Top 5 Road Trip Songs

There’s a moment in every long drive when your eyelids start to sag and you start to wish for a Starbucks to appear at the next exit.  Unless you’re in Seattle, one probably won’t.  In lieu of caffeine, try these adrenaline-jolting songs to get you the rest of the way (or at least eighteen minutes closer to coffee).

1. “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns ‘n’ Roses. This somehow wound up becoming one of my theme songs in college, possibly because it was my favorite song to play on Guitar Hero.  It’s excellent break-your-speakers and irritate-the-drivers-around-you-while-you’re-stopped-on-the-Portland-bridge material.

2. “Black Betty” by Spiderbait. After you hear this metal cover, you’ll never go back to Ram Jam.  Or at least you shouldn’t, because Spiderbait’s version is infinitely more awesome.  (Sorry about the official “Without a Paddle” video – there used to be a music video with just them and the black car, but it looks like it’s been taken down.)

3. “So What” by Pink.  Is there any living singer more badass than Pink?  No, I think not.  This one one of her most unabashedly, cheekily furious tunes and definitely the most fun to sing along to.

4. “Uprising” and “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse.  I would feel bad if I left either of them off, so they’ll share a slot.  “Knights” builds up to one of the most awesome finales in modern music, while “Uprising” provides a constant onslaught of epic musical ferocity.  (Warning: both of those videos are supremely weird.)

5. “Pump It” by Black Eyed Peas.  This is my second favorite car-dancing song, after “Separate Ways,” which really requires a second person if it’s going to be any fun.  (By the way, that video is exactly right for that song.  Reckless driving?  Dance fight? Yes please.)

What songs do you turn on to to get your blood pumping on long drives?

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2 thoughts on “Top 5 Road Trip Songs

  1. Going down to Portland at least once a month has made finding good driving songs a necessity. I could go on at length about several different bands/artists and their suitability for inspired driving, but I’ll stick to five, like you did. (By the way, Spiderbait’s Black Betty ftw!)

    1)Dirt Off Your Shoulders/Lying From You by Jay-Z/Linkin Park: Sure, it doesn’t have a typical driving song’s quickness, but the thumping bass is one of the strongest in my library (that video doesn’t do it justice, though). This is how I bump it.

    2)We Are Sex Bob-Omb by Sex Bob-Omb: If you haven’t seen “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” it may be impossible to appreciate the shrieking, scratchy guitars shredding your eardrums bloody. If you have seen it, fondness for the combined viewing and listening experiences overrides common sense, and you’re left with a frantic, teenage urge to GO.

    3)Collapse (Post-Amerika) by Rise Against: Despite their constantly preachy lyrics, I love this band to death. I think environmental devastation is something many of our generation get pissed about, and what better way to let out all that pent up frustration than rocking out to relentless drums and blasting guitars, shoving the gas pedal to the floor, and spewing out more CO2.

    4)Play It Loud by MXPX: I first enjoyed to this song carving down the digital slopes of SSX3, so in my mind it will forever be associated with flying downhill and soaring into the sky to do impossibly epic tricks. It’s just a hop, skip, an’ a jump from “impossible snowboarding” music to “I’m the only one on the road let’s see if my car has a speed governor” music.

    5)Ave Maria by The Seatbelts/Yoko Kanno: What’s this? An off-the-wall choice? From ME?! Surely there must be some sort of mistake! But seriously, Tess once told me an awesome story about some rich hotshot blaring opera from his Audi TT, and ever since I have been enthralled by the unexpected juxtaposition of sweet, cultured music and borderline reckless driving.

    Don’t even get me started on songs to sing to while driving.

    Gosh, I hope HTML works in the comments.

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