Making the perfect summer mixtape is an art form, not unlike grilling the perfect burger, mixing the perfect mojito or launching a bottle rocket out of your butt crack — many will make attempts, but few will succeed. Which is why we're going to hook up a handy-dandy guide to the best of the summer sounds here in Music City. You're gonna have to get us drunk before we show you the bottle rocket trick though. Now put this in your iPod and smoke it.
Dee Goodz, "I Gottem" — From Goodz's hot-as-hell new mixtape CK&DO Vol. 2, "I Gottem" is a lowdown groove with a laidback flow that will start your party off on the right foot. Light that shit up and enjoy. And by "that shit" we mean the charcoal. For your grill. What kind of hooligans do you think we are?
Starlito, "Chill" — Music City's most productive lyricist eases off the gas pedal for slow-and-low bone cruise through the East Side with one of the funkiest beats on his insta-classic Mental WARfare. Deep and spacey with a sinewy guitar line, "Chill" saves the day like a psychic ice cream man on a summer afternoon.
Mello Rello and Anthony Davis, "Smoke One" — Jazzy, smooth and dripping with soulful horns and a gorgeous hook, this cut from Rell's Long Liveth mixtape is perfect barbecue music. Though we're pretty sure he's not talking about brisket.
Truth Clipsy and Bill Breeze, "Thermometer" — In the words of Do the Right Thing's Mister Señor Love Daddy, "Ya need to cool that shit out! And that's the double truth, Ruth!" This Jota Ese-produced banger is exactly what the Love Daddy ordered.
Erika Spring, "Hidden (Jensen Sportag Remix)" — Sure, Spring isn't from Nashville. But Jensen Sportag definitely is! The masters of Music City smooth jams put their signature filter-shimmer on the Au Revoir Simone vocalist's new debut and manage to capture the perfect buzzed-but-not-drunk vibe.
Myrryrs, "State of Mind" — OK, Myrryrs recently moved to Phoenix, but this tune was cut here, and we're going to claim it. This insanely funky electro jam has been in super-duper heavy rotation at the Scene flophouse.
The Perfect Hours, "Scientists in Bangalore (Sequence 49)" — Featuring members of soul-jazz heavyweights The Coolin' System and the experimental jazz conglomeration Call It Anything and produced by Anti-Zombie Dub Unit, this is trans-global robo-funk at its out-there best.
Uncle Skeleton, "Those Days" — Ah, we remember those days — sunny, sweaty and super-dreamy. Just like, um "Those Days." Uncle Skeleton's latest LP Sophisticuffs is the perfect combination of synth, experimental and orchestral pop and makes for a good side to go along with those shish kebabs.
Echo Group, "Supra" — To hear our music editor tell it, Echo Group might just be the second coming of The Walkmen, and he loves The Walkmen more than Michael W. Smith loves Jesus. All I know is that the horns on this track make my knees weak and my heart flutter.
Denney and the Jets, "Lovin' Days" — What's a backyard bender without a little blues? Nothin', that's what. While we're waiting with baited breath to hear D&TJ's freshly cut NOLA-recorded album — c'mon Denney, hook it up! — we're more than happy to knock a few malt beverages back to this Slick Rick EP gem.
JEFF the Brotherhood, "Sixpack" — Duh! This was our theme song for the summer even before the Bro'hood even dropped their canoes-cold-ones-and-kush-themed video this month. For cryin' out loud, who can't identify with "It's so hot in this tiny room," and who doesn't love a jam that sounds like a stonier version of The Rentals?
Natural Child, "Ain't Gonna Stop" — Nashville's party-rock champs ain't gonna stop, and why should they? This year has seen them throw down two absolutely killer albums of fuzzed-up fuck-up anthems, and there's no way that we would let them stop even if they wanted to. Seriously, if we have to kidnap bassist Wes Traylor and force him to play Canned Heat covers all day, we will.
The Buddies, "All the Beer Is Gone" — One of the sad, sad facts of any party is that eventually, and despite our best efforts, we're all gonna run out of beer. This Nashville/Chicago band featuring power couple Kim and Scott Collins and power-bro Justin Collins perfectly captures that moment of panic with overdriven guitars and outrageous alternatives to the hooch. Read a book? We're fucked!