Five Songs to Fry Your Aux Cord

by | May 17, 2019 | Off the Wall

The blood and lifeline of a car trip, it is handed around the car so that all the homies can partake in playing their sweet jams until some shitter plays Nickleback then the aux cord is immediately yanked and not to be returned to said homie. — Urban Dictionary, Definition of Aux Cord

Whatever your weekend plans – whether you take a classic American road trip, flying towards a shrinking sun in a mythical ’57 Chevy, or take the Green Line bus to a party in your favorite friend’s crappy basement – you will be the one on whom everyone depends to bring the best music. So to assist you in that field of endeavor, we present five songs that will make you a Legend in Aux Cord History, earning you an invitation to every party from Tehachapi to Tonapah.

‘C’mon Let’s Go,’ by The Beaters Band, is a punk re-imagining of the 1958 hit for Ritchie Valens. And it’s the perfect song to let people know that you rule the aux cord. Ritchie Valens’ original recording – more grammatically correctly entitled ‘Come On, Let’s Go’ – was punk, but in 1958 no one was woke enough to know that. The Beaters Band self-describes as ‘una Band italiana di Livorno che riarrangia brani Rock americani anni 50/60 in una Fusion tra PunkRock & Rock’n’Roll.’ Today’s track is from their new eight-song album, VOL UNO. Heck yeah!

I love the harmonies in ‘Garbage Party’ by Gabbie Rotts. I also love the imagery of someone alternately sitting on the floor talking to their cat and sitting on the toilet endlessly scrolling through their Instagram feed. Which, if it’s anything like my Instagram feed, is mostly pictures of cats. ‘Garbage Party’ is from Gabbie Rotts’ soon-to-be-released album, Mystical Harmony. Immersive Atlanta described a typical Gabbie Rotts song as ‘a liberating sing-along anthem you want to scream as you’re burning pictures of your ex in the backyard.’ Or, this being the Modern World, sitting on the toilet drunkenly deleting pictures of your ex from all social media platforms as the cat looks on in alarm.

We’ve been a fan of Allison Keil since the release of her wonderfully alliterative landmark EP, Some Shitty Salzburg Songs. Having relocated to Portland OR, Allie is back as the lead singer of Oily Boys. You may listen to their latest single, ‘Prolonged Government Shutdown,’ and hear a fun and goofy song that sounds better when you’re stoned. I hear a poignant metaphor for a game of emotional chicken, in which each party in a relationship withholds what the other desires, while news of the ongoing crisis is breathlessly texted amongst a circle of friends. Where’s the mailman? clearly references a desire for the restoration of personal communication, while Where’s the Coast Guard? alludes to the security that each of us finds in our significant other. Thanks, Obama.

Like Allie Keil, the Crystal Furs recently relocated to Portland, migrating there from the dust bowl of Fort Worth. If you’ve ever uprooted your life and set out – with cats, kids, or simply as a couple – for a distant horizon, you know that it can be accomplished only with large doses of patience, forbearance, and especially humor. I picture ‘Between Brownstones,’ from the album Pseudosweet, as a chronicle of the band’s journey. I love the manic quality of the track, as well as the Farfisa organ. So, if you’re on a road trip and this song cycles through the aux cord, give the accelerator an extra inch, to get where you’re going faster, and be glad you’re not hauling a howling cat. And if you’re at a party, give the volume knob an extra nudge and drag someone, anyone, out onto the dance floor.

And finally, as the night winds down and bodies embrace, we need the anthemic Slow Dance Song, the wall of sound that transforms the glowing cigarette tips in the dark corner into a shimmering glass ball that casts distant points of light across the faces of your friends, and that metamorphoses the dreary trek home on the Green Line bus into a magical moment in which you will be accompanied, not by the drunken homeless man who habitually occupies the conveyance, but by someone you just met and actually kinda like. And, tonight, that song will be the Static in Verona cover of the old Monkees’ song, ‘Daydream Believer.’ We are joined on the journey by SERAPHINA, whose beautifully elegant vocal brings a slow burn to the aux cord.

And there we are: five songs that will win you the admiration of your friends. Your friends will thank you for enriching their lives with these wonderful sounds. But you’d better bring your own aux cord. You know your loser friends don’t have one because they lost it last weekend.

Since 2013, Reverb Raccoon has featured the best music from unknown and independent musicians. His interests include eating leftovers from the neighbor’s garbage can and watching The Royal Tenenbaums.  Email: reverb.raccoon@gmail.com

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