April 25, 2008

Summer Music Guide: Student Tested, Hartzband Approved

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It’s official – summer, as far as college students are concerned, is finally here. That means it’s time to store away all our winter iTunes playlists and tune into our favorite summer anthems. I can see no better time to pay homage to a few of the songs that have defined my summers for as long as I can remember. Here goes:

Three brothers with hair that belonged in a Sunsilk commercial dominated May and June of 1997. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about Hanson and their contagious summer hit, “Mmmbop.” Eleven years ago (wow), it was impossible to avoid this trio.

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But eventually America and the world tired of the song’s jibber-jabber, and in 1998 celebrated the R&B collaboration, “The Boy is Mine.” I actually kicked off my summer that year with a Brandy concert at Jones Beach, NY. Unfortunately, Monica was unable to attend the performance.

Jumping ahead to 2007 – “Umbrella.” The song was, and still is, everywhere. The perfect summer anthem, “Umbrella” was virtually inescapable, and even though the weather was beautiful, I found myself constantly singing, “Now that it’s raining more than ever…”

As far as performances are concerned, summer movies get most of the credit. This year features Sex and the City: The Movie, Iron Man, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

But let’s not forget the unforgettable concerts and concert tours that also occur during this season. Last year, Live Earth received press as one of the best intentioned, albeit most disappointing, concerts in years. It truly is a toss-up between which I hated more: global warming or Kanye West’s awkward “yea”‘s during The Police’s captivating performance of “Message in a Bottle” with John Mayer.
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Nevertheless, this year still could be promising. Madonna (yes, Madonna) is going on tour. Not your scene? No problem – so is Led Zeppelin. And none other than Celine Dion is making her name public again for the first time in years by crooning cross-country. But summer’s great for reminiscing about the old days. Central Park’s SummerStage welcomes Duran Duran this year, and I’m hungry for it like a wolf.

This year, my summer playlists will contain hits like Sister Hazel’s “All For You,” and I can’t deny that. It’s music like that that adds a little strut to our steps. Summer is a time to reminisce about hits gone by, but also to dream about hits to come. I could never have anticipated Lil Mama’s summer smash, “Lip Gloss” before last summer, but I’m damn pleased it hit the airwaves when it did.

The spring equinox is over, and the planets are truly aligned to produce another “Mmmbop.” I think the world is ready.