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Arts in Review

CIVL Shuffle: End of Summer Edition

The fall equinox is coming next week, bringing pumpkin-spiced everything with it. Here are some songs to see you through the official end of summer.



By Dave Cusick (CIVL Director of Programming / Portland Ambassador) – Email

Big Star

“September Girls”

Big Star is the best (and best-known) band you’ve never heard of. In 1971, when rock critics were tired of the excesses of arena rock, Alex Chilton’s band was a welcome reprieve of jangly guitars and straight-ahead songwriting. But nothing lasts forever, neither summer nor rock bands, and the group ended after three years of no commercial success.


“Autumn Tactics”

The most memorable track from the 2000 electronic chill-out classic album Behind the Sun. The female vocalist laments that the summer sun is “turning dark on empty car lots … winter’s one breath away.”


“The Fall”

If you’re looking for an artisanal R&B song about a summer love who has to leave now that fall has arrived, I know where you can find one.


Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, “L’autunno”

You think you don’t know any classical music, but you do. You’ve heard this one. Composer Antonio Vivaldi published his four violin concerti “The Four Seasons” in 1725 with accompanying sonnets to explain his inspiration. Part of the sonnet for his autumn concerto reads: “The cup of Bacchus flows freely, and many find their relief in deep slumber.” Sounds like great advice to me.

Jonathan Coulton

“Summer’s Over”

According to JoCopedia, where nerds nerd out about nerd-rocker Jonathan Coulton, “A karaoke version of ‘Summer’s Over’ is available on the Jonathan Coulton Karaoke Store.” So if you’re trying to branch out from “Don’t Stop Believin’,” there’s that. Plus, it’s beautiful and sad in all the right ways.

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