Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Road trip! Love you some night driving? Plus, best night driving songs.

 Road trip! This weekend I will make another long road trip, this time to see where I'll be living with my new job. Unfortunately I won't be driving through any forests that I can tell. But I think I'll be seeing some saguaro cactus forests along the way since I'll be heading down to Arizona. Saguaro forests look like this:

Actually, I hope I can even see them at all since I'll be driving at night to get there and back. Which leads me to the topic, night driving! There is something about night driving that I love but I find it hard to pin down. I guess it is that "chill" feeling it gives you. There is really only two types of night driving I like, nighttime city and nighttime mountains. Any other landscape just puts me to sleep. I love driving on a well-lit highway at night looking out at a sleeping city. In fact, it may be the only peaceful view of the city ever. It is a good perspective because you can notice architectural details that are lit up at night on buildings, monuments and bridges. The traffic lights cycle for no one and casts an eerie Christmas-like glow on top of car roofs and upon street puddles. You can experience the city, at least a narrow strip of it, without the stress of congested traffic.

Mountain night driving is great because of the way the headlights hit the sides of the mountains. Of course this is not as spectacular as driving through the mountains during the day and seeing everything. Maybe it is the dark and quiet natural stillness of it all. It can be as equally eerie as driving through the city at night, because this time you have the ominous glare of yellow eyes coming out at you from everywhere. Also, there is always the foreboding feeling that a deer or something can run out in front of you any minute, so you know you better slow it down and enjoy the ride. I love how the headlights silhouette the very tree your beams hit, and how I would love to capture that very night scene and make a mural out of it somehow.

 I can't write a post about night driving without mentioning the worst part about it. The damn truckers! Yes, I know, I know, they bring us all of our stuff. But have you seen the way truckers drive at night, especially in rural areas?! They are definitely making up for lost time in the day! If you even try and do the speed limit at night, because you know you can't see as well, and you are somehow blocking the way of a trucker's path, God help you. Most of them will just pass you, but there's plenty of them who will honk you right off the road. They think they are the kings of the road at night.

Anyway, as most of you already probably know, night driving calls for a different kind of mindset, and that goes for the choice of music as well. Incidentally, there are whole CD collections that you can buy for night driving. They are mostly songs that feature the words "night", "ride" or "drive" in the lyrics, but some songs are great for night driving because they seem to just roll with the highway well. Here is a few suggestions below. You'll probably like maybe one or two, lol. Comment on some of your own and share the music wealth!

 I drove all night performed by Cyndy Lauper

Practical Magic Soundtrack

Nightswimming by R.E.M.

Anything by R.E.M.

Where the streets have no name by U2

Country Grammar & Ride With Me by Nelly

November Rain by Guns n' Roses

Both solo albums from Serj Tankian (from System of a Down)

Fade to Black by Metallica

Free Fallin' by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Rooster by Alice in Chains

Black gives way to Blue (album) by Alice in Chains (Especially, Check My Brain)

Cool Change by Little River Band (?)

Anything by Depeche Mode

All the musicals; Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Grease!

Anything by Jimi Hendrix

Anything by Santana

Anything by the Doors

Anything by the Beatles

" " by Katie Melua (because of her voice)

" " by Eva Cassidy (again, because of her voice)

Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

Heart Shaped World (album) by Chris Issak

Tiny Dancer by Elton John

" " by Blondie

" " by Jonie Mitchell

Stuck in the Middle with you by Stealers Wheel

Take it Easy by The Eagles

Anything by Emmylou Harris

Human Nature & The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson

Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

1979 by Smashing Pumpkins

You Come To My Senses by Chicago

Little Red Corvette by Prince

Drivin' My Life Away by Eddie Rabbitt

One Headlight by The Wallflowers

Lonely Day by System of a Down

This is just a short list of my favorites. And now for my personal all-time night driving favorite....Ta Da! Carefree Highway by Gordon Lightfoot!!! Yeah, I said it, and I don't care who makes fun of me for it either!!! :-P

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