I have this friend Kaz from Tennessee, but we met in Chicago where we both worked a job marketing boats. It was our fist professional experience and we bonded over the absurdity and futility of trying to use the internet to make baby-boomers interested in purchasing floating mobile homes. We occupied the same general lobby space—making eye contact instinctively when some ludicrous sh-t happened—but after some time and not as many free boat rides as you’d think, we both left. I moved to Los Angeles and Kaz moved back home to Tennessee.
The last time I saw her she was visiting friends in LA, and she stopped by my house to say hello and tell me how everything had been going since we left Chicago. After trading some stories about our families and reminiscing about boats, we moved on to music. One of the bands she was especially excited about was a Nashville-based rock group named Moon Taxi, who are hometown heroes of sorts. They make electronically galvanized Southern rock that doesn’t fall into the antiquated traps many bands who attempt the genre do. They reminded Kaz of good times, so that was good enough for me.
Which is why I jumped on the opportunity to work with them on a new installment of Car Tunes and Cartoons, where I ask musicians to curate a playlist and compose some sort of illustration. Very aptly, the guys made a biker themed playlist, full of tunes that are geared towards touching road and getting wind burns. In the eclectic mix above, you’ll find tracks by the Doors, Lou Reed, the Dead Weather, the Rolling Stones, more. Inspired by touring in California, the band also etched a motorcycle into the wet sand at a beach around Encinitas, and you can peep that below. Listening to this and staring at their Instagram-worthy sand art, I can’t help thinking of the trite but impactful metaphor of life as a weird Kerouac-style journey. I have done some weird shit and met some good people. I hope that doesn’t change anytime soon.
About music and wanderlust, Moon Taxi’s Tyler Ritter had this to say:
“We’re from Nashville, but we’ve been stomping around the Mojave Desert and the California coast the past couple of days. I had this dream the other night that all five of us were traveling gig to gig by motorcycle, which is pretty bizarre because none of us own a bike. We spent our day off this week roaming around Encinitas, CA and the surrounding beaches, and I kept thinking how cool it would be to ride around on Highway 101 on a big Captain America-chopper. You know, the illustrious steed that Peter Fonda so proudly tore through the roads of the West in Easy Rider? This playlist is a tribute to my imaginary bike ride through the desert, then down to San Diego and up through LA, then committing a grisly crime in the Bay area resulting in a massive police chase, and finally going down in a blaze of fiery glory fit for a Viking king of old.”
Featured Image via Danny Clinch