Flipping through the FM dial this morning on my way to work, I landed on 88.9 FM, which was playing "Milk and Honey," one of my favorite tracks from Beck's amazing "Midnite Vultures."
Instantly, I found myself transported to the Edens Expressway, en route to Chicago. For some reason, every time I drive to Illinois, I crank up that album. It seems to make a boring drive go faster.
That's when I realized that for every reoccurring road trip in my life, I tend to play a certain soundtrack. It's because I'm a creature of habit, of course, but the cool part is that whenever I hear one of the songs somewhere else, my mind wanders to its happy place.
They say that the sense of smell is the most powerful one, that it can evoke memories instantly. Maybe that's true, but sound can't be far behind.
For example, every year, when my friend Eron and I trek up to Door County for our annual weekend getaway, we begin the trip by blasting this obscure bootleg album from a psychedelic early '70s Puerto Rican rock band called Bandolero (don't bother trying to find it on iTunes; we got it in the dollar bin at a Tucson used record shop).
Or, when I'm at the cabin Up North, I mix up a little Hank Williams III with Skynyrd, which always seems appropriate.
Or, if I'm in Phoenix for Spring Training, our group has a special "mix tape" that grows and evolves each year.
When it's cold and dark here in the middle of the winter, all I need to do is play "Now It's On" by Grandaddy, and immediately my mind drifts to the berm at Maryvale Baseball Park.
You get the idea.
What are your road trip soundtracks? Chime in using the Talkback feature below.
great topic. the last road trip i was on, i listened to modern guilt from zion utah to dubuque iowa without stopping. i don't think i'd do that again, but i really enjoyed it. in the fall, joe cocker and van morrison seemed most appropriate. i also remember taking road trips in search of favorable weather to the sounds of soul coughing.
on the flip side, i was tortured most of the way to new orleans by a friend who couldn't get enough michael jackson.
Sunny day roadtrips are best started out with a little Allman Brothers culminating with the tune of Jessica. Nothing better than rocking down the highway to that tune. Fall road trips have me playing more Ryan Adams, Wilco (YHF) and Bon Iver. Everytime I feel myself getting a little drowsy I go straight for the screams of Dave Grohl & Foo Fighters. Always a surefire bet to keep my eyes open.
it's very cliche and obvious i guess, but once in a while on the road trip back to La Crosse i'll pop in Jackson Browne's "Running On Empty". road built, road tested, road tough!
"rosie you're alright....."
Bobby Tanzilo | Nov. 10, 2011 at 8:17 a.m. (report)
If I'm alone on a relatively long trip, I bring the CDs I've been meaning to listen to, without success, so I can spend some time with them. Sometimes, as with Nathaniel Rateliff's last one on a trip to Chicago a couple years ago, I never get past the first CD and I play it over and over again. If the kids are in the car, I don't get a song in edgewise.
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