My first summer job was as a secretary in the office of an orthopedic surgeon. I wanted to work at J. Crew (or, barring that, any retail store who's wares I enjoyed, as I wanted free shit) but they wanted references, and I had none. My dad was friendly with a doctor who employed a rotating cast of front office workers and he mentioned that I was struggling to find work. Said doctor offered me a job, so secretary it was.
The summer jobs of suburban teenagers are often a means to an end. I was 18 and close with a small cadre of fellow graduating high school seniors. I'm not sure I could recollect what they all did during the day. Some worked in food service on our town's main drag; the most ambitious among us had white collar internships. Regardless of vocation, we'd meet up each evening to spend the money we'd just earned on shitty weed, shittier liquor, and supermarket margarita mix, carousing our nights away and showing up miserable to our jobs in the morning. We'd develop crushes on each other and break each other's hearts; we'd fight and hug it out. We said we loved each other, swore that there was nothing we'd rather be doing and nobody we'd rather be doing it with.
There was some truth to this, of course, but we were also just bored. Long Island isn't known for its wealth of activities for young people and, with many of us experiencing our first taste of the 9-5 lifestyle, we only had a few hours each night during which we could escape. Ten years down the line, weed makes me anxious and supermarket mixers would make me sick. About half of the friends I spent that summer (and the next few subsequent summers) with are among my closest and oldest friends; the other half are people I'd shoot the shit with for fifteen minutes at a party.
As I think more about adult responsibility on a daily basis, I've started compiling songs that remind me of when I was able to blow off obligations for the day, hit the beach with some friends, light up a joint, and let my brain and body fry with no repercussions. This isn't necessarily music I was listening to--that would be a lot of The Front Bottoms self-titled, a record which I will defend to the death--but music that inspires the same hazy warmth of throwing my cares away to be a shithead for an afternoon.
The below tracklist is intentionally ordered, but you can enjoy it just as well throwing it all on shuffle. In the spirit of mp3 blogs of yore, I've compiled a zip file. Feel free to remake this playlist on your streaming service of choice; true to the Tributary ethos, some songs will not be there. And of course, regardless of your listening preferences: clock out early, lie to your boss, finish that thing tomorrow. Summer is almost here, let's make the most of it.
Download: Deadbeat Summer
Okay okay, I know what you're all wondering: the site looks different, right? I shifted from Substack over to Ghost and bought a domain. I'd love to pretend this is a moral grandstand because Substack won't ban hate speech (and it's not NOT that) but this is largely just about Twitter nuking Substack links. Plus now I get to learn about webhosting and CNAMES and thus tweet stuff like this:
I migrated anybody who signed up for the Substack version of Tributary over to Ghost (manually, because I'm an idiot) but in my experience the emails will go to your spam so be sure to keep a look out. If you suspect you didn't make it over, hit me up and I'll see what I can do. Love you all and thanks for reading. Looking forward to seeing what kind of weird shit we can get up to.