FCM #5 - Driving Songs

FCM #5 - DRIVING SONGS Start your engines! Make one last weekend road trip - at least to the Mars Cheese Castle. We've put together 15 driving songs to go along with you. Click here to download the entire FCM #5 - DRIVING SONGS or hunt and peck below. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

Next week's Theme - Instrumentals! Sometimes it's time to tell the vocalist to shut up. Scour your collections for that brilliant instrumental!

"Intro / Sweet Jane (Live)" Lou Reed - 1973
Christine writes: Road trips... lot of memories I’d love to block out and some I hope to never forget. The essential roadtrip survival pack had to include mutually agreeable soundtracks for everyone in the car. Not an easy task when one wants to listen to their entire collection of Guided By Voices, the other wants nothing but Japanese Ska, and I just want to know if anyone has EVER heard of the radio. So, compromises were made prior to takeoff on what was even allowed in the car. One song everyone agreed to as the perfect “takeoff” song is what I present to you now. It’s this particular version that starts off low and unidentifiable and then rises to the culmination of Reed in one of his finest performances that sets off a great tone for any roadtrip... check your mirrors, peel out and enjoy.

"The Body Says No" New Pornographers - 2000
Nick writes: So here is a somewhat long story of the last time I got behind the wheel of a car, which was in April 2007.

My girlfriend Erin and I were still long-distance, and what had been the longest period of our not seeing each other was about to end with my flying to Chapel Hill on a Friday so we could drive up to DC and see the Dismemberment Plan's reunion show that Saturday. I get to O'Hare at 5:30p for an ostensible 7p departure, and by this point storms are pounding most of the eastern seaboard. My flight is cancelled, as is the next flight, and the next eight flights into RDU are booked solid with standby. So I ask about flights to several other airports around Chapel Hill and DC, figuring I can find some way to get up to DC by Saturday night. Turns out there is a 8:32 flight to DCA that I can get on. They book me for that and a DCA-RDU flight at 4:12a. Fine.

(In case you're wondering, I'm checking all of these numbers against an old blog post. I am not that good at remembering things.)

So waiting at the security barrier I start calling people I know in DC for crash space. One of my friends says he's game to have me crash, but he will also offer his car for me to drive down to Chapel Hill to see Erin. I take up the offer.

Of course, the ORD-DCA flight is delayed until 12:15a. Also, as if this couldn't get any more ridiculous, I get airsick for the first time in my life because we're flying through 850 miles of violent thunderstorm, and puke for two hours straight. At this point I miss my girlfriend a lot. Also, flights into DCA involve flying a really wonky path over the Potomac and then nosediving right at the end, cf.

wikipedia.org - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (The River Visual approach)

, which doesn't help my stomach very much. Touch down at ~3:15a eastern, chug two venti mochas on an empty (emptied, ahem) stomach at the sbux kiosk, grab my luggage, take the car keys from Dave, promptly almost run his car off the 395 bridge into the Potomac in a panic - and drive the entire way to Erin's house through the storm, blaring bombastic, noisy rock at full blast, yelling the words to every song. Including this one.

Got there at sunup, around 7a.

flickr.com - photo of nick in sweaty crowd

I know that this song was featured on a CD Thursday some months ago, but I don't care.

"Roadrunner" Joan Jett - 1986
Walt writes: Hey, I'm on vacation -- so what better week for driving songs. Since we generally drive when we holiday, this one's a great rocker to get the blood pumping on the road. The cool thing about this song is that Joan Jett did quite a few local site drops in for it for many different cities.

"Little Honda" Yo La Tengo - 1997
Masha writes: It's as fun as a barrel of monkeys on a two wheel bike!

"Strange" Wire - 1977
Jane writes: Hey gang, remember cassette tapes back in the day? Remember how there were 3 or 4 cassette tapes that sat in your glovebox in case of driving emergencies where you forgot to bring along one of your supercool NEW cassette tapes? For me, one of those was a wonderful compilation of Wire. I even had a back-up of this compilation in the case that the tape would melt in the hot car (it happened twice!).

So my selection was the song that I would inevitably rewind and play at least one extra time whenever it came up. It's a song that accompanied me through happy drives and sad. The trip home from Six Flags, feeling so triumphant that I finally conquered the Giant Drop; or driving home from "the city" (downtown Peoria, at the time) bawling my eyes out over some loser guy...

The cadence lends itself well to driving too. It's a head bobber. This, and "The Zoo" by the Scorps may be my favorite head bobbers ever.

