Traffic Jams: Five Songs Guaranteed to Induce Road Rage
Marconi, Tesla, Steve Jobs and some other folks we rarely mention should be elevated to hero status for creating the means and devices we turn to while spending hours in traffic.
Traffic, traffic, lookin' for my Chapstick...
Groups that geek out on such stats suggest at least ten percent of Americans spend about 90 minutes a day behind the wheel on the way to and from work. That time can explode exponentially in a city full of inattentive drivers and nonchalant road crews.
Thankfully, we have music to ease the pain of bottlenecks and unexpected detours. More often than not, it does its job and whisks us off to a better time and place than parked in the shadow of an F150, pondering its dangling set of "truck nuts."
But occasionally a song will actually aggravate matters. If "matters" are already bordering on a Michael Douglas-Falling Down-bazooka attack on gridlock, the following songs should quickly be skipped in favor of sports talk or a podcast.
5. Fiona Apple, "Fast As You Can"
This is a fantastic song by a brilliant artist who seemingly has never driven anywhere, ever. I have no supporting evidence to suggest Fiona Apple doesn't possess a driver's license, but she's a Manhattanite who had her first hit song as a teenager and is hardly tall enough to peer over the steering wheel, so just call it an educated guess.
"Fast As You Can" is another of Apple's frequent reminders to would-be, present or departing lovers that she's either extremely high-maintenance or possibly altogether unhinged. It's also a blistering-speed attack your neurons won't appreciate while staring at the back of someone's noggin 15 feet ahead of you for 30 minutes to an hour.
4. Traffic, "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys"
Like a wrecker pulling a stalled Chevy Cavalier from the center lane, let's just get this one out of the way. The band's called Traffic. If the word "Traffic" rolls into view on shuffle, the irony is soooo not lost upon you (this also applies to Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic," Jack Johnson's "Traffic In The Sky," and others).
If any song by Traffic surfaces while you're waiting for the lanes to open, you're going to want to go Death Race 2000 on anyone in a surrounding vehicle. If you're only able to move two car lengths in the time it takes Steve Winwood to finish this nearly 12-minute song, there may be no survivors.
3. Sammy Hagar, "I Can't Drive 55"
No, you cannot. And you damn sure don't need Sammy Hagar reminding you every minute or two.