Dock Rockers

Dock Rockers on Spotify.

An avowed, unabashed dad-rocker, of late I cannot unshackle myself from these A.M. Goldilocks: not too hot, not too cold, the tunes I want to listen to are caught somewhere in between last year’s Linen Shirts & Lemonade and 2015’s Friday Night FeelsNot for night swimming nor for backyard swinging, Dock Rockers encapsulates a summer vibe all its own. This is for those sure-footed moments with the ones you love, bopping and bumping in the backyard, or as the title might suggest, at dockside, with a breezy drink in hand and the smell of still waters shimmering beneath your Sebagos.

Shortly after I did a deep-dive of what’s come to be known as “Yacht Rock” in a thirteen-and-a-half-hour beta-mix called Better Adult Contemporary, I found a wonderful Salon article that suggests this music is experiencing a renaissance. Infused with plenty of modern riffs on the boat-based fraternity favorites, it admittedly goes all over the place, but after spending several days driving around Los Angeles with the top down, I’m happy to report that it holds up. It even works on shuffle. I’m breaking with my tradition and sharing my summer tunes on the Fourth of July this year in hopes you do so much dock rocking the next two months that you report back on how your boat shoes needed a resole come Labor Day.

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1) Young Gun Silver Fox – Better

2) Mapei – Don’t Wait

3) Amber Mark & Mia Mark – Monsoon

4) Dua Lipa – Thinking ‘bout You

5) HAIM – Little of Your Love

6) accord – No Good

7) Amandla Stenberg – Let My Baby Stay

8) Nilüfer Yanya – Keep on Calling (Vasco Remix)

9) ‘Om’ Alec Khaoli & Umoja – Say You Love Me

10) African Vibration – Hinde

11) Mop Mop – Kamakumba

12) Diane Tell Je suis en amour

13) Maria Gadù – Shimbalaiè

14) Cecilio & Kapono – Someday

15) Khalid – Location

16) Domo Genesis & Anderson .Paak – Dapper

17) Thundercat, Flying Lotus, & Kamasi Washington – Them Changes

18) Childish Gambino – Redbone

19) Guordan Banks – Keep You in Mind

20) SBTRKT & Little Dragon – Wildfire

21) Xavier Omär – Blind Man

22) Twelve’len – My Baby / Scarlet Red Love Tales

23) Lauv – I Like Me Better

24) Bleachers – Goodmorning

25) alt-J – Deadcrush

26) Amy Stroup – Magic

27) Fat Night – Sun Go Down

28) Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love

29) Shabazz Palaces, Quazarz, & Thaddillac

30) Prince – Starfish And Coffee

31) Black Star – Fix Up

32) Surfing – Hit the Spot

33) Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White – Look at What the Light Did Now

34) Chromeo – Lost on the Way Home (feat. Solange)

35) Jordan Rakei – Midnight Mischief (Tom Misch Remix)

36) The Black Crowes – Wiser Time

37) The Building – Have to Forgive

38) Jan Hammer Group – Don’t You Know

39) Vondelpark – California Analog Dream

40) Canyon – Country Lovin

41) Marshall Hain – Take My Number

42) Boss Selection – Flip and Rewind (feat. Rashida Jones)

43) Saint Motel – Something About Us (at Spotify Studios NYC)

44) Omar Velasco – Paloma

45) This Is The Kit – Moonshine Freeze

46) Daniel T. – Mission Hill Morning

47) KAYTRANADA & Syd – You’re the One

48) Temples – Certainty

49) Tennis – In the Morning I’ll Be Better

50) Big L & Jay-Z – Stretch and Bobbito Show ’95

51) Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Ma Cherie Amour

52) Matthew Larkin Cassell – One Night

53) Loggins & Messina – Angry Eyes

54) Dave Mason – Then It’s Alright

55) Todd Rungren – I Saw the Light

56) Willie Mitchell – Breaking Point

57) Ambrosia – Biggest Part of Me

58) Bernie Leadon – Glass Off

59) Sea Level – Living in a Dream

60) Universal Togetherness Band – My Sentiment

61) Brian Protheroe – Pinball

62) Henri Texier – Les “La-bas”

63) Gil Scott-Heron – Lady Day And John Coltrane

64) Talking Heads – The Big Country

65) Buzzy Linhart – The Love’s Still Growing

66) Jacob Gurevitsch – Mexican Margarita

67) Young-Holt Unlimited – Young & Holt

68) Penguin Cafe – Protection

69) Mark Ronson & Kevin Parker – Summer Breaking

70) Amber Mark – Way Back

Track Notes: Kick off with a song from Young Gun Silver Fox, a duo whose freshman effort West End Coast pays heavy tribute to the genre infusing elements of Doobies, Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac, and merges quickly into a six song “she’s suite,” modern music flush with strong feminine voices. My friend Roy threw some excellent African tunes from the 80s on when we were cruising around the Silver Lake Reservoir the other day, and I had to include them here. “Redbone,” Childish Gambino’s latest hit is everywhere. It will be the song of the summer. In effort to include the deepest cuts, a tough task given the ubiquity of seventies soft rock, while eradicating the obvious, I felt compelled to incorporate a top five hit from Ambrosia and Todd Rungren. And since his library’s recent inclusion on Spotify, Prince has been injected this mix [be sure to do the deep-dive on his Purple Rain remastering which includes 26 never-before heard tracks selected by the man himself]. His song “Starfish and Coffee” is an all-time favorite, fresh as the day it first emerged from the Yamaha NS-10s at Paisley Park. Take a deliberate turn south with the inclusion of my all-time favorite band, The Black Crowes, whose Amorica has been something of a recent rediscovery, as I’ve done a deep dive on some high school tunes. Don’t miss Radio That Changed Livesa great documentary on NYC rap pioneers and DJ Stretch and MC Bobbito. It’s streaming on Netflix now [In middle school, I would trade Grateful Dead tapes for their tapes at Skateport Plaza in Saint Louis]. When he saw that I’d spent several days listening to nothing but Stevie Wonder, my friend Adam shared this strangely cool cover of “Ma Cherie Amour” by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Everyone needs to see Mike Mills‘ Twentieth Century Women, the best movie I saw last year, if only for the Talking Heads tracks. Famous: The Buzzy Linhart Story broke my heart. Is it me or does this Penguin Cafe tune borrow from this track from James Horner’s score for Sneakers? Be sure to see their Tiny Desk Concert. “Summer Breaking” accompanied me and my friend John on our first surf trip yesterday, and Ronson’s Donald Fagen-esque riffs felt like the best way to round up a seventy-track, five hour, yacht rock mix. 

“Way Back” has been my theme song this summer. 

Also worth a listen, Seafaring Strangers: Private YachtNumero Group’s excellent tribute to the genre which was brought to my attention by Jocelyn Romo.

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