Home > Uncategorized > Music in the car….

Music in the car….

There’s something about music in the car. Especially when you’re alone. Dance like nobody’s watching for sure, but make sure to sing like you’re alone in the car!

The radio. The CD player. The auxiliary jack. It doesn’t matter. If music is at all a part of your life….as soon as you turn the key you’re searching for it.

I don’t have Satellite radio….so if I’m scanning the dial it’s usually for some classic rock…something to sing along with or drum on the steering wheel to. Mostly this is for short jaunts…..to and from work and the store…things like that. It can get a bit old when a station plays AC/DC and Pink Floyd every 6 minutes, but if I told you I turned off “Thunderstruck” or “Comfortably Numb” even one time in my entire life I’d be lying. (I will confess to throttling “Stairway to Heaven” and “Freebird” though…..and you’ll never convince me this makes me a bad person.)

What’s weird about “classic rock” stations is that when these bands filled with old fellas release new music, it never gets played because it’s not “classic” yet. To reach that pinnacle it would need to be played endlessly on the radio….which of course doesn’t happen anymore because the so-called “top-40” stations are seemingly allergic to anything that features electric guitars. So while I’ll continue to hear “Who Are You” 17 times a day on the radio, I’ll never once hear a new song from the Who’s upcoming new record. This type of thing makes sense in boardrooms and stockholder meetings, but it irritates the un-washed masses like me. But I digress…..which I’m wont to do when going on about music.

(Oh….another digression. My favorite DJs, the funniest, the most clever, the most likable. are generally the ones on the top 40 stations, which is REALLY irritating. So at times it can work in reverse……I’ll actually turn a station off when a song is played….and navigate back for the banter.)

If my trip will take any amount of time….the music must be planned. But sometimes even the best laid plan….you know. My car used to be filled with CDs. Everywhere. Front. Back. On the floors. Shoved in side-door compartments. I’ve lost dozens by forgetting to warn unsuspecting passengers what they were about to sit on (I can still hear that crunch sound that took out Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors”). But there’s always more where that came from. Eventually they’d all lose their case…..which would trigger a free-for-all. I’d just grab anything and shove it in the player, the white-trash version of music on “shuffle”. I’d go from the Husker Du to a Kate Rusby record….oblivious to the stares of my perplexed passengers, who of course DON’T MATTER. The driver is the grand high exhaled mystic ruler of a car’s sound system.

ipod-classic-5262These days I’ve largely jettisoned CDs for my trusty Ipod. It’s got about 25,000 songs on it, and when it finally blows up my life will be in complete shambles. It’s hard to believe that the act of downloading music and syncing it to an Ipod is now ancient technology, comparable to asking teens to use a rotary phone. The Spotify’s of the world have taken over (users oblivious that the service’s royalty rate of $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream is slowly eating itself..but whatever). But with my aux cord and legacy Ipod with the spinning wheel…I’ve got a 30 year music collection in the palm of my hand. With so many choices……I’m frequently paralyzed by indecision, sitting in my driveway trying to decide what makes sense to get me from point A to point B. Sometimes, knowing how long to trip will take, I’ll choose a playlist that lasts as long, so I know how close I am based on what song is playing, and how many are left. For years I’ve known that I can get to my daughter’s college in the time it takes to listen to Quadrophenia from start to finish.

On the dark side….if you think texting and driving is dangerous, try spinning your way from the Beach Boys to ZZ Top while navigating 4 lane rush hour traffic. Be safe out there kids.

The music is vital. Getting in the car without my Ipod is like getting in without my keys. Some days you need pure volume……others something quiet and introspective. Green Day to Glen Hansard. I’ll get into grooves where I become obsessed with a certain sound or a certain band. So nothing but Motown for a week….or Tragically Hip songs for a month. A new release by Jesse Malin might fill the car for days. For the last 2 days I’ve gone back and forth to work with my friend James Barrett’s new record called “The Price of Comfort”. It’s instinctive. The need for music. The need to sing along. Tomorrow might start something new. It might not. I won’t think about it. It will just happen.

This Thanksgiving, I can say that music is the only thing that has never let me down.

So pick your vessel. And sing along. You’ve earned it.

In a bit..


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