Just recently, a blogger over at wildjunket.com posted a list of ten songs to add-to or inspire your summer playlist, as well as your summer travels. Songs on the list include Duran Duran’s Rio, Freddie Mercury’s Barcelona, Ultravox’s Vienna, and of course Toto’s Africa and Men At Work’s Down Under. A solid list, respectfully speaking, but hardly complete. Plus, we’ve all heard these songs before. So, to this list, I propose ten more songs be added, partly to add diversity to your playlist, but to hopefully further inspire travel and backpacking ideas, or perhaps add to the excitement you might be feeling about visiting a new city.
1. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Hong Kong. While culturally short-sighted, this song represents both Screamin’ Jay at his best, and American’s questions at their worst. It’s both endearing and entertaining.
2. Air – African Velvet. This band is best known for their performance on the Virgin Suicides soundtrack, and though this song is off their most recent album, it’s a solid and chilled out mix of muted guitar and electronic atmospheres, perfect for a night on the savanna.
3. Stars of the Lid – Mulholland. The modern kings of ambience, you can pop this sedated track in when cruising the streets of Hollywood, CA on a lazy summer day, if there ever is one on Mulholland Drive.
4. Tom Waits – Russian Dance. It’s Tom Waits, so it’s already good. He composed this song for the play The Black Rider. Think gypsies and Russian dancing.
5. Boris – Death Valley. Boris, purveyors of everything from heavy drone, to experimental, to ear-splitting rock, and this song is no exception. Six minutes of high-intensity brutality, perfect to play when you’re careening down the back-roads of Nevada on your drive to Death Valley National Park.
6. Fugazi – Turkish Disco. Though this song has a more distinct sound of the late-90s D.C./Dischord Records music scene, it can still get your feet moving next time you’re on your way to a Turkish Discotheque.
7. Kraftwerk – Autobahn. Kraftwerk, the sound of Germany, and Autobahn, the road of Germany. Need I say more?
8. Medications – Brasil ‘07. A highly complex, energetic, and invigorating D.C. based rock band, perfect for your next visit down south. (The linked video is coincidentally of them playing in Brazil in 2007.)
9. Akron/Family – Italy. A 9-minute tribute to wanderlust, equal parts meditative and euphoric. An emotionally multi-dimensional song, much like the country.
10. Devo – Planet Earth. Finally, if you’re feeling optimistic, the entire world is your veritable oyster. Sometimes you can feel like you’re visiting your own planet. This song is perfect for your staycation.