Edited by JOHN DALY
The California Rocker Playlist for summer features songs that help you escape back to life as we used to know it. The Cure, The Clash and Divine Horsemen represent some vintage tracks while Kevin Armstrong, Banks and Steelz and Liam Gallagher inspire with energetic tunes to take on the road.
The selections on the playlist reflect some of the best of punk and new-wave inspired music from the 1980s. Judging from the pop culture of those days, people were trying to get away, but nobody really knows from what. A lot of movies from that time depict people dressed in mod disguises, going in new directions, and solving new problems.
With a heat wave upon Southern California, here are some great tracks to keep you cool.
California Rocker Summer Playlist:
Divine Horsemen strike the right notes with their first single in 17 years, ‘Mystery Writers’ – Check out Chris D. and the gang here:
It’s My Life to Live by Flesh Eaters
The Flesh Eaters is a classic band with a classic album released last year called I Used to be Pretty. Check out the video here:
From Sweden, these guys are boss. This song, in particular brings out a desire to head to a Chinatown nearby.
Little Know It All
Iggy and Sum 41 rock Churchill’s in Miami. The video is beautifully executed and captures all the regulars and not-so-regulars in the Little Haiti punk hangout.
A band that was gone before long before its time and its music was ahead of its time. Boss vibes.
‘Dead Man’s Party’ by Danny Elfman summed up a party era.
B-52s Love Shack
This is one of the songs of the day that captured the irreverence of the times.
Thomas Dolby was the brooding scientist in “She Blinded Me with Science.”
We have interviewed him and reported on his success in the virtual space.
Sad Lovers and Giants
‘Imagination’ – There are no words for this music.
He went away but he wants you to Come Back and Stay.
Leucocytes of Love is one of the boss songs off Kevin’s album, RUN. Check out our review of RUN here.
Sad Lovers and Giants: 50 50
Sad Lovers and Giants is so nice we include them twice on the playlist.
Rock the Casbah is a classic from the day.
‘Dream World’ is one of the best new pop songs of the decade.
Banks and Steelz – Giant
Banks and Steelz came out with a super winner with ‘Giant,’ which at at least two local shows got fans totally revved up in a live setting. We caught Banks and Steelz a couple of times.
“Now That I’ve Found You” is a Beatles-esque tune that takes new pop to another level. Gallagher keeps his audience entertained whether it’s with his sense of humor on social media or through such beautiful music.
“I Get Around” is a song from the 1960s but inspired all the surf pop to follow.
“Bad Habit” is one of those controversial songs but does feature a frustrated driver on the road.
“Jumping Someone Else’s Train” keeps the beat as only The Cure knows how to do with its bass-leading music.
Too Nice to Talk To – English Beat
The English Beat enabled Ska to flourish in the United States.
“Hanging on the Telephone” emphasizes the urgency of every day life at a time when the only people who didn’t want us to go out were our parents.
Fireball Express illustrates the Good Rats’ trademark sound that rocked New York.
Kids In America
Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” was written by her father and her brother. The family is from the U.K.