I'm convinced that cities -- downtowns especially -- are the hottest places to be in the summer. All the pavement, cars, buses and air conditioning exhaust coming out of tall buildings add at least ten degrees onto the high temperature of the day. Dutch tells me that yesterday Juniper walked out the front door wearing nothing but the sandals she'd put on her feet herself. Dutch grabbed his shoes as quickly as he could, and followed her down the sidewalk. Maybe other toddlers do stuff like this all the time, but in general, our kid is cautious and reluctant to be out of our sight. But not on this day. She walked several blocks down the sidewalk, emboldened by her nudity, I guess, so fast that Dutch had to run a little to catch her. When he finally reached her, he asked her where she was going. "To work," she said. When asked what her job was, she said, "To take good care of Dada."

So far, I haven't resorted to walking to work naked to deal with the heat in this city. Instead, I listen to music to take my mind off the sweat that's trickling down the back of my knees. I'd like to say that I created this new mix of music for you by carefully considering the perfect transition from one song to another, but really, I just lifted them from among the "most played" songs on my iPod.

I'm sure some better streaming player has come along since the last time we did one of these mixes, but since Dutch spent an hour and a half last night swearing trying to get this just right (time that could have been spent looking for a much easier solution), we're just going to stick with this one. Some of the links below go to free and legal mp3 downloads.

To listen to the mix, just click here

1. Bowerbirds- Olive Hearts
2. Bishop Allen- Rain
3. Heartless Bastards- All This Time
4. Broken West- Baby on my Arm
5. Andrew Bird- Plasticities
6. Pas/Cal- Poor Maude
7. The Lucksmiths- The Music Next Door
8. Jarvis Cocker- Heavy Weather
9. Luna- Bonnie and Clyde
10. Yo La Tengo - Little Eyes
11. Shelby Sifers- Snowman
12. Two Gallants- All Your Faithless Loyalties
13. Spoon- Black Like Me
14. Piano Magic - I Came To Your Party Dressed as a Shadow

I don't have comments about why I like each song, but I will say that the first couple bars of #2 cause Juniper to instantly start her "rock-and-roll" dance, which involves shaking her head side-to-side while running in place, a dance I assume she learned from her father. When she hears #9 , Juniper imitates the "ah-ah-ooh" background noise EVERY FREAKING TIME. Dutch saw Yo La Tengo at the Detroit CityFest last weekend and he said they were amazing (and free) but I stayed home with the baby so I don't know if they played #10. And you really need to buy the new Spoon record, and #13 should be all it takes to convince you.