In my experience, summer has always been about making as few decisions as possible. Not being indecisive, per se, but being decisively unambitious when it comes to all things not fun. Some work must occur in between leisure activities, of course, but once it is done, the only real plan should be barely controlled mayhem for three months straight. Placing limits on what you should or should not do from June to September should make you feel almost morally corrupt. Say yes to everything even if it seems like it will end up horribly. Maximize the months by actually maximizing your social calendar, i.e. more friends, more family, more drinks, more naps, more trips, more sun, more fun, more parties, more farties, more pickles with your sandwich, more hay for your weasel, more everything. A glass of champagne becomes a magnum. A flirtation becomes a full-blown affair. A sidewalk sale becomes a wilding incident, replete with multiple resisting arrests and pantless cop draggings (yours or theirs). No one’s condoning gluttony or lawlessness, I’m just saying go for it. Save the hedging for fall and winter when you have nothing else to do but match scarves to socks. Summer is an excuse for excess—sleep it off on the beach.
This is the approach we’re taking with this issue. Faced with four stories worthy of covers, four records we think are the best of the season, we decided to just give them all covers. On one we have MIA, in full motherhood of both her own little iKid and a group of unruly young guns on her label, NEET. On her flipside is fellow punk Nathan Williams, bka Wavves, whose new album sounds like the last hot beer at a barbecue. On the back is the irrepressible Ariel Pink, someone we’ve admired for many years but who is just now becoming a summer hero. And tucked behind him is a songwriter riding a weirdly parallel path—that of immortal jams—The-Dream, who we could tell some stories about things we’ve done to his music but there are children around (probably thanks to the same music).
We’ve always done two covers anyway, what’s another two? What’s another 14? Maybe next summer we’ll print the whole thing on a Slip ’n Slide and roll it down 6th Avenue so you can rub your butt all over some emerging music. Maybe summer 2012 we’ll just beam it from the surface of the sun, so you can read about Justin Bieber while surfing a devastating tidal wave. Sike, that’s not gonna happen! We won’t pick that cover for a few more months at least.