Listen Here: Road Trip!

Crowded House in a crowded car (source:

Crowded House in a crowded car. [Source]

Listen Here is a monthly playlist picked and curated by members of the Deadshirt staff around a certain theme. This month’s theme is “Road Trip,” with a playlist selected by several Deadshirt staffers and curated by music editor Julian Ames.

Did somebody say “road trip”? August is here, which means there’s only about a month or so left to enjoy the freedom and beautiful weather of summer–one of the best ways of doing that is to take a road trip. In the spirit of adventure, the Deadshirt staff picked songs that reminded them of being out on the open road. The resulting playlist is embedded below and includes tracks selected by Jen Overstreet, Max Robinson, Haley Winters, Mike Pfeiffer, David Lebovitz, Mike Duquette, Joe Stando, Madie Coe, Dominic Griffin, and Julian Ames, along with notes on why we chose them. We hope you get a lot of mileage out of this one:

“‘Til The Wonders Rise” – Sharks
This high-energy anthem is great for road trips. The soaring chorus is comprised of the lyrics “the ties are waiting for you to bind” which is a pretty perfect sentiment to have when embarking on a road tripping adventure. This is the opening track of a perfect road trip album, so I thought it would be a perfect opener for our road trip playlist. – Julian Ames

“The Boys Are Back In Town” – Thin Lizzy
This is a crucial song for road trips big and small, from a cross country gas guzzler to a late night run across town for booze. Just thinking about it, you’re imagining a pretty great time with friends already, aren’t you? You’re welcome. – Max Robinson

“Mach 5” – Presidents of the United States of America
The Presidents (PUSA if you like uncomfortable acronyms to shout across a bar) are unfortunately regarded as a novelty act but their expansive catalog has more than a few hidden gems like this ode-to-a-car from their second album. They’ve got a few road trip-ready tracks but Mach Five’s combo of singalong chorus, wild dynamics, and speed racer-referencing title with the weirdo post-grunge David Lee Roth In Panama speech in the middle totally wins the prize. – Mike Pfeiffer

“No Sleep till Brooklyn” – Beastie Boys
The entire Beastie Boys catalog makes for excellent driving music, but none quite top Licensed to Ill. “No Sleep till Brooklyn” is actually about touring and road travel, uses an AC/DC inspired riff, and features a chant-able chorus. That’s about the perfect recipe for a road trip song. – David Lebovitz

“Faust” – Gorillaz
I wanted something contemplative, and this track off Gorillaz’ first album is my go-to anytime I’m driving in the rain or after dark. It’s haunting and atmospheric, and there’s a sense of melancholy that pervades it before the vocals even begin. It’s not an everyday song by any means, but if you’re a little tired or a little wistful, it’s a good outlet. – Joe Stando

“Ramblin’ Man” – The Allman Brothers
Certain songs are best appreciated late at night outside a truck stop. When you and your pals are choking down Red Bulls at 1 am on that lonely desert highway, this one’s your theme song. – Max Robinson

“When I Was Young” – The Wood Brothers
A tasty, groovy bit of bluegrass that sinks right into your bones. The perfect pick-me-up for the weary traveler. – Haley Winters

“Texas Eagle” – Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band
A love song for an old train line, upbeat yet lonesome bluegrass with the kind of days-gone-by nostalgia best indulged in on the open road. – Jen Overstreet

“Boogie Chillen” – John Lee Hooker
For me, the perfect road trip song has a constant undercurrent rhythm like the rhythm of wheels on pavement or a train in its tracks. “Boogie Chillen” doesn’t speak of driving and in fact mentions, heaven forbid, walking, but I would posit that its carefree content lends itself perfectly for a warm drive. A good, mild song for when you’re hitting your stride on day two of a cross-country adventure. – Jen Overstreet

“Don’t Stop Now” – Crowded House
Only a genius like Neil Finn could twist the most innocuous, literal interpretation of a road trip (the song was inspired by a faulty GPS) into the best thing Crowded House have done since reuniting nearly a decade ago. The verses sound like a freeway on cruise control, and that chorus is a thrilling slide down a twisting county road in search of the next adventure. – Mike Duquette

“Young Americans” – David Bowie
It’s one of my top five songs of all time but this smooth, nostalgic, occasionally absurdist song from Bowie’s period of fascination with Philly Soul is an intensely specific curio that only fits certain occasions. Applied to a long, quiet night drive through fields of corn in rural New Jersey it’s superb, though a carful of rowdy friends can really fucking belt it if you’re in the right mood. Backups arranged by Luther Vandross, if you’re the type who likes to share a choice piece of trivia as you crank up a playlist. – Mike Pfeiffer

“Danger Zone” – Kenny Loggins
Wanna feel like your road trip will determine the fate of American history? Put on this song. Also good for all your Top Gun and/or Archer quoting needs. Personal recommendation: only play this song in the fast lane or on long stretches of deserted road. It is impossible to drive the speed limit while playing this song. This has been proven by numerous peer-reviewed studies. – David Lebovitz

“Separate Ways” – Journey
No friendly road trip is complete without an opportunity for some earnest, emotional rock sing-a-long action, and honestly, no vocalist mixes nostalgic yearning with boundless enthusiasm quite the way Steve Perry does. It’s generally best if you take turns with your fellow passengers hitting some of those hard-to-reach notes, but it’s absolutely essential that you don’t allow whoever is driving to get too caught up in miming the drum solo. Because you could all die. – Dominic Griffin

“Hourglass” – Squeeze
I’ve taken exactly one road trip in my three active months as a licensed driver, and I wanted for nothing but the road ahead and the sweet sounds of Squeeze blasting through my speakers. “Hourglass” has the perfect steering-wheel-thumpin’ chorus to jam along to while you perfect your best and loudest Glen Tilbrook impression. – Haley Winters

“500 Miles” – The Proclaimers
Okay, so this might be slightly influenced by watching How I Met Your Mother. Still, the perfect road trip song means something you can sing along to poorly and loudly, very loudly. What’s more fun than annoying your fellow passengers in a Scottish accent? It’s also a distance-based title/chorus which just satisfies me thematically. – Madie Coe

That’s Deadshirt’s hand-picked Road Trip playlist – now, you tell us what you like to hear when you’re on a road trip. Comment below or hit us up on Facebook!

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