We went to the car wash this afternoon,* but first I had to clean the kidscat out of the backseat—I was only springing for an exterior wash, but the accumulated junk in the interior was still embarrassing: six mangled picture books, three bottles of water, a bent umbrella, three empty juice boxes, two go-bags stuffed full of melted crayons and crumpled paper, half a petrified doughnut in a paper bag, innumerable hair ornaments, enough crumbs to feed the rat population of Newark for a week, and a buck eighty-four in pennies.
To be fair, I also removed six or seven empty bottles of diet Pepsi from the front passenger footwell, but that’s only because I wanted to recycle them and kept forgetting.
There were also a cascade of empty CD cases—I take the CDs out because the little storage shelf under the stereo isn’t big enough for more than three or four cases, and I keep forgetting to bring them back inside.** I stacked them up, set them on the seat, and, on a whim, grabbed the CDs off the shelf and shuffled through*** the music I listen to while I drive around.
My first thought was, Hey! Blog post!^
Followed quickly by But take that one out first. And maybe that one, too.
And then, Why?
So here,in total honesty, are the CDs currently in my car, from top of the pile to the bottom, with occasional annotation:
Apocalyptica, Inquisition Symphony — because there’s nothing like heavy metal cellos to get you through rush hour, even if you can’t rush. Plus it confuses the heck out of the driver in the next lane.
The Brian Setzer Ochestra, The Dirty Boogie — I love big band music and swing. Love it. Cherished the week and a half that it was back in style, ten years ago. And when it comes back ’round again, I’ll be ready.
The soundtrack to Sherlock Holmes — Violins dancing.
The soundtrack to Iron Man — I have yet to see a Robert Downey, Jr. movie that doesn’t have an amazing soundtrack. That’s all the excuse I’m offering for this one . . . ’cause that’s all I got.
Garrison Keillor’s Comedy Theater, Disc 2 — It’s difficult to express how huge a Prairie Home Companion geek I am, but I own five PHC collections. This particular disc has the “Influenza Opera” on it and an ode to Newt Gringrich from the National Arts Council. So it’s a bit dated . . . But still funny.
Trout Fishing in America, Big Round World — When you find a musical group that caters to kids and doesn’t make you gnaw the steering wheel by the third full repeat, you buy all of their CDs and keep at least one in your car at all times. Even the Christmas one.
Music Inspired by Mission Impossible 2 — Some of these songs are on my Pigeon playlist. Most aren’t.
Medieval Bæbes, Worldes Blysse — If I could sing like this . . .
Linkin Park, Meteora — Sometimes, you need good, angry emo. This is good, angry emo.
Nickelback, All the Right Reasons — Yeah. I listen to the most hated band in America in my car. The one that Henry Rawlins says would be a deal-breaker on a first date. What’s more, I have several of their songs on the Pigeon list, including the title track and “If it’s Worth Saving Me.” I often swap this CD out with Dark Horse. And I don’t care.
Robin Williams, Weapons of Self Destruction — Does anyone actually find this surprising? Plus, put a beard and twenty years on him, and Robin looks just like my dad. It’s weird.
Justin Robert, Yellow Bus — It’s a facet of parenthood that isn’t mentioned in the brochure: sometimes you just have to suck it up and gnaw the steering wheel.
Metallica and the San Francisco Orchestra, S&M Album, disc 2 — There’s something about metal on orchestral instruments that does it for me, and the audience reactions just feed the energy. I have nothing against disc 1, but all my favorites are on this one. In my opinion, the definitive versions of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Enter Sandman” are here.^^
So, here’s the double dog dare: What CDs are in your car? And if you don’t have a car and/or a CD-player, what’s on the last playlist you listened to? Or if you’re old school, what plays on your favorite radio station?
Annotations are welcome, but optional.
*For those of you who tuned in Thursday, yes, there was popcorn.
**An absentminded lifestyle doesn’t just happen. It has to be cultivated.
***Literally, not electronically. My next car will have a USB for my MP3 player—though by the time I can save up a decent down payment, both will probably be obsolete. We’ll be downloading music telepathically from the ‘Net Cloud . . . iWorm, they’ll call it.
^Okay, my first thought was, Eclectic isn’t quite the word, but MPD might be the acronym.
^^And I miss Jason Newstead . . . I understand why he left and Robert Trujillo does have serious chops, but still . . . I don’t know, maybe I’m just a sucker for a redhead.