Monday, March 28, 2011

Top 7 Driving Songs

For the record, I'm a huge...wait...massive Nascar fan. I was fortunate enough to witness the pure awesomeness of Nascar this last weekend in Fontana, Ca. 150 laps, 43 cars, 170+ was a blast...and it was easily the loudest event I've ever been to. Spare yourself from thinking of some clever way to mock me in comment-form...I've heard all the jokes from my friends who usually pose questions like "when did Josh become a hick?", or "what life altering event caused Josh to start enjoying a bunch of cars going in circles?". Oh well...their loss. Nascar is no amount of chiding could ever break my fanatic interest in the greatest sport on Earth. Since I was basking in the roar of V8's this weekend, I thought I would do a list featuring my top 7 driving songs of all time. There have always been certain songs that seem to lend themselves to being played at high volumes on the open road...and since I have spent a lot of time traveling those roads I thought I would compile the best for you, the avid Maniccompression reader. Enjoy...

- U2 - "Where The Streets Have No Name": This song transports me to some mysterious place every time I hear's the perfect mix of lyrical imagery, and tempo that make it my not only my favorite U2 song of all time, but the best driving song of all time.

- Wilco - "ELT": The pedal-steel guitar line in this song floats above the that reminds me of driving through the depths of the U.S. on some lonely road somewhere. It's "americana" at it's finest...and it is my instant transport so someplace quiet. I could listen to this song over and over while watching the mile markers click by.

- The Emergency - "Slowpoke": When I wasn't touring I would make a daily commute down the 405 freeway in Orange County to work a temp job at a mortgage company. A 5 mile drive usually took 45 minutes...and this song got me through that horrible experience. It's full-blown, unapologetic rock, with more swagger than you will probably be able to handle.

- Social Distortion - "Highway 101": Social D did an excellent job with this song because every time I hear it I have a vision of me driving up the California coast in a '63 Corvette convertible...without a care in the world. The perfect driving song for a summer afternoon.

- Hot Water Music - "Remedy": This song was easily played 5000 times on a tour we did in 2002. I remember driving through Montana, blasting this perfect slice of punk rock. Everything about this song makes me want to

- The Exit - "Trapped": I was driving from Jersey to Penn after a show to visit some friends, and the only cd in the car I borrowed (thanks Chris) was The Exit. This song ended up on repeat for much of my trip. It was 2am...the snow was falling...and this was my soundtrack. It made an endless sea of toll plaza's a little more bearable.

- Cave In - "Big Riff": This song reminds me of driving back from shows in my little '86 Honda. I only had working speakers in the back, and this song would come close to blowing them every time. When it would end I would hit rewind on my tape player and play it again. A massive song that was heavy...spacey...and was perfect for an audience of one: me.

Buy these records...thank me later.

Note: Honorable mention goes to Starflyer 59 for "I Drive A Lot"...I was going to list it yesterday but got busy doing other things. It was brought to my attention that my list was sorely lacking without it...and that, coupled with the fact that I do love the song, means it gets a message now.
Check out this great video here if you have a chance.


  1. What about Starflyer 59's "I Drive A Lot"? BTW, I put up a couple new posts over at True Tunes.

  2. That song is awesome...I was going to list that as "honorable mention" fact, I will. I am here to serve you :) I'll check out the new posts today.