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The Sounds of Summer

Fort Wayne’s Favorite Albums to Beat the Heat

By Ben Larson

Fort Wayne Reader


More so than any other season, it seems like summer is the time when people have a specific soundtrack that they come back to, year after year, that is unique to them. Let’s face it, some albums just sound better to you when it’s hot outside. In the spirit of that, I asked some of Fort Wayne’s musicians, and those otherwise associated with the local scene, to tell me their favorite music for the dog days. Here’s what they all had to say.

Rich Lee - Little Brother Radio
Midnight Oil is my summer band. Esp. Head Injuries and Diesel and Dust. Lot's o' heat on those albums + listening to D & D whilst rollin' in my 66 Cutlas convertible, summer of '87. Big pimpin'.

Mark Lahey - Director, C2G Music Hall
The Replacements - Pleased To Meet Me. listened to this hundreds of times over the years when we would drive up to party with friends in Chicago. A perfect album that's still a staple in my CD collection.

Mark Burris - Pillars of Society
John Prine - Bruised Orange. Some of the greatest lyrics ever. “Fish and Whistle,” and “Thats the Way That the World Goes Round”! Anyone can sink their teeth into these and walk away with a smile, truly the greatest little songs ever surrounded by other gems! Fort Wayne really never got Prine, but growing up in Indy everyone did. You could go to a party and everyone knew the words!

Bart Helms - End Times Spasm Band
Culture - Two Sevens Clash. I like my summer jams tempered with proclamations about the end of the world.

Scotty Knepple - Kantis, Pliers
Cypress Hill- Black Sunday. Rollin around in the summer blasting this one with the windows down, or Faith No More- Angel Dust is always a good one too.

Sean Townsend - Somnambulist Red
King Crimson - Red. Though it’s good any time of the year, I bought on a torrid July day and have always associated it with summer. Additionally, the one and only time Somnambulist Red covered the title track live it happened to be in July. Heat=Red.

Bob Roets - Owner, Wooden Nickel Music
Easy one -Bob Marley-Legend. No album defines the coming of summer more than this one-makes me want to go to Jamaica again. I listen to this in the store several times each summer-has been a tradition for many years.

Mitch Fraizer - Church Shoes
Polaris Music from The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Because even in the middle of winter it makes me feel like I am on the beach. So needless to say it kicks my summers into overdrive. Just a good sound.

Darren Monroe - I, Wombat
AC/DC - Back in Black, loud, and in the car. I think it reminds me of spring and summer, because I got that album in my last semester of HS. I blasted it as loud as I could, as soon as I could drive with the windows down. Sharing the love, if you will. Every spring that album gets put into rotation in the car and stays all summer.

Lee Miles - Lee Miles & the Illegitimate Sons
The Mountain/ (End of) Travelling by Will Oldham. I smoked copious amounts of hash to this album one summer.

Kendra Johnson - TIMBER!!!
Morning Glory - This is No Time ta Sleep. It was the anthem album of summer 2003, one of the best of my life. It makes it way into my CD player every year so I can recapture the feeling.

Omar Afzaal - House of Bread, Castles
Nobody & The Mystic Chords of Memory - Tree Colored See. This album is humid. Yes, humid.

Zach Smith - Good Time Fun Club, Definitely Gary, Orange Opera
I don't know, probably something by Blackstreet or maybe one of those Now That's What I Call Music collections. No, in fact, any of those collections that's NOT the edition they sell at Christmastime, that's my jam. They are all my jams, our jams, America. Happy Independence Day and may your BBQs be well-attended and produce many food babies.

Morrison Agen - Owner, Neat Neat Neat Records & Music
I know you're asking for ONE... but from 3 eras of my life I would have to say The Cure – Disintegration; then Sugar - Copper Blue; and rivaling to trump them all currently is Charles Bradley - No Time For Dreaming. If THAT isn't a summer album, then such a thing cannot possibly exist.

