It's been a solid 7 months or so since I last did a soundtrack, but trust me, this one has been on my mind since I was in China! So I apologize for not doing one of these sooner, but I hope to make up for it in quality here. So without further ado...
1. Joel Plaskett -- "Nowhere with You". Astute readers may notice right off the bat that I included this in my last soundtrack, but I think that this song may be even more perfect here than anywhere else. This song is energetic and totally encapsulates a travellers mindset of going "nowhere with you", plus the "na na na" part is perfect to listen to while walking down some foreign street
2. The Strokes -- "Juicebox". While many people may not have liked First Impressions of Earth, I think that this song is a great rockfest. The line "Why don't you come over here? We've got a city to love" is a great indication of your early excitement and energy that every traveller starts out with.
3. Led Zeppelin -- "Communication Breakdown". Maybe this is just me relying on my own personal experiences, but I certainly remember being in places where nobody spoke any English and I certainly didn't speak any of the local language. It leads to some pretty hilarious moments where communication sure breaks down.
4. David Bowie & Trent Reznor -- "I'm Affraid of Americans". Nothing against people from the good ol' U.S. of A, but this is a wicked song. I put this song in here not only because it is amazing, but because it refers to the stereotypical "Ugly American" tourist. You know the type, the person who wants everything to be just like things are back home...I hate people like that. And for the record, some of the worst tourists I have ever met were Australian and Canadian....
5. Kaiser Cheifs -- "Oh My God". This song is perfect for that moment you realize just how far away from your friends and family you are. Listen to the line "Oh my God, I can't believe it, I've never been this far away from home..." and you'll know that you are not the only one to feel that way. By the way, check out Lily Allen's cover of this song if you get a chance, maybe I'm biased, but it's great!!
6. LCD Soundsystem --"North American Scum". This is for the time when you realize that you, yourself have become a bit of an "Ugly American" tourist, trust me, it'll happen at least once. By the way, I posted this video here once before and if you missed it, be sure to check it out.
7. The Dandy Warhols -- "Everyday Should be a Holiday". Great song, great band. This is one of those songs for the moment when you realize that you will, one day, have to return home to your dreaded "real life".
8. The Shins -- "Sea Legs". Here's were the playlist starts to slow down a bit. It might be a bit too sad for you, but I think the line "And we got sea legs and we're off tonight", is a good one for nomads everywhere.
9. The John Butler Trio --"Nowhere Man". It's a song about being nowhere in particular, it ties into the opening song on this list and is a great way to sum up those long bus/train trips when you feel like you aren't anywhere.
10. Broken Social Scene --"Looks Just Like the Sun". I could have easily put all of You Forgot it in People on this list, the album just blends itself to staring out a window of a train, but I think that this song might be the best one for this list. Mainly because of those long overnight hauls when you first see the sun and you're not sure if it is really there because you are so freakin' exhausted.
11. The Arcade Fire -- "No Cars Go". You all know how much I love Neon Bible, so of course I was looking to include a song on this list! But this one is perfect, I swear! It's about finding places where "No Cars Go", which is something you will certainly want once you get sick of all of those crowds and souvenir stands.
12. Sigur Ros -- "Untitled" (aka "Njósnavélin" aka "The Spy Machine" aka "The Nothing Song"). Really any song off of ( ) is a great choice, I just took my personal favourite here. For those not familiar with this album, it is sang entirely in Vonlenska, a language which the band made up. This album needs to be represented on any travel playlist because it so wonderfully demonstrates the ability to communicate without common language. You listen to the words and you have no idea what they mean, but you can clearly understand the point that they are trying to make. There are so many moments that this happened to me in China that have left a pretty drastic mark on my psyche, and this album will always make me think about them.
13. Michael Franti & Spearhead -- "I Know I'm Not Alone". The chorus says "Even though I'm far from home, I know I'm not alone", sums up everything from the bond between travellers to any connections you have with someone back home.
14. Feist --"It's Cool To Love Your Family"...and Feist makes yet another of my playlists, thus making it even more likely that her and I will be wed some day. Anyway, this is a great song to justify feeling homesick but not wanting to loose any face by admitting that you miss your mommy, chances are every other traveller has at one point or another.
15. Simon and Garfunkel -- "Homeward Bound". It's finally that time, time to head on back home. It's always a bitter sweet time, but Simon and Garfunkel will help you ease that transition with this classic.
16. Kanye West featuring Chris Martin -- "Homecomming". If you haven't heard this song go and buy Graduation right now!!! Not only will you get a great album but you will put 50 Cent that much closer to retirement. Anyway this unlikely duo come together to put out a really great song that mixes West's rapping and Martin's incredible vocal talents. They talk a lot about coming home and in the chorus the Coldplay front man asks "Do you think about me now and then?", which will tap into any traveller's concern that maybe they've been forgotten while they've been gone.
17. Johnny Cash --"I've Been Everywhere". I know there are about a zillion versions of this song, but I've always been partial to Johnny's. It's a great song to reminisce about your adventures to, which is clearly one of the most important parts of travelling.
Alrightie I think that's about all, let me know if I missed any big ones. Also, does anyone have any suggestions out there for future soundtracks? If so, let me know, I'd love to hear them!
Until next time,
Music to Break-up to
Music to Wallow to
Music to Swoon to