Here in San Francisco, we don’t get what you’d call a ‘typical’ summer. Our June/July/August are usually quite mild (read: really damned cold), at least in comparison to the rest of the country. While not rainy, which I appreciate, I have a REALLY hard time getting used to having to wear a scarf & cashmere sweater within 90 days of my June 8th birthday. Adding insult to injury is the fog – ugh. Even if it’s clear out and the temps miraculously raise past 65 degrees, by night the fog comes rolling in…while it’s beautiful and often breathtaking to witness, walking around at 7pm with spitting rain misting your face & frizzing your hair is a stark contrast to the Midwest and East Coast summers I knew for 27 years. Not sure I’ll ever really get used to it, partly because we need to have SOMETHING to complain about here.
But this past weekend, well, it was a delight. We finally – at the end of September – were the recipients of a heatwave. (And of course we bitched about that, since us air-conditionless folks apparently had a hard time sleeping.) Everyone can just shut right up about that; it was heavenly in the “too hot to drive with my convertible top down but I’m SO doing it anyway” sort of way. I’ll prefer to be far too warm to freezing any day. And so this weekend we went to the beach. My friend Steph had a birthday bonfire, and for the first time in the five years I’ve lived in San Francisco, I donned a bathing suit on Ocean Beach. Yes, you read that correctly: I busted out my teeny green bikini IN FRONT OF MY FRIENDS. (Mom, if you’re reading this, you may want to stop now: I didn’t even wear a cover up. I know. You’ve SO failed with me. I’m sorry I’m a shame to the family.) And we played bocce, which I’m good at up until the third drink, at which point I’m absolutely terrible and should just sit my bikini-clad ass back down and become an athletic supporter instead. So I did. And we gathered and chatted and watched the sun set…the photo above that I’m using for this month’s Mixtape artwork was taken there, and it makes me happy. Content. Peaceful, even. Because even though the days are getting shorter and shorter – it’s officially Fall, after all – we were granted a few days of warmth. Of careless afternoons with sand in between our toes. We were given the California that everyone who isn’t from here assumes we always have.
This month’s mix is a tribute to that change in season…the smell of wood burning on a brisk night, the embers glowing warm, bidding summer adieu. I’m excited to be heading back to the East Coast a few times in the coming weeks to experience the true feeling of Fall, and look to my cozy sweaters not as a hinderance, but instead a comfortable return to what I grew up knowing. Instead of going through the reasons behind all of the songs I chose, I’ll let this month’s mix speak for itself. Download it here, and as always, please enjoy.
1. Islands/Love the Way You Lie – The Pretty Reckless (live)
2. Success – Interpol
3. Blue as Your Blood – The Walkmen
4. I Walked – Sufjan Stevens
5. Truth – Alexander
6. Let’s Get Out Of Here – Les Savy Fav
7. Cameras – Matt & Kim
8. I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance – Black Kids
9. Felicia – The Constellations
10. Too Dramatic – Ra Ra Riot
11. This Too Shall Pass – OK Go
12. Fader – The Temper Trap
13. Airplanes – B.o.B
14. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
15. I Was Thinking… – Gauntlet Hair
16. Marathon – Tennis
17. Burial – Miike Snow
18. Crossfire – Brandon Flowers (Live at KROQ)
19. Help I’m Alive – Metric (Daytrotter Session)
20. Curs in the Weeds – Horse Feathers (Daytrotter Session)