Big Sound Saturdays: Hot Meat (Songs To Bake To)



I guess it’s probably true that even if there are things in the world that are inherent goods, weather isn’t one of them. Winter people confuse me and I don’t want to talk about it. Fall and spring people make sense, opinion-wise, but the whole thing seems ultimately kinda milktoast; why not just go for it? I’m for the summer, and not just its beginning—the long haul, California’s dry desert heat, New York’s simmering trash swamp, Virginia when it feels like the literal surface of the sun. I like that body-bake feeling that makes you want to lie down and toast forever in the sun rays, I never want it to end!


Finding the best jams for deep summer proved trickier than I thought it’d be. No formula for vibes, I guess. Inspired by my best friend in California, who covers herself in literal olive oil when we lay coast-side and bakes her body like a big pasta, by ghost towns swimming in desert people and ants, swampy crocodiles and livid punk rock, noble pups panting in the sun, lazy Sundays and The Hawaiian Craze, I couldn’t decide on a single sound so I put them all together. Riding into the sun with Lou Reed (no truer words than “it’s hard to live in the city”), Hot Meat comes from Bjork’s early punk band The SugarCubes’ eponymous title—this mix is truly of Songs To Bake To.


Listen here, then, for Shadow Music from Thailand, Hawaiian tunes from Kalama’s Quartet, Kenyan guitar jams from the Mombasa Swingsters and country guitar twangs from Speedy West, Cambodian Bodega Pop from Touch Saly, soul-crushing reggae from the Soulettes, heavy rock from Pavement and swamp pop from Rod Bernard and Myron Lee & the Caddies. Hot jazz from the Nite Owls! Detroit R&B! Kurt Vile! The late and ever-great Townes Van Zandt! In truth, this mix is a little bit of an excuse to make public once more TVZ’s gut-wrenching and ever-so-small “Don’t Let the Sunshine Fool Ya,” but Hot Meat, in its thrust for sounding deep summer, sings the opposite, too. I kinda like getting duped by the summer. Maybe it’s a good exercise in letting yourself go.





Big Sound Saturdays: Happy Colorado Day!

This week in our Big Sound Saturdays series, S.A. reflects on the fraught history and relationship of white settlement, westward expansion, and our continuing fascination with this “crazy, craggy place!”

Today, like every August 1st since 1876, marks the anniversary of Colorado’s statehood, first ushered in by President Ulysses S. Grant just a year before he passed the debt-laden and recently reunified torch to Rutherford B. Hayes, seventeen years after the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush wooed a concentrated group of white settlers into the state, twelve years after the Sand Creek Massacre borne, also, from white settlement, and 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On this, Colorado’s 135th anniversary, we reckon with the fraught history of Western expansion just as we stand in awe of this crazy, craggy place! Katherine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to the oft-recycled “America the Beautiful” after gracing the top of Pikes Peak in 1893, and hers is one of a far-flung legacy of mountain memorialization, picked up, most frequently, by country music.

Continue reading “Big Sound Saturdays: Happy Colorado Day!”

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