According to the calendar, summer is officially here. No matter what you have on file in the coming months, Rock Music Menu has unearthed items that are guaranteed to make your dog days even cooler; Literally as well as figuratively.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting necessities for the road, home, and everywhere in between to think about picking up during those long hours in the sun or in the air conditioning. This week’s theme is getting in shape – or just hanging out – and looking good with the best headphones, personal items belt, and socks – yes socks.
Let’s take a look at the first part of our “Summer Essentials” series for 2022.
JAYBIRD VISTA 2 BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES
Desperately trying to get that body ready for the beach by hitting the gym, running, biking, sitting on the Peloton, or just doing chores like mowing the lawn, having music with you is essential. you. Jaybird Vista 2 is the ultimate pair of Bluetooth headphones to rock you while doing anything. Available in black, nimbus gray and midnight blue, they don’t compromise on sound, delivering crystal-clear conversations when taking calls and controlling punchy beats with a custom EQ profile via the Jaybird app.
Featuring a 24-hour battery life for long hikes or runs and a self-contained charging case, the buds vastly improve on the original Vista, with active noise cancellation for focus and SurroundSense for spatial awareness and safety. “Earthproof” durability makes them tough for even the most demanding activities and the waterproof design comes in handy when dealing with unpredictable elements like summer thunderstorms. Visit jaybirdsport.com for more information.
The “SPI” in SPIBelt stands for “small personal item”, which are those things like car keys, cell phones, credit cards, and IDs that you often need to have on you but are a pain to carry around when doing physical activity like running or cycling. Unlike the oft-maligned fanny pack, SPIBelts are functionally intended to contain little people without the bulk, and as such aren’t as awkward or rough on the eyes as the mid-’90s bodybuilder fashion statement.
SPIBelts are available in a variety of configurations intended to accommodate different sizes of phones. It doesn’t matter if you’re going old school with the iPhone 7 or going big with the Samsung Galaxy S20+, you’ll be covered with a belt that fits securely around your waist. The belts also come in a range of colors with descriptions such as “Daydream with Lime Zipper” and “Rave with Purple Zipper”, ensuring a lack of visual dullness. The company also manufactures an insulin pump belt with a patented expandable pocket design perfect for discreetly storing insulin pumps, EpiPens and other medical necessities. Head over to spibelt.com to see all the different colors and sizes.
Launched in 2020 and based in Portugal, Stereo Socks has an interesting racket. The shoes draw inspiration for their designs from some of the most well-known album covers in music history, but never outright say it is what it is unless you dig deeper into the description. The patterns are familiar enough to look like, say, the cover of Kiss’ debut album, but it’s called “Smooch” instead. The sadly rejected artwork from Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” LP, featuring a busty brunette in a tight, skin-tight top, is dubbed “Jersey Car Wash.” And a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Hotter than July” is tagged “Warmer than August.”
How parent company Curator Socks doesn’t sound off for copyright infringement likely falls somewhere between parody and terrible takes on many classic records, making them barely recognizable. Some of the designs are a bit too square, blobby and unclear; see the Pearl Jam mimicry “Eleven”, essentially an approximation of the colors that make up the “Ten” disc with an “X” on the peg, or the Prince parody “Violet Drizzle”, which is simply vertical horizontal lines in different shades of purple.
But there’s no doubt that there’s a riff on the Beastie Boys’ debut album “Licensed to Ill” – “Incensed to Kill” here – or the White Stripes’ “Elephant”, cheekily named “Mammoth”. It’s these nuggets that make Stereo Socks worth checking out. Visit stereo-socks.com to see all models.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye on this place as each week we’ll be reviewing new or upcoming vinyl from a variety of artists. It can be a reprint of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act. This week, a box set from one of England’s greatest rock bands makes its vinyl debut.
QUEEN: ‘THE PLATINUM COLLECTION’
First released on vinyl, Queen’s compilation “The Platinum Collection” includes the legendary group’s three “Greatest Hits” albums. Taken as a whole, it shows their unparalleled track record of chart-topping, award-winning and record-breaking rock and pop classics.
Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’ was released in 1981 and remains the UK’s best-selling album of all time, having sold over 6.8 million copies, with worldwide sales exceeding 25 million . Covering Queen’s triumphant first act, from 1974 to 1980, it includes some of the world’s most beloved rock standards, including the stadium-sized symphonic monster “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions”, this the latter having been named the most eye-catching. song of all time by a team of scientists in 2011.
“Greatest Hits” also features upbeat crowd “We Will Rock You,” tongue-in-cheek “Fat Bottom Girls,” late 70s-inspired disco “Another One Bites the Dust,” tribute to juke- retro-rock box “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and the soaring, passionate and gospel-tinged “Somebody to Love”.
The band’s next compilation, “Greatest Hits II”, was released shortly before frontman Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991 and sold over 19 million copies worldwide. This spans 1981 to 1991, the period following Queen’s abandonment of their famous no-synthesizer rule, elevating them to new heights of creativity and opening up their guitar sound to embrace funk, disco and jazz. electronic.
Rebooted and rewired, Queen produced some of their most immortal hits during this imperial phase of the 80s. Built around an impromptu studio jam, their infectious collaboration with David Bowie “Under Pressure” became a global hit. The epic “Radio Ga Ga” and the romantic humor “I Want to Break Free” testify to their precocious mastery of synthesizers, while the muscular riffs of “Hammer to Fall” and the grand piano acrobatics of “It’s a Hard Life” are vintage Queen both sonically and lyrically.
Officially the UK’s tenth best-selling album of all time, ‘Greatest Hits II’ also features the tender sentiments of ‘Friends Will Be Friends’, the synth-rock fanfares of ‘One Vision’ and the heroically defiant song of the swan “The Show Must Go On,” featuring Mercury in his final days still playing shamelessly at the gallery.
Finally, “Greatest Hits III”, which was never available on vinyl in the US, may be a collection of odds and ends, but it’s a nice way to round out the set. It features live and alternate mixes of Queen songs, solo hits by the band members, and collaborations with other artists including Elton John, Montserrat Caballé, George Michael and Wyclef Jean.
True to its name, “The Platinum Collection” is certified five times platinum in the United States and was recently certified by the British music industry organization, the BPI, as having been eight times platinum, which represents sales of 2.4 million achieved since its renewal in June 2011. released as part of Queen’s 40th anniversary. The new limited edition 6-LP color vinyl set comes in a case with new artwork. Each piece of 180 gram vinyl is a different color and comes in its own individually designed sleeve. The set also includes an exclusive 24-page 12-inch photo booklet.
‘The Platinum Collection’ can be found online and in the stores of all respectable retailers that sell vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com.