Is there anything better than discovering new music? Besides (close your eyes mom) sex of course. And pumpkin pie. Not forgetting chilling with grandma and playing Yahtzee. Aside from these things, putting together a playlist of songs new and old for when you’re exploring a new place is fun task. Do you go with Led Zepplin’s “Going to California” for the ironic twist during a walk through Shanghai back alleyways? Or do you go with something more upbeat like Angels and Airwaves’ “I Empire?”
Here are some song suggestions for your exploration adventures (or boring ass walks to work, whatever floats your boat), where I remember listening to the song, and what observations I made when I was listening to it. You may not have the same taste in music as me, but I can promise you a unique experience if you play the following songs in a new city, preferably in a new country on your first visit/wander.
Scarecrow – Beck: Heard In – Shanghai. Observation Made: Weird branches on a tree over a ladder contrasting with dusk sky. And my shoes are cool. I was watching them walk in tune. Shoes aren’t so cool anymore. Too damn old. (Walkin’ music. You’ll bob, you’ll weave, you’ll observe. You can walk in tune with the beat, so makes for some serious strutting).
Going to California – Led Zep: Heard In – Shanghai. Observation: I just flew from Cali to Shanghai, this is really obviously ironic, but I’m easily amused so I’m….hey! Look! Chinese people!
Aurora (Shinichi Osawa Remix) – Alex Gopher: Heard In – Hong Kong. Observation: I’m in the metro, metro, metro…very techno yah. This is Metro music. Train pulled away from the station right as the beat kicked in.
Innocence – The Airborne Toxic Event: Heard In – Hong Kong during hour long lunch break wander in Quarry Bay. Observation: Life is good. I’m not a kid anymore, but life is still good. Evidenced by seeing the woman making a living by handing out free newspapers on the corner. (Racounteurs, Angels and Airwaves, and Editors rolled into one. Slow start, build up build up build up…Happy time music! Buh dada, buh dada buh dada – nuhhhhhnnn nuuHHHHHNNN nuhhhhnn. “I could feel her in my bones! My bones! My bones!” So my phonetic interpretation of a song needs a little work.)
IEmpire – Angels and Airwaves: Heard In – California, road trip from Bay Area to LA. Observation: Jesus Christ, these guys rock. And I’m not married.
Recess – Muse: Heard In – Hong Kong, everywhere. Observation: Too many.
Across the Universe – The Beatles: Heard In – None. Observation: None yet, I plan on listening to this when I visit the world’s largest Buddha in Hong Kong next week.
The Sun is Shining – Bob Marley: Heard In – Sanya, Hainan. Observation: There’s nobody on the beach right now. I’m chillin. I’m probably going to burn. Whatever, I’m Melanoma Man.
Waka – Che Fu: Heard In – Shanghai, Suzhou Creek walking around. Observation: Why is my boss taking a picture of a mop? (Che Fu is New Zealand “trip – hop” from early 2000s. Who would have thought.)
Alive – Daft Punk: Heard In – Hong Kong, during morning commute. Observation: Moveyourheadtothetechno, Moveyourheadtothetechno, Moveyourheadtothetechno. Shit. Missed my exit.
Are you a Hypnotist? – Flaming Lips: Heard In – Hong Kong (somewhere), and Shanghai near Xinla Road. Observation: I don’t remember.
No Handle Bars – Flobots: Heard In – Murphys, CA. Observations: My girlfriend is hot. I like my car. I forgot the first time I learned to ride a bike. This road is winding. Jeez, the Flobots are a little too political.
Demon Days – Gorillaz: Heard In – Hangzhou, West Lake. Observation: That pagoda looks like The Dark Tower from The Gunslinger! (It really did)
Believe it or Not (I’m walking on air!) – Greatest American Hero: Heard In – My head. Observation: That girl is so skinny she could walk on air.
Fuga (A minor) Spanish guitar – Bach: Heard In – Nowhere.
The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash: Heard In – Shanghai. Observation: Its late and I’m walking home alone. I hope I don’t get eaten by zombies. (Song was intro to Dawn of Dead remake.)
LDN – Lilly Allen: Heard In – Don’t remember. Observations: This is Lilly Allen. Are you supposed to be inspired? I just turned my head off.
The Blood is Love – Queens of the New Stone Age: Rawr!
Dukes of Hazard Theme – Waylon Jennings: I’m just a good ol’ boy, I don’t have to format this one.
Holiday – Weezer: Heard In – Hawaii, 02. Observations: I’m on holiday! I don’t care that my lips itch from eating that mango.
Gone Till November – Wyclef Jean: Heard In – Shanghai. Observations: Its January, I’m ordering dumplings, and I won’t be home until after next November. I’m stoked. I’ll miss my family, but this is exciting.
Highway to Hell – AC/DC: Heard In – Beijing, on the road to the Great wall. Observations: I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. Why is the drivers glasses thicker than the windshield? I’m gonna die. We’re all gonna die. Hah! Listening to Highway to Hell, so if I die, some folks at my funeral will get a chuckle.