September 2006
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Music to watch Vegas go by (Part 1)

This is something I was toying with in Vegas for ages, then ran out of time before I could actually post it. So as a result it’s probably lost something in transalation. The idea was that I was trying to build the perfect ipod playlist for driving into and out of Vegas. Our house was about a 20 minute ride from anywhere, with the strip lights visible from about half way.

The first thing I found was that Vegas is just so intense that if the music you listen to driving there is too fast or too cheesy it just becomes sensory overload. Much of the music I would normally drive to is excluded this way; whereas Orbital’s Impact kicks ass when you are driving in and out of the tunnels around Birmingham City Centre, or you can use the pure cheesy goodness of anything by Flip and Fill to make almost any journey go faster, these didn’t last 30 seconds on my drive from Green Valley to the Strip.

I’ve allowed myself four different playlists – about 1h20m in total, depending on traffic signals – for four different occasions. There is no way I’d have been able to pick just four or five tracks for this so cut me some slack! It also means I get four blog entries for the price of one… 🙂 Until my web host (hey wait, that’s me!) tells me to take the illegal MP3s down, you can listen to the tracks in full! Oh and look, I slipped a few links in there that didn’t make the final cut too…

I actually do have a video tape of the drive in both directions (camcorder wedged in passenger seat headrest – ok, yes, it’s very sad) and I might edit it up one day with this soundtrack just to see how it works.

For now, here’s part one:
Driving into Vegas for a Night o’ Poker [20m57]

1. The Who – Baba O’Riley [5m01]
Teenage Wasteland. They’re all wasted!
This playlist has to be uplifting, without being too intense. The Who give us a perfect opener that builds slowly and has classic fast-a-bit-slow-a-bit moments that make your hair stand on end. I can’t take credit for this selection, it just happened to be on The Point one evening as I left. It wasn’t on my ipod before, but it is now.

2. Freeland – We Want Your Soul [5m07]
Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom
This is about as intense as it can get, so it has to come on the playlist before the Vegas lights are fully visible. For a song that requires your body to move in directions that are just not possible whilst driving, it’s almost dangerous to include it here. But it’s great.

3. Pet Shop Boys – The Soddom and Gomorrah Show [5m19]
It’s got everything you need for your complete entertainment and instruction. Sun, sex, sin, divine intervention, death and destruction.
A song about sin city, although admittedly not this one which still has plenty of destruction to make way for yet more new construction. Divine intervention need not apply. This one works just as well during the day as at night.

4. The Donnas – Take It Off [2m40]
Let me take you on vacation, just do it, you don’t have to ask. Go on and take it off, shake it off baby for me
The Donnas are the band The Darkness should have been. Classic, fun rock music. Which track I pick here really doesn’t matter, let’s face it this does all sound the same. I could just have easily put Andrew WK in its place, partying hard, except he’s just a little less sexy. Just rock out and enjoy this one for exactly what it is.

5. The Go! Team – Panther Dash [2m50]
A tune that somehow sounds like it’s ending before it’s begun. And then it carries on a bit longer. Impossible to explain, just click the damn link! This sounds great at any big hotel-casino when you are bombing around their service roads to get the car dumped quick as quickly as you possibly can.

A very near miss was Delgados version of Mr Blue Sky.
Runnin’ down the avenue, see how the sun shines brightly in the city.
But I assumed it’s always dark – or at least the sun is on its way down – at the start of the journey. If it’s still light, substitute this for track one and bounce around a bit.

Part 2 coming soon …!