“What if we take that blue line there?” “Uh, that’s a river.” 

It’s Mix Tape week here at CJS and what are putting together some mixes for some of those special times in life where a variety is needed. We kicked it off yesterday with some of the songs that seem to always find their way onto our mixes. I can’t promise those songs won’t make it onto any of these, but we’ll do our best.

I get to press play on this cavalcade of music and I am going with a Road Trip Mix. As many people will agree the car is one of the best places to listen to music and what better opportunity than a long drive? And besides the radio sucks. Example A: Commercials, nothing kills a good jamming more than a string of commercials. Example B: the radio doesn’t work everywhere. You get in Bumhug, Anystate and suddenly your options are dead air, Spanish, or the all Christian radio request show. Example C: The Rush Hour Renegades are only on during rush hour. Unless you want to pay for satellite radio, but why pay for something that’s free? So try out this mix and enjoy the ride.

1. Mad Caddies – Road Rash

Part of you may be thinking I chose this song because it has the word “road” in the title, well that’s only half true. This song from the peppy ska punk Caddies is upbeat and kicks you in the face right away. It is the sort of song that makes you want to get up and get going, an essential part for starting any trip.

2. Flogging Molly – Seven Deadly Sins

Stop yelling in my face

Why not keep the rock goin’? This song is fast and is a great follow up to the Mad Caddies. In addition this song is about pirates to me the pirate attitude seems like a great mentality to adopt on the road. After all they don’t call a highway the asphalt high sea for nothing. Bonus points if you fly the Jolly Roger, more points if you dress like Judge Reinhold when he has that lousy delivery job in Fast Times.

3. Less Than Jake – Look what Happened

This song is a bit chill but more importantly it is a reminder not to pussy foot around. Make a commitment on your drive and set out on it. So many things and people can flake in our lives that it is important to make sure there are things you are committed to, even if it is a road trip to the other side of the state for no inherent reason.

4. Gary Numan – Cars

We have to slow it down a bit. Those fast punk songs will get you riled up and may force you to speed, and you haven’t even hit the highway yet. “Cars” has always been a song that makes me feel good and it has always felt inappropriate to listen to it anywhere but in the car, I mean that is where I feel safest of all.

5. Coolio – Fantastic Voyage

Look what was under my hat, HA!

Now that we’re in the chilled, laid back, driving like a black man mode might as well keep that with rhythmic bounce from Coolio. Remember him? He had that kooky hair, and then he did that song for the Michelle Pfeiffer movie? Before that song he burst on to the scene with “Fantastic Voyage.” And really this is just a feel good driving to party song. So let the system bump as you roll along, or something like that.

6. Rancid – Roots Radicals

This song is about not having a car and taking the bus and all the colorfulness you see on public transportation. But despite all that not in a car stuff, the song is quick and energetic. It also has a great chorus to sing along with, and that becomes important for a drive time mix. It also makes you happy you’re making the trip in a car and not a bus, as Dagger, Limon, and CJS regular Keithage can all attest to.

7. Catch 22 – Dear Sergio

We’re in a ska band

Some more ska to keep up morale. We were starting to drag there and we have a long drive to go. This song is like musical Red Bull, the horns and upstrokes revitalize the mind and body. Then there is the opening line that encourages you to, “run, run, run.” There is something about the horns in this song that really get me going and make me feel ready to take on anything, especially that open road.

8. Bouncing Souls – Sing Along Forever

This is the part of the mix where we start the sing along section. When you can forget about the actual drive for a little bit and when you get caught up in singing the drive will be a lot better. The Souls state in this song that they’ll sing along forever, not just a clever title. So I picked it to signal the part when the singing gets to start. Really it’s singing with these songs or singing show tunes, your choice. So let’s harmonize and rock this car!

9. Zebrahead – I’m money

Next time let’s use a car for our road trip

I said I would try not to put any of the songs from yesterday’s confessional. I never said I would succeed. This is such a fun song to sing along with that it has to be included in the sing along section of the mix. This is the type of song that will make you want to roll down the window and fist pound into the passing sky. By the end of the song your self esteem levels are raised exponentially.

10. R.E.M. – It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

I have never seen anyone not sing along with this song, or at least attempt to sing along with this song. I don’t think anyone but Michael Stipe can actually sing this song, but dammit if it isn’t fun to try. This also conjures up memories of one of the best road trip movies ever, Tommy Boy. If it is good enough for those two to stumble through the song as they make their way through the Midwest, then it is good enough for me.

