if we loved it this much I can guarantee you that there is a legion of sunbathing fourteen year old girls who go absolutely BONKERS every time this song comes over the loudspeakers. It is impossibly catchy and the beat is exactly like that of Toni Basil’s “Mickey,” with the same stick-in-your-head-ness but with more ridiculous choruses.
Did you have a memorable summer song? Was it Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69?” What do you think your summer of 2007 song is going to be? Leave it in the comments!