I’m working on a very long post about the Chicago Journalism Town Hall (DON’T RUSH ME I’M A BLOGGER), so I thought I’d repurpose something. A former colleague solicited me for cross-country-driving-music advice, and having driven across country four times by my count–at least SWVA to California–plus a cross-country train trip and a few half-cross-country drives, I thought I’d do the least I could, since it is a rich subject for me. This is really just the tip of the iceberg.

The best driving song ever is “Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman. The second best is probably “Glory” by Television. The third best is “Stray Dog and the Chocolate Shake” by Grandaddy.

Mountain Goats: “Palmcorder Yajna,” “No Children,” “International Small Arms Traffic Blues,” “Going to Georgia,” and basically everything from All Hail West Texas.

Drive-By Truckers: “Carl Perkins’s Cadillac,” “The Day John Henry Died,” “Bulldozers and Dirt,” “Women Without Whiskey”

David Byrne/Brian Eno: “Wanted For Life,” “Everything that Happens Will Happen Today”

Michael Hurley: “I Paint a Design”

Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt/Wilco: “Gun,” “Windfall,” “Drown,” “Ten Second News,” “Poor Places” (YHF Demos version)

The Mae Shi: “Lamb and the Lion,” “Young Marks”

Neko Case: “Thrice All American”

Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit: The Very Best

Pavement: “Summer Babe,” “Here,” “Perfume-V,” “Silence Kid,” “Fillmore Jive,” “Father to a Sister of a Thought,” “Date w/ Ikea”

Randy Newman: “Louisiana 1927,” “Kingfish,” “Rednecks,” “Marie,” “Birmingham”

DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist: Brainfreeze, Product Placement

Freedy Johnston: “Bad Reputation,” “Remember Me,” “Western Sky”

Warren Zevon, “Mohammed’s Radio” (Zevon/Jackson Browne live version)

Comedy: The Department, BBC Radio feat. John Oliver; Bigger and Blacker, Chris Rock; Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow Right!; Bill Hicks, Rant in E-Minor.

Literature: Pafko at the Wall, aka the prologue to Don DeLillo’s Underworld

Music I forgot to add in the comments:

Rolling Stones: “Saint of Me,” “Rocks Off,” “All Down the Line”

R.E.M.: “Me In Honey,” “Radio Free Europe” (original Hib-Tone version), “Exhuming McCarthy,” “Disturbance at the Heron House,” “Tongue,” “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”

Lucinda Williams: “I Lost It,” “Joy,” “Concrete and Barbed Wire”

Steve Earle: “Dixieland,” “Harlan Man”

Talking Heads: “The Big Country” (live The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads version) “Nothing But Flowers,” “Wild Wild Life,” “Tentative Decisions,” “Take Me to the River”

The Roots, “The Seed 2.0” 

Billy Bragg, “A New England”

The Hold Steady, “Stuck Between Stations,” “Southtown Girls,” “Ask Her for Some Adderrall,” “The Swish,” “Positive Jam,” all of Separation Sunday

Yo La Tengo, “Little Honda,” “Sugarcube,” “From a Motel 6”

Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan: “Big River”

Modest Mouse: “Doin’ the Cockroach,” “Tundra/Desert,” “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes”

Bob Dylan: “Foot of Pride,” “From a Buick 6,” “Blind Willie McTell”

John Fahey: “101 Is a Hard Road to Travel,” “Uncloudy Day”

Leo Kottke: 6- and 12-String Guitar