A Little Summer Music…

Long time, no blog, I know. I think I caught a bit of that “summer fever” going around. My husband still charmingly refers to it as “Senioritis,” and I have to agree with him because the symptoms are, regardless of our respective ages and the time of year, exactly the same: The attention span of a one-year-old. Failure to retain any sort of important information. The total inability to be productive for more than 20 minutes at a time. And the uncontrollable need for naps. Thus, blame it on the Senioritis that I can’t seem to put together a coherent sentence for the lot of you, which means, instead, I am going to lean on my old editorial crutch: The list.

As you may have gleaned from reading (I hope) my weekly Event newsletters, you know that I am a girl who loves her music. Whether it’s rock (Led Zeppelin) or alternative (Smashing Pumpkins) or hair metal (who doesn’t love the swelling chorus of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home”) or show tunes (the mere mention of Idina Menzel’s soaring “Defying Gravity” from Wicked gives me goose bumps), I like it all. I’ve even developed a taste for … deep breath … country music (despite her personal preference for big hair and that be-ruffled wedding dress, Carrie Underwood isn’t half bad). And nothing makes me happier than when I serendipitously stumble across one of my favorite songs on the radio (or, as was the case today, I heard The Beatles’s “Hey Jude” while doing leg presses at the gym). I love the power these tunes have over me, to instantly transport me to another time and place completely. “What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones? The kitchen in the house I grew up in Princeton Junction. “U Can’t Touch This” by M. C. Hammer? The West Windsor-Plainsboro High School junior-senior prom, circa 1990. “Sweetest Thing” by U2? The birth of my daughter last June.

That said, I give you my ultimate mixed tape (mixed “tape” because a mixed CD or “playlist” simply doesn’t convey the import of these songs as a collection). And with two weeks to go till the end of summer, I can’t think of anything better than letting the laundry pile up, kicking the feet up on the old lawn chair, cranking up the tunes, and indulging in some much-needed “Senioritis.” (Downloaders, take note: The songs I’ve asterisked below, along with thousands of others, can be obtained via The Princeton Public Library’s Freegal, a pretty incredible music service that gives library members access to the Sony Music Library. Just click here, enter your card number, and browse till your song-obsessed heart’s content.)

“Sample in a Jar,” Phish (P.S. Fact: Singer and guitarist Trey Anastasio graduated from Princeton Day School)

“Black and White,” Three Dog Night

“(Sittin’ on) the Dock of a Bay,” Otis Redding

“Fields of Joy,” Lenny Kravitz

“Sweetest Thing,” U2

“Peace Frog,” The Doors

“Revival,” The Allman Brothers*

“Oh, Darling,” The Beatles

“These Eyes,” The Guess Who*

“Perfect Way,” Scritti Politti

“Elephant Stone,” The Stone Roses*

“Afternoons & Coffeespoons,” Crash Test Dummies*

“Least Complicated,” The Indigo Girls*

“When You Come Back to Me,” World Party

“Don’t Let’s Start,” They Might Be Giants

“Hook,” Blues Traveler* (P.S. Fact: Not only did we do an interview with bassist Tad Kinchla last year, but the members of this band are all from Princeton)

“In Between Days,” The Cure

“Big Me,” Foo Fighters*

“Pressure Drop,” Toots & The Maytals

“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” Vampire Weekend

“Superman,” R.E.M.

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of Princeton Scoop online and a freelance writer who has worked for several magazines, including Vanity Fair, Talk, W, and New Jersey Life. She lives in Princeton with her husband, daughter, and chocolate Labrador. She welcomes any inside scoop on what to do and see in the area. E-mail her at jennifer@princetonscoop.com.

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