ASSORTED DECLARATIONS BY STAFF WRITER TOM GRAHAM
Here comes the sun
You can take one look at me and instantly realize that I would rapidly transform into a pink mess of a man covered in regret and sunburn without the protection of shade or sunscreen. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy spending my “fair” share of time in the sun and its cursed UV rays. Sunny weather usually leads to many things I really enjoy like outdoor concerts, deck drinking, cook outs, road trips, biking excursions, swimming, golfing and walking the pooch around the town. Summer walks the fine line between endless possibilities and not having enough hours in the day to make it all happen.
Every one of my summers has also had its own soundtrack.
With so many great local artists in northeastern Pennsylvania releasing really solid records, I’ve decided to list some of my personal suggestions for you to enjoy this sunny season.
- Local reggae legend George Wesley has just released a new CD Old Lion featuring tracks like “I Don’t Care (I Know Jah Loves Me)” and “Righteous Love.” A past Diamond City Readers’ Poll winner for Best Solo Musician, you can catch Wesley twice this weekend spreading the love with the George Wesley Band at River Fest at River Common in Wilkes Barre on Friday, June 22 and his Small Axe Orchestra Saturday, June 23, at Shadowbrook Inn and Resort in Tunkhannock. Visit www.georgewesley.com for more information.
- I can’t stop being excited about debut EP from Scranton-based The Great Party. Catchy tunes like “Cupcakes” and “Hencho En Mexico” could quite make or break your next soiree. The band offers a truly refreshing synth-pop sound that is very unique and quite infectious. Listen to the release on Facebook.com/thegreatpartymusic and bring it on home.
- When the sun finally sets, let the lightning bugs (or firefly depending on what side of the tracks you’re on) give added visual effects to the sounds of the jam-electronica outfit Laser Sex. Mixing their own beats and samples from Adele to Rage Against the Machine to Neil Young to Tears for Fears, the band also incorporates live instrumentation to their thumping numbers. You can stream and download all of their music for free at www.lasersex.bandcamp.com. They encourage it.
- Tom Flannery and the Shillelaghs may be a newer band, but the members have been playing in different local rock acts for many years. They have just released their first record, the energetic Teen Angst and the Green Flannel. At first listen, you can picture the group continuously jumping around the room and having a blast playing loud, fun rock ’n roll. They sound like the lovechild of The Who and 1986 R.E.M. You can listen to the record at www.theshillelaghs.com.
- Pappy is not only the banjo picker from local act Cabinet, he also recorded a wonderful solo record back in 2010 that is a laid back summer wonder. Simply titled Pappy Time, the record features the instrumental “Piper’s Dream,” a lullaby Pappy wrote for daughter Piper. The songs are mature and delicate; as if the storyteller was no stranger at all, but a traveling friend with many tales to tell. Pappy Time is the kind of record you could fish off a dock to for hours or enjoy around the fire pit. Visit www.Pappymusic.com for more details.