Summertime, and the listening’s sleazy in the giusto kitchen. Not Paris Hilton sleazy, but straight funk sleazy with the windows down, speakers blasting, shades on and the grill spitting hot fire. All you need is a jet-cold beverage, a giusto grill recipe, and one of the following filthy albums for the gusto summertime experience (minimal clothing a plus):
Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
A lot of bands are trying to recreate the past, some successfully, some not so much. What Alabama Shakes have created is something altogether original.Tracks like “You Ain’t Alone” and “Hold On” scream soul while riffing classic rock as others like “Boys & Girls” or “Rise to the Sun” drip with motown flavors. They’re rock, funk, soul, and pop enriched by the voluptuous vocals of Brittany Howard, a legend in the making. NOTE: BUY THIS ALBUM!
Gary Clark Jr. – Bright Lights EP
A true student of the blues masters with a keen ear for modern rock at the ripe age of 28, Gary Clark Jr. is the blues prodigal son. On the surface the album may sound familiar, Black Keys or Dead Weather -esque, but Clark Jr.’s lead abilities are outrageous. Watch any YouTube performance and you’ll see Clark Jr. attack his semi-hollow like a bat out of hell, whipping thru hendrix licks and stevie walks with a style all his own. His cover of Catfish Blues for one Barry Obama is especially inspiring. Stoked for his full-length album due this year sometime. Wave your freak flag bruddah.
The Ronettes – The Ronettes
Taking a huge left-turn from the previous two albums, The Ronettes will transform your grilling scene into a Flushings-Block Party within the first two tympani booms. This sister/cousin trio from Spanish Harlem sound just like the early 60′s look in my head: summer flings, soda shops, short shorts and parents that just don’t understand! With horns, tambourines, reverb, and Veronica’s shaking tremolo present on every track you’re left spellbound like Kevin Arnold for Winnie Cooper. More love, more heartbreak, more “wo ho ho ho hooooos”. No wonder Rolling Stones added this to the 500 greatest albums ever made.
Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
My amigo Brooks described Astro Coast beautifully: it’s like an entire album of “Surf Wax America”. If you’re unfamiliar with that particular Weezer throwback, take a listen and tell me he’s not dead on. Surfer Blood’s combination of high treble, fast strumming and echoing vocals recreate the California beach scene perfectly. Tracks like “Swim” and “Fast Jabroni” sound like the playlist to tasty barrels, empty sets, and pumping swells. The album should really come with a disclaimer reading: “Best if listened to in board shorts and a tank top.”
As recommended, throw on a bathing suit, light the grill, and crank up some of these gnarly tunes for a most righteous summer bbq. Gnar gnar or bust!