Whenever I try to put together a playlist for a get together I realize that the majority of my music collection is best listened to on the couch at 2am under low lighting conditions and with an ample supply of snacks. There are historical reasons for this ... college, I believe it's called.
The point is I have a lot less backyard-on-a-sunny-day music. That being said, here are ten tracks that I always think would be best listened to while driving down Highway One in a convertible. Unsurprisingly, this list favors the perfect pop song and is further colored by my own nostalgia of previous sunny day drives:
- The Boy With the Arab Strap (Belle & Sebastian): Guaranteed to awaken the steering wheel drummer in anyone.
- Love Athena (Olivia Tremor Control): The closing credits soundtrack of the best movie never made.
- Pure (Lightning Seeds): Aaron had this song on a tape we listened to on the drive back from UIUC in 1996. And if that weren't enough for you it has an amazing New Order bassline thrown in at the end.
- Birdhouse in Your Soul (They Might be Giants): Aaron's sister had this song on a mixtape labeled REM. Both the actual artists responsible and the nitelight conceit of this song eluded me for many, many years.
- Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones): Such a good highway song that it actually makes you sing "Hey ho, let's go!"
- Don't Worry About the Government (Talking Heads): Makes you wish you could.
- Surf Wax America (Weezer): Listening to this at the bus stop the other day (while not taking my board to work) was the inspiration for this list.
- Fortunately Gone (The Breeders): Delightful nonsense.
- Flat Lay the Water (The Sea & Cake): Road-tested - probably the song I've most listened to while driving along the coast.
- It's the End of the World as We Know It (REM): Sort of the Infinite Jest of sing-a-longs. Plus there's the alleged debate tournament connection which debaters pass along to one another like a comfort blanket of acceptance.
While I figured this list was probably highly idiosyncratic, when I asked CW for his list, he was adamant that Boy with the Arab Strap had to be #1. And Mai called out Pure. So this must mean something.