Javier Morales and Thayer Sarrano
It's right around this time, the front end of August, when it starts to feel like summer is truly without end. The sweltering humidity, the swarms of vampiric insects and the 18-odd hours of blistering sunlight per day—to get my Movie Dope on, it's as agonizing as Batman & Robin and as interminable as The English Patient.
Respite comes, as it often does, in the form of music. For local musicians Javier Morales—who plucks the bass in Grass Giraffes and also gets his kicks playing deconstructed pop with The Dream Scene—and Thayer Sarrano, whose warm, vaporous Lift Your Eyes to the Hills stands as one of the finest Athens rock records of the first half of 2012—music is not only a way to deal with the heat, but a reason to embrace the season.
The songs these two artists chose for their respective mixtapes are shimmering and dilapidated, raucous and sweet. Morales' predilection for busted synth melodies and anti-pop experimentation stands distinctly at odds with Sarrano's classic-rock tendencies, yet somehow the two playlists work well together, two sides of the same heat-warped coin. Read, listen and melt away. Fall will be here before we know it.
Thayer Sarrano's Mixtape
Why Thayer Sarrano picked this track: The beginning of summers in the South is a scary time for me, due to my phobia of an insect not to be mentioned… So, this one seemed like the most appropriate opener for my summer mixtape.
Javier Morales' reaction: Summer, safari-style. Mosquito-net stockings under some ripped jeans.
TS: Wouldn't be summer without crazy storms, floods, hurricanes, Led Zeppelin, etc.
JM: Bonzo making waves. Aqua fudge.
TS: I'd listen to this song on a blanket in the yard on a nice summer night. Or doing anything, anytime, any season, actually.
JM: Shimmerin’ Zimmerman. Bobby yearnin’ up on re-entry.
TS: Literal interpretation of theme.
JM: Sweaty shadows where the dobro grows.
TS: I love this whole record, and Daniel Lanois' pedal steel really shines on this track. Makes me want to take a long summer drive, or nap.
JM: Water wings as far as the eye can see.
6. "Home for the Summer" by Eddie Hinton
TS: This song makes me like summer. And it's also for you, Javier, because coincidentally, we share our first home of Jesup, GA.
JM: Home for summer would be hotter, but flatter for my auto-less odysseys. Cherry Street struttin’.
JM: Florida biker bar barometric tomfoolery.
TS: Obvious and awesome. This is also one that reminds me of summer nights as a kid with my parents and their friends: they'd let me call in requests to “Oldies 98.3 Savannah” on their portable phone that [worked] all the way out at their swimming pool.
JM: Leiber and Stoller before they went all Brecht and Weill. Shemale mermaids on the castanets.
TS: I hear this one as a kinda nostalgic, end-of-summer song. Also, I like the way Warren Ellis' violin parts mimic the pesky flies that bombard us in summer.
JM: Séance by citronella candlelight.
TS: I've been listening to this perfect record again this summer, and this has become my theme song. I'm so grateful for where I live, and am fully enjoying summer out at my house this year.
JM: Thayer’s got a real nice place out in the country. Frodo-style digs.
Javier Morales' Mixtape
Why Javier Morales picked this track: Yes!
Thayer Sarrano's reaction: A giant bird just smashed into my window while I was listening to this.
JM: K.I.T.T. rolling through a sunshower. No Michael. No voiceover.
TS: I like this hypnotic, afternoon-nap-with-sunshine, spaced-out-daytime-driving adventure.
JM: Nosin’ on some screen door thinking about a Summer’s Eve commercial. Wishing for some sprinkler splash.
TS: I love this song. I had it on my mix originally, as well.
JM: Fourth of July in Jason’s room.
TS: This is the song that plays every time Javier walks into a room.
JM: C.I.G.A.R.? Diet Cherry Pepsi, please.
TS: I think this song has too many calories.
JM: Hiding out in a darkened dorm room with endless air conditioning.
TS: I do not know what time it is, but we are going swimming.
JM: Venice Beach at sunset with some screwdriver stains on these white shorts.
TS: I can see that.
JM: Tripping out on all that blue blah blah blah.
TS: Hot yoga, electrolytes, the beach.
JM: Riding through St. Simons in an invisible Jeep on an imaginary July morning.
TS: The humidity does this to me, too.
TS: I can't wait! I dream about fall. It's my favorite time of year, when summer is FINALLY over.