Thursday, September 14, 2006

MUSIC: Songs for a road trip

...So Friday we're leaving for our Mega-America Road Trek that, if all goes according to plan, will keep us on the road until sometime in early October, exploring the great American outback between Los Angeles and Denver and maybe as far as South Dakota if money and stamina hold out that long.

Which means I had to spend $560 servicing the aging Subaru and we're busy trying to figure out the best way to pack the least essential stuff into the car. And of course, deciding what CDs to bring. I just finished re-reading Chuck Klosterman's swell "Killing Yourself To Live" which also includes an obsessive music nut planning a cross-country road trip. Chuck brought 650 or so CDs. That's like the size of my entire CD collection, of which 2/3 or so is either in or on the way to New Zealand anyway.

So out of what's left, I had to pick 90 CDs that I can imagine listening to as we zip across the New Mexico deserts and Wyoming plains. (I quite like Joy Division, for example, but it ain't the best driving music unless you're stuck in traffic.)

The final contenders, dear God:

"The Essential Alice In Chains"
Arctic Monkeys, "Whatever People Say That I Am, That's What I'm Not"
The Band, "Greatest Hits"
Big Star, "#1 Record/Radio City"
"Blues: Gold"
Blue Mountain, "Roots"
Blur, "The Best Of"
David Bowie, "Lodger"
David Bowie, "Reality"
David Bowie, "The Singles 1969-1993"
"The British Invasion: Gold"
Neko Case, "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"
Johnny Cash, "Unchained"
"CBGB's And The Birth Of U.S. Punk"
The Chills, "Heavenly Pop Hits" (vintage New Zealand band)
Alice Cooper, "Dirty Diamonds"
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, "The River In Reverse"
"Crumb" original motion picture soundtrack
The Cure, "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me"
Destroyer, "Destroyer's Rubies"
Dinosaur Jr., "Ear Bleeding Country: The Best Of"
Duran Duran, "Greatest"
Bob Dylan, "No Direction Home: The Soundtrack"
Bob Dylan, "Nashville Skyline"
Bob Dylan, "Modern Times" (Absolutely superb CD by the way)
Bob Dylan, "Desire"
Bob Dylan, "Nashville Skyline"
Bob Dylan, "The Bootleg Series," Volume 3
Bob Dylan, "Bringing It All Back Home" (At which point I was informed, enough with the Bob Dylan already)
"Elizabethtown" Motion Picture Soundtrack (Kirtsen Dunst's mix tape)
Eminem, "Curtain Call"
Everclear, "Welcome To The Drama Club"
Fatboy Slim, "Why Try Harder? The Greatest Hits"
Fat Possum Records, "Chapter VII: All Men Are Liars"
Frank Black, "Honeycomb"
Franz Ferdinand, "You Could Have It So Much Better"
Gang Of Four, "Entertainment!"
Guided By Voices, "Vampire On Titus"
Guns 'N' Roses "Greatest Hits" (simply so I can blast "November Rain" at top volume)
Heartless Bastards, "All This Time"
"Hedwig And The Angry Inch," Motion Picture Soundtrack
Jolie Holland, "Springtime Can Kill You"
Iggy And The Stooges, "Raw Power"
Chris Isaak, "Best Of"
Elton John, "Greatest Hits"
Journey, "Greatest Hits" (shut up)
Kings of Leon, "Aha Shake Heartbreak"
Kraftwerk, "Trans-Europe Express"
LCD Soundsystem, "LCD Soundsystem"
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, "Shake The Sheets"
"Lost In Translation" Motion Picture Soundtrack
Lyle Lovett, "My Baby Don't Tolerate"
Madonna, "The Immaculate Collection" (again, shut up)
A.C. Newman, "The Slow Wonder"
The New Pornographers, "Electric Version"
New York Dolls, "New York Dolls"
Nirvana, "From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah"
Old 97's, "Wreck Your Life"
Beth Orton, "Pass In Time"
Tom Petty, "Highway Companion"
Tom Petty, "Greatest Hits"
Pixies, "Live At The BBC"
Elvis Presley, "Elvis Presley" (1956)
R.E.M., "New Adventures In Hi-Fi" (severely underrated, creepy album)
R.E.M., "In Time: 1989-2003, The Best Of"
The Replacements, "Tim"
The Rolling Stones, "Sticky Fingers"
The Paul Simon Anthology, Disc 2
"The Essential Sly & The Family Stone"
Elliot Smith, "From A Basement On A Hill"
Sonic Youth, "Rather Ripped"
Spoon, "Kill The Moonlight"
Spoon, "Gimme Fiction"
"The Essential Bruce Springsteen" (he's American, dammit!)
Talking Heads, "Remain In Light"
Tom Waits, "Real Gone"
TV On The Radio, "Return To Cookie Mountain"
U2, "Best of 1990-2000"
Weezer, "The Blue Album"
White Stripes, "Get Behind Me Satan"
The Who, "My Generation: The Best Of"
Wilco, "A Ghost Is Born"
Hank Williams, "Gold"
Stevie Wonder, "The Definitive Collection"
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, "Weld" (one of the best live albums ever)

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