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Hump-Day Helper: Summertime Soundtracks and Libations

June 29, 2011

The last couple of posts have been, well, a bit sobering, so let’s lean the other way for a moment in recognition of hump day. And this is no ordinary hump day, because we’re pushing up on July 4th weekend. In Philly, we’re in the midst of a 10-day celebration of Independence Day, with a dizzying constellation of events of every kind. The festivities will culminate with the Party on the Parkway, this Monday, July 4th. It will feature free concerts on two stages by artists including Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael McDonald, Estelle, Sarah Bareilles, and Philly’s own The Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Diplo. In true Roots style, some on-stage collaborations will happen during the course of the event. Oh, and there will be fireworks—lots of them.


To get you through until then, check out this summer playlist by hipster deejay sensation Girl Talk. Or keep it local with Philadelphian yacht rockers Work Drugs, whose unique “smooth-fi” sound is tailor-made for summer relaxing (stream full tunes on their Bandcamp page). Fresh off tour with indie-dance idols Two Door Cinema Club, the band is recording a set at the WXPN studios tonight, and was chosen by ?uestlove of the Roots to headline an official “Independence Eve” show at Johnny Brenda’s (with CSLSX). (Disclosure: I’m friends with the band and did a remix of their internet hit “Rad Racer”). My summer listening has also leaned heavily on some awesome new tunes from (also-Philly) outfit Sun Airway. I’m particularly hung up on the uncharacteristically stripped-down but disarmingly and darkly beautiful acoustic version of “Put the Days Away,” performed to benefit peace in central Africa.

And because it’s a Wednesday, it’s also happy hour utopia in Philly, via Center City Sips ($4 cocktails, $3 wine, $2 beers and half-priced appetizers at dozens of spots downtown). If you’re not sure where to start, check out the Feast blog’s Top Five. Or, if it’s all about craftbrews for you, start with the indispensable PhillyTapFinder.com. Founded and maintained by Young Lawyers Division membes Jared and Kristy Littman, it is every bit the comprehensive beer-locating resource you’re hoping for, and more. Of course, you could also have it both ways with a beer-cocktail (a.k.a. michelada) like the ones pictured above. Enjoy!

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