She watched him as his taillights disappeared around the bend
The road goes on forever, and the party never ends

— Robert Earl Keen

We chose those lines as the epigram for our Ultimate Roadtrip Mixtape, first posted five years ago as a three-disc soundtrack for your summertime travels. With that project — later expanded with an autumnally-themed fourth installment — we saw the best aspects of the Popdose experience come together. It was a collective effort, with involvement from our whole stable of writers (the original post is still very much worth reading if only for Jon Cummings’ introductory essay), and marked the flowering of an idea that’s really come to the fore in our Conceptual Theater series — that art is an integral part of the experience of living, and that careful curation can elevate pop music from background noise to something like a companion, whose presence enhances even a task as mundane as a long car ride.

Or, to put it another way: With the right soundtrack, your everyday life can feel as cool as any movie.

A lot of you agreed. The Ultimate Roadtrip Mixtape generated a lot of traffic, a lot of discussion, and many, many requests for reposts. And now, just in time for Memorial Day, the time seems right.

But five years is a long time gone — and we’re acknowledging that with the addition of a brand new mixtape, Part Five in the series, drawn largely (though hardly exclusively) from music released in the last half-decade. That’s six-and-a-half hours of seamless music all together, hand-selected for your downloading (and CD-burning, if you’re so inclined) pleasure and use.

If you’ve already got the originals, enjoy the new stuff. If you’re a first-timer — lucky, lucky you. If you haven’t got a long drive ahead of you, you might want to find an excuse for one. Because that road is still going, and this party’s far from over…

Full Mix — 1:18:04

I. Get Everybody and Their Stuff Together
(intro: The Blues Brothers)
Tank! (Theme to Cowboy Bebop) — The Seat Belts
Ride — The Vines
The Passenger — Siouxsie and the Banshees
On the Road Again — Canned Heat
Roam — The B-52s

II. Someone Take the Wheel
(interlude: Ralph Spoilsport Mantrum — The Firesign Theater)
Going Mobile — The Who
Harley Davidson — Mick Harvey with Anita Lane
Vehicle — The Ides of March
Dashboard — Modest Mouse
Boss Hoss — The Sonics
The Bumpin’ Contraption — Latyrx

III. No Particular Place To Go
(interlude: Jack Kerouac reads from On the Road)
Missing Person Afternoon — The Story
Trampled Underfoot — Led Zeppelin
Silver Wheels (live) — Bruce Cockburn
Away — The Feelies
Freeway Jam — Jeff Beck
Hang On St. Christopher — The Bulletboys
Burn Rubber On Me — The Gap Band
Gear Jammer — George Thorogood and the Destroyers
(coda: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)

Full mix — 1:18:04

IV. Dangerous Curves
(intro: Back To The Future)
Crash — The Primitives
Panama — Van Halen
I Ride In Your Slipstream — Richard Thompson
Rev It Up — Casual Gods
Car Song — Elastica

V. And You May Ask Yourself, Where Does That Highway Go To?
(interlude: Big Trouble In Little China)
I’ve Been Everywhere — Johnny Cash
Orphan Girl — Emmylou Harris
Driving South — The Stone Roses
Highway 49 — Howlin’ Wolf
Tennessee Plates — Charlie Sexton
East Easy Rider — Julian Cope
Roadrunner — The Modern Lovers
Lover — Michael Stanley Band
On The Western Skyline — Bruce Hornsby and the Range
Going In the Right Direction — Robert Randolph and the Family Band

VI. Another Roadside Attraction
(interlude: National Lampoon’s Vacation)
Sunday Afternoon — Blossom Dearie
The Church of Logic, Sin, and Love — The Men
Last Chance Texaco — Rickie Lee Jones
San Berdoo Sunburn — The Eagles of Death Metal
DizzKneeLand — dada
Trigger Happy Jack (Drive-By Á¡ Go-Go) — Poe
Eight Hundred and Thirteen Mile Car Trip — They Might Be Giants
(coda: The Big Lebowski)

Full mix — 1:17:41

VII. The Hour of the Wolf
(intro: Days of Thunder)
2, 4, 6, 8, Motorway! — The Tom Robinson Band
Passenger Side — Wilco
(interlude: Big Trouble In Little China, slight return)
The Western Lands — Material with Wm. S. Burroughs
Night Hawks — Crossover
Moonlight Mile — The Rolling Stones
(interlude: Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas)
State Trooper — Cowboy Junkies
Screenwriter’s Blues — Soul Coughing
Radar Love — Golden Earring
(interlude: Airplane!)

VIII: We’re Gonna Get To That Place We Really Wanna Go
Born To Run — Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Formula, Cola, Dollar Draft — Marah
My City Was Gone — The Pretenders
A Million Miles Away — The Plimsouls
Any Ole Stretch Of Blacktop — Shenandoah
On Every Street — Dire Straits
Come A Long Way — Simple Minds
(interlude: Back To The Future, revisited)
Western Lights — Simon Bonney
coda: Road — Nick Drake

Full mix — 1:16:01

IX. The Undiscovered Country
Long Time Traveller —
The Wailin’ Jennys
A Sort of Homecoming (remix) — U2
Moonracing — Bikeride
Ramble On — Led Zeppelin
The Travellers — Big Country
Farewell, Farewell — Martin Carthy with Maddy Pryor
We Came Along This Road — Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Big Sky Country — Chris Whitley
Lost — The Church
In the Back Seat — The Arcade Fire
Mile-Marker — The Innocence Mission

X. Everything Sounds Like Welcome Home
The Wheel —
Rosanne Cash
Return of the Native — Early Day Miners
Still Water — Daniel Lanois
Go Places — The New Pornographers
Graveldrive — John Cale
A New Career in a New Town — David Bowie
Back of a Car — Big Star
Coming Up Close — ’til tuesday
coda: Always Returning — Brian Eno

Full mix — 1:19:36

XI. Gridlock’d
(montage: city traffic montage)
Auto Where To — The Chap
Parked Outside — The Afghan Whigs
I’m Good. I’m Gone — Lykke Li

XII. Fender Benders
First Gear —
The Rapture
Crosstown Traffic — The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Under the Westway — Blur
Milky Way Home — Sonny Landreth with Eric Johnson

XIII. A Pair of Lead Boots
(interlude: The World’s End)
Boomin’ System — LL Cool J
Ride On / Right On — Phosphorescent
Roadtrip to Disaster — Curtains For You
Voyage — Charlotte Gainsbourg
Bullethead — Van Halen
Go, Boy, Go — Frank “Sugar Chile” Robinson
Gypsy Rider —
Bruce Springsteen
Diesel Smoke — Eggstone

XIV. Gone Around the Bend
Hard Shoulder —
Mark Knopfler
(interlude: Batman Forever)
Cars and Boys — Nathalie Nordnes
One Take — Lindsey Buckingham
The Boy Racer — Morrissey
Easy To Crash — Cake
Drive My Car (edit) — Cristina
coda: Hello There — John Cale

And so we return to begin again. Whoever you are, wherever you’re going, safe journeys til we meet again.

About the Author

Popdose Staff

Some days won't end ever, and some days pass on by. We'll be working here forever, at least until we die. Working for a living, living and working, taking what they're giving 'cause we're working for a living.

View All Articles