music for a west coast road trip?
March 9, 2013 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I'm driving from LA to SFO with a dear friend of mine. We're going to take two nights in LA, two nights in Big Sur and one night around SF. Please recommend music for our trip! Details after the jump.

I will have Spotify Premium, and would love music recommendations in the following badly/unconventionally-defined genres:

(A) music which bursts with happiness and makes you want to throw your head out of the window into the Californian sunshine.
(B) music for languorous evenings and nights under the stars - slow beats, a sense of wide openness, calm and soulful melodies.
(C) funky intricate music which requires some amount of active listening - great lyrics, rocky tunes, to occupy boring stretches of road. in general: good driving songs.

Things I like (but really, I have very eclectic tastes, so don't let these guide you necessarily): Apples in Stereo, Owl City, Album Leaf, Olafur Arnalds, Fleet Foxes, Broken Social Scene, the Shins, Wilco, Mountain Goats, Seedy Seeds, Okkervil River, Death Cab for Cutie, etc...

If you could indicate which category your recommendation falls under, that would be great! Thanks so much in advance!
posted by idlethink to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best Coast's "the only place" is a great, fun "driving with the top down" sort of song.
Noah and the Whale's "five years' time" has always been just a great "yay, happy!" Sort of song to me.
One of my favorite driving songs is The National's "Mr. November", but I can't really explain why that is.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:23 AM on March 9, 2013

So Much For The City by The Thrills

Pet Sounds
posted by carsonb at 8:27 AM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sorry, The Thrills are definitely A. Sadly, their lyrics are sort of meh.

Pet Sounds is A & C

And to cover B I'll add Animal Collective's Strawberry Jam and The Fruit Bats' Mouthfuls.
posted by carsonb at 8:30 AM on March 9, 2013

A must play while driving through Big Sur (SLYT) :The Beach Boys - California Saga: Big Sur/ The Beaks Of Eagles/ California . Ten minutes plus of pure California from a much under appreciated recording.
posted by rmhsinc at 9:38 AM on March 9, 2013

Silver Apples! I'm thinking B-C.

This is my choice for A.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 9:40 AM on March 9, 2013

Road music list, courtesy of US DOT, FHA.
posted by X4ster at 9:41 AM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Another B: Low Leaf
posted by carsonb at 9:44 AM on March 9, 2013

Here are a few from a recent (wayyyy too extensive) playlist I made for driving around LA:

RAC - Hollywood
Spoon - The Way We Get By
Belle & Sebastian - Lazy Line Painter Jane
Jenny Lewis - See Fernando
CSS - Hits Me Like a Rock
Thea Gilmore - Exit Route
Martin Solveig & Dragonette - Hello
Eels - Losing Streak
Elizabeth & the Catapult - Taller Children
Gomez - See the World
Katie Herzig - Hey Na Na
Mr. Little Jeans - Rescue Song
Peter Bjorn and John - Nothing to Worry About
Phoenix - Lisztomania
West Indian Girl - To Die In LA

Chromatics - Into the Black
Beirut - Scenic World
The Decemberists - California One
Carrie Rodriguez - Infinite Night
The Shins - A Comet Appears
Air - Mike Mills
Dan Deacon - Snookered
Deep Dish - Say Hello
Iron & Wine - The Trapeze Singer
Morcheeba - Otherwise
Pinback - Fortress
RHCP - Road Trippin'

LCD Soundsystem - Home (actually, the entire album This is Happening is amazing driving music)
Fol Chen - In Ruins
Andrew Bird - See The Enemy
Arcade Fire - We Used to Wait
Death Cab for Cutie - Doors Unlocked and Open
Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer
Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton - The Bank
Fallulah - Bridges
posted by eponym at 9:55 AM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Road Trippin' by Red Hot Chili Peppers directly mentions Big Sur. Their entire albums Californication, By The Way, and Blood Sugar Sex magic are essentially a combination of your A, B, and C.

A. Sublime, Schwayze if you're ok with it being a little lame but catchy and upbeat, Ellie Goulding, MGMT's first album, The Beatles, certain Led Zeppelin

B. Air, Iron and Wine, City & Colour, MGMT's album Congratulations, Diorama by Silverchair, Patti Smith, Ray LaMontagne, The Beatles, certain Led Zeppelin

C. OK GO, Panic at the Disco, Ellie Goulding, Postal Service, Steve Aoki, Wolfmother, Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, drug-era Beatles, certain Led Zeppelin
posted by jitterbug perfume at 10:43 AM on March 9, 2013

San Franciscan Nights by Eric Burdon and the Animals
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:33 AM on March 9, 2013

A: The Temper Trap - Down River; The Avett Brothers - At the Beach; Matt & Kim - Daylight (or maybe C); Good Old War - Coney Island
B: The Avett Brothers - Shame; The Weepies - Gotta Have You; Beta Radio - Either Way; Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life; City & Colour - Hello, I'm in Deleware
C: Young the Giant - Cough Syrup (or maybe A); Foster the People - Don't Stop; Chad Valley - Shell Suite; The Strokes - You Only Life Once
posted by kbar1 at 11:53 AM on March 9, 2013

Maybe obvious, but I searched Spotify for "Big Sur" and got about six playlists named "Big Sur" that might be worth checking out.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:56 PM on March 9, 2013

Good Day by Tally Hall is a joyful sing-along tune.
posted by juliaem at 1:31 PM on March 10, 2013

Response by poster: thanks so much everyone - I have a playlist as long as my arm now!
posted by idlethink at 5:16 AM on March 11, 2013

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