"She's Tight" Cheap Trick - 1986
James writes: Cheap Trick was (and remains) a big Midwest band whose songs are built for speeding on big Midwest roads (I-90 from Chicago to Rockford being the obvious choice here). Come for the sexual frustration and innuendo, stay for the arena-ready riffs.

"Punk Rocker" Teddybears - 2006
Chris writes: This song gets double points because it's both a driving song and a song ABOUT driving (and looking good). It's a silly little sing-a-long courtesy of the Teddybears, and everyone's favorite punk rocker Iggy Pop leads the charge. Just try to get that synth hook and chorus out of your head after driving to this one for a few hundred miles...

"Living is A Problem Because Everything Dies" Biffy Clyro - 2007
Justin writes: A while back I had to return to the world of auto theft after my brother breached a contract with a Russian crime lord to deliver high end cars. So I had call up all my old friends for a one night 'boost' to grab all these cars all the while avoiding apprehension by this dirt-bag auto-theft cop whose wanted to nail my ass for years. Needless to say when that pig of a cop got close, I was outta there in a minute! Boooyah!

Uh, this song reminds me of then.

"Boys Peel Out" Mercury Rev - 1993
Allison writes: Mercury Rev, in their early/mid-90s heyday, seemed to be most often described as space rock, though I'd place them on the more earnestly psychedelic Flaming-Lipsian side of the spectrum as opposed to the shuffling shimmering shoegaze of the day. This track is from their second album, Boces, and it made multiple appearances on a couple of my own roadtrip mixtapes. It's sweetly buoyant and fizzy, and a bit more suited for winding local highways (max speed 45mp/h) as opposed to a high speed tear down I-35.

"Mighty Good Leader" Audio Adrenaline - 1999
Sean writes: This song brings back good memories of our first ever roadtrip here in the States. We had just bought our first van in 1999 and our best friends from South Africa were visiting. We drove them around the Midwest and Audio Adrenaline's new album Underdog was blaring for a lot of that trip. This is the first track from that album.

"Undiscovered" Ashlee Simpson - 2004
Margaret writes: I know what you're thinking - more crappy music from Margaret - but just give this one a chance! I always listened to this song on the way to and from my crappy waitressing job, and although it's a bit sad (think unrequited love), the lyrics struck a chord with me at the time. Aside from the bit of scream-singing at the end, her voice sounds pretty good, and I love the intro music.

"Don't Stop" ATB - 1999
TJ writes: Well well, I'm going to go in a different direction this week. ATB, I don't know anything about them honestly, for the most part I only know this one song because many of my friends in high school loved this song and we'd always play it on the weekends when we were hanging out. Techno-ish but addicting as hell, and awesome driving music.

"Jack and Diane" John Cougar Mellencamp - 1982
Renata writes: To me, a great driving song is one that all passengers are able to sing along with. For my friends and I, Jack & Diane always hits the spot. Why? Well, it doesn't hold any particularly deep meaning for us, but it’s damn catchy and always a great excuse to stretch otherwise unused vocal chords …

"The Golden Age" Beck - 2002
Brian writes: Beck used to pick me up from my house every morning around 3:10am. He would drive me around wherever I felt like going. One day I told him he should mix it up and do a mostly-acoustic album. He asked what he should sing about? I told him to sing about driving me around empty highways in the middle of the night and early morning. He then started writing the first song off of Sea Change, The Golden Age... Right there behind the wheel! Guitar and all! That is, of course, all bullshit, but I think Sea Change is the perfect driving album, and The Golden Age is the perfect driving song (especially on late nights, early mornings or really anytime you just feel tired/defeated).

"Range Life" Pavement - 1994
Ben writes: In the summer of 1996 I took an impromptu road trip with two friends to northern California from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My friend Jim brought a couple of Pavement CDs and I fell in love with the music during my driving shifts. I have a particularly vivid memory of coming down from the mountains into San Francisco just after sunset with my two friends sleeping and "Range Life" playing.

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Blogger a Tart said...

joan jett, heck yeah! thanks, that is the ultimate driving song :)

Blogger Brian said...

i just got to the joan jett song, and i have to agree, IT RULES! i'm inspired to go back and revisit more of her stuff. good call...

there are a lot of others on here that i'm excited to get to as well. and just the fact that lou reed and iggy pop are on here is pretty awesome...

this is one of my favorite mixes so far...

Blogger JVO said...

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Blogger ben said...

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