Archive for ‘Road Songs’

October 4, 2010

Road Songs: Night Train

Night Train by Brown Recluse

This song stands at number one in my traveling playlist. (Click on the song title to give it a listen.) That doesn’t necessarily make it my favorite song, but it makes it my favorite for starting a new trip. It’s cheery and sweet without being obnoxious or overtly sugary. It’s simple and lovely.

When I first heard it, I honestly couldn’t help but bob my head along to the opening bass line. I’m already smiling like an idiot by the time the piano and horns come in. The first time it came on while I was in a car, everything that was happening on the other side of the window seemed to perfectly match up to the music. Bike riders, trees, birds, other cars, traffic cones, everything. It gives a sunshiny day a natural soundtrack, and makes rain days a little brighter. That’s how impossible it is not to imagine good things happening to this song, and that’s exactly what I want when I’m going some place new.

(WARNING: According to Google Instant, Brown Recluse is a spider, and for some reason, there’s 929 video results on the internet. Do not, do not, do not click on brown recluse spider images. Your eyes will hate you. Luckily, this hasn’t deterred me from liking Brown Recluse the band, but I can’t say the same about Google.)

September 30, 2010

Road Songs: Gap

When I listen to this song, I play out a specific scene in my head. It’s so vivid, I might have just stolen it from a pivotal episode of 90210, but I can’t be sure. But basically:

There’s an argument, there’s accusations being made. There’s bags being packed, and “I’m leavings” thrown around, with “Go aheads” thrown back. Somebody shakes their head and says, “I can’t do this anymore.” There’s a single tear, nodding and an “I tried.” There’s a final turn-back with a goodbye, and bags being picked up and taken to the bus station. There’s a sigh, somebody boards the bus, and this song comes on. Somebody stares out the window. Then there’s a montage. It’s pivotal.

I don’t usually create weird emotionally abusive relationship fantasies around songs, but when I’m traveling, particularly on long bus, plane or train rides, my mind wanders. It’s hard for it not to, especially with this song and its “Please don’t go” lyrics.

My best friend turned me onto The Kooks senior year of high school when she fell in love with them. In loooove with them. But she had good reasons. Their folk-infused rock always provides a fitting soundtrack for a new trip. A little angsty, but like it’s saying, “Let’s go.”

September 25, 2010

Road Songs: New York’s Not My Home

Many a bus ride to New York, and back from New York, was spent staring out the window with this on repeat. For me, it’s the quintessential roadtrip song. Believe me, nothing cheers up the view of Connecticut more than this. I feel very profound when I listen to it, like I’ve just decided to leave my closed-minded family behind to finally go out to Hollywood and be in pictures. I’m going to be a big star!

That’s how this song makes me feel. Kind of sad but kind of hopeful. I had never seen footage of Jim Croce before and was completely surprised by his amazing ‘stache. I hadn’t realized how Wes Anderson-ian this song is. I don’t think it’s been in one of his movies yet, but oh boy, how it should be. Especially with Maury Muehleisen quietly providing gentle harmonies in the back. These guys were so ahead of every hipster I go to school with.