Last night I completed my seventh cross-country road trip in 7 years. For one reason or another, a road trip from Indiana to California (or vice versa) has been necessary for me quite frequently in recent years. Sometimes it’s to accompany a friend, sometimes for fun, and sometimes it’s simply necessary to get myself to-and-fro. This time it was the latter, and since my schedule had changed dramatically at the last minute, I had no one to ride with me. So I packed up and shipped out on the 36-hour journey solo-style. The solo trip actually turned out to be much more fun than expected. I definitely had some hang-ups along the way, but I also got to make numerous stops to see good friends (LxL’s own Austin included) and also had plenty of time to listen to some good music. In some cases, I managed to wipe out multiple bands complete discographies. Below are some of my favorites from this road trips playlist selection. Also, I’d like to apologize in advance if the title causes some confusion, but I unfortunately will not be talking about the Red Hot Chili Peppers in this article … sorry.
“Oh! You Pretty Things” – David Bowie
After discussing Hunky Dory for our spring list this week, I gave the album a good listen, which was nice because it had been a while. “Oh! You Pretty Things” is not only a fantastic sing-along-song to belt out lyrics too, but it is also very dynamic, which makes it a great road trip song. Perfect for nearly any occasion on the road.
“VCR” – The xx
The xx is great for night driving to me … unless you are tired, then I wouldn’t advise that at all. But, if you’re awake, driving through the middle of nowhere, and the scenic view outside your window is too dark to see, then you have a perfect setting for The xx. It’s a bit dark and mysterious, but also strangely warm and comforting, a very interesting combo.
“Jolie Coquine” – Caravan Palace
Wes and I have been known to hold some great late night jazz sessions while road tripping together. Usually it begins with Miles Davis or Charles Mingus, but eventually evolves into something weirder and not technically jazz but could have easily derived from it, such as Kraftwerk or Flying Lotus. While visiting my great friend John Lyon in Fort Collins, CO, he introduced me to Caravan Palaces’ 2010 self titled debut album and said he had been snow boarding to it as of late. He said it was a great vibe to fly down a hill too, bobbing and weaving his way around. This also applied to how fun it was to listen to while speeding up and down and swerving around those Colorado mountain roads. It also helped fill the void of Wes and I’s jazz session with quite an interesting mash-up of hot jazz, a little bluegrass, and some heavy beats, which makes for a lot of fun and provides some great energy for night driving.
“Carolina Drama” – The Raconteurs
Want to be extremely entertained for 6 minutes? Listen to this song. It’s chilling how invested you become in this song when just listening to it. This is probably because it is more dramatic and vivid than most movies. This song is a Jack White masterpiece, but not because a earth-shattering guitar solo, but because of Jack’s insane ability to tell a story. I believe this to be one of the most epic songs in recent history and one of the greatest examples of storytelling via song ever. This song alone appropriates the band’s name. One time while listening to this track on a long distance run, I literally almost passed out because without being aware of what I was doing, I had begun all out sprinting for the last minute of the song. I didn’t have any near-passing-out issues this time on the road, but I swear it STILL gives me chills every single time I listen to it.
“Golden” – My Morning Jacket
The end all/be all of road trip songs. Especially perfect for a sunset drive on a mountain road while thinking of or being with someone special. From the opening line “Watchin’ the stretch of road/ Miles of light explode”, to the soothing country vibes, and all the way to Jim’s comforting vocals … this song is perfect driving material. Doesn’t hurt when you have the below picture as the view in front of you either.
That is just a small sample of some of my favorite road trip moments from the past few days. Hope you enjoyed …