Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About

This weekend, my good friend Adam will be moving to DC, making the same grueling 19-hour drive that I made two-and-a-half years ago from the quiet plains of Kansas to the bustling East Coast. While most of the trip will be a never-ending still life of cows, pasture and semis barreling down I-70, there will be a few notable, musical points of interest along the way. So Adam, while this will be a good excuse to finally finish that book on tape of War and Peace, download these geographical tunes and play accordingly.

Kansas City
Your starting point is a city that has a musical history as long as the Missouri River that snakes its way through. While 'The City of Fountains' have given us some great artists in more recent years (The Get Up Kids, Tech Nine), what Kansas City is most known for is being one of the birth places of jazz. Also, most experts agree that jazz is probably the best music to listen to in the morning. My recommendation is to start your trip off with KC native, Charlie 'Bird' Parker.

St. Louis
Alright dude, you've been on the road for four hours, you've seen a lot of cows, it's time for a pick-me-up. As you cross into the city limits of St. Louis it's time to bust out hometown hero, Nelly and his gang of St. Lunatics. Blast this while you cruise past the arch and all that is The West fades into your rear view mirror.

Illinois (the whole state)
Sufjan found enough inspiration in the birth state of Abraham Lincoln to make an entire album. As you cross over the muddy Mississippi River, settle into the vastness of all that surrounds you by listening to this album in its entirety. I mean, what the hell else are you going to do?

Okay man, time to pull over and pull yourself together. Use the bathroom, get some crappy gas station food, load up on caffeine... you're half-way home. By this point you're getting sick of Tolstoy, Sufjan was pleasant but your over it, what you need now is a palette cleanser. Something that's going to help you get your second (or at this point, fourth) wind. Are you ready for this? Two words: Michael Jackson. Yep, the King of Pop is from freaking Gary, Indiana. "Billie Jean." Represent!

Probably a good time to start thinking about pulling over for the night because you'll be in West Virgina soon, and believe me, you don't want to be in West Virgina by yourself after dark. Find a cheap motel and get some Z's but get your trip started out right in the morning with Ohio natives The National and this song.

The Home Stretch
Being Kansans, West Virginia is one of the only states we can actually make fun of for being less cultured. Truly though, West Virgina is gorgeous and most of the rest of your trip will be rocketing through the mountains of that state, as well as Pennsylvania and eastern Maryland. It's all a blur from here on out so play what you want. Maybe a little John Denver if the mood is right.

Or perhaps Maryland's finest, Animal Collective.

Or just go ahead and break out the DC Hardcore. It's never too early for Fugazi!

Welcome to DC friend! There will a warm roast chicken, good wine and the coziest couch in the city awaiting your arrival!


  1. the perfect variety: nelly, the national and michael jackson; makes sense!

  2. Love the roadtrip soundtrack! Go Adam Goooooo!