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[PLAYLIST] UMS Staff Summer Music Picks

By UMS Lobby

Summer is here. We asked our UMS staff to submit songs that say “summer” to them. Our picks:

Artist: The Decemberists
Song: July, July!
Why: JULY!
Picked by: Truly Render, Press & Marketing Manager

Artist: Nat King Cole
Song: Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer
Why: His voice inspires summer – fun, restful, and the freedom you feel in the summer (at least when we were all young and had summers off).
Picked by: Cindy Straub, Advisory Committee & Events Coordinator

Artist: Aaron Copeland
Song: Appalachian Spring
Why: Summer favorite.
Picked by: Jerry Blackstone, Conductor UMS Choral Union.

Artist: Limbeck
Song: Julia
Why: My favorite band ten years or so ago (and possibly still today, if forced to choose), was a group called Limbeck.  They’re from California. They love Gram Parsons and Brian Wilson. They write alt-country, nostalgia-fueled tunes inspired by road trips and friends. This particular song, Julia, was released as part of a recording called Hi, Everything’s Great—the CD liner notes were a series of “postcards,” one per song, each with a hazy photograph taken by the singer and a short written memory about the inspiration for each song.  It came out in June of 2003—I remember buying it at Vertigo Records in Grand Rapids with no prior knowledge of the group, and proceeding to listen to it on repeat during my entire drive back to Ann Arbor in a car that had no working AC.
Picked by: Mary Roeder, Residency Coordinator

Artist: R.E.M.
Song:  Night Swimming
Why: Summer favorite.
Picked by: Marnie Reid, Manager of Individual Support

Artist: XTC
Song: Summer’s Cauldron
Why: It has the word “summer” in the title, the lyrics are all about summer, and it has the sound of crickets incorporated into the song… kind of hits you over the head that it’s a song for summertime. I’m a little embarrassed to list this song, though, because it both dates me and pegs me… psychedelic bubblegum for aging punker wannabees.
Picked by: Lisa Murray, Manager of Foundation & Government Grants

Artist: The Rapture
Song: First Gear
Why: Best roadtrip song ever. Just try not to speed.
Picked by: Truly Render, Press & Marketing Manager

Artist: The Lovin’ Spoonful
Song: Summer in the City
Why: Love this song. It came out when I was in middle school and we all danced up a storm to it. When I hear it now, I have to crank up the sound and dance like a fool.
Picked by:  Cindy Straub, Advisory Committee & Events Coordinator

Artist: Bob Marley & The Wailers
Song: Three Little Birds
Why: Summer favorite.
Picked by: Marnie Reid, Manager of Individual Support

Artist: Recorded by Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Astrud Gilberto.
Song: Corcovado
Why: Bossa nova at its languid best.
Picked by: Lisa Murray, Manager of Foundation & Government Grants

Artist: Frank Sinatra
Song: Summer Wind
Why: Along with featuring the word summer in its title, this song is top of the playlist when the weather gets nice, sunglasses go on, and the windows in my car get rolled down….
Picked by: Mike Michelon, Project Administrator

Artist: Vampire Weekend
Song: Holiday
Why: There’s something distinctly beachy about the breezy guitar driven beat; a great song to play as you drive out of town for the weekend.
Picked by: Jim Leija, Director, Education & Community Engagement

Artist: Beach Boys
Song: Surfin USA
Why: The sound of this song makes me conjure up thoughts of the surf in California, you can hear the water rushing in and out. I lived in CA when I was first married, and my husband was in the Navy stationed in Oakland, CA. It brings back happy memories of the times we spent at the beach along Highway 1.
Picked by: Kathy Brown, Executive Assistant

Artist: The Black Keys
Song: Lonely Boy
Why: Summer favorite.
Picked by: Sarah Wilber, Group Sales Coordinator.

Artist: Mungo Jerry
Song: In the Summer Time
Why: I accompanied my sister and some close friends on a couple of “hike in” camping trips, and this was the favorite song of one of the other campers.  She would sing it all the way to the campsite and throughout our camping time.  It always reminds me of summer and those wonderful times on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Picked by: Anne grove, Artist Services Manager

Artist: Robin Ward
Song: Wonderful Summer
Why: This was such a beautiful song, it reminds you of anyone who has ever experienced a summer romance, then had to leave their true love behind.  Plus, it was a great “slow dance” song.
Picked by: Kathy Brown, Executive Assistant

Artist: Sandro Silva & Quintino
Song: Epic
Why: I love the way this soft-house track builds up to the beat drop about forty seconds into the song. It reminds me of the electronic music festivals that happen across the country throughout the summer months, and makes me want to dance!
Picked by: Sophie Kruz, Video Editor

Artist: Christopher Cross
Song: Sailing
Why: It’s an oldie, but brings back great memories of past summers and relaxing times away from time pressures.
Picked by: Jerry Blackstone, Conductor UMS Choral Union.

Artist: Lily Allen
Song: LDN
Why: Perfect bike commute song. Not that you should ride with your iPod on. That is bad. Tisk.
Picked by: Truly Render, Press & Marketing Coordinator

Artist: The Samples
Song: Did you ever look so nice
Why: Every summer when I visit my sister’s family, we spend time lounging in & around the pool.  Her husband makes a mix CD for each summer and this is one song from the 2003 mix. when I hear it, it puts me right back in the pool on a lazy summer day.
Picked by: Anne grove, Artist Services Manager

Artist: Kanye West
Song: Champion
Why: We should all occasionally enjoy songs that get our speakers bumping below 100Hz. “Champion” is a great song to remind us that summer starts when school finally lets out…
Picked by: Mike Michelon, Project Administrator

Artist: Reptar
Song: Isoprene Bath
Why: My new obsession is a group called Reptar (a reference to a character from the Nickelodeon cartoon, Rugrats).  They write some truly bizarre and yet somehow still catchy pop songs that seem equally inspired by surf rock as they are by West-African rhythms—the stuff of summertime, musically-speaking.  As evidence, I offer this track entitled Isoprene Bath.  Forgive the title and trust me (and them)—if for no other reason than they’re from Georgia—it’s always summertime there.
Picked by: Mary Roeder, Residency Coordinator

Artist: k.d. lang
Song: Summerfling
Why: The Beach Boys vibe combined with a tale of summer love and Lang’s powerhouse vocals make this one of my favorite lounging on the beach tunes.
Picked by: Jim Leija, Director, Education & Community Engagement

Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Song: Stay (Wasting Time)
Why: I spent a few good years as a Dave Matthews fanatic which resulted in many mini-road trips to lots of summer concerts around the Midwest. While my Dave obsession has worn off, this song always evokes the feeling of how much I love enjoying a great concert in beautiful weather at an outdoor venue in the summertime!
Picked by: Liz Stover, Programming Coordinator

Artist: Tupac
Song: California Love
Why: Summer favorite.
Picked by: Sarah Wilber, Group Sales Coordinator.

What are your summer music favorites? Share them in the comments below.

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