As it did last year, my summer travel begins with a drive to L.A. I remember selecting CDs for the drive last year and kicking off the trip with the Bright Eyes album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. The thing about Bright Eyes is, one has to be in an appropriate mood to enjoy it, otherwise he just sounds whiny and self-absorbed. And indeed, my mood underwent a major shift during my travels last year, and my traveling music correspondingly shifted to Mercury Rev’s The Secret Migration, especially the revelatory “Secret for a Song”.
For this year’s travels I’ve again turned to Mercury Rev. They are at their best when singing about travel and movement, and their 1998 album Deserter’s Songs is full of these themes. The best track on the album is “Goddess on a Hiway”, and it is terrific driving music—the first time I heard it I was driving over the Bay Bridge watching the setting sun light up the East Bay, and it was perfect. The lyrics are a bit opaque, but I suspect they are about peak oil.
Instead of a Friday random ten, here are ten CDs I am bringing with me for the drive:
- Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll
- Pulp, Different Class
- Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
- Spiritualized, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
- The Duke Spirit, Cuts Across The Land
- Yo La Tengo, Painful
- The Delgados, Peloton
- Pretty Girls Make Graves, Élan Vital
- Mercury Rev, Deserter’s Songs
- My Bloody Valentine, Loveless