20 Hours of Playlists / by Dan Weingrod

Earl Sweatshirt

This post is going to make me sound old...but I guess I'd better get used to it, especially if I'm talking about music.

Last Friday I drove out to central Ohio to pick up my son at his college. Ten hours of driving each way with only a couple of brief stops for coffee and necessities.

I'm one of these people who absolutely loves doing this kind of drive. It gives me a chance to let my mind wander and think irresponsibly about anything, but most of all it gives me a chance to listen to music. Something I don't do much at home or at work.

So here's my playlist, more or less by artist, for my drive out to Ohio on my own:

  • The Clash
  • The Allman Brothers
  • T Bone Walker
  • This American Life (Two Episodes)
  • The Byrds
  • Steve Earle
  • Bob Dylan
  • Arcade Fire
  • Charles Mingus
  • Little Feat

The next day, after packing up and eating breakfast we left to drive back to Connecticut. My son had already warned me he was planning on schooling me about music on the ride home.

So here's the artist playlist for our drive back:

  • Mad Villain
  • Common
  • Tyler the Creator
  • Earl Sweatshirt
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Poor Remy (A self recorded group from his college)
  • Robot Science
  • Pine Grove (Another self recorded group from his college)
  • Radiolab (Two Episodes)
  • Okerville River
  • Fleet Foxes
  • Das Racist
  • Franz Fredinand
  • Explosions in the Sky (Mainly because he was asleep and it was easier to go from F to E on the iPod while driving at 75mph)


What did I learn:

  • Language counts - Especially in Rap or spoken word, language is alive and well and I'm not going to worry about this generation losing command of English or verbal expression. In fact, it seems like they have a better idea of the power of language than my generation ever did.
  • Everything is music - Kind of a d'uh, but music is the original mashup. It seems now that the accessibility to tools that create high quality and sophisticated recording, as well as music composition tools, are making music far more inclusive than I ever could have imagined. My playlist may have been more varied in terms of genres, but my son's playlist included many more genres often within a single song.
  • "Good music" is still "good music" - The gift of being able to simply sing beautifully, like the lead singer of Fleet Foxes, or write great music like Explosions in the Sky, or moving lyrics is still a basic anchoring fact of music.
  • Radiolab and This American Life are treasures.
  • Nothing beats talking, which we also managed to get in during the drive.