EARBUDS PLUGGED IN, PLAYLISTS METICULOUSLY CURATED, PODCASTS READY TO GO: TRAVELING NOW IS AN IN-EAR EXPERIENCE. THE SOUNDS MOTIVATE SPONTANEOUS TRIPS, GUIDE US DOWN SIDE STREETS AND TO HIDDEN TREASURES IN OUR FAVORITE CITIES AND PROVIDE US WITH OUR VERY OWN ANTHEMS. THIS IS THE SOUNDTRACK FOR TRAVEL — HITTING THE HIGH NOTES BY SOARING THROUGH THE CLOUDS TO A DESTINATION THAT SINGS. JUST LET SOUND BE YOUR GUIDE
LOCAL MUSIC LUMINARIES SHARE THEIR TRAVEL TUNES
By Daniel Brockman
LOS ANGELES, CA
Owner, Life or Death PR
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE "KIDS ON HOLIDAY"
"Kids On Holiday" captures the simultaneous anxiousness and excitement of travel. The perfect airport terminal song, it reminds me of that pit in the stomach before boarding the plane, trying to contain my excitement, but letting it get the best of me. It is tense and restrained but then bursts through with spasms of excitement.
BIG STAR "WAY OUT WEST"
"Way Out West" is all about getting your girl to come back from "way out west." Good for cruising with the sun hitting your back as you head back east.
ELITE GYMNASTICS "WE FLY HIGH"
"We Fly High" is a song about Minneap-olis and reminds me of summer breaks spent passing newfound free time.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Amoeba Records, Staff
X "THE NEW WORLD"
Excellent song with a dizzy rhythm, perfect for flying — the lyrics drag you through the whole country.
WZLX DJ, host of long-running Boston Emissions local show
One of my favorites, an 8 minute 25 second opus of breaking the limits of speed.
Owner, Yesterday and Today Records
DANNY KIRWAN "SPACEMAN"
This is a great, great song, kind of an obscurity from Kirwan who is mostly known for having been in Fleetwood Mac.
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE "3/5 OF A MILE IN 10 SECONDS"
I'm a big Jefferson Airplane fan and when I thought about travel and speed, this song popped in my head, and it has a line about plane altitude!
Music journalist for Rhapsody. com, Spin and Billboard
JASON BOLAND AND THE STRAGGLERS "COMAL COUNTY BLUE" (2008)
An example of what people call "Red Dirt" country music, from northern Texas, this is a terrific story song about Austin.
LITTLE TEXAS "AMY'S BACK IN AUSTIN" (1995)
A great little travel tune about a couple who leave Texas for the West Coast.
MICHAEL RENDER AKA KILLER MIKE
SADE "SMOOTH OPERATOR"
Usually by the time I'm in the airport, I will play Sade. Any Sade song will do. I listened to "Smooth Operator" so much — it's one of my favorites. It just winds me down. If I'm sitting waiting for the plane, then it's "Smooth Operator" time.
ELTON JOHN "ROCKET MAN"
"I play this in preparation of going to the airport. Whenever I have a travel day it starts offwith "Rocket Man." When you listen to the song it feels like a hero going on an adventure.
CURTIS MAYFIELD "SUPER FLY"
For me, when I'm in the air, it's all about staying mellow. Curtis Mayfield's music is soulful, funky and mellow.
B.B. KING "3 O'CLOCK BLUES"
B.B. King is one of my Grandmother's favorite artists. My grandmother was always singing 3 O'Clock Blues, so every time I hear it, I think of her. I play it when I'm landing so she is always with me.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
Cat's Cradle, Staff
LIZ PHAIR "STRATFORD-ON-GUY"
Everytime I'm on a plane at night, this song plays in my head. The first verse says it all: I was flying into Chicago at night, Watching the lake turn the sky into blue-green smoke, The sun was setting to the left of the plane, And the cabin was filled with an unearthly glow, In 27-D, I was behind the wing, Watching landscape roll out like credits on a screen
JOHN HARTFORD "STEAM-POWERED AEREOPLANE"
I just love this song. It's about jet travel but it sounds like he's singing about being on a riverboat or something.
GET ART STAR SECRETS WITH THESE ALTERNATE MP3 MUSEUM GUIDES.
Art critic Lee Siegel offers his take on the most underrated — and overrated — of the paintings on view at the Modern Art Gallery.
ART ON CALL
WALKER ART CENTER & MINNEAPOLIS SCULPTURE GARDEN
This museum builds on its public tours with 150 clips of artist and curator commentary.
Art history students and their professors offer wry and irreverent observations not on the art but on the museum's own audio track.
VISUAL ART AND MUSIC PODCAST
The intersection of visual and audio is explored with explanations of three art pieces and their connection with music.
THE MISSION: DECLARE A WINNER IN A BATTLE ROYALE OF NOISE CANCELLING CANS
THE PLACE: UNDER THE NOTORIOUSLY LOUD SUBWAY TRACKS OF NEW YORK'S MANHATTAN BRIDGE
THE TUNES: SKETCHES OF SPAIN, MILES DAVIS
ABLEPLANET HARMONY NC1050
Why buy? Ableplanet made some noise at Consumer Electronics Show, with an innovation award for their new technologies.
Why not? The "Linx Audio" noise-cancellation system adds too much white noise.
Comfort Why buy? Klipsch's build quality, including a sophisticated leather case and cloth-covered cable with mic and remote.
Why not? Overall sound is a little bright, and the noise cancellation could be more robust.
BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 15
Why buy? The leader in the field knows noise cancellation, and two settings allow you to choose how much to add.
Why not? Overall sound quality excels, but the mid-range is a bit over emphasized.
Why buy? Fantastic value for fantastic noise cancellation in a small package.
Why not? With that discounted price come bargain bin aesthetics and sound quality not quite as refined as its peers.
AKG K 495 NC
Why buy? Pillow-soft comfort and surprisingly effective noise cancellation for on-ear design.
Why not? A remote and mic on the cord would make these the bees' knees.
DIGITAL TOUR GUIDES
UNUSUAL WALKKING TOURS IN THE FORM OF MP3s ALLOW CITY EXPLORATION ON THE FLY.
By Hannah Serena Goldstein
SF EARTHQUAKE TOUR
A 10-stop tour culled from contributor's tips takes you to points of interest from the Flood Building to Pier 39 to other earthquake-impacted historical landmarks.
TOURCASTER LAS VEGAS STRIP
Get the inside dirt on the glitzy and gaudy casinos and hotels that compose the city's iconic skyline.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL WALKING TOUR
Spend the better part of two hours wandering the same path of our country's constitutional creators.
SOUNDWALK BRONX GRAFFITI
The street artists of the legendary TATS CRU take you through their neighborhood with insights and history about the outlaw murals.
EVERYTRAIL MIAMI ART DECO
The Magic City's architectural details come to life on this route guided by the experts at Fodor's.
EXPLORE CHICAGO MILLENIUM PARK TOUR
Luminaries like Frank Gehry, Anish Kapoor and Jaume Plensa chat about Chicago's Art Loop.