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Hunky Punky Poolboy: 23 bops and ballads for the summer stud

Hunky Punky Poolboy will never judge if you put ice in your wine.
Zayrha Rodriguez
/
NPR
Hunky Punky Poolboy will never judge if you put ice in your wine.

Stream the playlist via Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube.

You finally booked that vacation. After two long years in lockdown, you did it. And here you are relaxing by the pool, looking at your watch and murmuring "it's five o'clock somewhere" to yourself as the clock ticks noon. The sunlight bounces off the cerulean pool water and catches a flip of hair. There he is.

He's in Cannon Beach. He's at the Cape. He's working at the resort with the really nice towels and the saltwater pool heated to 95 degrees at night. There's no coastal preference here — he's everywhere and nowhere. He's in your dreams. He's pouring your drinks, either with no sleeves or no shirt at all. You will always be able to see his guns. He will never judge if you put ice in your wine. He knows how to wink at the middle-aged ladies in sarongs without being creepy. He's seen vacationers come and go, but this is his home. You're in his house now.

Sure, he was born in '90s, but his dad taught him about carburetors to the sweet sounds of Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses ballads, waxing nostalgic about when cars were cars (pre-emissions checks), when bands were bands (guitars), and when men were men (teased hair and tight pants).

Yeah, he had a band in high school! They played the local bar and had to come in the back door and promise to only order club soda! He played guitar! He grew up on the radio in his hometown, which means his Top 40 references and hip-hop favorites (see: "Thong Song") are charmingly outdated.

He dreamed of going to Brooklyn when DFA Records was the hot s***, or living in Oakland when Green Day and AFI were frequenting punk houses. He is the embodiment of the power ballad. He went to the last gasps of Warped Tour and never threw away his Converse where he wrote out Further Seems Forever lyrics. He's never left because why would he when you come every summer? He's here to pour your first glass of wine, because it's always five o'clock when he's running the show.

Roséwave: Hunky Punky Poolboy Tracklist

Sisqo, "Thong Song"
Further Seems Forever, "Snowbirds and Townies"
Turnstile, "UNDERWATER BOI"
Nelson, "(Can't Live Without Your) Love And Affection"
Faith No More, "Epic"
Crazy Town, "Butterfly"
Pearl Jam, "Even Flow"
Aerosmith, "Sweet Emotion"
Joyce Manor, "Heart Tattoo"
Stone Temple Pilots, "Vasoline"
R.E.M., "Orange Crush"
Tigers Jaw, "The Sun"
Rage Against The Machine, "Take The Power Back"
CAKE, "Stickshifts and Safetybelts"
The Strokes, "Heart in a Cage"
JEFF The Brotherhood, "Sixpack"
Japandroids, "Younger Us"
The Front Bottoms, "Vacation Town"
Jawbreaker, "Million"
The Ataris, "The Boys of Summer"
Guns N' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine"
Green Day, "Longview"
The Rapture, "House of Jealous Lovers"

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Kathleen Tarrant
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