JULY MIX: The Faster Times Wants 2 Get Hot & Sticky With U
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
Each month, The Outlet posts a mix specially curated by writers, editors, and the otherwise musically inclined. These summer jams were brought to you by the staff of The Faster Times.
1. “Let Me Love You” by Blossom Dearie: Picked by Rachel Shukert, Writer: It’s light and happy and carefree and a little sad. It always reminds me of a summer romance you know will have to end.
2. “Here’s Where the Story Ends” by The Sundays: Picked by Oliver Miller, Writer: I was driving with the girl that I was in love with, and her ex-boyfriend, and we were driving through the Welsh countryside, which is apparently very hilly. So we were driving through the hills, and it was summer, and apparently there are lots of sheep in Wales as well, in addition to there being a lot of hills — and anyway, so, it was the lambing season, and on every hilltop, there were one or two or three baby sheep, and then this song came on the radio. And it was such a good song, and I was twenty-one, and there I was, surrounded by baby sheep, and also surrounded by the girl I loved who was never going to love me back.
3. “Kingston Market” by Harry Belafonte: Picked by Mandalee Meisner, Designer: Make yourself a rum drink and listen to this or anything by Harry Belafonte, and it’ll chase your “Damn, I’m stuck in an office when I should be in Jamaica” blues away.
4. “Sister” — Prince: Picked by James Yeh, Indie Books Editor: An incredibly catchy, brief, and transgressive song about incest from The Purple One’s game-changing 1981 album Dirty Mind. Clocking in at just one minute and 32 seconds, “Sister” catches Prince at his most bizarro, wild, and surprising pop genius. The song also, amazingly, almost unbelievably, contains the filthiest three lines I’ve possibly ever encountered in pop or, really, anywhere: “She don’t wear no underwear, she says it only gets in her hair — and it has a funny way of stopping the juice.”
5. “Older Guys” — Flying Burrito Brothers: Picked by Lincoln Michel, Books Editor: Perhaps because I associate summer with being a kid — -what do summers mean when you work year round? — -and especially going with friends to the swimming pool where the older lifeguards handed us tapes of underground punk bands and told us about the things our parents didn’t us to know. Perhaps that sacred handing down of knowledge is gone in the digital age and modern kids pull out their smart phones and learn the secrets of the older guys from Google. Oh well, this song still jams.
6. “Because the Night” — Patti Smith: Picked by Kathleen Hale, Senior Editor: “I can’t turn it on without dancing, and whoever’s in the room had better get ready for me to grind on them (keep in mind: my idea of grinding is grabbing someone’s hands, tipping my face to the heavens, and spinning around in circles). It’s basically just an awesome hot song about hooking up.
7. “Congratulations” — The Rolling Stones: Picked by Kyle Kouri, Intern: Because hearts are broken in the summertime.
8. “Living in America” — Dom: Picked by Ella Riley-Adams, Intern: This song’s airy synth sounds and distinct keyboard melody make me want to simultaneously float on my back in the middle of a pool and get sweaty roaming City streets at night. Damn right, USA is for lovers.
9. “Let Me Ride” — Dr. Dre: Picked by Matt Albersworth, Intern: Built around samples from Parliament, Bill Withers and James Brown’s inescapable “Funky Drummer,” it’s one of the most chilled out tracks Dre ever produced and my go-to-choice whenever I spend a day in the shade dumping ice-cubes down my back.
10. “Party in the USA” — Miley Cyrus: Picked by Alex Hughes, Intern: Oh I know, you won’t admit to liking this song, but summer is the best time to lie out and listen to some Top 40 music. You know you love it.
11. “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again” — LTD: Picked by Frankie Thomas, Writer: I put on “Back in Love Again” when I think I might get laid, possibly, maybe, please, please, please! My crush objects vary, but this feeling never does, and in certain ways it beats the actual experience of getting laid. You have to laugh at yourself (really? seriously? you’re in love AGAIN?), but the surprise, the relief, is like biting into the perfect watermelon. Unbelievable — it’s summer again!
12. “Something On Your Mind” — Karen Dalton: Picked by Adam Wilson, Editor: If we are listening to this song then it is very humid and very late and my apartment smells like garlic and sweat. My cat stretches on the windowsill, belly up.
13. “Brother Louie” — The Stories: Picked by Sam Apple, Editor-in-Chief: Lately I’ve been obsessed with this sublime theme to “Louie.” It takes a weirdly awesome song to introduce Louis C.K.’s weirdly awesome show, and Stories vocalist Ian Lloyd pulls it off with his soul-infused caterwauling. I mean, “Louie, Louie, you’re gonna die?” What in hell is going on here? I have no idea, but I can’t stop singing it.
— The Faster Times is a collective of journalists, writers, and like-minded people who have come together to try a new approach to the newspaper.
June Mix by Helen Phillips
May Mix by Benjamin Hale
April Mix by Fiona Maazel
March Mix by J. Robert Lennon
February Mix by EL Staff