Labor Day 2011 Summer Mix – Turf War, Male Bonding, Crystal Antlers, Pavement, Husker Du, Modest Mouse, Travis, Wild Nothing


For many people, Labor Day weekend is the symbolic end of the summer, even though summer doesn’t officially end until the fall equinox on September 23rd. So, that means that we officially have 18 days left to celebrate summer, and that can only mean three things – that we’ll be dropping three more (two after today) summertime mixtapes.

We obviously can’t speak for most people, but we’re not ready to let go of summer just yet. We are also not ready to admit that another summer has gone by way too fast (while not fast enough for folks in the south and mid-west). Here in northern California, and throughout the Pacific Northwest, summer has been evasive for much of the past three months, with the average temperatures coming in below average throughout the region; it’s even been a common topic of conversation and chit-chat in many parts of the western U.S. since June.

For the next three Sundays, in place of the Sunday 25 Mix, we’re going to post three more summer songs mixes for 2011. Our archive of summer-theme tracks dating from the 1950’s to today is stacked with ‘keeper’ tracks, and we will be adding one hundred or so more over the next few weeks.

Since 2009, Indie Rock Cafe has created the largest collection of summertime mixtapes on the web. As time passed by, this mix series has become very popular with folks who have been following IRC for years, plus the thousands of new visitors everyday who are discovering the site for the first time thanks to friends, other blogs and sites, search engines, and social networks like Twitter, Facebook, The Hype Machine, Elbows and so on. Altogether, there are some two dozen summer mixtapes, and more than one million listeners.

So, with that kind of demand, we are happy to provide the supply side by searching the vast music archives for more great summer songs.  If this mix is not enough to satisfy your appetite, the links in this post lead to dozens of more summer mixtapes published in the past few years.

Almost all of songs in all of the mixtapes, even the oldest ones, still work; in fact, we play them in the cafe all of the time because they’re just that good, and are among some of the most popular mixtapes of the hundreds on IRC. The largest collection is the extensive 2010 Summer Songs Mixtapes series.

Today’s summer mix comes out just in time to enjoy it on this Labor Day 2011. By Tuesday, millions of people will be back in the office or in school, and for the vast majority of people, summer will be all but over. Yet, we still have three more (including this one) summer-themed playlists to share with you in the next few weeks – they are today’s mix – which we’re calling “Labor Day 2011 Summer Mix,” next Sunday’s mix “Chill Summer Songs” (Sept. 11th), and the last IRC summer mix of 2011, “The Last Blast of Summer 2011” (Sept. 18th).

This special Labor Day summer mix kicks off with some sweet summerish Fresh Tracks that have only been released since the last two summer mixes (“Summer Songs Mix” and “Heat Hot Summer Songs Mix”), featuring awesome new songs from Turf War, Princeton,  Crystal Antlers, Male Bonding, and Butch Walker and The Black Widows, plus other 2011 summer songs from Josh Rouse, The Lawsuits, The Novel Ideas, Sons & Daughters, She’s Spanish I’m American, and dozens and dozens more.

We’ve also included a block of 80’s and 90’s post punk, alternative rock, pop and new wave summer songs from Pavement, Husker Du, Modest Mouse, Starlet, The Sea Urchins, and Sublime. And of course, there are plenty of stellar indie songs within the Indie Summer Gold section. We hope you enjoy this playlist as much as we have putting it together.

