Book Club: Summer music

We’re two weeks away from summer, at least here at Northwestern, and yesterday the university’s famed Dillo Day marked the real start to summer celebrations. First up on The Dunce Cap’s music list: Guster, the midday artist at Dillo Day 2010. Guster performed alongside Regina Spektor, Super Mash Bros, Rhymefest and Nelly, who rounded out the day’s line-up.

Pretty melody:

Photo courtesy of NU student

See, my older sister got me into Guster six years ago. I’d listen to “Amsterdam,” from the band’s 2003 effort Keep It Together (or the one with the hummingbird on it), on repeat for days on end, and I’ve since fallen in love with their quirky lyricism and catchy hooks. The four nice Jewish boys from Tufts are known for their stage antics, wherein the members may pick up strange and unusual instruments, partake in witty stage banter or even participate in large-scale stage gags, such as a 2001 show in Rochester, NY, in which the guys were summoned to an empty stage “Price is Right” style. The members have paraded as a hillbilly opener (Peace Soldiers) and then as a jam band (Trippin’ Balls), and they continue to play hilarious covers, as with yesterday’s version of “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” an almost obvious epilogue to their own tune, “Red Oyster Cult.”

All in all, Guster remains one of my favorite bands, a constant tribute to summer, a theme The Dunce Cap seems a bit obsessed with. Check out “Two Points for Honesty” and “Amsterdam” below, and try to catch them out on the road this summer.

Congratulations on being the greatest looking place ever (existed). – Guster member on Northwestern’s Dillo Day crowd

“Two Points for Honesty,” from 2001’s Lost and Gone Forever

“Amsterdam,” from 2003’s Keep It Together

In other news: The use of Paula Cole’s “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” as a torture device in the Star Wars-themed episode of “Family Guy” (“Something, Something, Something Dark Side“) was pretty upsetting. A hilarious but sad remembrance of one of my favorite songs from the ’90s.

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