Hitting the Marq: Spring Soundtrack

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Just as we were about to feel like dates who got stood up, it arrived. Spring.

There’s nothing quite like that first really warm day on campus. It’s an occasion that is not predicted or announced, but is celebrated nonetheless because it just feels right. You know when it happens. Frisbees loom overhead before being caught with perfect form. Sunglasses sit on the bridge of every nose and legs shed those itchy cacoons of jeans, leggings and Uggs.  People grin a little wider. Every obligation – meetings, papers, resumes – seems to shrink in the sunlight.

Yes, that day is almost perfect. It only takes the right song to seal the deal. Here are five songs to check out in anticipation, preparation and commemoration of our first real spring day on campus.

Photo courtesy AmazonShe & Him – “In the Sun”
Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have gone and done it again. Their latest collaboration, “Volume Two,” is inspired by the music of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Deschanel, whose unique voice earned her musical roles in “(500) Days of Summer” and “Elf,” wrote most of the songs herself. This lighthearted song, peppered with “alrights” and “okays,” will make a sunny day seem even brighter.

Ben SPhoto courtesy Amazonollee & Daniel Martin Moore – “Something, Sometime, Somewhere”
There’s something to be said about a good song that starts off slow and picks up the pace, just as second semester always does.  This gem, off the duo’s new album “Dear Companion,” starts quietly before evolving into a twangy, beat-driven tune about letting go of grudges and overlooking mistakes. It handles the topic without getting cheeseball. Play it while walking to class and give your routine a fresh start.

MarvPhoto courtesy Amazonin Gaye – “Got to Give It Up”
This single may have dropped in 1977, but it still reigns as one of the coolest songs ever created. It’s about a guy who can’t shake his nerves and get on the dance floor, until the music gets to him and he finally loosens up. You won’t be able to walk or perform any function normally while listening to this song – the groove is far too contagious. Even the stiffest dancers in the world will bust a move to this one. A great tune for backyard barbecues or alleyway baseball games.

EdwarPhoto courtesy Amazond Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – “40 Day Dream”
Lead singer Alex Ebert starts this song singing, “Ooh I’ve been sleeping for 40 days,” and that’s just how many Milwaukeeans feel after the long winter months. Except our lyrics would describe 120 days. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, an 11-member band that would fit right into the ’60s and the “Summer of Love,” will return to Milwaukee for a June 7 show at the Pabst. If you’ll be in town, go. They continue to be one of the most genuinely unique bands out there right now.

Photo courtesy Amazon

Janelle Monáe feat. Big Boi – “Tightrope”

This one is so good it will leave you dizzy. It delivers Monáe’s powerhouse pipes, punchy percussion, a sassy horn section, Big Boi’s clever rhyming and even a ukulele at the end to top off the funk. “Tightrope” just keeps delivering surprises, making this tune an energizing and dynamic soundtrack for your next run to the lake.

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