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The 30 Day Music Challenge, Day 3: Summertime

Day 3: Choose a song that reminds you of summertime.

From the 1990s list: "Sunbittern" by Driver Eight
When it comes to seasons, I often think of songs in terms of when I acquired an album, or at what time of the year I found myself listening to an album the most. For instance, I very vividly remember listening to Steve Taylor's Squint CD while on my way home from the closing shift at Wendy's on Christmas Eve night. Those songs always remind me of winter.

So does Driver Eight's Watermelon, because I bought it in the winter of 1996. One song, though, reminds me of summer, and that's "Sunbittern". The sunbittern, as explained in the liner notes, is a bird found in many tropical areas of the North and South American continents.

You said you had to go
To someplace I don't know
Strawberries in spring won't happen 'til we get there
Through the ocean blue like rainbows do fly
Fly away, fly away

Matt McCartie's sister traveled away for a time while he was growing up, and this song dealt with the time she was away, and how much he missed her. This song contains a light, floating sound when it begins, and with each approach of the chorus, it raises in volume and power. The final chorus adds more background vocals to provide even more lift, and the song achieves its apex. You can only watch as it glides into the sunset, possibly towards an uncharted island, begging for you to follow it through the clouds.


Off the list: "Summertime" by Audio Adrenaline
I really had a love/hate relationship with Audio Adrenaline. I got the youth group fodder self-titled album when I was in high school and didn't share it with very many people. I saw the band evolve and mature (somewhat) over the course of several albums. For every "Some Kind of Zombie" that gave me hope, there was always a "People Like Me" right alongside it that made me groan. I believe Underdog had potential, but it was bloated with too many mediocre songs. "The Houseplant Song" . . . don't get me started. What killed it for me with Audio A, though, was when "Get Down" won the 2000 Dove Award for Rock Recorded Song of the Year, the following chorus in tow:

I get down, and He lifts me up
I get down, and He lifts me up
I get down, and He lifts me up
Every time I'm down, the Lord lifts me up

So yeah, I was done with Audio Adrenaline.

And then one day I got X 2003: Experience the Alternative, a 2-disc compilation CD that contained some great tracks from over 30 bands, and "Summertime" was included.
I. WAS. SHOCKED.
Not only did this song rock REAL hard, but the songwriting quality seemed to take a significant leap forward from their previous works. Yeah, the idea of heaven being like summer all day every day is simple, but the way it's put together in this song reveals an innocence that's pure, an excitement that's true, and a major sense of anticipation in the ultimate escape.

This is, quite possibly, one of Audio Adrenaline's biggest sounding rock songs, staking its claim from the very beginning, opening with a 2-note stab, then using the same stab in the chorus, followed by the hook sung in the silence following. The rest of the chorus rides out the sonic wave, and the overall feel of the tune is quick and light while still sounding heavy.

It feels like summertime
The sun's shining on my face
It feels like summertime
I never wanna leave this place
But if I can't go now
I know someday, somehow . . .

This is the perfect song to play at full volume with the windows down, or better yet, in a top-down convertible, driving on the Pacific Coast Highway (where I've never been), sunglasses on and an ice cold fountain cola in the drink holder, on your way to the beach. If only the song didn't end so soon . . .


There Is No Box.
Zach

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