on my boombox: my month of travel, in song

9 Oct

September and October 2012 will forever be known as “the months of DC absenteeism.” I’ve been zipping all over the place via plane, train, bus, and roadtrip this month, so DC show-going has been mostly on hold.
That said, traveling is often a great way for me to forever relate certain music to a particular trip or experience. Sometimes it’s the song that plays on repeat when you’re drinking with your college friends during a reunion weekend; maybe it’s a new album that keeps you sane through a long flight delay. Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to see a local band play in a new city you’re visiting.

So, here is the rundown of the music I’ve been digging this month, that I will forever associate with these particular trips. (Note that I’m not including my Lotus show trip to Philly in my list of travels, because I already featured a Lotus track in my last track. But you should still listen to more Lotus).

1. Road trip to Notre Dame: Noosa, “Walk on By (Sound Remedy Remix)”

During a road trip all the way to South Bend, Indiana, to watch Notre Dame crush Michigan, this song played double duty: not only did it get us pumped up enough to turn the end of our 10 hour road trip into a party, but we continued to play the song throughout the weekend. And why wouldn’t we? This song inspires infectious party enthusiasm for anyone who listens to it. I should probably never listen to this song when I am trying to convince myself to stay in one night, because I wouldn’t even last through the first verse before getting off the couch and putting on some make up. Welcome to your fall party anthem, friends. You’re welcome.

 

2. A weekend in New Orleans: Panorama Jazz Band at the Spotted Cat Jazz Club

Any self-respecting music fan knows that when you’re going to New Orleans, you’re going to Mecca. You’re going to the place that gave literal birth to the defining genres of contemporary music: jazz and rock n roll. The music seeps into every aspect of New Orleans life, and I loved visiting a culture that was so immersed in its love of music. After all, we’re talking about the city that fostered the rise of everyone from Weezy to Frank Ocean to Big Freedia (and bounce music as a whole).

Naturally, I was ecstatic when the weekend’s plans included a trip to Frenchman St., a strip in the French Quarter that is bursting at the seams with live music venues. We ended up at a place called the Spotted Cat, a place that forever changed my perception of jazz clubs- for the better. At least in New Orleans, the term “jazz club” need not imply stuffy, fancy, old crowds, or expensive drinks. Picture your favorite funky dive bar, but put a small stage at the front and feature extremely talented musicians there every night of the week- free of charge. Needless to say, i was in heaven. Check out Panorama, the band I had the lucky pleasure of seeing on Saturday night.

 

3. Homecoming weekend in Charlottesville: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, The Heist

For this particular trip, I’m still in the lead up phase. So, this piece of music gets to play the role of “album I listen to while obsessively day dreaming about Homecoming weekend in Charlottesville.” Homecoming in Charlottesville, home of my alma mater UVA, is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. Thus, I usually need a great piece of music to listen to repetitively in the week prior, for several reasons: to get me excited for the unprecedented amounts of fun I’m about to have while reuniting with my old college friends, and to distract myself to make the week go by faster. And, of course, said music will be played repetitively during the road trip down 29 South, lest I burst with impatience during the drive.

THANKFULLY, Seattle-based white rapper-producer duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis just dropped a new album that totally fits the bill. The Heist includes songs featuring everyone from Schoolboy Q to Ray Dalton to Eighty4 Fly to Band of Horses.  The whole album is top notch, but a particular stand out track is “Same Love,” a moving tribute to gay marriage, in support of Macklemore’s gay uncles. Macklemore conveys a sense of empathy that is entirely endearing and unexpected, and the input from Mary Lambert is perfect. Yes, I will be listening to this album the entire way to Charlottesville, and the party-ready track below will make more than one appearance during the weekend.

“Thrift Shop”

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