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September 3, 2009 It's time for one last bittersweet blast of summertime music: five songs to mark the death of a season — and the birth of a time in which comfort revolves around sweaters, slippers, cocoa and enough food to pad the midsection through those cold winter months. Here's a mildly reflective playlist to honor the occasion, arranged in order of wistfulness.
August 26, 2009 If you bring cheap libations, secured in steel and bathed in a tub of ice, the masses will come. For the metalhead, a kegger means it's time to get brew-tal. Listen to these five inebriating anthems, raise your plastic cups high (over 21 only, thanks) and let the debauchery begin.
August 19, 2009 Summer is, unfortunately, more about what we want it to be than what it actually is. Idealism may make a potent brew, but we know the season inevitably ends. That's why some of the best summer songs are tinged with fragility and marked by melancholy. This is music that admits the painful truth about summer: that even the best times won't last, as long days fade with autumn's encroaching dusk.
August 12, 2009 It's no secret that Cajun and zydeco music is all about sweat. So you can go to Louisiana for a summertime steambath, or you can bring a bit of the heat to you. Here are five songs guaranteed to get your feet moving, at which point the sweating part will take care of itself.
August 6, 2009 Summer may seem like the shortest of seasons, but at least the evenings are long and warm. As we wend our way into August, when the sticky air makes it easy to forget how little time remains until fall, here are five pieces by classical composers who embraced summer nights. Here's hoping the music signifies both summertime and celebration the next time you spend a hot night entertaining guests.
July 29, 2009 No matter how you're going to spend your time by the pool, you're going to need musical accompaniment -- preferably something that steers clear of the typical Jimmy Buffett and Beach Boys mix. How about some jazz? Not the heady stuff, unless you're aiming to clear the decks. Instead, get yourself some deep '70s jazz; the kind that leaves a funk aroma and washes off easily when you take the plunge.
July 23, 2009 These five songs will work within any summer party mix. All come from the now-vintage repertoire of Afropop legends, and all have stood the test of time and animated countless festive occasions around the world. They're presented here in sequence to match the phases of a good party, from greeting and eating to drinking and dancing.
July 15, 2009 After you slap some barbecue sauce on your menu items of choice — be they meat-based or sculpted out of tofu — it's time to toss everything on the grill, let the fire do its work, and get down with these grill-friendly jazz tunes.
July 7, 2009 Tonight and every night, hordes of keg-tapping sex-havers are congregating. Tonight and every night, you were not invited. What you and your poor, pockmarked soul need is a soundtrack — five songs to ensure that you and your stuffed animals will have a night to remember.
July 2, 2009 The Fourth of July is a birthday party and the whole country is invited. And every party needs music. Whether meditating on America's landscape, its freedoms or the things about it that frustrate us, America is ripe for inspiration, as evidenced by the songs here.
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