Summer's Best

The Set List

By Brian Washburn

Summer has arrived. The sun is beating upon the backs of those who are making it out into the 90-degree weather, making them sweat and feel uncomfortable in whatever task they choose to take on. For others, their skin is basking in the glowing sun while they sit by the pool for hours and sip on drinks. Even though summer is generally filled with enormous summer tours and gigantic festivals to go hand-in-hand with the blistering weather, summer 2010 also features a few album releases poised to shift the music industry and take over for the rest of the year.

Lil’ Wayne has been incarcerated, and T.I. isn’t slated for his comeback album until the very end of summer or first of fall. Kanye West is still locked up with his ego creating what might be hip-hop’s next revolutionary album (not being sarcastic either).

It seems the passing of the tour is officially going to happen June 15 when Drake releases his much anticipated debut album, “Thank Me Later.” Ever since he hit it big last summer with his surprise single “Best I Ever Had,” the young rapper, who signed to Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money label (and was also a cast member on the teenage, Canadian melodrama “Degrassi,” no sarcasm either), has released singles that have been more explicit raps showcasing his talents. And with his mentor behind bars, it seems Drake is about to be the recipient of the hip-hop empire … for now anyway.

Other hip-hop and rap albums hotly anticipated this summer include Eminem, Rick Ross, Plies and, of course, the king arrives back on the scene in late August when T.I. releases “King Uncaged.”

While it seems hip-hop and pop are ruling the mainstream radio waves, alternative music junkies are looking at the second coming of a certain Jersey icon — yes, the one who’s born to run. New Jersey quartet The Gaslight Anthem will releases a follow-up album to their breakthrough 2008 CD “The ’59 Sound” on June 15. Their new album, “American Slang,” will take their Springsteinesque rock/blues/garage rock sound to the mainstream this time around. With this new set of songs, The Gaslight Anthem seem to be a force to reckon with in the alternative music scene.

Other alternative/rock albums being released this summer include the return of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Against Me! and Arcade Fire.

Though summer is usually reserved for festivals and big-time arena shows, new music might just be the medicine to get those summer haters through the heat, and the party noise for those lying by the pool basking in the sun for three months. Either way, the music will not disappoint.

Final thought: Though the summer music festivals usually have outstanding lineups but this year seem to provide a few of the same names with mixed results. While Bonnarroo has the best lineup of the big-time festivals, Lollapalooza’s showcase this years seems to disappoint, especially with the headliners being Green Day and Lady Gaga. Let’s hope it steps up next summer.

Brian Washburn is the founder of DBW and is currently working on a way to revolutionize the music industry.

Categories: LIVE! In NWA