Monday, April 23, 2012

sing-a-long. scream-a-long.

Listening To: Hey Pretty Girl by Kip Moore
Loving: all the books you recommended on this post. Thank you!
Line Obsession: "Magnolia has coffee like muddy tears, but it gets me out of the house." - Emma Forrest

So I was hanging out with my dad last week, and we decided to stop for some coffee.

And by "we decided to stop for coffee" what I mean is that I saw the Starbucks sign and, thus, I began pointing and flailing about. "Freak Out" is my Pavlovian response to Starbucks. There's always room in my life for a Caramel Macchiato. (And now my sister's getting me hooked on those infernal chai lattes ... how can so much joy exist in one small cup?!)

So we stopped for coffee, then made our way back toward the interstate. As we were waiting to turn, a car rolled up along side us. And the car's music was blaring so loud that it made my car vibrate. It made my teeth vibrate.

When music is so loud that it makes my teeth vibrate, I have this involuntary reaction to look.

I wasn't being ornery about it or anything. I didn't particularly care that the music was loud (my teeth might care but I'm fine with it ...). I keep my music cranked up too, especially in the car. (Because I like to sing along ... and if I keep Adele turned up really, really loud I start to convince myself that I sound exactly like her. You savvy?) When I felt the bass line thumping deep down in my bones, I guess I just felt compelled to see what was up. Those woofers were like sirens to my redneck soul.

When I glanced over at The Boneshaker beside me, I saw ... a tiny, old Mazda truck. The truck was no higher off the ground than my car. The driver was a man who looked to be in his twenties or thirties - very thin, with shaggy hair and a backwards hat. He saw me looking. He smiled and waved: "Sorry!"

I waved my hand like, "Hakuna Matata, friend!" No worries. Carry on with thy boneshaking. I smiled at him.

And then he motioned for me to roll down the window.

Which I did, hesitantly.

And I was rather delighted by what I heard. Because when my window was all the way down ... my car was suddenly flooded with the sound of synthesizers and perky drum beats - glorious 80's dance music.

The Boneshaker was rocking out to ... Whitney Houston.

How will I know if he really loves me?
I say a prayer with ev-ry heartbeat ...

The guy smiled and gave a thumbs up and hollered, "I'm keeping Whitney alive!"

I'm asking you what do you know about these things?

I mirrored his thumbs up. "Awesome!"

I raised my coffee cup in honor of his bravery. Salute.

He passed us on the interstate and, to my great delight, he was still rocking out, still screaming, "How Will I Knoo-ooooow..." at the top of his lungs.

My dad was like, "Why did he feel the need to tell you he was listening to Whitney Houston?"

The world may never know.

But I like it. I like a grown-man who's not ashamed to sing-a-long with Whitney. 

Maybe he recognized a kindred spirit. I also like to have concerts in my car. Every since the day I met The Boneshaker, I've been thinking about my favorite car songs. And how my favorite kind of music, my favorite bands ... aren't necessarily my favorite tunes to sing in the car. My favorite kind of music tends to be moody, artsy, lyric-driven stuff. I don't remember if it was my mom or dad who made the observation that my favorite bands mostly dress like hobos and hitchhikers. *shrugs* S'true. And yet. Those same sweet, introspective songs that make me want to write better and fall in love harder or just curl up in the corner and weep ... those aren't necessarily my favorite car songs. There's some crossover, but the car mix is more eclectic.

Here are some of my favorites:

- As previously mentioned, anything and everything by Adele. Adele is inspirational-legit. Like I said, there is some crossover on this list.
- "Paranoia in B Flat" by The Avett Brothers. Except not too often because that song makes me want to bust a move. And it's hard to actually move around much in a car, while driving, without making other passengers nervous.
- "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan. Observation: when I try to sing like Bob Dylan I mostly just sound like I'm in pain.
- "Somebody Told Me" by The Killers. Classic.
- "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry. Uh-oh, the ballad of a dove. *raises hand as if releasing a small bird* Go in peace and love. (She's totally doing an ode to Anne Shirley in this video, don't you think? Well played, Kimberly Perry!)
- The entire Wicked Soundtrack. It's almost sad how much I like Wicked. But everyone deserves a chance to fly, dang it!
- The movie soundtrack for Grease. (When I hang out with my bffMelanie, we still listen to "You're the One that I Want" and we take turns singing Danny and Sandy's parts.) (...TMI?)
- "Carrying Your Love" with Me by George Strait. For whatever reason, I really, really like country music in the car. George Strait's voice puts me in a good frame of mind. I wish he was an option for the navigator's voice on my TomTom. I'd like for him to sing me around the city.
- "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard. This one ... I can't explain it. I only know it's a great car song. (For a double dose of awesome, you can watch him sing it with Dolly here.)
- "Gunpowder and Lead" by Miranda Lambert. Miranda's my go to girl for when I'm feeling feisty.
- "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. Ditto for Kelly when it comes to the feisty factor. Stronger is also my favorite workout song right now. And I might have spent almost an entire night trying to learn the dance at the end. Judge me if you must. 

