Tag Archives: Michael McDonald

Beach Pool Headphones Music Mathemagic

Growing up in Miami, I had a strong pool life. I spent a lot of time sun-baked and, since I wasn’t planning on aging, blissfully unaware of the consequences of a such a life. Some music takes me back immediately to those summer days and my first Walkman that always accompanied me, a giant yellow Sony monstrosity that probably would still be playing if I’d kept it around. One note of the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” Madonna’s “Burning Up” or “I Know It” (my favorite and least-played songs on her debut record) or the Steve Miller Band’s “Jungle Love” (a title more problematic now that I’m old enough to understand what it means) brings me pool-side, to those halcyon days of eternal sunshine.

Yes, I listened to and loved the Steve Miller Band, and it’s still a guilty pleasure. One high school day, a couple of us freshmen snuck out to lunch with seniors. We hid in the backseat of the car and reveled in our outsider status. I think it was either Greg Nash or Charles Wolf (my memory of this event is now a little smashed) who–in response to our request for something or other–said, “now we’re going to listen to some real music.” And he popped in the Steve Miller Band. Needless to say, I was 12 or 13, impressionable, and hooked.

That wasn’t the only pretty terrible awesome music I mainlined and formed a dependency on. One of these pools my family liked to take me to had a jukebox. For at least a decade, I listened routinely to the (same) songs that stocked it, most notably Michael McDonald’s “What a Fool Believes.” (For a good time, watch the winner of the New Pornographers challenge, who sings the latter band’s “It’s Only Divine Right” in the style of Michael McDonald, which might only be funny if you know both bands). So that’s why I connect Michael McDonald with sunburn.

On Friday, just as I was complaining about this week new releases, I discovered the band Mathemagic on Lala and had another poolside moment. Perhaps it’s because of the band’s Beach Boys/Beach House referentiality, or perhaps its shimmering reverb water-like quality, but I immediately thought of water and wished I was listening to this CD in sunny Miami. This EP made by brothers Evan and Dylan Euteneier is quietly stunning, definitely lazy summer electronica.

So here you go, two songs from the daydreamy Ontarian Mathemagic, their own “Breaststroke” (okay, maybe that is also a reason for my association of this music with pools) and their remix of CFCF’s “Big Love.”

Mathemagic, “Breaststroke”

CFCF, “Big Love (Mathemagic remix)”

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