“Summertime Booze” Turf War from Years of Living Dangerously – out Oct. 18th

“Clamoring For Your Heart”Princeton from 7-inch single – Aug. 30th

“Tame The Sun”Male Bonding from Endless Now – Aug. 23rd

“Summer Solstice” Crystal Antlers from Two-Way Mirror – July 19th

“Summer Lea”The Lawsuits from Darleen – June 1st

“Summer of 89” – Butch Walker & The Black Widows from The Spade – Aug. 23rd

“Cool Vapors” – Jacuzzi Boys from Glazin’ – Aug. 16th

“The Beach”Sons & Daughters from Mirror, Mirror – July 12th


More Recent Summer Tracks from Indie, Synth and Rock Artists

“Summer Holiday” Wild Nothing (2010)

“Island Summer”Unouomedude (2010)

“Lemonade”Braids (2010)

“Summer”The Novel Ideas (2010)

“Summertime in Heaven”Ghost Animal (2010)

“Brighton Beach”Little Brazil (2009)

“Swimming”The Smiles (2010)


“Summer of Hate”The Crocodiles (2009)

“The Year Without A Summer”Coltrane Motion (2009)

“Stuck For The Summer”Two Hours Traffic (2007)

“Summer Shakedown”Slow Club (2008)

“In The Summertime”The Rural Alberta Advantage (2008)

“That Summer” This Blue Heaven (2008)

“Summertime” Josh Rouse (2006)

“Buenos Aires Beach” The War On Drugs (2008)


Post Punk, New Wave and Alternative Rock Summer Tracks

“Summer Babe”Pavement (1994)

“Summershine”The Sea Urchins (1992)

“Summertime” Sublime (2001)

“Who Loves The Sun”Teenage Fanclub (1995)

“Sunspots In The House Of The Late Scapegoat”Modest Mouse (1997)

“Celebrated Summer”Husker Du (1985)

“Rain in the Summertime”The Alarm (1987)


Indie Summer Gold – Grandaddy, Eaves, Starlet, Elf Power, Travis and More

“Summer Here Kids”Grandaddy (1997)

“Summer Gold” Eaves (2003)

“When The Sun Falls On My Feet”Starlet (2002)

“The Sun On His Back”Camera Obscura (2004)


“Mr. Summer Day”The Sunshine Fix (2002)

“Midsummer Nights Dreamin'”Travis (1997)

“Old Tyme Waves”Elf Power (1999)

“Summer Dreams”Red House Painters (1995)

“Silly Crimes” The Tough Alliance (2006)

“Still Can Feel The Heat”Train Company (2009)


We hope that you enjoy all of the summer mixes as much as we’ve enjoyed putting them together, and as much as we’ve listened to them again and again. There is no other website out there, among the millions, that offers as large, and still active (meaning the MP3s are not expired or taken down), of summer songs mixtapes as you will find on IRC.

Next Sunday, we’re going to publish the “Summer Chill Mix,” as we like to call it, which will contain only chill, mellow, dreamy summer songs, perfect for laying back and relaxing, aimed at washing away the trials and tribulations of modern life, letting for a couple of hours everything else just drift slowly into the background while you immerse yourself in 40 or so mellow summer tracks by bands ranging from Belle and Sebastian and Fruit Bats to Built to Spill and The Raveonettes.

Here are a few advanced tracks to give you idea what the “Summer Chill Mix” will be like.  All of these summer mixtapes are ones that we hope you will want to keep forever, whether you download the tracks, or just bookmark this and other mixes. As with the vast majority of our mixes, they will still be here weeks and months and years from now, and unlike most other older-than-a-month mixtapes on the web, ours will still be working, and ready to stream at anytime. Enjoy.

“Sleep All Summer” St. Vincent And The National (2009)

“These Long Summer Days” (Josh Rouse) – She’s Spanish, I’m American (2011)

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  1. The song listed as “Summer Holiday” by Wild Nothing is not the same song that is linked at the top. Wild Nothing’s “Summer Holiday” does not sound like that at all. The song listed above is more upbeat and fresh. Please find out what the name of the song, and the artist is.

    1. Nice catch Damon. Thanks. The other song is “Silly Crimes” from The Tough Alliance which appears further down the list. Yes, The Tough Alliance is new stuff and we like it too 🙂

  2. what would be sweet…if you posted a playlist mu so we could have that too, without having to recreate ourselves…

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