Saturday, August 29, 2009

Songs of the Season, Part 15

A repost from the archives, because I think it's perfect for this weather:

I remember this one really hot day in Florida, when Jason and I were driving around listening to The Stooges' "Dirt," and Jason said "This song has so much mood to it. Maybe it's the heat." There's something about those really, seriously hot days that makes you want to listen to slow, hazy music that matches the way you feel, like you barely want to move. And lately, for me, that song has been Beck's "Earthquake Weather" (which has become my favorite Beck song, hands down).

All the elements of that song come together to make it perfect for extremely hot weather. That phased-out guitar at the beginning seems to imitate the heat waves you can see coming off the road, and it gives the whole thing a hazy sound. Then the beat comes in, and it's this nice, slow, head-bobbing beat. The lyrics seem to hint at dog days--"The days go slow." All the instruments--the soaring guitar notes over the chorus, the funky keyboard over the bridge--have some kind of treated sound that removes their edges and makes them sound as if they're melting in the sun. You just want to sink into the vinyl of your car seat.

The title does, in a round-about way, refer to hot weather, though I wouldn't have known it until recently. Some folks around here seem to believe that earthquakes are more likely in hot weather, as evidenced by this exchange I heard at the office last summer:

"It's so hot."
"You know what I think every time it gets this hot?"
"Shake and bake."
"Yup, shake and bake."
"Oh, I hope not."


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