Category Archives: DJ My Roadtrip

We DJ’d Brice’s Road Trip

Brice writes:

“Hey DJs!  I’m road tripping from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park (staying in Sonoma, CA if that helps).  Please DJ my road trip!”

Whenever I hear about someone traveling to California, I think of the song “California” from Joni Mitchell’s Blue album and imagine a lot of twirling and long grassy fields, the dream version of long grass that doesn’t cause itchy ankles or make you think about snakes. I hope you get the chance to pull over and twirl somewhere along the way.


Your trip is around three hours one way, without traffic. Since you’re heading to a National Park, you might enjoy listening to NPR Road Trips: National Park Adventures, a collection of radio essays about parks all across the U.S., including one about Yosemite. The whole thing takes up only one hour and the pieces are short so you can skip around or listen straight through.

One of the best audiobook memoirs I’ve listened to lately is Wild Tales by Graham Nash, a good chunk of which takes place in California, although there is also a good chunk where the artist and fellow members of Crosby, Stills & Nash probably didn’t know where they were. It’s a whopping 12 hours, but you can listen to the juicy stuff about how crazy David Crosby is and zone out toward the end when Graham Nash gets really into 3D printing. Bonus: Nash reads it himself in a kicky English accent.
Speaking of trippy, you could also try Age of Miracles of Karen Thompson Walker (9 hours): “On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life” (from goodreads)
road trip music
But wait! Don’t forget the music from Tom in S&S:
Hope you  have a great road trip Brice!

We DJ’d Rebecca’s Summer Road Trip

Rebecca writes:

“I’m driving [from Michigan] to North Carolina with a car narcoleptic!”

What to listen to?

My first suggestion is, of course, to listen to Raise Up by Petey Pablo on repeat the entire drive (aprx. 165 times!). Spin it like a helicopter, Rebecca. That’ll keep your car narc awake!

If that’s not your thing, we’ve put together a list that will at least keep YOU awake. And give your passenger trippy dreams:

This book is exactly the length of your trip, one way. You can split it up or listen to it in one take, which you may want to because it’s pretty thrilling. Here’s the publisher’s review:

“It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meiers’ extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife, Judith, her mother, and film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted…A controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest.”

When you need to change it up, try some of these records. It’ll put a little bounce in your drive:

road trip music

Teen Dream by Beach House (50 min.): This type of music is typically called dreamy pop. It’s mellow and imaginative. Ease into your trip by playing this album first.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band by the Beatles (40 min.): This is where the trippy dreams come in.

Arular by M.I.A. (40 min.): With M.I.A.’s hot beats to listen to, you won’t care if you’re the only one awake. You’ll be too busy shouting,  “‘Scuse me little hombre. Take my numba, call me!”

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming by M83 (75 min.): A double album dose of synth music. Fans say it’s best to listen to if you’ve got some nighttime driving.

Who Is William Onyeabor? by William Onyeabor (70 min.): Speaking of super crazy awesome synth music

How about some stand-up? Try Sarah Silverman or, my personal favorite, Sinbad: Brain Damaged.

First Band on the Moon by The Cardigans (40 min.): This is the one with “Lovefool” on it so you can jam out like you’re in seventh grade again.

While you feel like singing along (this is the portion of trip where your road-trip buddy wakes up and scolds you), pop in some Lily Allen. She’s fun and bratty.

Lungs by Florence + the Machine (70 min.): If you’re feeling driving fatigue, these big pounding rhythms will help you recharge.

Young Americans by David Bowie (40 min.): How cool are you going to feel after 11 and a half hours, cruising into North Carolina blasting “Young Americans”?

Drive safe Rebecca!

We DJ’d Cathleen’s Summer Road Trip

Cathleen writes us:

“What a fun idea– who doesn’t love a good mix tape or audiobook! The family (me, main squeeze, the little toddler) are heading to the beach (3 1/2 hour car ride) to celebrate our little one’s 3 year birthday (her second time ever at the beach too).”

What to listen to?

Hey Cathleen! The beach, how relaxing! The toddler and the 3 1/2 hour drive? How the-opposite-of relaxing! I have taken a toddler to the beach before. You need some sweet tunes to help you, the squeeze, and that babay jam and to remind yourself that this trip will eventually culminate in some sunshine and idyllic memories even though right now you are simultaneously driving, mumbling swears at your GPS, reaching back with one arm to grapple for the child’s drink cup and resenting your partner for sleeping through all of this.

Since you mentioned mixed tapes, Tom from Sight & Sound put together this one, which will take up just under an hour of your trip. Although lots of them are summery enough to listen to as full albums as well, like Wilco’s Summerteeth, Bob Marley, and War. Here are Tom’s recs:

1. Swimming/ Breathe Owl Breathe
2. We’re Going To Be Friends/ White Stripes
3. Where’s the Music/ Medeski, Martin & Wood (a jazzy version of children’s songs for the kiddo)
4. Surfer Girl / Beach Boys
5. Three Little Birds/  Bob Marley (babies love Marley)
6. My Girl/ Temptations (and also this song is on The Big Chill soundtrack, which is a pretty good road trip album)
7. Summer/ War
8. My Darling/ Wilco
9. Swimming Hole/John McCutcheon (more songs for the toddler)
10. Forever Young/ Rod Stewart
11. A Summer Place Theme / Percy Faith
12. Sitting on the Dock of the Bay/Otis Redding
13. Summertime/ Pico & Chown
14. Summer Breeze/Seals & Crofts
15. To the End / Blur

For the rest of the way there, we’ve found a few sunny sounding albums to pump you up for your day off. Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life will guide you through a whopping hour and a half of hits you can sing along to. It’s Mr. Wonder’s favorite album because it was a great time in his life as he had just become a father! Sing along with him!

On the last leg of the trip, try Polyphonic Spree’s Beginning Stages of…  The first nine tracks of their album take about 30 minutes, but the last track is 36 minutes long by itself. They’re weird but they’ll make you smile.


Now on the way home from the beach, you also need something to look forward to. The little one will be tuckered out, your ears will be a bit tired from the lovely sounds of the waves and the wind and you’ll want something quiet, but also something that will keep you from falling asleep at the wheel.

I would recommend listening to a book that’s suspenseful, summery, and on the short-side. The Young Adult section is the perfect place to go for those things. How about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart? Here’s the Goodreads description:

A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I hope you like our playlist for you. Happy birthday to your kiddo and have a blast at the beach. Or as my son calls it, loudly, in public, “Beetch! Mama beetch!”



Let Us DJ Your Summer Road Trip

Who wants to go on a road trip? Over here at the library, we can feel the excitement radiating from all of the patrons rushing to the travel section, grabbing their favorite beach read authors, and tripping over the new flip-flops they’re trying to break in. So far, no one has invited us along.  😥 😥 😥

But LOTS of people have asked us what they should listen to while they travel, and that’s pretty close. We like to live vicariously through your travel plans. So please, let us DJ Your Roadtrip.


Find us on Facebook or send an email to with the subject “DJ My Roadtrip”. Tell us where you’re headed and how long you’ll be driving and we’ll put together a combination of music and audiobooks to match your trip!

Cruising toward Nashville? We’ll give you all the Dolly, Johnny, and Blake you’ll need. Driving all the way to the desert? How about some Dune? We’ll even do imaginary road trips, if that’s your thing.

So, c’mon, ask us! You’ve got so much packing and planning and pretending you’re going to get into bathing suit shape to do. We’ll take care of this part.

Photo Credit: The featured image is Desert Road by William Warby