Dueling Radios on the Road

We all do goofy things with our car radios while we drive.  You’re lying if you tell me you’ve never inched up at a traffic light to get better reception during your favorite song.  I might have to call you out again if you claim you don’t turn the radio down while you look for an address.  And I know I’m not the only one who hears a song I love, then immediately searches all the other channels to find it again.

Don’t tell me that if your window is open and you are listening to an embarrassing song, say A-Ha’s Take on Me, while playing the air keyboard on your dashboard, that you don’t punch the button to change the station as soon as you hit a red light.  We all know the stations we can tune to for music while other stations are on commercial breaks, and we have at least one station programmed that we never even listen to, wonder why it’s saved, and still refuse to reprogram it.

We get embarrassed when we sing the wrong words to songs, even when we are alone, and play the “Who sings this, it’s right on the tip of my tongue, dang it” game to the point we may even Google it at the next stop light.

But there is a certain type of person who takes car music to a whole different level.

You are at the stoplight, waiting for it to turn green.  You feel it before you hear it.  Your teeth rattle and your car shakes as he pulls up beside you.  It’s Mr. Bass Man.  That’s bass, like the music, not bass like the fish; he is another post altogether, now, isn’t he?

He is wearing something darker, you think, you can’t really tell because his windows are tinted.  You peer through the tint and see a reflection of sunglasses, which makes no sense because it’s eleven at night. His music is so loud that birds are falling from their nests, dogs are howling in protest, house windows are shattering, and the lady in front of you just ran the stoplight to escape.

Not to be outdone – more importantly, to keep the lyrical insult to music Mr. Bass Man is playing at bay, you crank up your John Denver, but Country Roads is no competition for Mr. Bass Man.  Your head is swimming as you are trying to hear about those roads that will take John home, but John Denver has given up.  You crank your windows up; the bass still winds around you like a boa constrictor and won’t let go.

Mr. Bass Man appears to somehow be talking on a cell phone, his voice raised over his musical offerings.  Far be it from Mr. Bass Man to turn down his radio to have his conversation, he is kind enough that he doesn’t want to deprive you of this real music experience.

Thank you, Mr. Bass Man, for showing me that my tastes in music sucks. Thank you for sharing your obviously superior music with the world.  I appreciate the valuable life lesson I have learned here today.  If I had a clue what the hell you were actually listening to, I might even look it up online and continue this valuable education.

Off he goes, his bass fading into the velvety night.  You sit at the light for a moment more, letting your hearing correct itself, and watch him blow the next stoplight.  Mr. Bass Man has important places to go, and won’t let a pesky thing like traffic laws slow him down.

Thank you, again, Mr. Bass Man, for allowing your musical choices to wash over me, and the six city blocks surrounding us.  I feel all the better for having, if only for a brief moment, a glimpse into your life.

And I feel even better knowing that you are somewhere teaching others the error of their musical choices, and spreading the love.  Because at least you’re not next to me anymore.

Charitable Contributions

Charity starts at home on the road and I just want to give a shout out to all those altruistic folks on the highways, at red lights, and in parking lots who are oh-so-kind enough to share their music with those of us less fortunate who might not have music of our own to listen to.

Without you, we might have to sit in glorious silence going over that speech we have to give in the PR meeting later, or perhaps, god forbid, we might catch up on the news or the latest weather report, or even be forced to listen to that audio book we checked out at the library just for our commute to work.

If it weren’t for you sharing your music at such a loud decibel that our cars shake, we might never know the pleasures of obscenity-laden music or lyrical rape scenarios, all while having our spines realigned and our heads on the verge of implosion from the sheer force of the bass.

So thank you, fellow citizen!

Thank you for doing your part to make what is already an annoying undertaking — our daily commute or running errands — that much more intolerable by giving of yourselves and your delightful taste in music.

Can I Have This Dance?

You know, growing up I just always thought that slow dances would somehow play more of an active role in my adult life. In fact, if you ever watch Hallmark Channel movies, they too feed into the whole slow dance myth…in virtually every movie, couples end up slow dancing at some point in time. The realities of adulthood are so disappointing. Or maybe I’m just hanging out with the wrong people.

 

Off-Key Indulgence

You know for someone who can’t sing — and in fact has no vocal talent whatsoever — I sing entirely too much.  I feel for my neighbors. And my daughter. And my dogs (the cats couldn’t care less it would seem). And those in the car with me. And anyone who is around when I’m taking a shower. Or sweeping. Or … well, you get the picture. I did say “entirely too much.”

