3hree Things: Songs To Get You Through The Dog Days Of Summer

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California, being an OC native and, of course, music.

With summer finally upon us and swamp-ass-inducing temperatures on their way to So Cal we're officially a couple of weeks away from the  "Dog Days" of Summer. I'm actually getting a sneak preview of said "Dog Days" by being on the East Coast in the middle of a balmy heat wave. And by "balmy," I mean "oppressive." If you'd like to simulate this kind of heat at home, just coat yourself in a thin layer of mayonnaise and place a stick of butter down the back  of your underpants. Then jog a mile. That's what it feels like to walk one city block in this weather. Touring the US in the summer is a constant (and by this point, unnecessary) reminder that we have it good in Orange County. Better than good.

(For what it's worth, I'm typing this from a tour bus with an overheated generator in Virginia Beach. It's 100º with 65 percent humidity. If it sounds like I'm complaining, it's because I most certainly am.) The long days and high temperatures on the horizon are bound to get you down from time to time (especially when you'd rather be at the beach than stuck at work), and aside from grinding your teeth to powder by developing an addiction to whatever the latest energy boost drink is (Are we up to 7 hours yet? 8? Monster's 25-Hour Ballz Out w/ Spazoplex and Enthusiopene?) you're going to need something to get you through the day. For me, that something is music. What follows, is a list of three of my favorite Summer songs laid out in meal format (with some bonus beverages to bridge the gaps, if needed.) Enjoy.

Breakfast: Minus The Bear, "Pachuca Sunrise" 

This is my favorite track from 2005's Menos El Oso. After a beautiful intro that reminds me of the smell of freshly-brewed coffee, the feeling of rubbing the sleep from my eyes, and the sight of the sun peeking its head over Saddleback Mountain to burn off the marine layer, it turns into a pretty bouncy number that should get you through your morning routine and out the door.

Lunch: The Mercury Program, "Tequesta"


Like any good lunch, this song is satisfying enough to get you through the second half of your day, but not so heavy that it'll make you sluggish. This track is from 2002's

It's A Data Learn The Language,

a collection of beautifully arranged upbeat and uplifting instrumental pieces. If you like what you hear here, this record will become a midday staple. Warning--there is an outside chance that this track will make you want to grab a cocktail and take the rest of the day off, so indulge with caution.

Dinner: Jakob, "Saint" 

I stumbled across Jakob's


album in 2006 via the tangled web of bands' Top Friends on Myspace, and couldn't be more thankful. Since then, the record has become one of my favorites of all-time and has been a consistent go-to when I need to wind down at the end of the day. Hearing this track makes me think of sitting out in the yard, drink in hand, reflecting on the day that was, and watching the sky slowly move through orange and reddish hues before it settles into a deep purple. I've done this many many times, and it never gets old. It's a highly recommended activity, summer or not.

Bonus Beverages:

Coffee: Sleigh Bells, "Tell 'Em" 

If you ever feel like you might need a boost to get you through a rough patch, this song is guaranteed to shake the cobwebs loose and snap you right out of a funk.

After Dinner Drink: Sleigh Bells, "Rill Rill" 

This is THE Summer jam of 2010, and might even be the best summer song of the decade. I have a feeling it's going to get played to death as talk and sports radio bump music, as background music for TV montages, and will be piped into every retail store, hotel lobby, and restaurant around, so fill up on it while you still can...while it's still fresh.


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