11. Goldfinger – 99 Red Balloons

We’re like contemplative and shit

Dagger had this on a mix we listened to as we started our trip to Vegas, and it was fantastic. Let’s face it, punk covers of 80′s songs usually result in good times. “99 Red Balloons” has political overtones yet still manages to be a lot of fun. The only downside is this song tends to stay stuck in my head for at least a week after hearing it, but I guess that means I just get to recall the awesome trip.

12. Reel Big Fish – Another F.U. Song

Who doesn’t like the occasional loud random swearing? That is what this song offers. With practically every other word being “fuck” this will let you release some pent up aggression in a safe and fun way. You’ll hopefully be able to eliminate any road rage that may be building up. And really, when you’re on the road, f*** everything.

13. Dynamite Hack – Boyz in the Hood

Why weren’t we popular?

Now that Reel Big Fish has gotten us worked up, it is necessary to come down a little. The mellow stylings of Dynamite Hack should be able to calm us a bit. But don’t fret; we’re going with a hoe smackin’, gat totin’ Eazy E cover. A simple way for some middle class suburban dorks to feel slightly cool. And I give you a CJS guarantee that despite the amount of lyrics anyone in the car knows, every one will sing loudly to the line, “Reached back like a pimp and I slapped the hoe.” I have seen it happen (guarantee does not apply to women in the car).

14. Transplants – Tall Cans

My all time favorite song for car rides. This song just begs to be cranked and sung along with in the car. I think we have talked about this song ad nausea, but no road trip mix would be complete without this song. It also works best if you have a kick ass driver who doesn’t mind if the passengers whip out some tall cans of their own as they sing along. CJS follows open container laws while in operational vehicles and asks that you do the same.

15. Blink 182 – What’s My Age Again?

Get us out of here, please

No doubt the Transplants got you hot, bothered, and excited so it is time to calm down and get a hold of yourself. Like going from a run to a walk to a stop you have to down grade slowly. So ease into the calm with some Blink. Also there is the real possibility you just acted like a juvenile idiot, so it’s only appropriate you take a moment and ask yourself what your age is again.

16. Tom Cochrane – Life Is A Highway

If you have ever been driving home late at night and this song starts playing then you know why it made the cut. Driving home late at night usually means you had a pretty decent evening and as you look at the twinkling stars and the calmness that is night you truly realize that life is a highway and nothing sounds much better than riding it all night long. So sit back and enjoy the ride.

17. Mighty Mighty Bosstones – S*** Outta Luck

Nothing suits me like a suit

This is another song half chosen because it references driving and traffic. But mostly I threw it on because I love the line, “But you’ve forgotten it’s more fun when you don’t give a fuck.” This is a road trip, yes the destination is important, and perhaps the ETA is as well, but it is more important to have fun and enjoy the ride. The destination is only half the point to a road trip.

18. Rise Against – Last Chance Blueprint

Much like “Tall Cans,” Rise Against is an essential component to any long drive I make. Picking just one right song proved to be difficult, but ultimately I chose this one because it encourages me to get in the car and go. It is also a reminder of all the miss opportunities that arise when the moment is not seized. If you see a sign for the World’s Largest Ice Cream Cone and you think you want to see then go. The chances you will have the opportunity to do it again are slim. Just another reminder to enjoy as much of the trip as you can.

19. AC/DC – Highway To Hell

We’re TNT

No stop signs, speed limits! Live it up; have fun! All roads lead to the same place so enjoy them while you can. There is a theme here towards the end of the mix, be happy and enjoy the ride.

20. Unwritten Law – Holiday

The chorus says it all, life is a holiday. Enjoy the time in the car with some good buds and good tunes. The car is a wonderful work of science, and it can allow you to leave stress, drama, and b.s. behind. No hassle of airport security, no obeying dinging lights about when you can or can’t pee, and no getting stuck in the middle seat between two smelly people, ok that last one is a possibility in a road trip. I’m not here to judge your friends. But relax and take it all in.

21. Sublime – What I Got

Chillax brah

Another car favorite of mine. No matter what is happening around me: asshole driver, slow moving traffic, a malfunctioning A/C unit none of it matters when this song is playing. I put it on to keep me sane when the hassles of road travel can become too much. Fuck it, fight it; it’s all the same.

So there is the Road Trip Mix for your listening pleasure. You can go on one without it, but just remember I Spy sucks and license plate bingo gets old fast. It’s better to crank the tunes and forget about your cares.

Hooray Irresponsibility!

See ya in the car…