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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Spring Break Road Trip 2009

I generally approach the road trip playlist with a particular method. There are, to me, three essential types of music that need to be heard on the road (Indeed, some music is simply better on the road). These three types of music are:

- Americana-eque, upbeat, folk-country, indie music. Henceforth referred to as “Type A.”
- Solemn, introspective, sometimes-sad, but personally helpful music. Best listened to alone. Henceforth referred to as “Type B”
- Upbeat, sing-along, pop music ranging from beach pop to indie pop. Henceforth referred to as “Type C”

There is a pattern to when I make a playlist, and it usually involves rotating the three types of music, and interspersing them with “Wild Card” songs from genres like rock, hip hop, R&B, or 80s pop. Another thing that really matters to me is albums. If I’m on a long road trip, I tend to listen to full albums rather than setting the iPod to shuffle and letting it run wild. Granted, there are times when this is acceptable, appropriate even, but for the most part, I enjoy solid albums on the road.

With that in mind, here is my recommended road trip playlist for Spring Break 2009. At the bottom of this playlist are several recommendations for substitutions should you find a particular album disagreeable.

Road Trip 2009


Stage One: You have just left your city, town, or college campus to embark on a journey across America. Make your phone calls now. Reception will be hit or miss the rest of the way. This is an exciting journey, and you will need some music to get you pumped up for the long journey ahead. Might I suggest a wild card to start this whole thing off?

Recommended Wild Card Album – Our Lady Peace:
Happiness is not a Fish that You Can Catch

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Stage Two: You’ve now been on the road for about 45 minutes and unless you live near the Eastern Seaboard, you’re far removed from any metropolitan area. Time to get the rotation started. Start with your Type A, follow it with a Type B, and then with a Type C. Here are my recommendations:

Recommended Type A Album – Band of Horses: Cease to Begin
Recommended Type B Album – Loney, Dear: Dear John
Recommended Type C Album – Pop Levi:
Never Never Love

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Stage Three: Two to three hours have passed now, and if you’re lucky you’ve already reached your destination. But what if you’ve still got several hours to go? Let’s mix it up to keep things interesting.

Recommended Wild Card Mix – The Killers – Now you may not like The Killers, and that’s perfectly understandable. If you don’t, substitute them for another selection from below. If you’re down for some Brandon Flowers action, however, play the following mix or, if your options are limited, just the album Hot Fuss.

1. “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine”
2.“Mr. Brightside”
3. “Change Your Mind”
4. “Human”
5. “When You Were Young”
6. “Somebody Told Me”
7. “Midnight Show”
8. “Spaceman”
9. “Everything Will Be Alright”

Recommended Type A Album – Sufjan Stevens:
Illinois
Recommended Type B Mix
1. A.C. Newman – “Take On Me”
2. Jaymay – “Sycamore Down”
3. Bright Eyes – “Land Locked Blues”
4. The Elected – “Sun, Sun, Sun”
5. The Shins – “A Comet Appears”

Recommended Type C Album – The Postal Service:
Give Up
Recommended Type A Album – Conor Oberst:
Conor Oberst
Recommended Type B Album – Nick Drake:
Pink Moon
Recommended Wild Card Album – The Mars Volta: Frances the Mute

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Stage Four: For all intents and purposes, you should be entering the final phase of your road trip. This is where things start to get exciting again. The music should reflect that, right? Of course it should!

Recommended Type C Album – Rooney: Rooney
Recommended Wild Card Album – The Streets: The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living
Recommended Wild Card Mix – This is the final stretch, folks. Roll down the window and smell the sweet beach air, growing more and more potent by the minute. Play this mix:

1. Amadou & Mariam – “Magosa”
2. The Bird and the Bee – “Love Letter to Japan”
3. Wham! – “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”
4. MGMT – “Kids”
5. Wallpaper – “The Remix”
6. CSS – “Move”
7. Apples in Stereo – “Same Old Drag”
8. Beck – “Hell Yes”
9. Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.”
10. Crystal Castles – “Courtship Date”
11. George Harrison – “Got My Mind Set on You”
12. Talking Heads – “Once In a Lifetime”
13. The Lonely Island – “Jizz in my Pants”
14. K–Os – “FlyPaper”
15. Of Montreal – “Id Engager”

This mix is really going to vary based on your own personal preferences. Play music that gets you amped up and feel free to mix around the songs. Just be sure to end your road trip with a good mix rather than a single album. Also, try to keep “Id Engager” as the final song of your trip. Play it as soon as you pull into your destination. It’s always a good one!

So that should do it: the perfect playlist for your 10 hour road trip! As always, feel free to mix up the albums to suit your needs. Just keep the pattern in tact and you should have an enjoyable road trip, filled with the ups and downs of life (le gay). Should you want more recommendations, here you go:

Type A
Bob Dylan:
Highway 61 Revisited
Bright Eyes: Cassadaga
Built to Spill:
Keep it Like a Secret
Death Cab for Cutie:
Plans
The Decemberists:
The Crane Wife
Eagles:
Hotel California
Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
Headlights:
Kill Them With Kindness
The Honorary Title: Anything Else but the Truth
Loney, Dear:
Loney, Noir
Midlake:
The Trials of Van Occupanther
Plants and Animals: Parc Avenue
Rogue Wave:
Out of the Shadow
The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow
The Wrens: The Meadowlands

Type B
The Notwist: Neon Golden
Radiohead: Kid A
Sigur Ros: ( )
Slint: Spiderland
Sufjan Stevens:
Seven Swans

Type C
Fiona Apple:
Extraordinary Machine
Architecture in Helsinki:
Places Like This
The Bird and the Bee:
Ray Guns are Not Just the Future
Death Cab for Cutie:
Narrow Stairs
Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Lily Allen: It’s Not Me, It’s You (Songs 1 – 5)
Mates of State:
Re-Arrange Us
Metric:
Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
Of Montreal: Satanic Panic in the Attic
The Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone
Wallpaper: T.Rex EP

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

great post. sad that no one commented on this one, looks like it took a good amount of thought.

michelleacosta90 said...

This is defeinitely my style of music. Thanks for the suggestions!

Nita Stelling said...

Well that's a more organized way of preparing the long playlist for the long drive. I usually think of the songs that are best played during the day and night driving. Rock and upbeat songs during the day then a bit of trance and easy-listening music during the night. It's also a good thing that I'm able to save music on my car's audio system. Set it and forget it. All told, it's nice to have them to sing to while trailing the road. Cheers!