 

woman with ears

Savage Beast

I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves in the clutches of a really crappy, sucky, frowny-faced bad mood and thought “Well, there’s no way out of this. I’m just gonna be in this terrible, suck-the-life-out-of-me mood for the rest of my life.” That tends to be the case when I’m in the middle of a road rage meltdown. The struggle is just too real, people! Bad traffic and stupid drivers are my triggers. Maybe for you it’s slow grocery store lines or annoying coworkers or internet outages. Whatever the cause, it’s a scientific fact that each of us can plummet into a bad mood if faced with one of our most formidable pet peeves. Hey, it said so in an online article, so it must be true.

But fear not! It’s also a scientific fact that there’s an instant cure: Music. Music is the answer for so many of life’s problems. And yes, we all have that one song that can unclench our teeth, ease the tension out of our shoulders, and literally turn that frown upside down. I’m lucky…I have three songs in particular that do the trick when I’m spiraling down into a road rage tantrum.

  1. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
  2. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
  3. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

No matter the funk I’m in, if one of those song comes on the radio, everyone else in the car knows it’s “Me” time and adheres to the strict code of silence while I rock out to my feel good tune. Of course if the situation is really dire, if the perils of the road build up to dangerous “curse words are about to flow” levels, I have the songs ready to go on CD. I pop one of those bad boys in, crank it up to 11, and it’s like instant audio joy, a form of intense meditation if you will. It never fails to cause a passionate bout of head bopping, finger tapping, and sing along-ing. I simply can’t stay mad. It’s amazing really. The road rage just immediately melts away. Good news for the drivers around me…and for me as well. I don’t like being in foul moods any more than the people it’s directed at.

And God bless my sweet daughter. After sitting shotgun for so many years, she knows all my tell-tale signs of impending meltdown. Like a stress-reducing super-heroine she knows exactly when I’m veering (ha! pun!) into dangerous territory and queues up one of those songs before I reach the danger zone…reminiscent of an experienced lion tamer throwing fresh meat to her charges.

We should all be so lucky to not only know what can chill us out in times when a bad mood hits, but also that we have a supporting cast ready to help out whenever possible.

 

Guess that Song

If you read my blog regularly, then you know that I’ve written before about my love for different types of music. You may also know that I am not in the least bit ashamed to admit (okay, well, a little bit maybe) that I like my daughter’s music. Although, I do try to keep my dancing in the car to only a slightly embarrassing level. I’ve also written about the great use of soundtracks these days, and how they are instilling in my children (in I hope all children), a love of some of the best music ever released…even if it is creating some confusion in my own music loving head.

I feel like I must revisit this subject because I’ve come to the realization that while I can apparently remember the lyrics to pretty much every song ever written, I can’t remember the titles to those same songs! What I CAN remember is which soundtrack each song comes from because, as you know, all the best songs are found on soundtracks these days. I would feel bad about not being able to remember the titles, but in my own defense, neither can my daughter, and since she is younger, my memory should be worse than hers, right?

So, as we head down the road, running errands or simply on a road trip to wherever, and we’re looking for music that suits the mood, we (okay, it’s more often I as in me) play the game of “guess the song I want to listen to.”

For instance, I’ll say, “hey, play that song from that scene in Guardians of the Galaxy where Peter Quill is zooming back to join them as they make their getaway…you know the one. No, no, no! Play the song from the opening, I LOVE that one! The one where Peter Quill gyrates his hips! And uses the poor little lizard thingy as a microphone. That’s a good one!”

Or “put in that audition song from Pitch Perfect, the one I can’t sing right…you know the one.”

Or “how about that song from the commercial with the actress that used to be in Life with Damien Lewis, love his red hair!, but then she was a lawyer in her own show called Fairly Legal, which is a shame it didn’t last that long, it was a decent show, and the song was on the radio like all the time only I can never remember the name of it…” This is the part where my oh-so-patient daughter always sighs and reminds me that it’s Stronger by Kelly Clarkson because she hears that whole spiel from me so often.

 Or, “I know! Play that song that’s in Delivery Man. NOT the one by Imagine Dragons that starts out like the song in Delivery Man and fools us into thinking it’s the right one, but the actual song from Delivery Man.”

It’s like a game of charades, but it’s guess the soundtrack instead. Maybe we could call it sound-rades? Or maybe track-rades…? I think I like song-rades.