Monday, 14 July 2014

Roadtrip hits - Albums that survived 900km in one day

For some reason, I've never really got on board with iPods. So even though at one stage I had an MP3 player, it's long since died and our car stereo doesn't have an AUX input either...

So I take CDs on long trips.

We're also totally devoid of in-car DVD players. Yeah, I know, it's like sooo 1995, right? In fact our car doesn't even have a stacker so it's really oldschool. When I say our car, I mean our diesel family wagon. I hope that doesn't mean I'm straying from the bounds of our usual blog about the beetle, but forgive me... coz I think you'll find this entry interesting anyway.

Last week I drove home from the Gold Coast.

On the way up we split the trip by staying with family at Port Macquarie. However, we wanted to get home faster. So we drove all 900km on one day with three kids in the back seat. For 10 and a half hours... In fact the only times we stopped were to collect some lunch or swap drivers. We even ate in the car. The trip was pretty good and the kids were pretty well behaved.

I reckon our choice of music was part of the key.

I've got a few albums just sitting in the door that got a listen on the way up... but it was the following ones that really got us home I think. The top of the list was this, Jeff Wayne's 'The War Of The Worlds'.

My kids are 10, 8 and 5. They loved this double album. And I mean really LOVED it. My brother gave it to me as a present a few years back and it is without a doubt the best roadtrip album of all time. Great story, excellent vocal actors, music ahead of it's time, classic rock, freaky effects. It's got it all.

About 30 minutes after we got across the border from Queensland, my oldest started asking for it. And really, it's not hard to tell why. If half the things that happen in this were in a movie it would be MA rated for sure. As it is, it's more like an audio book with an amazing soundtrack. It also goes for over an hour, which in a long trip is a boon.

It kept me awake and the kids enthralled at the most difficult time of the day, 2:30-3:30pm.

My next most fave album from the trip home comes from one of my favorite bands of late. Seawolf. I discovered them via Noisetrade and downloaded half of this album for free. I loved it so much I ended up buying three albums via Seawolf's webstore.

Expansive, layered, cinematic and yet at the same time slightly vulnerable and folky. This album played through at least three times during the ten and half hour journey. Check out "Priscilla"...

The other album that got lots of play and singing along from the backseat was from a band I wouldn't have expected so much. I can't actually remember if we listened to it during the journey home, but during the entire holiday it was on high rotation.

Catchy, poppy and lots of fun. The kids were singing along in no time at all. It will stay in the car for sure.

There were however some failures.

At the top of the list was this album. "Once More 'Round The Sun" by Mastodon, their latest release in fact.

Now, let me start by saying, I LOVE Mastodon. They're my fave metal band recently. I saw them live in February and (even with a torn calf muscle that made me shuffle like an old man) I loved every minute of it. They are epic.

It's just that this album didn't work for us, and some coarse language on it didn't help.

I'd only picked it up a week before and to be honest, it's taken me a while to get my head around it. I'm sure once I'm more used to it, it will be fun driving music, but even at low volume it sort of hurt my head on the trip home. There are some catchy tunes on it the kids started singing along with, but much of it was too intense for the journey last week.

Anyhow, hope you get a chance to hear some of this stuff. Better yet, grab it all and take it on your next roadtrip. Let me know how you go!

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