Friday on My Mind: Summer Heat!

hot time in the city / photo by Brittney Bollay

It’s time for Friday on My Mind again. This is the weekly collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 news where we look at videos centered around a common theme. This week, in honor of Seattle finally getting full on Summer weather, we’re talking about Summer Heat!

It’s hot out. In Seattle, its 90 degrees which is “damn hot”. If we hit 100, we consider that “WTF, I’m going to Canada” hot. According to the folks over at Accuweather, 2012 has broken many weather records. In March of this year, Chicago, Boston and Detroit all broke heat records hitting temperatures above 80 which is weather usually typical in mid-June. Throughout these last few weeks California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Montana have also hit higher than normal temperatures. Many states have issued heat related warnings for everything from fire danger, dehydration, energy use, and even hungry bears. Word on the street is that the weather is only going to get worse. Enjoy! For the next two or three days Seattle will see weather teetering towards record breaking. Hopefully we’ll all be much tanner when all of this is through. To top it off, the Seattle Times just reported that due to the heat, the city should expect to see higher levels of smog over the Puget Sound. Remember how awesome the mountains look? Not so much anymore.

Here are some songs to serve as a soundtrack for these sweltering days…

Billy Idol – Hot in the City

The 1982 single, Hot in the City is taken from Billy Idol’s self-titled debut. I was surprised to learn that this song was not a cover and that Billy Idol actually wrote the song himself- I know…I judged…I’m sorry! Back in the day, the song was used as the theme song to the 21 Jump Street spinoff Booker which starred Richard Grieco. The show was cancelled after its first season, which is a fucking crime against humanity if you ask me.

Asia – Heat of the Moment

From their 1982 self-titled debut, Asia consisted of John Wetton of King Crimson, former Emerson, Lake & Palmer member Carl Palmer, and Geoff Downes formerly of The Buggles. Heat of the Moment was their biggest hit. It was recently used in the movie the 40- Year Old Virgin as well as during an episode of South Park. Here at KEXP, on one cloudless August day, it was our theme song. I will never forget that day. We lived the lyric “You catch a pearl and ride the dragon’s wings”. You don’t know what that means? Then you’re not living man.

Power Station – Some Like it Hot

This song was also not a cover, but sounds so much like it could be. How is that possible? Led by Robert Palmer on vocals, backed by John and Andy Taylor from Duran Duran, and then there was the fourth dude, who I think he was in Chic…no idea. This song really proved to me that my love for the Taylor brothers was real. This was a meaner more aggressive Taylor brothers. There was no room for any Nick Rhodes crap up in here. NO NICK RHODES ALL UP IN HERE!!!!

Honorable Mentions

The Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer in the City

John Sebastian, who went on to write the theme song to Welcome Back Kotter, was the primary songwriter for The Lovin’ Spoonful. Sebastian had his roots in the Greenwich Village folk scene. The band had a string of hits, but were involved in a major drug bust in 1967, from which they avoided any major charges because they turned in their drug source. This led to backlash from many within the counterculture, but they still maintained a decent amount of popularity. Summer in the City was the biggest hit for the band.

Martha & the Vandellas – (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave

Led by Detroit native Martha Reeves, Martha & The Vandellas were contemporaries of Diana Ross and the Supremes and helped to define the Motown sound. The trio began as backing singers for Marvin Gaye before recording on their own. Their hits included Dancing in the Street, Jimmy Mack, and Nowhere to Run.

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