Traffic. It is that gritty despot between two familiar places. The decadent blur between A and B. It is a constant tension that can only be alleviated by arriving at one’s destination or cleverly keeping occupied amidst the bumpers.
Like most mornings rolling my whip over to eenie meenie records, I found myself face-to-face with the beast – an endless line of taillights and exhaust fumes. I look around and see crazed Angelinos grappling their foreheads feeling the heat of punctuality as they envision their bosses’ disappointed look. Others jabber on their cell phones or Bluetooth making meaningless, petty calls to not only feel connected while in the mobile office but also allude to their importance as a human beings. The fancier the Bluetooth, the more important you are… it is a fact, not even a spurious correlation.
As I make these observations safely secured in my car with no Bluetooth, no headache and no real hierarchal pressure, I wonder, “How do I manage my sanity in endless traffic day-after-day?”
The answer: Superb Jamz, Cigarettes and Sunglasses – in that order.
These three tantalizing devices allow me to not only get through the despair of bumper-to-bumper traffic – but somehow manage to enjoy myself. I find that if I have the correct amount of nicotine, with the right song as I people watch (the civilians don’t know I’m people watching because of insanely dark and impenetrable Ray-Bans) I am at some unknown feeling of peace. While the nicotine may speed up my neurological activity and the people watching provides constant visual stimuli, I feel the real money maker is the Superb Traffic Jamz. Music has the power and knowledge to create energy, take it away or hide it for later. And for that finicky reason, music is an essential component to the sanity of all Angelinos – just listen around to all the diverse noises piling out of one traffic jam. It is almost a case study for the real America.
In case your traffic-laden mornings and/or afternoons have not been particularly eventful, here is my June Gloom Spring to Summer Disaster Traffic Playlist. If you do not want to snack on my own basket, feel free to concoct one for yourself.
June Gloom Spring to Summer Disaster Traffic Playlist
Going Down by Freddie King – thank Kenny Powers
Can You Cone Down With Us by Olivia Tremor Control
Future Primitive by Papercuts
Lucifers Memory by Comets on Fire
Calcutta by Hopewell
Let My Baby Ride by R.L. Burnside
Little Elf by The Out Crowd
You’re Gonna Miss Me by the 13th Floor Elevators
Super-Sonic by the Brian Jonestown Massacre
Float Away by David Garza
Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads
Jump into My Mouth and Breathe the Stardust by Black Moth Super Rainbow
A Mihna Menina by Os Muntantes
Key Stroke by Her Space Holiday
Nega by Gilberto Gil and Jorge Ben
Pardon my Heart (Cover) by Devendra Banhart