What the Civil Wars, Florence Welch, my 8th grade boyfriend, and Lena Duchanne’s claiming all have in common.

My dear sweet Audi Q5 has been having a few heart problems lately. After Dr. Theresa at German Auto Imports here in TVegas did all she could for him, he had to visit the specialist at Audi Gwinnett.

These trips entail road trips to Atlanta, 4-hours each way. I went up last Friday and then again this Saturday (16 hours in the car). I made both trips by myself. They were great ; )

Mr. J offers to go with me every time I have to make a trip to Atlanta (which is more often than you might think), but I usually end up going by myself. As an introvert, 8 hours in the car is actually a great time for me to recharge my batteries. I don’t think Mr. J understands this, even after 10 years of marriage. I think he thinks I’m kind of crazy (and secretly up to no good) when I insist on making the 8-hour round trip by myself (which I somehow always manage to turn into a 12-hour trip every time…Tanger Outlets are right in the middle).

For an introvert, it’s empowering to have complete control over a situation. To go when we want, where we want. I choose the time I leave. I choose the route. I choose where I want to eat lunch (I don’t mind eating at sit-down restaurants by myself…another thing Mr. J doesn’t understand). I choose when to stop for potty breaks. If I decide I want to detour over to the Wesleyan campus for a quick walk around memory lane, I can do that without consulting anyone.

Don’t get me wrong, I also love road trips with my family. I love stopping at little road-side vegetable stands. Impromptu trips to High Falls to play in the water and hike down a trail. Sharing the Wesleyan campus with my kids.

But when I really need to unwind, a long trip in the car on my own is perfect. Probably the best part of solo road trips though, is choosing the music.

Just like my taste in books, my range of favorite music genres is vast. I can listen to most anything. On these trips, the route is one I can pretty much drive blind-folded (though I don’t, you know…for safety purposes), so I love to roll down every window, open the moon roof as far back as it will go, let my hair down to fly around my face, and sing at the top of my lungs to my four favorite artists and albums with no regard for anyone else’s preferences. It’s pretty sweet.

I’m always downloading new music, but it seems that over the past year or so, I consistently listen to the same four artists/albums:

The Civil Wars: Barton Hollow

1) The Civil Wars: Barton Hollow

Their album, Barton Hollow, is perfect for starting a trip. I’m a sucker for mountain music. If my cousin, Daniel, a professional upright bass player in this very genre, read this, he would probably hate me forever because I’m sure that that’s not what the actual genre is called. But it reminds me of Tennessee and West Virginia and I just don’t have anything better to call it. There are plenty of other artists in this genre that I love, but it’s this one album that I just can’t get enough of. Favorites: C’est La Mort and Poison & Wine.

Florence + The Machine: Ceremonials Album

2) Florence + The Machine: Ceremonials (and other soundtrack singles)

I adore Florence Welch. Any and every single song from Florence + The Machine is on my phone. Every song is different, but they’re all SO. GOOD. These songs are like fantasy fiction in music form. All of the magic from every book I’ve read can be summed up in a Florence + The Machine song. Which is probably why they also write the songs for either the movies or the movie trailers for a lot of the most popular YA paranormal books. My personal favorites, most from the Ceremonials album, are Seven Devils, Breathe of Life, No Light, No Light and Spectrum.

Mayday Parade: A Lesson in Romantics

3) Mayday Parade: A Lesson in Romantics (and other albums)

I know, this is probably ten miles away from the other genres and not even close to what I usually listen to (which on the radio is NPR, country or pop). I’m not even sure what this genre is. Ska? Is that still a genre of music? Alt? I don’t know. I came across this band when some of my high schoolers were fangirling over their music during drama class a few years ago. I asked who it was and they told me it was a local band from Tallahassee. They were “so cute!!!” and “their music is so awesome!!” and “one of the guys is from Cairo!!” Hmm…with that comment, I thought I’d heard the name before, but not sure where. With a little research, I found out that the drummer (the one from Cairo) was a guy I grew up with, and was even my boyfriend for a hot minute in 8th grade! I use the term ‘boyfriend’ very loosely. We were in middle school. Regardless, I actually know his aunt very, very well. I’ve been the production manager for her ballet company for the past dozen years. Back to the music, though. It’s actually not bad at all. If you love contemporary YA lit, especially from the guy’s POV, then I’d venture to guess that you’d love Mayday Parade. Angst-ridden love songs that sound like they’re being sung by love-stung teen idols (when really they’re probably all around my age…and the drummer’s age….which is NOWHERE NEAR high school). If I were an author of YA lit, this band would definitely be on my inspiration playlist.

Beautiful Creatures: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

4) Beautiful Creatures: Official Soundtrack from the Film

Let me begin by saying that this is probably my least favorite book-to-film adaptation ever. It was terrible. Visually and musically, it was great, but the storyline just dropped way, way too much (and you all know that I’m really forgiving when it comes to b2f adaptations). I can’t imagine a film being made of the second book just because so much was taken out.

Regardless, the score is fantastic. Fun fact about me: I was the drum major of my middle school marching band. I know. Touch me. I sizzle.

Thanks to this little bit of history, the muscle memory from the down beat never left and I love to really get into  conducting a score. I’m sure the people driving by me probably think I’m either crazy or possibly yelling at someone on the phone. I get really into it. I have a lot of scores that I’ve listened to on road trips for years (Jurassic Park  and Queen of the Damned are other favs), but lately, I’ve really started to adore this one most.

So there you have it. I don’t listen to audiobooks while I drive, but I do stick with the themes and really jam out on my long and lovely solo road trips.

Thankfully, I got to spend some time with my older brother and a good friend while I was in Atlanta and my dear Audi Q5 is all better now and back home.

What do you prefer to listen to on long drives? Solo or with company? Let me know! I love, love, love comments : ) If you want to hear a few snippets, I’ve linked to each album (plus a few more) in the Jones’ Book Store through Amazon (or just link through the album covers above). Listen Up and Read Up!


2 thoughts on “What the Civil Wars, Florence Welch, my 8th grade boyfriend, and Lena Duchanne’s claiming all have in common.

  1. As a fellow introvert, I totally understand enjoying solo road trips. I have listened to the Barton Hollow album on repeat too many times to count.


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