Sometimes, when I'm driving, I gravitate toward melancholy songs; songs that makes me think about where I'm going and where I'm headed. Other times, I just want the kind of music that makes me want to roll down the window and howl out the lyrics.

Speaking of howling, one of my all time favorite car songs is "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness. My brother hates it when we're out and that song comes on my iPod. I can't really describe the change that comes over me. All I know for sure, is that my rendition of the song is very special. In the words of Randy Jackson, it gets a little pitchy.

If you were going on an epic roadtrip with your best friends tomorrow, what songs would be on your playlist?


  1. That is such an awesome story! I would have saluted that man, too. I don't have time to list my most epic of roadtrip playlist but I will say I Believe in a Thing Called Love would definitely be on it. I adore that song! It would be hard to drive instead of dance, however.

  2. Great story. :) I like unusual, unexpected happenings like that.

    "Paranoia in B Flat Major" is one of my favorite Avett Brothers songs. I don't know why exactly, but I just love it to pieces.

    I pretty much listen to the same songs/music in the car that I listen to at all other times. Which means it can range from Sinatra and 40s swing music to the Avett Brothers and the Secret Sisters to music from Disney and musical soundtracks. :) I was listening to the Annie soundtrack in my car the other day.


  3. I love the "if i die young" music video and "stronger" is one of my new favorites. probably wicked and hairspray and some 80s and singer/songwriter, i listen to everything.
    that's a great story.

  4. I just went road tripping with some of my friends for spring break about a month ago and I think we had some pretty great songs on the various playlists and CDs we made.

    Here's a little random sampling of those:
    "Come on Over Baby (All I Want is You)" by Christina Aguilera, "Pieces of Me" by Ashlee Simpson, "Island in the Sun" by Weezer, "Pocketful of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield, "Gonna Get Over You" by Sara Bareilles, definitely a little Kelly Clarkson with "Stronger," "Therapy" (always good for the car), "Mood Rings" and "Chap Stick, Chapped Lips, and Things Like Chemistry" all by Relient K.

  5. I heard a song last night that I thought you might go nuts over. I bought my car new (I know, Dave Ramsey would be ashamed), and the main benefit of that was the SiriusXM radio that came with it, and the fact that my parents have decided to renew it each year as a Christmas present. So the best part about Sunday night drives is the "Nordic Rox" show they play, highlighting all the awesome music that comes out of Scandinavia (which, I knew the Scandinavians were cool, just had no idea how much). I counted this little gem as their gift to me last night.

    1. I LOVE THIS!! What else did you discover?! I can't wait for The Rogue Accountant to hear this. Thanks for this link!

    2. "This Head I Hold" by Electric Guest and "Saw You First" by Givers. (Those two sound nothing like "Emmylou," but I'll wait until they're over to get out of my car.)

      Also worth checking out is Dawes. I loooove Dawes. Their latest album is full of delectable breakup songs (and most of them aren't disrespectful, which is really nice). Start by listening to "Million Dollar Bill," "Moon in the Water," and "When My Time Comes" (which you can definitely find them performing with Mumford and Sons with a quick youtube scan).

      I didn't find these on the Scandinavian show, but I'll give you a heads up when I find another one from that show that I love. "Emmylou" hasn't left my head yet this week, and it's had me grabbing at Gram Parsons videos. Have you ever heard his story? I had never heard it before, but I think it would make an incredible movie, as long as they include his cremation story. Crazy.

    3. ALSO: Dawes will be touring with the incomparable Sara Watkins (who has a new album coming out!) early this summer. They'll be in Chattanooga June 11, or you could wait until June 14 and come see them with me in Raleigh. Either way, you should definitely go.

