Top Five: Music for a Heat Wave

| Wed Jul. 9, 2008 3:38 PM EDT

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Since everybody's so into lists these days, I figured I'd bring back my Top Five mini-countdown of fun stuff 'n' things, with the added conveneince of an Imeem widget for your listening pleasure (see below). This week, as we in California roast under triple-digit temperatures, why not celebrate with some tunes that either take explicit pleasure in the heat, or at least sound really good on a warm night.

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1. Roy Ayers – "Everybody Loves the Sunshine"
It must have been a hot summer in 1976 too, since this track has the languid swoon of waves lapping gently on the beach, and the high, sustained violin note is like a bright white disk in the sky. Plus I could listen to that piano line on an infinite loop.

2. Julieta Venegas – "Eres Para Mi" (Sonidero Nacional Cumbia Remix)
The original of this 2007 hit was still omnipresent when I was in Mexico earlier this year, and sure, it's got a kind of Ace of Base pop-reggae appeal. I just heard this cumbia remix, and it makes it even better.

3. Quiet Village – "Pacific Rhythm"
While this duo has roots in dance music, their new album Silent Movie digs deeper into the swampy history of lounge than even, say, Air. Think Martin Denny, from whence the combo took their name.

4. Harry Belafonte – "Jump In the Line (Shake Senora)" (John Bourke Bmore mix)
I'll admit right now that whenever Beetlejuice comes on TV I almost always watch it, and a great part of its appeal is its use of Belafonte's strange, creepy-yet-joyous music. A Baltimore-style remix, adding thumps to the "shake, shake, shake" line, is obvious but highly effective.

5. The Music – "Fire"
You might think this UK band would be hard to Google, but their pages come right up. Anyway, while the fusion of dance music with rock energy has produced some misfires (hi there, Jesus Jones), The Music have the ecstatic intensity of early U2.

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