When I first sat down to write about the Fall equinox a few weeks ago, it was 85 degrees in Redding, and I was actually considering the idea of wearing a long sleeved shirt to work. Now, as the deadline to get this to the editor looms over my head like a thundercloud, the thermometer has climbed back up to 100. It almost seems pointless now. But then again, I guess that’s what this whole column was about in the first place…the fact that around here, the autumnal equinox is just a date on the calendar. That date is today: Friday, September 23rd at exactly 2:04am PDT. (It’s also my mother’s 39th birthday, for perhaps the 39th time. Happy Birthday, mom!)
So while it’s officially Fall, Redding still behaves like it’s summer until sometime in late October. But the kids are back in school and the days really are getting shorter even if they’re not getting any cooler. And after ten years in Shasta County, I’ve finally started to fool myself into believing train myself to understand that it’s Fall because the calendar tells me so, not because the thermometer tells me. Heck, I’ve already begun to think about making creamy squash soups for dinner instead of gazpacho and greek salads. I even turned the heat back on to my hot tub last weekend. Although I love Redding’s 114 degree days, I greet the equinox with a big nicetoseeyahowdoyado, and I will welcome Fall with open arms, when it finally gets here, whenever that’s gonna be.
I love the changing of the seasons because it always brings change and new routines. It means you put away your river sandals and you dig around in the back of the closet for your rainboots. You scratch your head and think to yourself, now where did I put my coat? I haven’t seen it since April. Around here, Fall means changing out the summer sheets for flannel. It means one glorious month when you get a nice break on the utility bill because you’re no longer using the air conditioner or swamp cooler, and you’re not quite ready for the heater. It’s that Fall equinox sweet spot, that one moment when you get to take a little breather from summer before the onslaught of winter mayhem.
The equinox (both Autumn and Spring) usually brings a sweet spot to the radio world as well. It’s that brief moment of the year when the radio signal is perfect. It’s not so hot that the fans burn out at our mountaintop transmitters and fry electronic equipment, and the winds of winter storms that knock out electricity haven’t come yet.
Lucky us, there are some great songs dedicated to the changing of the seasons. And while there’s plenty of tunes for Summer, Spring and Winter, there really seems to be a generous bounty of songs specifically for the months of September and October. A plentiful harvest of music for these particular months. A virtual cornucopia of compositions, if you will! (I crack myself up.)
This is probably my most mellow playlist to date (you know, cause it’s time for a change…) with a little classic rock and jazz. But we’ll start off this Autumn playlist with a bang, with my favorite change-of the season tune ever, from the still-spectacular Earth, Wind & Fire! And speaking of fire, if you’re getting a little chilly, feel free to warm your hands by the toasty cracklin’ fire (in Widescreen HD no less!) as you enjoy the music.
Stream this playlist on Grooveshark (or click on the imbedded playlist included above)
Download all or part of the mix on iTunes
- EWF– September
- The Zombies– The Time of the Season
- Terry Jacks– Seasons In The Sun
- Hall & Oates– Change of Season
- Daughtry– September
- Green Day– Wake Me When September Ends
- Foo Fighters– Summer’s End
- REM– Nightswimming
- Yo La Tengo– Autumn Sweater
- Sting– Fields of Gold
- Neil Young– Harvest Moon
- James Taylor– Country Road
- Steve Miller Band– Seasons
- MinusBlue– Pale September
- Edgar Winter– Autumn
- Paolo Nutini– Autumn
- Bill Evans Trio– Autumn Leaves
- Sarah Vaughan– Autumn in New York
- Ahmad Jamal– Maybe September
- Chet Baker– September Song
- Stevie Wonder– Seasons
- Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66– So Danco Samba from Equinox
Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for nine years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She’s the mother of a teenage daughter and a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier, and can’t imagine life without them or music. Valerie wakes up with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.