The best road trip. That would definitely be a 5-day drive through Andalusia (Southern Spain) with my
wife, sister and brother-in-law. While the cities we visited (Granada, Córdoba, Sevilla,
Ronda, among others) were incredible in their own right, I have to say that it is
the sights of the green rolling hills, olive and grape fields, jagged cliffs, distant
mountains and small, ancient towns that I remember most. It is a special, special
place on this planet.
All-time favorite. “Across The Universe” (Rufus Wainwright) Rufus is one of my favorite performers,
perhaps my favorite songwriter, and here he is singing one of my all-time favorite
songs. Nothing can take away from the Beatles, but I love the innocence and surrender
that comes across in Rufus' interpretation of one of their greatest songs. He’s recorded
it several times, but this first version from the “I am Sam” soundtrack is my favorite.
Meaningful inspiration. “HUMBLE” (Kendrick Lamar). Kendrick inspires me greatly with his impressive poetic
and rhythmic skills, dynamic combinations of styles, and by the honesty and transparency
of his message. Sometimes its brutal and uncomfortable, but it is always meaningful. Watch Cole’s TEDx talk for more of his thoughts on Kendrick Lamar.
Variety. “Divertimento for Strings, Sz. 113: 3. Allegro assai” (composed by Béla Bartók) and
“Bulls on Parade” (Rage Against the Machine). My musical tastes are all over the map,
and this playlist is good snapshot of that. The world of music is very big, and you
can find great things and meaningful art in every corner of it. I personally can find
connections even between Bartók and Rage Against the Machine—others may think that
is blasphemy, but I call it like I see it. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and
if it means something to you, then that’s what it means. Aside from that philosophical
detour, I think that a good road trip playlist should change up styles, genres, feel,
and tempo to keep your mind occupied and stimulated.
A legacy. “Seasons” (Chris Cornell). As I mentioned in the intro, this is one of those songs
about looking back. Long drives can be a time for introspection, and this song speaks
to me in that way. Chris Cornell was also one of my favorite rocks singers of all
time, perhaps in my top 3. I was really saddened to hear of his passing, and wanted
to include this song on the list as a tribute. His legacy for future musicians is
profound. Few people can say they helped create a genre, defined a musical period
and wrote a prolific amount of music that was and will continue to be cherished by
millions of people. Rest in peace, Mr. Cornell.
by Hannah Callaway