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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Music to Crash Your Car To

posted by on July 25 at 13:27 PM

Compiling a list of songs about car accidents has been done. But the other day, while listening to Jawbox’s “Motorist,” I rode past a very minor car accident on Elliott. The scenario was sort of perfect for the lyrics.

When you examined the wreck, what did you see?
Glass everywhere and wheels still spinning free.
When you examined the wreck, what did you see?
Glass everywhere and wheels still spinning free.
Accidental, maybe.
Restraints too frayed to withhold me.

As the bus rolled past, I found myself wondering what the drivers were listening to at the time of the crash. People are almost always listening to something while driving.

I’ve been in a number of accidents, but only two times do I remember the songs playing. One time it was Possum Dixon. I was singing along and then BAM! Another time, years ago, I was listening to Bright Eyes. It was the most serious accident I have ever been in and it involved hitting a cop car. I know, right? The song kept playing after my car had collided and rolled off to the side of the road. It was “A New Arrangement” from the Everyday and Every Night EP.

So baby, when I call to you I want you to come
and lay it out for everyone
exactly how it was before any of this happened
and why you can’t leave it behind

Because the airbag had deployed, the car was filled with the powder and I was coughing a lot. It happened just a block or two from the fire station, so response was pretty much immediate—a fireman was yelling into my broken window “You’re okay! You’re going to be fine! That’s not smoke you’re breathing, that’s powder from the airbag! Don’t move! You’re going to be okay!”

Conor Oberst kept singing.

I was fine.

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I remember flipping a car to a song by LA. Guns back in like '90. Fighting over changing the song is why I lost control. No one injured, miraculously.

One time I watched a carload of friends drive off of a hillside/cliff. We were all kicking back smoking bomb and drinking beer at this park in the hills near wher eI grew up. These cats were jsut gonna run down the hill to grab some more brew but the driver was really loaded on tar. The road wound around the hill but they didn't follow it. Everyone in the car was totally oblivious and I watched the whole thing in slow motion. My boy Sapo who was driving never even panicked. The whole time, his lit smoke was still dangling from his fingers outside the door of his '65. We ran over to help as the drove off the edge. We were jsut in time to see the car flip as it came to a stop. The song that came on right as the car stopped rolling and sat on it's roof? Doo Wah Ditty by Zapp. No one was hurt (hard to believe) and the opening synth sweep fom that song made everyone in the car and everyone in earshot laugh so fucking hard it became a legendary story. 2 Of those dudes who came out of that wreck unscthed died soon after from heroin overdoses. I wonder what songs they were listening to then.

My current favorite car crash songs:

Thank God I Died In The Car Crash by The Frogs

Truckers Lullaby by Tim Seely

Posted by Veterano | July 25, 2007 2:03 PM

Interesting phenomenon.

In high school, I was rear-ended in front of my school while stopped and waiting to turn left. The song playing was "Hated Chinee" by Rapeman. I believe it was around the "not a man, not a man at all" line. The Discman that served as my car's CD player flew off the front seat with the impact and hit the floor, skipping, but still playing.

I had a friend who ran his car off the road while listening to Pavement's "Newark Wilder" which contains a lyric I always heard to be "lame driver..." but is probably something more obtuse and/or collegiate.

I've only run my car off the road once and I wasn't listening to any music because my ears were still ringing from the godheadSilo show I had just seen. I drove my beige '85 Mercury Lynx off a main drag in Fargo, down a 6 foot ditch, back up the other, shorter side of the ditch, over a curb and right up to a pump at the gas station I had been trying to get to (without realizing there was no road between me and said gas station). I also managed to crack my forehead against the windshield during this stunt, spiderwebbing the glass but leaving me no dumber than when I started.

Don't threaten me with a good time!

Posted by danmohr | July 25, 2007 2:12 PM

I remember the only accident I was ever in, and I remember that the tape kept playing, but I think I'm conflating the memory with someone else's story, so I can't say I remember what song it was.

I love that Jawbox song.

Posted by Levislade | July 25, 2007 2:18 PM

"Always Crashing In The Same Car" by Bowie/Eno would be so artistic, but Tim Buckley's "Nighthawkin'" always seemed just perfect for my own particular demise.

Posted by Chris Estey | July 25, 2007 2:44 PM

I totalled my car on Ranier Ave. S in 1992. It was a '77 Volare. I was listening to Tad. I actually lost control because I was fucking with the stereo - which consisted of a shit-ass'ed Kreko from the tire shop (FF/switch sides ONLY, rewind is for SUCKAS!), and two huge 70's living room speakers from Value Village in the wagon back.

It was every bit as sweet as it sounds.

Posted by Dougsf | July 25, 2007 2:53 PM

I was a passenger in a flipped station wagon. 8 people were inside of it. I had been ejected about 30 ft and my shoes had come off. I stood up only to fall down cause my legs weren't working. My friend was thrown twice as far, breaking the back window with her face; she also shattered her femure and was in a combative, animal-screaming state.

Still blaring out of the speakers:
Metallica, ...And Justice For All

Everyone survived and is ok.

It was the weirdest moment far.

Posted by E | July 26, 2007 12:10 AM

"It was the most serious accident I have ever been in and it involved hitting a cop car. I know, right?"

Sounds like you could have used a little Float On at just that moment.

Posted by randy | July 26, 2007 10:45 AM

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