Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer's end?

 Oh... no. Not hardly.

There is still plenty of Summer to go, especially for those of us living in the hot, humid midsection of this fine country of our'n (yes, it'll be hot on the southern coasts too, but it's always hot there and anyway, those places have beaches, waves and breezes to make up for it -- see above). 

But August just always feels like the burning out end of the Hot Months. 

I'm sure it's just wishful thinking on my part. Well, not wishful, really -- I'm not a fan of constant cold either, and goodness knows I don't want the year to whiz by any faster than it has -- but I would love a shift from the face-melting heat, breath-taking mugginess, and ear-splitting bug-screechery.

Oh well. Regardless of how many more weeks I must contend with the HEAT, I know that August is quite truthfully the last honest month of Summer. After August come the 'Embers and the cooler days and nights (okay, OctOber's not an 'Ember but I love the idea and my niece Livy so 'Embers it is).


So I have done what I do at the beginning of every month. A little jukebox change-up is good for the soul.

In honor of the Summer we've been enjoying (and the one holding on for just a wee bit longer), I've added the classic 1964 anthem from the ultimate boys of Summer -- The Beach Boys' All Summer Long.
Skeleton surfers. What a thought.

This one's not just a skeleton but Death itself. The Big Kaput-a.
 Those girls in their bikinis are definitely a reminder that August is the last chance to really party it up. Of course, in their case, it's more like a shindig. And with the skeletal countenance of Death in their number, it's nothing less than a Monster Shindig.

So comes our next tune... Hanna-Barbera released the very fun Monster Shindig in 1966, which features rocker Danny Hutton, later of Three Dog Night fame. It's a perfectly '60s rock tune with a very catchy melody and a clever lyric concerning a particular shindig I'd really love to have attended!

As Summer begins to wind down, days are long, wistful, and warm noons get lazier and lazier. As a nod to the dreaming afternoons of late Summer youth, I have selected an odd and endearing Sammy Fain/Bob Hilliard tune from Disney's animated 1951 classic Alice In Wonderland.

In A World Of My Own, Alice spends a moment daydreaming about how things might be in some fantastic far off realm of her creation.

Oh, plus my granddaughter Kiara wanted this on the jukebox.Y'know how it is.

The last 'new' song to the jukebox this time around is not necessarily a happy one. Neither is it necessarily sad. But August eventually means the last days of vacation friendships, summertime romances, nighttime neighborhood games of tag -- nights when so many of us felt like the rest of the world had gone home too early, when we lingered on the corner under the streetlight, not wanting to go home yet, not wanting to stick around. Just not wanting it to end.
For the closing song on her 1979 multi-award-winning debut album, Rickie Lee Jones, Rickie sings of the bittersweet end of those magic nights in After Hours. Various sources suggest a subtitle of either 'Twelve Bars Past Midnight' or 'Twelve Bars Past Goodnight'. I can't find out who's right, and Jones' own site doesn't even mention any extra title so I'll leave it to you. All I do know is that it speaks of that sort of moment with her trademark perfect ease.

Nothing else to add but this: the next time I rearrange the jukebox, we'll be in those 'Embers.

I say bring 'em on... just not too quickly. A few more lingering streetlamp nights would be fine.

A toast to Summer.



  1. To summer.....and a least a good month of sunshine to dry paint and monster mud! :)


  2. Its getting closer to Halloween.

    The surfin' dead pics bring to mind that wonderful little number by the Cramps:
    As used in Return of the Living Dead.

    And Ricki Lee Jones. I hadn't heard that album in years. When I was in college, I did news and was a substitute DJ for the college station, KWCR. When I did the night shift, I used to use "After Hours" as the last song before sign-off. Although, I'd alternate it with "Last Chance Texaco;" or every so often, Tom Waits' "I Can't Wait to Get Off Work (And See My Baby on Montgomery Avenue)".