Ryan prefers his iPhone, full of carefully cultivated playlists for each season. The lists are filled with his favorite bands, such as the Black Crowes, Pearl Jam, Rush, The National and Jimmy Eat World, to name a few. He constantly tries to fine-tune my underdeveloped listening muscles. Car trips become an hours long game of me having to ineptly guess answers to "Who's this?"
I have particular trouble discerning four 1970s/'80s bands, prompting Ryan to create this mnemonic device: It's what you use to Journey from Boston to Chicago.
He just drops the correct band name out of the phrase as appropriate. The fourth band, in case you hadn't guessed it, is REO Speedwagon. (All of them sound EXACTLY alike to me!)
Meanwhile, I prefer audiobooks on long trips. Ryan will listen along for a while, but he can only focus on them for medium-length bursts. And because he does the bulk of the driving, I switch over gladly when he needs a jolt of music.
When I do listen to music, it's usually pop. I confessed to Facebook last year that Sugar Ray's "Every Morning" is one of my Top 25 most played songs on iTunes. Other embarrassing gems on that list include Deep Blue Something's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Mika's "Any Other World," and a pair of Taylor Swift songs: "Love Story" and "White Horse."
At any rate, this spring I got very tired of being the quizzed and never the quizzer. We were driving through Nashville in April and trying to find a rock station as a break from Ryan's Baseball Tonight podcast (the other thing he listens to for hours). And I happened across a pop station playing a Taylor Swift song. So I turned the tables on Ryan:
"Who's this?" I asked.
He guessed his default female artist (Pink), then Katy Perry, then finally got it right.
I knew the next artist, too. And so we passed the rest of the trip testing each other on pop songs from the 1970s to now. Ryan has learned that some pop station time makes me a much more agreeable car companion, and so he deployed this tactic liberally on the long stretches of our western trip.
As a result, we pulled together a playlist of the songs we heard most on this trip. It's up to you to decide which we liked and which just wore us down to the point of inclusion.
- Coldplay & Chainsmokers - Something Just Like This
- The Killers - I Can't Stay (live)
- Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling
- Adele - Water Under the Bridge
- Sia - Cheap Thrills
- Justin Bieber - Love Yourself
- The Chainsmokers - Paris
- The 1975 - Somebody Else
- Niko & Vinz - Am I Wrong
- Zayn featuring Taylor Swift - I Don't Wanna Live Forever
- Zedd and Alessia Cara - Stay
- Taylor Swift - Blank Space
- Bruno Mars - That's What I Like
- Pink - Just Like Fire
To convince you that Ryan was an active participant in this, I did make tapes:
That's a wrap for this year.