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July In the Mix

Jul 03, 2015 08:35PM ● By Jennifer Neys

Now that summer is here and in full swing, I always think how music plays such an important role this time of year, whether it’s at graduation parties, BBQs, a day at the beach, or just sipping your favorite beverage in the backyard after yard work. There is always that song that just makes you happy!

Growing up, the radio (yes, I’m old) would be filled with songs like “Hot Fun in the Summertime” by Sly and the Family Stone, “Summer in the City” by The Lovin’ Spoonful, and, of course, “California Girls” (no Katy Perry back then) by the Beach Boys. These were the songs with lasting memories. 

Over the years, I’ve always wondered if future generations would have that connection with summer and music. I hope so. I can’t imagine being at the beach without some kind of fun music in the background.

I am not one of these old guys that claim, “Music was better back in my day,” although I will admit that my iPod (yes, I said I was old) is mostly filled with music of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. 

But a funny thing happened on the way to 2015; what was cool back then is cool now! Take the smash hit, “Uptown Funk,” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. I dare you not to move your feet when this song is playing. This would have been a hit in the ‘70s -- same formula as an Ohio Players, Earth Wind and Fire, or the godfather of soul himself, James Brown.  This makes “somewhat older” people like me very happy!

So, I wonder, what songs will be the smash hit of 2015? You know, the songs that will make your summer time party rock and your Grandma strut her stuff on the dance floor? Check out these tunes: “Moony Eyed Walrus” by Cayucas; the country hit “On to Something Good” by Ashley Monroe; and the retro “Peaches ‘N’ Cream” by Snoop Dogg. This last tune will have you movin’ and grooving in your Prius for sure! Let me know what songs you are grooving to by the pool by going on line at

And speaking of summer and good times, the 6th annual Blues and Brews event put on by the Pleasant Hill Rec & Park and the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce will be held on Saturday, July 18, at Pleasant Hill Park. Another stellar line up of great bands, including The Chris Cain Band, Frankie G. and The Conviction, Spinout, Caroompas Room, and The Used Blues Band. Entertainment starts at noon. The greatest thing about this event is that if you are a beer connoisseur, you can purchase tickets and sample beers from a plethora of local beer vendors. But if you just want to hang out with the family in the park and listen to some great blues, that part is free. Rarely do you see this type of event.

And as an added bonus this year, Friday night, July 17, there will be a pre-party featuring The Big Jangle, a Tom Petty tribute band. This event starts at 6pm, and there will be food and beverages for sale. Again, that is free as well. 

Man, I love this time of year. There is so much happening in the way of music, and most of it is free. You would think it was 1967 all over again! (OK, I’m OLD!)

Quote of the Month

Summer is kind of like the ultimate one-night stand: hot as hell, totally thrilling, and gone before you know it.

— Unknown

Paul’s picks for July:

July 5: Extra Large, Summer by the Lake Concert Series, City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, 6pm 

July 11: Zoo Station, Dan’s Bar, 1524 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, 10pm

July 15: Frankie G., Zachary’s Pizza, 140 Crescent Dr., Pleasant Hill, 6pm                       

July 16: Innersoul, Downtown Pleasant Hill on Crescent Drive Concert Series, 6:30pm 

July 18: Tender Mercies, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm                       

July 19: Fast Times, Summer by the Lake Concert Series, City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, 6pm

July 26: The Sunday Paper, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 4pm

July 29: Kyle Jester, Zachary’s Pizza, 140 Crescent Dr., Pleasant Hill, 6pm                        

July 30: Sin Silver, Rocco’s Pizzeria, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, 8:30pm