Road Trip Rock N’ Roll!

M at indio sign
My youngest at the ‘Indio” sign on the way into Indio. Did you know: The gas station in Indio where Jimmy Swaggart was busted for attempting to enter into an illegal transaction with a chubby hooker has a bronze plaque to memorialize the event? There was no way I was going to take a pic of the kid there so the Indio sign it was.

Highways and by-ways.

For no particular reason I packed up my youngest and we drove from the frozen wasteland of Southern Alberta and headed on down to sunny Palm Desert, California so we could spend New Year’s eve in a hot tub with the most beautiful woman in the world smoking cigars and having a couple of cold Buds and not actually making it to midnight.

Sadly, it was cold in SoCal too.

Throw in a stop at the Little Ale E Inn in Rachel, Nevada (it’s easy to imagine Aliens out there because there is nothing else) and let me tell ya – it was a long drive. Snow as far south as Ely, Nevada.

Fortunately the truck ran well and we had music and nothing makes for a good road trip like good road music.

Here – in no particular order – are my top 5 road songs and soem youtube links to enjoy them by:

FM “Phasors on Stun.”

I’m not particularly a an electronic music guy but this song hits a sweet spot. I thought about this while driving to Rachel, Nevada – all electronic music makes me think of Aliens – but the timeless  and dream-like quality of Nash the Slash and …  and … and that other guy’s synth/mandolin melodies made me think of internet dating.

Internet dating?

Yeah. You know how of all the women you met on the internet you can only remember 2/3? 1/3 because they were decent and 1/3 because they were so terrible you write blog posts about them? Well what happens to the other 1/3? AKA The “middle ground”? They are just forgotten. Kidnapped by aliens I guess. That dream you know you had but forget upon waking.

As an aside some inventive harpist has an excellent cover/’re-imagining” of this one you can check out here.

You know what would be better than one harp?

Two harps.


Fu Manchu “King of the Road”

To quote “The Champ”: Dangerous song Sha-La-La O-Bee-Doo. Very dangerous.

Fu’s fat and fuzzed out riffs and the heavy rhythms put you in speeding ticket territory every time. Starting at about the 2:40 mark, you’ll speed.  YOU’RE OVER THE LINE SMOKEY! (See what I did there? another pop-culture reference!) – but you do not give a fat rat’s behind.

Gotta keep it matted.

King of the Road says you move too slow – but the highway patrol may not concur.

Orange Goblin “Time Travelling Blues”

The Gods of the Riff are inscrutable at times. The bestow their favor where they will, withdraw it as they see fit. They hear no prayers, they are deaf to all curses. Their laws are few, the punishments severe. But for legendary British Stoner Rockers Orange Goblin they gave it all up at once for this sweet, sweet tune.

At 6:39 long this song has a satisfying length to it. Deeply satisfying. I promise. The miles, the stars, the remains of dead animals – all fly by and even time itself is crushed under the weight of this anthem.

Matt Mays “Terminal Romance”

As with the Orange Goblin tune above “Terminal Romance” has some length and the time will fly by. A great song makes you feel you have lived it – and although I have never broken up with anyone in New York City (never even been there) this song makes me regret what never was.

If I could sum up this song in one phrase it would be “Chicks eh?”

Big Sugar “Come Back Baby”

You know how sometimes you just want to drive with your knees on the steering and wave your hands/PBR tall-boy in the air? Or slalom through dead coyotes (I’m taking to you, Northern Nevada) or even just weave along the dotted center line? Oh c’mon. Don’t look at me that way. There is no one on some of those roads. This is the song.

Really, a convertible would make this song even more enjoyable. But it’s still pretty enjoyable. Some times, with the sun in your eye and the wind in your hair you feel so damned good you gotta sing and this is the song for that.

And that’s road trippin’ music!

I’ll be back once I’ve gotten rid of the ant-bites I got sitting by the pool. I kid you not, I think the deal Eisenhower cut with the Aliens in ’53 allowed free reign to these murderous little space ants and they moved into the Baghdad of SoCal because the pickings are good what with the blue-hairs being unable to outrun them and the Canadians not realizing that they are there.

PS: No music on the 405 in LA. That miserable shit of a freeway sucks the joy of music right out of every single person who ventures upon it. Speaking on behalf of myself and the 10.5 million people in the greater LA area: F*ck the 405.


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