  6. Stronger is on my workout playlist on heavy rotation too. :)

    I listen to music best when I'm doing something, like driving or walking. So for a CD to get a real listen it has to go on car rotation...and there is little rhyme or reason to what I play. Sometimes it's Pink. Other times Tenth Avenue North. In the winter, anything by James Taylor and/or Carole King. Pretty much anytime, I will put in Kansas and be totally comforted by the soul-deep familiarity of every note. I have belted Wicked in the car HUNDREDS of times. In the summer I love country music with the windows down. Sometimes I dig Metallica. Superchick will always always be a favorite for when I need a pick-me-up. And certain car rides just need Taylor Swift involved.

    So, like I said, no rhyme or reason. Which is just how I like it. :)

    1. We could totally roadtrip! These suggestions are so awesome! It doesn't take much for James Taylor/Carole King to make me cry. Their voices are magical, wonderful things. These are all awesome. I agree that Taylor is great for a car ride. I forgot to mention Katy Perry but she gets lots of car-time too.

  7. Love it. I would play Hey Ya by OutKast. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. :)

    1. That song never gets old. Whenever it comes on, I'm pretty much bowled over by happiness. (Have you heard the acoustic version of it? I think Matt Weddle was the guy's name? It's so gorgeous!)

  8. That Boneshaker listening to Whitney story is like the best thing ever. LOVE IT. :)

  9. Aw man, the boneshaker reminds me of one of my brothers. :)

    Anything by the Killers or Needtobreathe
    I believe in a thing called love (definitely)
    Most anything from Florence and the Machine, Two Door Cinema Club
    All of David Crowder, Switchfoot, Josh Garrels

    I usually like dancy music I can howl with in the car but occasionally the thoughtful stuff too.

    1. I love these picks, Allie. I would totally be singing with you in the car. Florence + The Machine is PERFECTION while driving. And so is David Crowder. His songs hit me square in the heart no matter how many times I've heard them. I'm starting to feel that way about Needtobreathe too. Their sound is so unique. As soon as Bear Rhineheart starts to howl out a lyric, I FEEL it, way down deep. I love the way he hooks my heart from the start. Good music to drive by (and live by).

  10. Fr long road trips, I love the Civil Wars. They're music is perfect for sunny spring days or rainy fall days. Love them. Also on my list

    What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
    Somebody Told Me by The Killers
    She is Love by Parachute (their new cd just makes me dance like a fool)
    Anything and everything by Joe Brooks (The young cute British kid. Not the 70s-era weird guy.)
    No Such Thing As Time by Elenowen
    Use Somebody by Kings of Leon
    Disney music
    Nickel Creek : )
    Brooke Fraser -Flags album
    I love singer/songwriter music for trips. Also stuff I can dance to, which Tucker seems to think is very unsafe ;) I disagree.

    1. Tucker's gonna have to learn to be more daring. ;) I love all of these. Disney Music is the best. I can hear those songs once and know them by heart. "Part of Your World" is my favorite. I even have this old CD of country music stars singing Disney songs. Faith Hill sings "Part of Your World" (I like Ariel's version better), but I love the way the band on there sings "Kiss the Girl." So fun and peppy - steel guitars instead of Sebastian the Crab but it's awesome :) And that One Direction song? That has been stuck in my head for days. Those boys are adorable. Their swoopy-stiff hair reminds me of cupcake icing.

  11. I am obsessed with Bob Dylan lately. Mr. Tambourine Man is my favorite. (Also, Boots of Spanish Leather.)

    There's this line in a song called Location by Freelance Whales that goes, "what a flammable heart I've been given," and it gives me shivers.

    The other day, I told my bestest friend Alex that I have this whole long list of music to buy when I get my tax return. The next time I saw him, he handed me a flash drive that had every single artist that I mentioned. Friends and music make my heart happy.

    1. Bob Dylan is a fine obsession. I love seasons like that when I can't stop listening to him. He's seriously one of the most gifted poets ever. I've never heard of Freelance Whales, but I need to check them out because that lyric is perfect.

      And your friend Alex is a total keeper. What a sweet guy!!

  12. LOVED this!
    The Boneshaker was rocking out to ... Whitney Houston.

    How amazingly randomly fantastic is that? What a gift in a day.

  13. Ummmm so I haven't read in forever and I don't like that about myself but if I went on a roadtrip with my best friend (aka lil sis) we would listen to Needtobreathe and hit repeat several times on Drive :)