In this week’s Monday Mixtape, Marco Cartolano celebrates the fact that it’s finally in the upper 60s with some songs for nice spring weather. Find this week’s mixtape on Spotify here! Transcript below.
[“Good Morning”-Kanye West]
Rise and shine. I’m Marco Cartolano and this is Monday Mixtape. I know I’m not the only one who’s loving the start of spring weather. Inspired by this great, warmer weather, I made a mixtape of bright tunes to celebrate the spring. You just listened to “Good Morning” by Kanye West. The dreamy production and a vocal sample from Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” would make this a good song to wake up to. After you get out of bed, be sure to enjoy Kanye’s inspirational story of moving forward. The song, which mentions barely passing college, is especially appropriate for college students who need a pick-me-up after a hard Winter Quarter. But now for a fun song for some outdoors hijinks.
“Meow” by Anamanaguchi is an example of “chiptune,” a genre of music that is based on the soundtracks of classic videogames. Like Super Mario Brothers, “Meow” is a ton of fun. The beeps and synthesizers on this track are perfect for playing outside with friends and the constant “meows” are always good for a laugh. You can even pretend that you are a character in your favorite retro game as you enjoy the clear sky. Speaking of classics, let’s throw it back to an all-time great song.
[“Good Vibrations”-Beach Boys]
A beach-day standard for several decades, the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” never fails to put a smile on my face. Written when head songwriter Brian Wilson was at his creative peak, this song was incredibly experimental for a pop song. This song combines a lavish instrumental with an unconventional song structure and the Beach Boys’ signature group harmonies to create an ode to connecting with everything around you. It’s one of the most important songs in pop music history and it perfectly mixes the sunny optimism of early Beach Boys records with the experimentation would define their late ‘60sand early ‘70s output. Next, let’s chill with some other musical legends.
[“Electric Relaxation”-A Tribe Called Quest]
By bringing jazz influences to hip-hop, A Tribe Called Quest has created many songs that are perfect for soundtracking a day resting on the Lakefill. In “Electric Relaxation,” a laid-back jazz beat sets the tone as rappers Q-Tip and Phife Dawg try to convince a girl to spend some quality time with them. Their charisma helps to give this song character and the mumbled chorus will be stuck in your head all day.
[“Heat Wave”-Martha and the Vandellas]
This song is irresistible. “Heat Wave” by girl group Martha and the Vandellas is one of the purest examples of the Motown sound that defined ‘60s soul music. The call and response group vocals and the gospel backbeat make the song really fun to dance to outside in 70-degree weather. The girls sound so happy to find a love that hits them like a wave of heat that even single people can join in on the good times. But I know this party can get a bit louder.
An import from the UK, “Ultra Thizz” by Scottish musician Rustie bursts with energy. An electronic track with southern hip-hop and dubstep influences, “Ultra Thizz” builds up to a powerful drop. I recommend this track for quick sprints on the Lakefill; just try to keep up with the song’s manic beat. “Ultra Thizz” embodies the excitement I feel whenever I see that it is 80 degrees in Evanston. But after that explosive track, I think I need a nice song to cool me down.
[“Black Panta”-The Upsetters]
“Black Panta” is a track by reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry’s band, The Upsetters. Perry innovated a style of reggae known as dub, which featured remixing techniques, like emphasizing the drum and bass, and adding special effects, like reverb. The resulting tracks are both hypnotic and laid-back. The tropical vibes demand to be heard while you are walking around on a nice day. It’s a peaceful tune to end a day of warm fun.
And that is it for Monday Mixtape. This week’s playlist is available on Spotify at mondaymixtape. And remember to enjoy the warm weather while we have it. For NBN Audio, I’m Marco Cartolano.