Ultimate Alternative Summer Jams
by Dan Weiss | August 1, 2013
Despite the charges of angst and insincerity normally lobbed at alt rock, punk and indie, there's a reason why fast guitars and disheveled tempos are used to soundtrack skating videos. Even the most bleeding-edge hardcore type loves the summer, and has music to back that devotion up, from Husker Du's "Celebrated Summer" to Pissed Jeans' "I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)." And alt rock is broad enough to allow for many expressions of the same feeling: Yo La Tengo's gorgeous, ambient "Beach Party Tonight" is as evocative as its title, while Queens of the Stone Age's "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" induces fond memories of drugs. Even Deftones' fearsome "My Own Summer (Shove It)" is an anthem about erupting the moment school's out. Weezer ("Surf Wax America") and Best Coast ("The Only Place") penned classic odes to surfing, while Sonic Youth ("Crème Brulee") and Thunderbirds Are Now! ("Bodies Adjust") slowed down their manic paces to match the melting bodies they were singing about. Alt rock godparents the Pixies' two most well known songs, "Where Is My Mind?" and "Wave of Mutilation," concern scuba diving and surfing, respectively. And indie grandpas Pavement? Four words, one set of parenthesis: "Summer Babe (Winter Version)."