Summer of Rock 2012

Summer-of-Rock-2012In 2006, I started a tradition with myself of making a summer of music compilation for my friends, called Summer of Rock. Every year for four years I collected my favorite, most sunny, most rocking new songs, and mixed them with a good dose of love into these compilations. The last few years, life was crazy, and the task of finding new music too daunting, to continue the tradition. I’m happy to say that this period of drought has ended, and I’m excited to offer for your listening pleasure Summer of Rock 2012.

It wasn’t easy to create this year’s compilation. Pressure to find really awesome music has built up over the last few years, and I felt I had to make sure each song deserved a spot in your summer mix. Moreover, my desire to not repeat artists from previous editions of the compilation kept some obviously awesome tracks out of the running. So much of my new music is from artists I already know and love, it was difficult to leave all of this out of the record. Then there are the other emotional and philsophical problems any music compiler must face. What is the theme of this compilation? (Well, “Summer”, obviously…). If it’s called Summer of “Rock”, can I include “pop” music? I was a bit distressed to find that, in fact, this album might more accurately be called “Summer of Indie Pop”. I’m not wild about such a title, however, and in keeping with the hipster spirit of Indie Pop, we could pretend to use the word “Rock” with a healthy dose of irony. That being said, I think there are enough moments of rock here to get your head banging a little bit. Anyway, let’s keep in mind the main point: awesome music to go along with your summer memories and to make road trips more exciting.

All of the foregoing duly noted, waste no time in getting the album:

Download Summer of Rock 2012 (or, if you prefer Spotify, check out the playlist).

To listen, just drag the unzipped folder into iTunes, and it will add it as a compilation to your library.

The track listing for this summer’s mix, which I had great pleasure in arranging, is as follows:

  1. “Diversity”, by Family Of The Year (from Loma Vista)
  2. “Little Talks”, by Of Monsters and Men (from My Head Is an Animal)
  3. “We Are The Tide”, by Blind Pilot (from We Are The Tide)
  4. “Deer In The Headlights”, by Owl City (from All Things Bright And Beautiful)
  5. “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”, by Noah and the Whale (from Last Night on Earth)
  6. “Here We Are”, by Patrick Park (from Everyone’s in Everyone)
  7. “All Arise!”, by The Decemberists (from The King Is Dead)
  8. “Face It”, by Old Canes (from Early Morning Hymns)
  9. “Don’t Try and Hide It”, by The Dodos (from No Color)
  10. “Santa Fe”, by Beirut (from The Rip Tide)
  11. “Down In The Valley”, by The Head And The Heart (from The Head And The Heart)
  12. “Evelyn”, by Gregory Alan Isakov (from This Empty Northern Hemisphere)
  13. “Ho Hey”, by The Lumineers (from The Lumineers)
  14. “Some Nights”, by Fun. (from Some Nights)
  15. “On Top Of The World”, by Imagine Dragons (from Continued Silence EP)
  16. “We Went Wild”, by Lord Huron (from Into The Sun EP)
  17. “Bury Us Alive”, by Starfucker (from Reptilians)
  18. “Naked Kids”, by Grouplove (from Never Trust A Happy Song)
  19. “Stuck (Inside My Head)”, by The Graduate (from Only Every Time)
  20. “A Pound of Flesh”, by Radical Face (from The Family Tree: The Roots)
  21. “Anna Sun”, by Walk the Moon (from Walk The Moon)
  22. “Voyager Reprise”, by Surfer Blood (from Tarot Classics)

Is this your first exposure to Summer of Rock? Feel free to download the last installment as well: Summer of Rock 2009.

Legal notice: these songs are provided for you to listen to as a trial only—if you find yourself liking the music, please go out and buy these albums, either directly from the artist or through your favorite music store. Happy listening, and happy Summer!

Summer of Rock 2009

We’re now over halfway through the summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for rock. I’m happy to announce the 4th edition of my annual Summer of Rock compilation! Although it’s late in coming, it’s not short on good music. I know you want to squeeze the most out of the remaining 5 weeks of summer anyway — and now you have the perfect companion to your adventures!

Here is the playlist (you can download the songs immediately below it):

  1. The Only One, by Manchester Orchestra (from “Mean Everything To Nothing”)
  2. The Fox, The Crow And The Cookie, by Mewithoutyou (from “It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright”)
  3. Holland, 1945, by Neutral Milk Hotel (from “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”)
  4. Little Bribes, by Death Cab For Cutie (from “The Open Door EP”)
  5. You, Me, & The Bourgeoisie, by The Submarines (from “Honeysuckle Weeks”)
  6. Just Let Go, by Mae (from “Singularity”)
  7. Restart, by Jeremy Enigk (from “OK Bear”)
  8. Nation Of Heat, by Joe Pug (from “Nation of Heat EP”)
  9. Behind Your Eyes, by Jon Foreman (from “Limbs And Branches”)
  10. Folding Chair, by Regina Spektor (from “Far”)
  11. Girlfriend, by Phoenix (from “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”)
  12. People Got a Lotta Nerve, by Neko Case (from “Middle Cyclone”)
  13. Fight Song, by Appleseed Cast (from “Two Conversations”)
  14. (It’s A) Departure, by The Long Winters (from “Putting The Days To Bed”)
  15. Hallucinations, by The Raveonettes (from “Lust Lust Lust”)
  16. Death Of A Tune, by The Hidden Cameras (from “AWOO”)
  17. French Navy, by Camera Obscura (from “My Maudlin Career”)
  18. Inní mér syngur vitleysingur, by Sigur Rós (from “Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust”)
  19. The Things You Cherish Most, by Pajaro Sunrise (from “Done / Undone”)
  20. Broken (New/Radio Version), by Lifehouse (from “Who We Are”)
  21. Man Down, by The New Frontiers (from “Mending”)
  22. The Gardener, by The Tallest Man On Earth (from “Shallow grave”)

