Musica Wanted!

Every season has a soundtrack. It’s time for a new one!

Every phase of life, every relationship, every chapter of your story has its songs that will forever transport you back into moments that have passed but can be relived each time the song is played. Some songs are triggers; they remind you of home and can make you both ecstatic and homesick to hear when you’re far away [for me, I predict: Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” to have this effect on me in Ecuador], some trigger memories of a specific person who loved you and then maybe broke your heart [those songs are pretty loaded, as they can bring up both wonderful and difficult emotions — and no, I will not share mine, but – for better or for worse – I’ve got some of those!], and then there are the songs that remind you of how FUN a certain time was [ahhh, the list of songs that will forever remind me of crew parties and random laughing fits or dance parties with my college friends and teammates is endless and wonderful].

And THEN, there are the times when you need new songs, before they become the soundtrack to any memories. That’s where I am at right NOW.

I’m about to do a LOT of traveling. Long flights to Rome and back will be quickly followed by the 10-hr flight to Buenos Aires and back, and eventually the one-way flight to Quito. But, here’s a little problem I have: I don’t sleep on planes. That’s right, not one minute. Ever. AND, I refuse to take sleeping pills in any form. The only thing I will take is Melatonin (a natural supplement that supposedly helps adjust your body’s clock to the time zone you’re in, based on sunlight), but even that is something I avoid. Usually, I like to just let my body figure it out and accept I’ll be running on empty for a while, which I’m capable of even if it’s not fun. What I’m saying is… I need new music. Lots of it.

The one and only time I ever attempted to take a sleeping pill was on a direct flight from NYC to Tokyo. Because I’m pretty small and sensitive to the effects of most medication, I decided to take half an Ambien about an hour into the JFK-Narita flight. The next seven or eight hours of the 12.5 hr flight consisted of me trying to figure out if my head was still attached to my body or if it was floating three feet above me. I pretty much was trapped in my window seat (two sleeping Japanese business men locked me in) alone, drooling like a slobbering dog, and completely confused for the entirety of the flight. I did not sleep; instead, I drifted in and out of a woozy world that hummed as it stood completely still. I. Am. Never. Taking. Half. An. Ambien. Again. (MAYBE a whole one some day, but even that I hope to avoid.)

Now back to the task at hand…

Over the summer, we created “The Ultimate Travel Playlist.” It was FABULOUS, but we’ve all probably moved on from that phase. Today, I’m asking all of you to shake it up, refresh the list, and give me a NEW set of songs to accompany me on all my upcoming travels (and yours). They can have NOTHING to do with travel, and everything to do with the stuff that just makes you feel good about life right now. I’m looking for new or relatively new music, and I know you’ve got it.

Please, give me some good stuff to listen to as I stare at the seat in front of me while everyone around me sleeps. Submit, as a comment, your list of three to five songs you think I should listen to on my trips. As always, I will kick things off so you feel comfortable. Here are a few of the  “popular” songs that have been on my workout playlist over the past few months. They get my heart pumpin’ and have put me in a I-can-take-on-the-world good mood. What songs put you in that mood? SHARE THOSE.

1. Michael Buble, “Feeling Good”

2. Lady Gaga, “Teeth” [BEST song to spin to! We listened to this in my spinning class and pedal to the beat. It’s fast, but it’s SO invigorating when you’re ready to bust it out and GO!]

3. Kings of Leon, “Notion”

ALSO, I will definitely be listening to my fabulous and incredibly talented friend, Samantha Farrell and her entire album, Luminous, including “Someday” “Lady Luck” and “Fade Away”

This is NOT about judging someone’s taste. Share your list of artists and song titles, independent or popular… Clearly, I am not a music snob, so don’t be shy. Have fun with it!



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9 responses to “Musica Wanted!

  1. Jackie

    Ooooooh! I love music! Especially travel music. Germany and Amsterdam will always be associated with Charlotte Church for me…

    As far as my recommendations:
    1. She’s Country – Jason Aldean (I know, it’s country, but it’s just so sassy! Haha)

    2. Cowboy Casanova – Carrie Underwood

    3. Dance Floor Anthem – Good Charlotte

    4. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Poor Boys

    5. Set the Fire to the Third Bar – Snow Patrol feat. Martha Wainwright

    6. The Joke – Lifehouse

    7. Running Man – Hanson (I know, but give it a chance, it’s got a Maroon 5 feel)

    9. Possibility – Lykke Li (and yes, I liked this before New Moon put it on the soundtrack, haha)

    10. How You like me now – the Heavy

    I’ll send more as I can think of them, but those are my current favorites!

  2. Emily

    New music I’ve been listening to and loving:
    1. Citizen Cope – Rainwater LP (his new album, mmm mmm I could just eat him up!!!!)
    2. Phoenix
    3. A Fine Frenzy
    4. Passion Pit
    5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs


  3. Dan

    Rodrigo y Gabriela. All is good but the song Tamacun particularly rocks.

  4. For me Paul Simon is my ultimate travel music… He can pump me up (Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes and Graceland) or calm me down (Something so Right).

    Lately I’ve loved revisiting the 90s– TLC, Waterfalls; Miriah Carey, Fantasy, Ace of Base

    Also… who doesn’t love the Glee Soundtracks?

    Hope that helps!

  5. Jess

    Oh fun!

    Yo La Tengo – “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House” (has significant moment meaning to me; hope it happens for you, too); “Mr. Tough” (I can see this being a quirky soundtrack song to a travel movie…)

    “Runaway” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (your friend listed whole band; I’d choose this song – although newest album is great)

    “Cecilia” – Paul Simon (piggy backing off the Paul Simon recommendation; this song makes me so happy and makes me want to name my daughter Cecilia)

    Otis Redding – “Try a Little Tenderness” and just about anything by him…

    “The Soft Bulletin” (album) – Flaming Lips (has so many songs I love)

    “Warm Heart of Africa” by The Very Best, ft. Ezra Koenig (Happiest song EVER!!!)

    HAVE FUN!!!

  6. Katie

    hmmmm – side note I kinda miss the days of mix tapes and cds. iPods do have the advantage of mixes being longer but still….Anyways, my suggestions:

    My new FAV song of the moment: Bulletproof by La Roux!

    Also, I’m absolutely loving VV Brown – she’s so fun! I especially love Shark in the Water and Everybody and Quick Fix…

    Anything by the Script….

    Oh and I love The Swell Season – Low Rising. And Blood Bank by Bon Iver. They are both kinda moody but they always suck me in….

  7. Dawn

    Great Northern

    Grand National (Talk Amongst Yourselves, Drink to Moving On…travel-perfect)

    The Republic Tigers

    The Last Shadow Puppets

    Gnarls Barkley (way more than the hits…listen to the whole St. Elsewhere album, every track is fabulous)


    Rodrigo y Gabriela–I’ll second Dan’s pick! It’s so you, Tavel!
    Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, salsa….

    Youssou N’Dour (Senegalese sensation)
    Etienne Daho

    I’ll be living through you vicariously on your travels =-)

  8. marie g.

    Here’s my Three for Taveling:

    The very best feel-good happy song is Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole from Alone in IZ World. It’s not at all like the Judy Garland downer version. This is all ukelele and happiness. The sweetest song ever. If I were traveling I would play this anytime I needed a little happy boost. You must download it now!

    Then if you ever feel angry or edgy a great song is Life is a Lemon and I want My Money Back by Meatloaf — it always makes me feel better, I don’t know why cause it is totally cynical.

    And if you just want to strut, don’t forget a great hit of the 80’s: I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred.

    Have fun.

  9. Pingback: Whirlwind « Travels with Tavel

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