If you've been in earshot of some of my recent music gigs or trapped in my car with me, you'll know that my summer soundtrack is going to be anything remixed by the genius Fred Falke, especially his remix of last year's Heavy Cross by The Gossip. As I was listening to it for about the 100th timeand having just convinced my man that he likes itI got to thinking of Summer's past and what makes something a big gay summer jam.
Handclaps ( Walking on Sunshine, Summer Love by JT ) just make you wanna put your hands in the air like you just may not really care, or maybe you do. Either way it sparks a carefree attitude in all of us.
A little seductive Spanish or French ( La Isla Bonita, Your Disco Needs You ) immediately takes you to a swanky beach party in your head where Diego or Jean-Luc whisper dirty European thoughts in your ear while slathering you with oil and serving you Cinzano. But use protection. I know where Diego's been.
Samples of house piano or lilting strings ( Summer Night City, Stomp, all Crystal Waters ) have been a summer jam trick since the disco era. That '70s Fire Island disco engrained in our gay noggins may be why it still works.
And finally: Jangly guitar riffs ( Summerfling/kd lang/Ananda Mix, More More More/Kylie ) . Maybe it's my love of Django Reinhart or George Benson but that jazzy, lazy guitar sound makes me go limp in my hammock and firm in my junk. Besides a muscle bear and three martinis, it's the thing most likely to get me dancing with my shirt off!
To hear any of these tracks, head over to www.writingaboutmusic.com .