Bob Haddad - House of Bread, Castles, The Poseidon Adventure
Ok if Morrison's doin 3 then imma gonna do 3 too.
R.E.M. Life's Rich Pageant -"When I was young and full of grace
And spirited - a rattlesnake"- Middle School/ no air conditioning/crawdads/bikerides/some of the best memories.
Radiohead- OK Computer ..Late at night when I'm driving" Subterranean teenage summer.
Destroyer- Destroyers Rubies "Typical me, typical me / I gave my cargo to the sea / I gave the water what it always wanted to be"- For the boat times.

John Kaszowski - Electric Panda
Andrew W.K. - I Get Wet. Need I really say more? When it's time to party I will party hard. Summertime is the time to party. You can always randomly find me headbanging to this album.

Ty Brinneman - Metavari, Castles
My roomate and I have narrowed it down to three: 1. Saves the day - Through Being Cool 2. Blink 182 - Dude Ranch. 3. Outkast - Andre 3000 and Big Boi present Outkast

Jon Keller - Jon Keller
3. The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle
2. The Band - Music from Big Pink
Phosphorescent - Here's to Taking it easy

David Trevino - Streelamps for Spotlights, U.R.B.
The Best of Sweet. I love catchy tunes.

Jon Ross - Thunderhawk, Definitely Gary, Good Time Fun Club
I hate to say it, but aside from the obvious cringe-worthy hits (“Under The Bridge” and “Give It Away”) Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik is my go-to summer jam. God help me.

John Cheesebrew - Castles
Coliseum - Goddamage. It reminds me of being on tour in a hot and sweaty van on the road. Being reckless, getting into trouble and having fun with my friends. You know, summertime!

Matt Kelley - Owner, One Lucky Guitar
Grandpaboy's MONO. This sh** parade from Paul Westerberg's alter-ego is sloppy, loud, funny and cathartic as hell. So sure was I that I wanted to be buried with the album that I had it tattooed on my arm, lest anyone think I was kidding in my last will & testament.

Nick Allison - Church Shoes
Anything by Outkast and Traveling Wilburys Volume 1

Geoff Montgomery - Owner, The Ensomberoom
Hypocrisy - Osculum Obscenum. No real good reason. Perfect time for death metal, a perfect death metal album, and a perfect time for a young Geoff to be raging to it in the summertime being a stupid kid. Oh, and I listen to the TAPE version (since I'm old and come from "walkman" days)!

Nate Utesch - Metavari
Summer means two things for me most of the time. Dad rock and punk rock.
Electric Light Orchestra - Out of the Blue
Strung Out - Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues
But if I wanna take the car for a long haul and tug at some heart strings in the memory box...
Heart string category:
Elliott - False Cathedrals
Saves the Day - Through Being Cool

Travis Sheets - The Sporting Dogs of Kent
AxCx-Picnic of Love (for that warm cuddly teddy bear inside each of us)
Clash-London Calling. A good soundtrack to any beer swilling hot summer night. And a good bonding point between my band mates and I.
Anything by Hot Water Music. Reminds me of hot summer days packed in a hall to see these guys. And of course sweating it out with the fellas in a beer induced rage on a hot summer night.
And finally any extreme metal. Nothing soothes my soul more than a night alone on the couch streaming pandora or qriocity on my ps3 discovering new and exciting extreme music. With a beer a hand of course. Music, summer and beer drinking all go hand in hand in my opinion.

Chad Fry - I, Wombat
I always think of what I listened to back in the early 1990s when I think of summer albums. Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking; Beastie Boys - Check Your Head; Bad Religion - No Control; and any Descendents album. But if you want to go way back, I would have to say Beach Boys Endless Summer was the soundtrack to summer when I was a lad.

Lucas Carter - Pretender/Contender
Maps and Atlases - Perch Patchwork. It's just an upbeat, summery album. Lots of vocal driven melodies that aren't lyrical ("la la la" type things) to get caught in your head. Great for cruising around and singing with the significant other.

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