The School might be my favorite new band of the last few years and their 2010 album Loveless Unbeliever is firmly wedged at the top of my top pop records of ever list, and I don’t think anything will come along and change that anytime soon. This is the latest song taken from the record and spotlighted. It may not be as thrilling as “Let it Slip” or as heartbreaking as “Is He Really Coming Home“, but it still hits that same sweet spot between perfect melody, dreamy melancholy and Northern Soul-tough rhythms that their best songs always do. I’m hoping they make it over to the US someday (or I make it to the UK someday!) but until then we’ll have to hold their videos close and keep dreaming….

It’s been a long pop summer!

Dolly Mixture – “Remember This”
Betty And The Werewolves – “Paper Thin”
Peter Parker – “Pretty Living”
Aias – “Aias”
Frankie Rose And The Outs – “Must Be Nice”
Grass Widow – “Submarine”
Shimmering Stars – “Sabians”
Candy Claws – “Silent Time of Earth”
His Clancyness – “Summer Majestic”
Cloud Nothings – “Waddya Wanna Know”
Magic Kids – “Sailin'”
The 1959 Hat Co. – “Awesome Sneakers”
Liechtenstein – “Passion For Water”
Still Corners – “History of Love”
Sad Day for Puppets – “Sorrow, Sorrow”

Summer isn’t all fun and games. Just as many hearts are broken in the sunshine as in the gloom of winter, just as many dreams are dashed poolside as they are under leafless tree branches, the heat of the sun and the heaviness of the air can conspire to make you as filled with melancholy as bitter cold and knee trembling winds can for sure. Hitting the beach is hard with a heavy heart, I know. Actually I don’t. I’ve been hitting the pool like a maniac all summer; riding bikes with no hands, frolicking in the fields, and generally running wild. I can’t really relate to all this melancholy I just mixed up! But for those of you who are being weighed down by summertime and need to disappear somewhere a little sad for awhile….here are some songs that know how you feel. The synths, slowly pulsing drum machines, achingly sad vocals and downbeat words are cold comfort to help beat the heat. Get the mix here!

The Style Council – “Long Hot Summer”
The Gist – “Love at First Sight”
Altered Images – “Love To Stay”
Roxy Music – “Same Old Scene”
Prefab Sprout – “We Let The Stars Go”
The Orchids – “Welcome to My Curious Heart”
The Go-Betweens – “Dive For Your Memory” (Live Radio Session)
It’s a Musical – “Take Off Your T-Shirt”

Why are you fooling around reading this? Grab your board and hit the waves. I don’t care how landlocked you are, I don’t care how non-surfery you might be…oh, wait…..is that a girl in a bikini over there……uh, like I was saying….hit the damn beach or at least pretend! It’s summer, you’re young, and the waves are breaking somewhere, right? Here’s some hot instros, laid back jams, and harmonious crooners to get you in the right state of mind for an endless summer.

The Sunrays – “I Live For The Sun”
The Safaris – “Kick Out”
The City Surfers – “Beach Ball”
The Rip Chords – “Big Wednesday”
The Bobby Fuller Four – “Stringer”
Ronny & The Daytonas – “Beach Boy”
The Fantastic Baggies – “When Surfer’s Rule”
Lloyd Thaxton – “Image Of A Surfer”
The Pyramids – “Pyramid’s Stomp”
The Beach Boys – “Stoked”
The Irridescents – “Swamp Surfer”
The Sunsets – “My Little Beach Bunnie”
The Honeys – “Shoot The Curl”
The Galaxies – “On The Beach”
The Rotations – “Heavies”
Catch a WAVE!
Advice to the Sonnets. You wanna be a yacht rock band, get a yacht! Film a video in which you play tennis and are photographed on said yacht. So far, so good. Don’t write tunes that sound like Style Council minus the jazzy meandering. Don’t come over like a less-tricky Prefab Sprout. Don’t incorporate the bouncing beat of Northern Soul and the energy of early Dexy’s onto your excellent new single. For heaven’s sake, don’t sound like Orlando!! You’ll end up far too interesting to be considered a snoozy yacht rock revival band.

Ever since the final notes of the NYC Popfest faded, I’ve been feeling kind of blue. Happy because I saw a bunch of great bands, met some great people and generally felt about as at home in a crowd as I ever will. I even think the NMT DJ set went pretty well. Dropping in “Xanadu” was the highlight for me, you can’t get much twee-er than that! The only thing that’s made me feel better is tracking down new music and discovering old stuff I slept on. Coming back to work and finding the excellent new Tender Trap album on my desk helped, so did listening to the Santa Maria (Maria from the Concretes solo project from a few years ago) disc I scored for a couple bucks at Other Music. Otherwise a bunch of reverb-y stuff, a great deep cut from the Allo Darlin’ album (they were bonkers good at Popfest) and what might be White Shoes & the Couples Co.’s new single. If you’re feeling it too, I hope this mix is like a little bit of sunshine or at least a break in the clouds…

Tender Trap – “Dansette, Dansette”
Allo Darlin’- “Woody Allen”
Zipper – “Visions”
Santa Maria – “Every Time”
The Young Sinclairs – “Up Against The Wall”
Wild Nothing – “O, Lilac”
Beach Fossils – “Vacation”
Spectrals – “Keep Your Magic Out of My House”
Blackhawks – “Indigo”
The Proper Ornaments – “Are You Going Blind?”
White Shoes & The Couples Company – “Kampus Kemarau”
Action Biker -” Smashing Time”
Get it HERE!