Driving Music

I missed out on writing something yesterday because I a million other things that needed to get done before we started driving north for a short tour. Fortunately, Lauren grabbed my all time favorite record to drive with, Sea Change by Beck.

The sounds on the record feel so warm and inviting. You can almost see the musicians sitting around playing and watching each other for changes in order to give each riff the perfect subtlety. There is a looming sadness that adds to the warmth of each track that makes you want to smile at the music and yet be completely silent in light of the tragedy painted by the lyrics. The opening line of the record helps to secure its space as a great driving record. “Put your hands on the wheel / Let the golden age begin”.

The other record we listened to was The Hunter by Mastodon. I’ve listened to Mastodon quite a bit but not a whole album the entire way through. Heavy music can be tough for long stretches at times, but The Hunter does end up being pretty reasonable to listen to. The vocals get really eerie and dark while not losing clarity. The subject matter seems pretty typical of metal with things like blood and fire coming up pretty consistently. What stands out more than anything is the drums. That drummer never seems to play straight ahead. I kept listening for a beat where it wasn’t altered by a roll or rhythmic pause and can’t remember one moment. While this can be difficult at times to focus on, it totally works. Eventually the rolls and misses merge together and spreads out the sound of the song like a knife spreading a bit glob of peanut butter on a piece of bread.

I have to be careful with driving music because it can get me thinking about other things. Whether it is playing music or remembering some past experience, if a song takes me somewhere it can make the actual driving secondary, which is never good. Be careful on the road!