Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This Saab Lover's Favorite Road Tunes

I spend a lot of time in the car, and most of that time the radio is on. I’m a bit old-fashioned, and drive an old-fashioned car with an original radio, so it is broadcast radio. I will confess that most of the listening is to talk and news programs. Usually, the news programs get me depressed and the talk shows get me irritated after too much of either. I do like the Saturday fare on the local NPR station—Car Talk, This American Life, Wait-Wait Don’t Tell Me—but that doesn’t help with the 125 miles a day of commuting Monday through Friday. So at some point during my ride, I will resort to music. Ah, but what music?

Some might be surprised that in the car I don’t listen to much classical music, despite my being a cellist. There is a preset on my radio and I will occasionally check what’s on, but rarely will stop and listen (though I was treated last week when I happened upon Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky which I adore). I do have a nifty iPod set up for the 900, and Marcel has been kind enough load it up for tunes he thinks his dad wants to hear. He did a great job, and there is little I would cull. Mostly, I just set the shuffle and let the tunes spin out, occasionally hitting the skip button.

Sometimes, though, there is a craving for a particular song/artist to compliment the driving you are doing or want to do, not unlike deciding that you want a particular wine for a particular meal. All driving is not the same, so my favorite road tunes come down to two categories: tunes for spirited driving, and tunes for “sensuous” driving. By spirited driving, I don’t mean fast or stupid. I do mean, though, that you are focused, full of positive energy, and really engaged in the drive. By sensuous driving, I am referring to those occasional drives when things are more relaxed, you open the windows, open the sunroof or lower the top, take note of the scenery, the smells, the sounds….warm summer nights with starry skies are perfect for this. Different drives. Different music.

Picking favorite anything is hard, because you know you’ll leave something out. With apologies to those artists and songs I have forgotten, here are the bizarre selections that I enjoy when driving my Saabs.

For spirited driving:

Foo Fighters
Green Day

Own Worst Enemy, Lit
Flagpole Sitta, Harvey Danger
Octet for Strings, Felix Mendelssohn
Souvenir de Florence, Peter I. Tchaikovsky
Honey White, Morphine
Demain le Monde, Patrick Bruel
Amsterdam, Guster
Tubthumper, Chumbawumba
Politically Correct, SR-71

For sensuous driving:

Cesaria Evora
Patricia Kaas
Simon and Garfunkel
Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto

Elsa’s Procession [Lohengrin], Richard Wagner
Stewball, Hugues Aufray
Untouchable Face, Ani deFranco
Rouge, Fredericks, Goldman and Jones
Good Vibrations, Beach Boys
Blurry, Puddle of Mudd
Les Berceaux, Yves Montand
Holberg Suite, Edvard Grieg

1 comment:

Lee said...

Few Saab-driving songs can match FF's "Times Like These" -

I am a one way motorway
I’m the one that drives away
Then follows you back home...