Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How To Make The Ultimate Road Trip Playlists

      It's no coincidence that Hanoi Rocks is playing while I research a trip to SE Asia. I like to sync up music to whatever I am doing to get me pumped up! While it's clever, I know they are unrelated so I did some research for bands that are actually from SEA and I found a bunch of great stuff! I will link some at the end if you are interested!

Brenda's Moving To Portland Playlist
     Things you need to consider when making playlists for the road are all the moods you might go through on this trip. Sometimes you need something that gets you pumped to keep you awake. For me that was 90's hip hop, 80's hits, 50's classics or albums from high school that I loved to sing all the words too. Other times you just want something light and relaxing. It's hard to be in the car for long periods of time and if you don't have downtime music you may give yourself a headache. Remember who you are driving with and try to pick things everyone will enjoy. Allow each other a few vetos because no one wants to be uncomfortable for hours in the car. The rule we stuck by was- if you are driver, you get to be the most comfortable. That means, your seat gets to be the most obnoxiously back, your music gets to play on the radio and you get to ask everyone to search for your songs on the ipod. As the passenger it isn't a bad job to keep yourself busy. But I will admit I didn't get board driving the whole first 3,000 miles. It wasn't until the long days or driving at night got to me that I was even affected by it. You will be shocked at how much driving you are trying to find something to do with yourself. The diverse landscapes of the United States kept me pretty occupied. In fact, when you are driving it kind of sucks to not be able to look out and take pictures! Switch up the driving frequently and make lots of stops to keep yourself comfy. We planned to stop every 2 hours and the longest we went without getting out to stretch was 4 hours I think. I also planned for us to only be in the car during daylight. But sometimes, when things ran late and we decided to sleep in (which happened a lot) we got off to a late start and then were kicking ourselves later when we are stuck on a dark road of just corn fields and no way to see where we were going! Ok, back to music!  I have many awesome playlists and formats for playlists to get your favorite hits that will really relate to what you are doing like the playlist I did based on the places I was going i.e. Mississippi Queen, in Mississippi, I did an Indie road songs playlist and a playlist just about America. Those will be for other blog entries. But today, I want to just give you my top songs for any American Road Trip!

     Some of my essentials songs  for road trip playlists are:
1.  Life is a Highway- Tom Cochrane
2. Born To Be Wild- Steppenwolf
3. On the Road Again- Willie Nelson
4. I Drove All Night- Roy Orbison
5. Midnight Rider- The Allman Brothers
6. America- Simon & Garfunkel
7. Free Ride- Edgar Winter Group
8. Slow Ride- Foghat
9. Go Your Own Way- Fleetwood Mac
10. Riders On the Storm- The Doors
11. El Paso- Marty Robbins
12. Train Song- Vashti Bunyan
13. Immigrant Song- Led Zeppelin
14. Rockin' in the Free World- Neil Young
15. The Time Has Come Today- Chamber Brothers
16. Low Rider- War

     For my road trips I try to spend some time making playlists for the road. My main source for music now is Spotify. If you haven't tried it I recommend it. I never really liked any of the other music clients I tried. I wanted to like them. I had Pandora and  8 tracks and a few others. But the thing that I really love about Spotify is that it has the newest music. If you want to discover music that's touring right now, its on here and every week there's New Music Tuesdays where you can check out any of the new albums of the week. Spotify allows me to download full albums of anything from the stuff I had in high school to everything I want to download today. Plus, you can check out some of the most popular playlists like NPR's All Songs Considered or your even your friends playlists and just add them to your page. And Spotify updates you on when new albums or singles by bands you like are out so you can always be up to date. It also syncs with an app called Songkick which scans all of your playlists and then tells you which shows are coming to town that you would want to see. It's brilliant.
     I have a few tips for road music. First- if you are using an app like Spotify download the music prior to the trip that way you won't have to use any data while driving. Data is expensive. Streaming music will kill your data bill. Second, you need to figure out what you will be using for taking road trip photos and what you are using for road trip music. For me, I used my phone for music and photos but I dropped my photos every night to my computer to save space. If you don't have a laptop or don't have this option you may want to download your music to an ipod so that you aren't using up too much space! Nothing worse than having to delete a playlist because you have no space for photos!
     As a back up, I made good old fashion CD's for the trip also. This was so I could have music if my phone died and it allowed me to have my essential stuff with me no matter what. Instead of making mix cds, I just copied my top 10 full albums that I wanted for the road. To get a few extra albums- just add all of the songs to your media player playlist and it will split them up. So, you will probably end up with 1.5 albums per CD and so just number them, label them, and play them all the way through- the way they were meant to be heard! I can't tell you how excited I was to have full length albums for my trip. It's been too long, too many years that we have forgotten this concept. Remember album art? And secret tracks? That stuff has really been lost in this digital age. So, I thought it be awesome to have a few albums I could hear from start to finish. And I ended  up really listening to them a lot!
My picks were:
1. Small Town Heroes- Hurray for the Riff Raff  This album was perfect for those back country roads especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
2. In the Aeroplane Over The Sea- Neutral Milk Hotel
3. Burn Your Fire For No Witness- Angel Olsen
4. Ziggy Stardust- David Bowie
5. Rubber Soul- The Beatles
6. Tomorrow is My Turn- Rhiannon Giddens
7. Be The Void- Dr. Dog
8. Bookends- Simon and Garfunkel
9. Pushing Against the Stone- Valarie June
10. LA Woman- The Doors
11. Beyonce - Self Titled
12. Almost Famous Soundtrack
13. Darjeeling Limited Soundtrack
14. Lorde- Pure Heroine
15. Sgt Pepper- The Beatles

Some of them were played on repeat and others got lost under the seat and I am sure yours will be ones that are closer to your heart! But remember, have some fun with it and pick things that are good listens for the car. I through in a few soundtracks because they are my favorite kind of album but also because they are good background music for conversation! You aren't going to want to sing the whole way, you may even want to talk to the people in your car. I hope some of this helps you when making your road trip playlists! Here's the list of SE Asian Artists and Songs I mentioned in the beginning of this post. It's Indie, fun, mellow music. Perfect for my day at the beach. All of these songs can be found on Spotify on a playlist I made called SEA Indie. Thanks!
1. I Don't Know- Yellow Fang
2. Unreal- Yellow Fang
3. Di Na Babalik- Ang Bandang Shirley
4. Jonestown- The Strangeness
5. Cain Was Furious and He Was Downcast - The Strangeness
6. Season Of Joy- Ballads of the Cliche
7. Back In The Old Days- Ballads of the Cliche
8. Friend's Guide- Ballad of the Cliche
9. Vacation Time- Part Time Musicians
10. Would You Mind? - Part Time Musicians
11. Finding a Leaf in Your Girlfriends Hair- Lullatone
12. Letter to Montecarlo- Lullatone
13. Khristine Anne- Archaster
14. Senandung Maaf- White Shoes & The Couples Company

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