Playlist: You Need A Car

You have recently found yourself in the market for a used car.

You spend hours every night on Craigslist and AutoTrader, pausing only to pour another whiskey or cold-call strangers who might be total liars or, even better, might have already sold their perfectly honest cars to some other lucky bastards. You go to bed talking about Volvos. You wake up pondering the reliability of a Hundai. You know the pros and cons of a Turbo 2.3L 4-cyl engine and that Saab stopped making hatchback 9-3s after 2002 (but will bring them back in 2012!). You can list all the standard features of a 1993 Toyota 4Runner SR5.

You are the most annoying person you know and yet you still don’t have a car.

There are some sad options in your price rage. Almost everything has ripped seats or fucked transmissions or salvaged titles. You’re driving your girlfriend to work so you can borrow her car and the money you both spent on gasoline last month could’ve made a nice downpayment on a yacht, maybe.

Bless your heart, you need some music.

Behind The Wheel – Depeche Mode
Camaro – Kings of Leon
Drive – The Cars
Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake
Drive – REM
Killer Cars – Radiohead
El Camino – Ween
Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
Drive My Car – The Beatles
Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin
Used Cars – Bruce Springsteen
Fast Cars – Buzzcocks
Cars – Gary Numan
On The Road Again – Willie Nelson
Mint Car – The Cure
Vegetable Car – Joshua Radin
Girls/Fast Cars – The Wombats
Loud Music In Cars – Billy Bremner
Hymn For New Cars – Mclusky
Riding In Cars With Girls – Moi Caprice
Cars Are Cars – Paul Simon
Keep the Car Running – Arcade Fire


Add your favorite late automotive related tracks in the comments below!

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone on the team will make it for you.

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  1. “Roadrunner” by Johnathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, my quintessential driving song.

    Also maybe “Speed Racer” by Liz Phair.

    • Didn’t catch this before I posted. Yes. Roadrunner is the driving song. And basically everything Johnathan Richman did rocks.

  2. Cars are a sensitive subject with me at the moment. I crashed mine yesterday :/
    Also “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol.

    • oh no I hope you’re okay!

      I got in a fender-bender myself Friday, wrecked my whole weekend :( so I know how you feel.

      • thank you! Hope you’re alright too.
        it was nothing too serious, no one hurt thankfully. Well, my ego took a massive hit.
        Maybe we should have a support group :D

  3. I am not a big Melissa Etheridge fan but “You Can Sleep While I Drive” is better lyrics-wise than usually you get with her.
    I am a big fan of Lucinda Williams and “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” is one of those perfect Lucinda songs.

  4. Can I just say that this is me. I’m 21 and I dont have a car. The older I get, the more of a pain it becomes. Ugh. Hopefully next year *crosses finger* til then, i’ll listen to these songs and take rides when possible.

      • Whoo, I’m 24-rapidly-closing-in-on-25, and I’m in the same boat. We are so cool. I’m certain of it.

        • Huh…my younger brother is 38ish and has never gotten his license. I didn’t know it was a cool thing, I guess I owe him some cred.

  5. Nice list!

    My all-time favorite car/driving song is “Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers. If you are from Boston this is especially great.

  6. this is super timely for me too, some asshat without insurance backed into me in a parking lot last week, the repairs are going to cost more than my car is worth!

  7. Everything Bruce Springsteen. This is possibly a carryover from the Bruce Springsteen post but I’m a Canadian with a serious Springsteen habit so whatevs.

    Keep the Car Running – Arcade Fire
    Life in the Fast Lane – The Eagles (shut up.)
    Pickup Man – Joe Diffie (I like to listen to this with a complete lack of irony and slightly modified lyrics wrt gender)
    Bitchin’ Camaro – Dead Milkmen
    The Truck Got Stuck – Corb Lund Band
    Highway Unicorn – Lady Gaga

    And has no one said Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” yet? It remains a favourite forever; that Rascall Flats version is total blasphemy.

    I also have a significant love for TERRIFYINGLY cheesy/great old country songs about truckers. “Convoy”, anyone? He speaks most of the lyrics through a CB radio, what is not to love, I ask you.

    … God, my list is so much less cool than the AS one. *hangs head in shame*

  8. “In My Car”
    “Drive On, Driver”
    “Lonely Highway”
    “When The Open Road Is Closing In”

    by The Magnetic Fields

    I listen to other bands, I promise, but THEY ARE THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING.

  9. Behind the Wheel is one of my favorite songs ever. Ever!

    Satan Is My Motor – Cake
    There Is A Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
    That Ain’t My Truck – Rhett Akins
    No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry
    America – Simon and Garfunkel

    And maybe, just maybe:
    Low Rider – War

  10. ‘Drive’ by funeral for a friend, ‘Headlights on dark roads’ snow patrol and I can’t believe no one’s mentioned ‘I drove all night’ by roy orbison yet

  11. Drive and Rollin’ On by Black Stone Cherry
    Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show
    The Traveling Song by The Avett Brothers
    B Movie Box Car Blues by The Blues Brothers

  12. ‘little red corvette’ – Prince
    not my favorite car song but the only one I can think of that isn’t already on here:)

  13. at first i didn’t see fast car on the playlist and i was like THIS IS A LESBIAN TRAVESTY I AM APPALLED. but then like… i saw it and all was well in the land of lesbian travesties.

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  15. “Northwest Passage” by Stan Rogers is utterly necessary for Canadian road trips, or at least driving aimlessly in the middle of nowhere.

    “Destination Unknown” by Alex Gaudino for when you really need to groove in place to a good beat.

    “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car” by Iron & Wine for pretending you’re starring in a queer feminist remake of Supernatural.

    “Supersonic Rocket Ship” by the Kinks because it’s a happy hippie song and I have a Prius and, well, it’s my little humming spaceship and I love it so.

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  17. In order of my preference:
    “Back on the Motorway” -Metronomy
    “On the Motorway” -Metronomy
    “Lullabye”- The Bubbles
    “Marty”- Five Iron Frenzy
    “Car” -Five Iron Frenzy
    Others I remembered:
    “Pootermobile” -Five Iron Frenzy
    “K-Car”- Relient K

  18. Yes, I needed a good car for trips out of town to my parents. I managed to find a good solution on the DriveAxis website and I was able to get a used car loan on good terms. My choice fell on the 2018 NISSAN QASHQAI SUV and I am very pleased with this purchase. Now my trips out of town have become as fast and comfortable as possible.

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