Hot Licks

This summer, these albums will be blaring in our headphones

Once you’re old like us, there’s no such thing as summer breaks and vacations — just working in hot offices when the AC breaks, sitting in traffic in a car without AC, going to shows in venues without AC. Basically, adult life is hot and boring.

But we’re committed to making this summer a great one. So when we’re sitting in the office or the car, sweating our asses off, we’ll be blaring these summer albums.

The Terror

Though the Lips have come a long way from their “She Don’t Use Jelly” and “Yoshimi” days, they’ve retained a knack for making upbeat, irresistible music that’s impossible to turn off. The Terror, their latest, is weird and electronic, droney and far out in space. But as I’m driving through windy mountain passes this summer, you can guarantee this will be on my radio. (LEAH SOTTILE)


Countless hours of the sun-soaked days of my youth were spent listening to Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed America and Futures. I’d curl up with my CD player in the back of the van on family road trips and lose myself in the sound while drifting across the Montana landscape. Jimmy Eat World describes their upcoming album Damage as “an adult breakup record,” but I’m sure it’ll still partially take me back to days when “adult” felt so distant. (SETH SOMMERFELD)

Volume 3

For me, summer usually comes with a crippling shot of nostalgia for the glorious pre-employment days of high school when I did nothing more than drive around in my pickup listening to music for three months. If nostalgia is your thing, you could do worse than She & Him’s Volume 3, the latest offering from actress/singer Zooey Deschanel and singer-songwriter M. Ward. Featuring their usual Brill Building innocence and sunny disposition, you’ll be reliving that high-school romance you never had in no time. (GAWAIN FADELEY)

Absolute Pleasure 

You eye that tall, handsome, hipster/rocker dreamboat from across the room, bite your lip, grab a sixth warm, piss-water beer, down it, strut through the crowd and introduce yourself. He smiles. You leave with him. The sun sets as you fold into the car and turn up the Electric Six’s Absolute Pleasure as the sun turns off. (SARAH MUNDS)


Since Deerhunter delivered Cryptograms in 2007, I’ve been able to expect that with every new record they’ll soundtrack the colder, darker parts of the year. This time around, the perhaps ironically titled Monomania comes at the beginning of summer, and I’ve been hooked so far. The simple, garage-y crunch is perfect for this time of year, and seeing the group stripped down and aggressively raw again is certainly refreshing. (JORDAN SATTERFIELD)


I’m not much of an air-conditioning person: I prefer open windows and shady spots to artificial cooling. I like to drive with my car windows rolled down and I like to play my music loud (I always adjust the volume to a non-offensive level when driving through residential neighborhoods or while parallel parking). This summer I plan on blasting Hate Meditation’s debut album Scars, a sonic maelstrom of frosty black metal perfectly suited to driving on the interstate with the wind and the road noise and the speed. You’ll feel like you’re being chased by a pack of snarling hellhounds. (JON BROWN)

The Wack Album

I’ve always been a fan of the summer comedy over the big-budget blockbuster; give me Anchorman over Fast & Furious 6 any day. So you can have your guaranteed megahits like Kanye West’s Yeezus. I’ll be laughing it up with the fake rap bravado of The Lonely Island’s The Wack Album. Somehow, these guys can make a rap about semicolons totally hilarious. (SS)

…Like Clockwork

If like me, you like your rock ‘n’ roll heavy, sexy and swaggering, then I’ll see you at the record store on June 4 when Josh Homme and Queens of the Stone Age release ...Like Clockwork. From live performances, it seems to have all the machismo and headbangery we’ve come to love from QOTSA, making it the early soundtrack to all of my summer backyard BBQs. (LS)

Victim of Love

Check out Charles Bradley’s Victim of Love if that high school romance fizzled and you still haven’t gotten over it. Bradley had been making ends meet as Brooklyn’s finest James Brown impersonator when he was signed to revivalist soul label Daptone Records. His latest offering is another gritty slice of life and love. (GF)

Trouble Will Find Me

The National’s Trouble Will Find Me is what you thought about during that last kiss on his doorstep, saying good-bye for the final time. You miss him, so you went out on Friday night. But it’s weird and lonely. Not knowing where to sit at the party, who to stand by. You’re cradling a red Solo cup when some bro you barely know chats your ear off about his fantasy football league. You silently judge his Tapout T-shirt and Tool tattoo. You calculate a way to get out of here and cry your troubles away with The National. (SM)


When it really heats up around here and Spokane bares its high-desert roots, track down Nomad, the newest record from Tuareg guitarist Bombino. Hailing from Niger, he’s the newest star of North Africa’s “desert blues’ sound, and enlisted the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach to produce. (GF)

Fifteen Quiet Years

When I’m feeling nostalgic it’ll be time to listen to the forthcoming Rodan retrospective Fifteen Quiet Years, an assemblage of rarities by this short-lived but highly influential post-rock band from Louisville, Ky. At times breathtakingly beautiful, at others devastatingly brutal, Rodan’s loud/quiet dynamics are arguably the most perfectly realized example of the early ’90s Louisville scene that spawned Slint, Crain and Palace Brothers (and their various offshoots) and had a major impact on modern underground music. (JB)


8:30 pm. You’re in College Town. You’re at a party. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Mosquito is blasting into the summer air, flooding the house, tickling tan skin, and licking at the ankles of 50 or so college kids fresh out of finals and moral willpower. Your two best gay friends are sipping Tom Collinses and talking about Proust on the porch steps. Sorority girls compete for the blonder hair, the longer legs, the pinker nails. You ignore them all and revel in the power of Karen O. (SM) 

Blitzen Trapper, Louisa Stancioff @ The District Bar

Sat., July 13, 9 p.m.
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