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Wednesday, 11 July 2012 07:00

Sunburn, sweat and pork-steak smoke: A playlist for surviving another St. Louis summer in the backyard

Sunburn, sweat and pork-steak smoke: A playlist for surviving another St. Louis summer in the backyard
Written by Erin Frank

Humidity. Beer. Hose water splashing over the edge of a galvanized steel swimming pool. Mosquitos. More beer. Cooler doors slamming shut, the oily odor of burning citronella, and as it gets dark, blocks away, the faint wail of police sirens. Beer.

St. Louis summers are hot, sticky and dangerous, but if you're doing it right, half of every one should be spent in the backyard.

If you can keep your iPod out of the sun long enough -- it'll shut down when it gets too hot, I know this because mine told me so when I put it in a sunny spot and walked away for five minutes -- you could play the below songs while setting up a game of washers and finding a shady spot to sip your drink before the ice melts.


"Gimme a Chantz" - Sleepy Kitty ("Infinity City")

I've only been putting them on every playlist I've ever made since picking up the "What I Learned This Summer" EP after a show in 2010. No big deal.


"Santa Fe" - Beirut ("The Rip Tide")

I reviewed this album last summer and called this track a "hit of late-summer parties filled with seasonally-exhausted sandals and ice-cold tallboys." Point still valid.


"Promises" - The Morning Benders ("Big Echo")

Most of the tracks on "Big Echo" have this effect that sounds like listening to someone bang on the side of the pool while you float underwater.


"You're So Good To Me" - The Beach Boys ("Endless Summer")

Because this is America and even touring with Uncle Jesse can't make us stop liking the Beach Boys.


"Booty City" - Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears ("Scandalous")

Who do I have to email to ask that St. Louis' nickname be changed to Booty City? This Gateway to the West thing is tired.


"Gold On the Ceiling" - The Black Keys ("El Camino")

So scuzzy, sweaty and good. Like hanging out on your porch with a vodka lemonade when the heat index reads 104.


"St. Francis" - Delta Spirit ("History From Below")

Look up this album cover and tell me you don't want to dive right into it.


"Take Off Your Sunglasses" - Ezra Furman and the Harpoons ("Inside the Human Body")

Also a good float trip song. Probably. I don't go on float trips, but if I did I'd nominate this one.


"You Can Make Him Like You" - The Hold Steady ("Boys and Girls in America")

A friend of mine wrote that every summer needs its soundtrack, and that for the past few years, his soundtracks have been Hold Steady records. I'd agree that most of this one fits the bill, but especially this song.


"At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)" - fun. ("Aim and Ignite")

Not every backyard get-together can be as baroque as this, but when the shade gets longer and everything gets hazy, those party cheers and handclaps are enough to bring everyone back just before that closing aria blast.

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