Hailing from Ottawa, Aaron Matthews boasts an intimate familiarity with the meaning of the phrase, “So Icy.” On a related note, Trey Kerby once made a snowman using nothing but a half-dozen cups of shaved ice and Bill Hanzlik’s mustache.
For a little context, I currently reside in Canada’s capital, Ottawa.
Ottawa winters are groin-grabbingly cold and they feel endless. This is balanced out by the surprisingly warm and pleasant summers. We appreciate sunshine all the more with the knowledge that we only have a few months of warm weather left to enjoy.
The first side of The Cory Matthews Mixtape is intended to accompany you on a lazy summer day, with each song perfectly suited for a specific scenario or moment in your day.
Note that these scenarios aren’t all supposed to take place within the tape’s 40 minute runtime. Keep this on loop on a hot day and good stuff will happen, trust.
First the alarm goes off. You flick it off, stretch, yawn, and get dressed. You throw on your brand new Gucci underwear and open the blinds. It’s beautiful outside, sunny without being balmy.
It’s either a) your day off, b) the weekend, or c) you don’t have a job.
Either way, the weather is nice and you have no immediate obligations. Let’s go!
1. The Avalanches – Since I Left You
You’re getting dressed, and making some breakfast: avocado on toast, or maybe scrambled eggs. The airy, soulful grooves of “Since I Left You” get you off to a good start.
2. Vetiver – More Of This
A perfect pop song, with a peppy guitar strum and a bouncy bass line. And shakers!
Andy Cabic reminds you that “[time] waits for no man” and you’re out the door, bopping along and/or strutting.
3. Strawberry Whiplash – Who’s In Your Dreams
Charmingly fuzzy, chiming pop. You’re lying in a patch of soft grass, daydreaming as the “bada-ba” refrain echoes in your head.
4. Jens Lekman – I Saw Her In The Anti-War Demonstration
Exemplary folk-rock from Sweden’s lovelorn troubadour. You might still be daydreaming, maybe about a crush you met at the coffee shop or the bar last night.
5. Annette Poindexter & Pieces of Peace – Mama
The quintessential obscure soul record of the mix, with amazing strings. You’re making an appropriately amazing sandwich for lunch.
I recommend the magic sandwich: Turkey, mayonnaise, tomato, avocado, and fresh pepper on toasted sourdough bread. Trust me on this one.
6. Camp Lo – Black Nostaljack (Xenobia Remix)
Smooth. As. Hell.
At this point, you’re lying in the sun with an ice cold beer in your hand.
Recipe idea: Get a light, smooth beer like a Corona. For the more budget conscious, I recommend something like a Brava.
Get a sweet orange (a Cara Cara or Valencia, for example) and cut a thin wedge off the orange.
Add wedge to beer. Enjoy. Repeat process as necessary.
7. Toots and the Maytals – School Days
Don’t get me wrong, summer school can be cool. But on a day like this, you don’t want to be inside. “School Days” soundtracks your preparation for a party; you fill your old knapsack with a few brews and head out.
8. Trick Daddy – In Da Wind (ft.Big Boi & Cee-Lo)
You’re chilling at a BBQ, flipping burgers and enjoying a cool summer breeze (dro optional). Besides expressing his affection for children, Trick Daddy offers the ideal response for critics of the slacker’s lifestyle: If you don’t like how I’m living, then fuck you!
9. Casual – Later On
“Later On” is a perfectly timed breeze, a well-placed spot in the shade, or the chilled drink handed to you just when thirst hits. You’re hanging out with some friends in the shade, enjoying a few brews.
10. Jackson Conti – Upa Neguinho
You still have a few more hours of sun and you’re capitalizing on it. You might be reading. You might be tanning. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing; you’re in a warm spot and there’s a cool drink handy. Relax and let the gorgeous vocals wash over you.
11. Joao Gilberto – Bim Bom
A minute and fifteen seconds of bossa nova perfection. The sun’s starting to set, and you’re getting a bit hungry. Fully wrapped up in this specific moment, you savour the last bit of light before sunset.
12. Luiz Bonfa – Uma Prece
Everyone is starting to head inside, but you decide to sit a moment longer and appreciate what’s going on outside. Close your eyes and listen.
[Special credit to the kind Brazilian music archivists at Loronix for ripping this from a 45].
If there’s anything in the world that I truly hate, it’s the Boston Celtics. After that though, is mowing the lawn. Probably third most is being outside in the sun. A freak genetic mutation has left me with skin that not only singes after extended exposure, it also sweats instantly. Needless to say, I’m pretty terrible to be around in the summer, and the main reason why I had a winter wedding. Me and sun? Not friends.
That being said, there is a certain summertime tradition that even a heliophobic gentleman like myself can appreciate: the barbeque. Ribs, chicken, burgers, babies; it doesn’t matter what’s on the grill, as long as it’s on the grill. The b-side to The Cory Matthews Mixtape is a soundtrack perfect for any barbeque. There’s stuff in there for music nerds, people who don’t care at all, and those who appreciate Sweden’s finest. And just like any barbeque, you can forget to turn this off and let it play 18 times in a row and not want to throw yourself in your rapidly dwindling fire.
1. Ace of Base – Don’t Turn Around
I’m sure your first reaction is, “really? Ace of Base?” But after you get over yourself, you’ll realize that not only is this song just as good as you remember, it also held up pretty well for a disposable mid-90s pop gem.
2. Clipse feat. Kanye West – Kinda Like a Big Deal
One thing you’ll notice about all these songs is that there’s a very distinctive backbeat. That’s so you can hear it even if you’re the guy behind the garage trying to make sure things don’t burn.
3. George Harrison – Got My Mind Set On You
Don’t front. You liked listening to this song with your mom when she used to drive you to Little League. Yes, it’s still that good.
4. DJ Quik & Kurupt – Ohh!
One of the keys to introducing your bros to new music they wouldn’t care about in the first place is the gateway song. After you’ve established some cred with the previous three songs, you can throw in something like “Ohh!” Besides sounding like something Snoop wishes he would have had years ago, it’s the best beat of the half year.
5. Dirty Projectors – Cannibal Resource
This is exactly what noted barbeque legend Tom Petty would sound like if he fell down Alice’s rabbit hole. In a good way.
6. The-Dream – Rockin’ That Shit
Now is the time to convince a girl to let you grind on her next to the pool, ironically, but not really ironically.
7. The Guess Who – These Eyes
Now is the time to tell that girl that your eyes cry every night for her. Trust me.
8. Lil’ Boosie feat. T-Pain – Take You Down
Okay, you too are probably creeping everybody else out by now. Thankfully, Lil’ Boosie is here to break the tension. By the time the hook comes in, everybody forgot that you were just grinding on some girl to a Guess Who song.
9. Tom Petty – American Girl
As previously mentioned Tom Petty is a barbeque legend. Jeff could just post his greatest hits and call it a Summer Jamz, though I imagine that’s probably against some sort of copyright law.
10. DJ Class feat. Kanye West – I’m the Shit (Remix)
There’s a reason Kanye once offered cooking lessons about summer in the winter. It’s because he is really good at making summer dishes like his famous fried butternut squash. The key ingredient: cinnamon.
11. David Bowie – Queen Bitch
There is absolutely nothing about this song that doesn’t make me feel like I’m driving a car with the windows down. When you’re as sweaty as I am, that sort of thing helps.
12. Das Racist – Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (Wallpaper Remix)
THE song of the summer. Good luck not quoting this the rest of your weekend.