When I was in college, Friday was BBQ day.
Everyone would bring a six-pack and some meat, and we’d sit around, flip burgers, sip beers and, of course, play some tunes.
Now that the weather is nice (let’s all try to forget last week’s cold snap) and Friday’s forecast includes a high of 71 degrees, let’s dust off the grill and get ready for late, lazy afternoons of hamburgers, hot dogs and hanging out with sleeves rolled up to get an early start on our tans.
It’s time to dust off tracks such as “Sweet Emotion” and other guitar-heavy tracks that fit perfectly with a beer on the boat or flipping burgers with a glass of Skip and Go Naked. (That’s a cocktail of vodka, lemonade and beer. Mix it. Stir it. Love it.)
I made a mix of classics and brand new tunes. Send me an email or comment on the story online with your favorites. (Listen below.)
“Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith — This song is in lots of summer movies, including the intro to the “first day of summer” movie “Dazed and Confused.” Very chill way to start your barbecue.
“Struttin’ With Some Barbecue” — Many cover versions exist, but we enjoy the lazy, jazzy trumpet of Louis Armstrong’s original.
“Sundress” by Ben Kweller — A good head-bobbing tune from the Texas rocker, “Sundress” is about (what else?) a girl in a sundress.
“Caravan” by Van Morrison — I’ve been on a Van Morrison kick lately, and “Caravan” is a bright, grooving tune that fits right in. “Turn up your radio and let me hear the song,” indeed.
“The New Pollution” by Beck — Starting with its “Do do, da-do do” opening, it’s a more modern classic and a bouncy track to have in the background.
“Shout It Out” by Mikal Cronin — Cronin’s new album, “MCII,” is getting lots of love, mostly for its combo of Buddy Holly pop and modern garage rock. “Shout it Out” is a prime example.
“When I Come Around” by Green Day — When I hear this, I want to get a skateboard and start flipping it around (and praying that I don’t hurt myself), a summer pastime many of us have shared and one the kids in your neighborhood will probably do while you fire up the grill.
“Knock Knock” by Band of Horses — A timeless groove reminiscent of the Eagles and Ben Birdwell’s sweet vocals bring me back to Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers.
“Island in the Sun” by Weezer — Easily the most sunny, happy Weezer tune.
“Happy New Year” by Kid Rock — Technically it’s a winter tune, but it’s really about having some drinks (or a lot of them) and hanging with friends.
“Barefoot Bluejean Night” by Jake Owen — “Never gonna grow up/Never gonna slow down/…We were doin’ it right/We were comin’ alive/Yeah, caught up in a Southern summer, barefoot, blue jean night.” Sounds all right to me.
“Beer in Mexico” by Kenny Chesney — More islandy than country, Chesney’s tune is purely about relaxation.
“F the Beach” by Team Spirit — Skipping the beach to dance in the moonlight is a great theme for this song from the Brooklyn rock band.
“Your Love” by the Outfield — Another guitar track, it will make a good singalong. (At least, the first verse will. Everyone usually fades after the first chorus.)
“Well Thought Out Twinkles” by Silversun Pickups — Play this and I personally guarantee that someone will come ask you who this band is and where she can buy the band’s music.
My column, also cleverly titled Rock Candy, appears every Thursday in the GO magazine of the Omaha World-Herald and on Omaha.com/GO. It’s reprinted here on Fridays.