Everyone has their own version of a summer playlist. Whether it was used for a summer road trip, hanging out by the bonfire or just rocking out in your living room, we all have one. They usually consist of the “hottest” music on the radio right now and each contains the word summer at least a hundred times. You totally know you put “Summertime” by New Kids on the Block on your iPod last year. Judgment free zone. While everyone else is listening to the same old, same old, why not explore the local music we have right here that isn’t played all over B96. Give your ears a treat and create a local music summer playlist! And, to get you started, here is part one of a two-part series to help you create your own summer playlist with some of the Twin Cities’ local favorites.

1) “Perfectly Clear Skies” by Attention

attention Part 1: Best Local Music Summer Playlist

(credit: Mark Walentiny)

This rock/powerpop group from Minneapolis kicks off the first track of this summer playlist. The perfect start to every summer deserves a song like this. Upbeat, fast and full of grooving potential, “Perfectly Clear Skies” by Attention makes you want to roll down your windows and blast it. Lead singer Jeremy Tappero belts out the classic anthem of wanting to be wherever the summer is. This track gets your blood flowing and your feet tapping right away with snappy guitars and a quick drum beat.

“But it’s summer somewhere.
Yeah, I can feel it in the air.
It’s summer somewhere.
And, I want to be there.”

“Perfectly Clear Skies” is available on their website and iTunes. Attention consists of Jeremy Tappero, lead vocals, Eric Malmberg, guitar, David Jarnstrom, drums, and Derek Ritchison, bass.

2) “Hot Tubs Don’t Just Walk Away” by Johnnyrook

johnnyrock Part 1: Best Local Music Summer Playlist

Photo Credit: Johnnyrook

While there is no mention of summer on this next track, it certainly keeps the mood up and the head nodding. “Hot Tubs Don’t Just Walk Away” is a song off Johnnyrook’s latest album From Remorse We Learn. While the album has only been out since mid-April, it has taken off. This acoustic, indie-style group takes beats and guitars to a new level with this track. James Kuzma, vocals, uses his unique singing talents to draw the listener into the song. The eccentric drum beats and heavy guitars make this song a great summer track.

“‘Cause it’s nights like these
That keep you coming back for something.
Well it’s nights like these
And it keeps you coming back.”

“Hot Tubs Don’t Just Walk Away” is available on their website as a free download. Johnnyrook consists of James Kuzma, vocals, Zac Boyd, guitar, Jay Butcher, drums, and Daniel Enfield, bass.

3) “Call Me Crazy” by Camera Can’t Lie

camera cant lie Part 1: Best Local Music Summer Playlist

(credit: Darcy Fray)

The rock-infused pop group Camera Can’t Lie brings us to No. 3 on the local summer playlist. “Call Me Crazy” is a song off their Not Everyone Leaves EP, released in the spring of 2010. And, what summer isn’t complete without a summer romance? Right away, Eric Arjes, vocals, bursts into the love song alongside one of the catchiest hooks. His polished voice emanates throughout the entire song and sticks his lyrics right into your head. This very summery song has a fun, fast-paced beat that is perfect for turning up while driving down the highway.

“Call me crazy.
For falling in love.
Call me crazy.
It just ain’t enough.
But baby, I’d be crazy
Not to fall in love with you.”

“Call Me Crazy” is available on their website and iTunes. Camera Can’t Lie consists of Eric Arjes, vocals and Kyle Lindsay, bass.

4) “Chasing the Change” by Far From Falling

far from falling Part 1: Best Local Music Summer Playlist

(credit: Far From Falling)

Picking up the pace and coming in fourth is the always popular, Far From Falling. Not only does this band draw consistently large crowds at their shows, but they also produce consistently good music. “Chasing the Change” is hot off the press and is their newest single, debuting on June 4, 2011. As with any Far From Falling song, the heavy guitars and sensual voice of Harley Wood exude throughout the track. A lesson learned and a future ahead seem to be the essence of this rock ballad, but no matter what, Wood sings, he’ll always look the same. The summer release of this single is perfect for those parties by the campfire and days at the pool.

“Now I don’t know where I’ll go.
But, man I hope I get there.
And now I don’t know where I’ll be.
But, God I hope I’m happy.”

“Chasing the Change” is available on Amazon and iTunes. Far From Falling consists of Harley Wood, vocals, Jay Plucinak, drums, John Reid, guitar and backing vocals, Paul Haataja, guitar, and Corey Welter, bass.

5) “Drive By Lies” by 3 Pill Morning

3 pill morning Part 1: Best Local Music Summer Playlist

(credit: 3 Pill Morning)

Taking queue from the song before, “Drive By Lies” by 3 Pill Morning is another rocker track promising eloquent lyrics and guitars with a hard driving force. A song with yet another catchy chorus that easily gets stuck in your head, “Drive By Lies” comes off their brand new album Take Control, which dropped June 7, 2011.

“I’ve been finding out.
Everyone’s talking.
What you’re all about.
And, girl you couldn’t give it away.
It’s the same with your drive by lies.
But, some things never change.”

“Drive By Lies” is available on their website and iTunes. 3 Pill Morning consists of Jeff Stebbins, vocals, Matt, bass and vocals, Jeremy, drums, and Ryan, guitar and keys.

Tune in next week for part 2 featuring more great local band.

Emily Buss is a music journalist from Minneapolis and author of On the Rechord blog. On the Rechord is a music site dedicated to the local music scene in the Twin Cities. Emily writes concert and album reviews, band and artist profiles, and provides information about local shows. A college graduate with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Journalism, Emily has been professionally writing for newspapers and online outlets for six years. You can find Emily at www.ontherechord.com , on Facebook at On the Rechord and on Twitter @TheEmilyB.

Comments (12)
  1. LindaLu says:

    No Root City Band??????

    1. Scott says:

      It says part 1.

      1. LindaLu says:

        Yes Scott, I know that it says PT 1, I was just jumping the gun to put my 2 cents (or less) worth out there while I had the chance…..:o)

  2. Terry says:

    Awesome list of Rock Bands and Songs! Far From Falling is Amazing!!

  3. Conway says:

    Make sure to check out CHESTER BAY when you get a chance this summer.

    Fun, Minneapolis based band, great live, lots of energy!

    Rock, reggae, funky-blues!

    1. Anon says:

      They are actually from Rochester MN

  4. Ned Lampert says:

    Oh, you can catch the train to Brooklyn in Minneapolis now?

  5. hburns says:

    Where is David YellenBand??!!! Best in Citites!!

  6. Josh says:

    These bands all sound exactly the same: generic, mid-nineties rock, with identical vocalists/musicians. We have an amazing, genre-crossing, local music scene here. WCCO just went for the “bland” pile right away.

    1. Jen Johnson says:

      Well said, Josh! I completely agree. This is the biggest joke of a list for the local scene that I have ever seen. WCCO should be embarassed about having this article on their site. Shame on them, and the author, for this load of garbage.

    2. JRB says:

      “These bands all sound exactly the same: generic, mid-nineties rock, with identical vocalists/musicians.”

      Johnnyrook is none of these.

  7. Shad says:

    The indie and hip hop bands get all of the press in the Twin Cities. It’s about time some of the rock bands in this great music scene get some much deserved time in the spotlight. If you want to read about Tapes ‘N Tapes, Atmosphere, etc for the 1000th time, just click on the StarTrib’s website.

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