Records for Road Tripping
On Saturday (3 More Sleeps!) I will be departing Vancouver on an epic road trip to visit my friend in Los Angeles. There is much to be excited about: Seeing Kat, More sunshine and less rain, record shopping, Mexican food, and just as certainly, preparing music for the long drive. Here are a few albums I’m excited to listen to while driving south – but I have to drive back to, so feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments below. Oh, and if you want to check out any of the albums, their picture to the right will link to a Grooveshark stream. In the order of backwards chronology, enjoy!
The Only Place – Best Coast, 2012
Reviewers everywhere raved about this record, and the truth is, I still haven’t listened to more than one or two Best Coast singles, so it seems that now is the time. Plus, we have so much in common: I’m going to L.A., via the coast – the band is from L.A. and called Best Coast; I’ll be on the road – this album was written while on tour; the bear on the cover is hugging a map – I’ll likely be doing some map hugging myself. It’s pretty much destiny.
Vows – Kimbra, 2010
Kimbra sounds like she’s having a really good time on her funky debut album, Vows, and it’s hard to imagine not having fun while it’s playing. I am planning to save this record for a much needed dance break, or perhaps as a celebration for crossing over a state line. The song I’m most looking forward to is absolutely the bonus track, called “The Warrior,” for which I just found this Luchadore-themed music video:
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes, 2008
Back when I was writing a list of what I thought were the best albums of the “ohsies” decade (2000-2009), Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut was my number 5, but I put off writing about the album because I was convinced they were best heard while on the road. This road trip seems like the perfect chance to put my own theory to the test, and maybe come home with a blog ready to publish.
Funeral – Arcade Fire, 2004
Another one of my favourite albums from that decade, I have plenty to say about it here. This was unquestionably the album I spent the most time listening to in 2005 – particularly in the first few months of moving into a basement in Vancouver and beginning a grad program. This is one of those albums that I know all the words to, but can’t remember ever trying to learn them. So, for the sake of loud singing in the car, Funeral will be my go-to. Not to mention, it will be good to have some Can-Con to remember the music of home.
At the music store that I work at, we found a copy of this in print form in the clearance bin, and ever since, we’ve had it on display right across from the tills where we take yo money. The cover art alone is enough to transport me back to high school… all of those classes so full like sardines’ tins… no just kidding. The music is nostalgic, and although I went on an early Beastie Boys kick earlier this year when Adam Yauch died, I still haven’t really returned to Hello Nasty, even thought it was one of my favourites.
Janet – Janet Jackson, 1993
Why Janet? Well, I love Janet Jackson for nearly any occasion – especially when she’s produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis – and the truth is, I came across the CD in my room and realized that it had been a while since I put it on. I rarely listen to it as a full album in iTunes because of all the interludes and whatnot that are often unchecked, so having to put it on in its compact disc format might actually have a advantage.
Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill, 1991
This road trip would be incomplete without some L.A. bred rap music. I’m considering making an L.A. Rap playlist, that will be chalk-full of Dre and Snoop and Eazy E, but this self-titled, early 90’s classic seems like the right choice for a Vancouver (which has an actual Cypress Hill) to Los Angeles drive. At the very least, I’ll be nodding my head to this one:
Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman, 1988
“Fast Car,” is on this album, and it’s a classic road trip song for obvious reasons: “Is it fast enough for us to fly away?” But instead of just moving the one track to a playlist, I thought this album might be a chill break from the tunes that are meant to keep me awake and moving. Tracy Chapman might be just what I need to reflect and rest as we watch the scenery pass by.
(IV) – Led Zeppelin, 1971
Led Zeppelin is perfect for driving to, and this technically untitled record is not only one of their best, but also has “Going to California.” As an added bonus, “Stairway to Heaven,” will take up a whole 8 minutes. I’ve had Led Zeppelin in my mind all week because of this amazing website, The Bonhamizer, where you can add John Bonham drum tracks to any song you want to upload. It’s a lot of fun, but I’d rather drive to L.A. listening to Bonham how he was intended to be heard.
Saxophone Colossus – Sonny Rollins, 1956
Bet you weren’t expecting this one? I will likely need some jazz at some point, so why not one of the best saxophone soloists who ever lived, playing some of his all-time best solos ever recorded? No biggie! I have loved this record ever since my high school band teacher gave us homework to go buy some jazz, and as a result, Saxophone Colossus was the second jazz album I ever spent my own money on (right after Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue). Anyway, it’s catchy and awesome and I like it.
So, there are 10 albums that represent some of the diverse music that will be providing soundtrack to my epic adventure. The problem is, if I count it up, this music will only last me about 8 hours, and the way there alone is roughly 25! So, feel free to let me know what albums you’d be listening to on trip along the west coast in the comments below – I’m welcoming suggestions!