Download and setup instructions (sorry, but you will need iTunes):

  1. Download the zip file here: Summer of Rock 2009
  2. Unzip the files to your desktop or some other location (this will create a folder called Summer of Rock 2009).
  3. Drag the folder into your iTunes software (typically, dragging it onto the “Music” label underneath “LIBRARY” is the safest way to do this — you’ll see a “+” sign before you know it’s OK to release the mouse button). This should copy the song files to your iTunes library.
  4. You will see a new compilation in your library (you may need to go to Music:Compilations to see it). You can play the songs from here or create a playlist of them and burn the songs to a disc!
  5. Now, you can safely delete the “Summer of Rock 2009” folder and the zip file, as the song files should be safely organized by iTunes.

Legal notice: the point of this compilation is to introduce you to new music and encourage you to buy songs and merchandise from the artists you like, through legal channels. If you are not open to supporting the artists financially by buying their music, please don’t download this compilation.

Thanks, and enjoy! Please share any comments!

Summer of Rock 2008

Summer of Rock 2008I am very pleased to announce the arrival of the third installment of Summer of Rock, my annual summer music compilation. Summer of Rock ’06 and ’07 have been (I flatter myself to think) great successes, and I’m hoping this year will continue the trend.

As we all know, summer is a time for making memories, and nothing goes with memories like good music. From the high-energy, sunny days to the lazy, reflective and romantic nights, this compilation will be the perfect soundtrack to your summer adventures. I’m showcasing primarily songs that have been released in the past year, though there are a handful of older favorites.

Two songs in particular deserve special mention. “Ndikumaka” was recorded by a Tumaini kid (Rosemary) and myself while in Kenya, and is a wonderful example of the talent latent in those kids. “Hello” is a new Splendour Hyaline song (Splendour Hyaline is the band name for the songs David and I write and record). Be warned: it’s a non-final mix of a song from an album we are recording this summer, so stay tuned for the album’s release to hear the final version. (Both the Tumaini album and the Splendour Hyaline album will be available for download later this summer).

Here is the playlist (you can download the songs immediately below it):

  1. Let It Ride, by Ryan Adams (from “Cold Roses (Disc 2)”)
  2. No Sunlight, by Death Cab for Cutie (from “Narrow Stairs”)
  3. Viva La Vida, by Coldplay (from “Viva La Vida”)
  4. Skinny Love, by Bon Iver (from “For Emma, Forever Ago”)
  5. Coconut Skins, by Damien Rice (from “9”)
  6. Killing for Love, by José González (from “In Our Nature”)
  7. Apartment Story, by The National (from “Boxer”)
  8. Lovesong Of The Buzzard, by Iron and Wine (from “The Shepherd’s Dog”)
  9. Not California, by Hem (from “Funnel Cloud”)
  10. Come Out Of The Shade, by The Perishers (from “Victorious”)
  11. Baby, It’s Fact, by Hellogoodbye (from “Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!”)
  12. Ndikumaka, by Tumaini (from “Songs of Hope (Pre-Release)”)
  13. Here It Goes, by Jimmy Eat World (from “Chase This Light”)
  14. The Modern Leper, by Frightened Rabbit (from “The Midnight Organ Fight”)
  15. Not What You Wanted, by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (from “Baby 81”)
  16. Lake Michigan, by Rogue Wave (from “Asleep At Heaven’s Gate”)
  17. Hoppipolla, by Sigur Rós (from “Takk”)
  18. Leap Year, by +/- (from “Let’s Build A Fire”)
  19. Hello, by Splendour Hyaline (from “When Love Leaves Its Hiding Place EP (Demo)”)
  20. Why You, by Joe Purdy (from “Only Four Seasons”)
  21. Dash, by DeYarmond Edison (from “Silent Signs”)

Download and setup instructions (sorry, but you will need iTunes):

  1. Download the zip file here: Summer of Rock 2008
  2. Unzip the files to your desktop or some other location (this will create a folder called Summer of Rock 2008).
  3. Drag the folder into your iTunes software (typically, dragging it onto the “Music” label underneath “LIBRARY” is the safest way to do this — you’ll see a “+” sign before you know it’s OK to release the mouse button). This should copy the song files to your iTunes library.
  4. Finally, in iTunes, go to File > Import. In the file browser, navigate to the Summer of Rock 2008 folder, and select the file “Summer of Rock 2008.xml”. Importing this playlist file will create the playlist “Summer of Rock 2008” in your iTunes library, which you can use to play the songs in the intended order!
  5. Now, you can safely delete the “Summer of Rock 2008” folder and the zip file, as the song files should be safely organized by iTunes.

Unfortunately, doing things this way has its drawbacks as well as its benefits. The primary benefit is increased song quality. One of the drawbacks is that, in my version of the playlist, I have opted to cause some songs to end earlier than their actual finish time, to make the compilation flow better (for example, Lovesong of the Buzzard takes way too long to finish, and I modified its options in iTunes to end at 3:52). It will be up to you to do this if you want! It will also be up to you to burn a CD from this playlist to take in your car or wherever.

As always, the point of this compilation is to introduce you to new music and encourage you to buy songs and merchandise from the artists you like, through legal channels. If you are not open to supporting the artists financially, please don’t take advantage of my offering these songs for download!

Thanks, and enjoy! I look forward to hearing any comments. If the playlist or song files change, I will post a notification in this entry.