This week for Midweek Music, Brooklyn-based band Acid Dad's guitarist and vocalist Danny Gomez curated a playlist of he and the band's favorite songs to listen to while traveling. Earlier this year, the guys started their first major tour, trekking and playing shows all over the south. They recently took a detour to play a handful of shows at SXSW and are set to tour the rest of the country in the coming weeks. For more background on Acid Dad and their Psych-Punk tunes check out one of our earlier features on the crew here.
For me music possesses such a distinctive way of creating memories out of mere instances.
As we travel from city to city these songs have become the soundtrack to many of the experiences we’ve had on the road. I remember as we were first crossing into Texas, after a long Sunday of driving from Nashville, listening to Johnny Cash’s eerie words “Cause there’s something in a Sunday that makes the body feel alone,” and feeling this soothing/numbing effect from hearing him convey similar feelings of exploration and fatigue. I’ve always had a fascination with Joe Meek, and tracks like “I Hear A New World” were made to drive to. His production is so innovative and hearing all the effects he was experimenting with showcases his genius and madness. We always have a good laugh when the spooky higher-pitched chipmunk vocals kick in.
After traveling throughout the South for the past month and listening to artists ranging from Big Star to Mississippi Fred McDowell to Natural Child, I’ve been able to witness the influence on music of the geographical location of its birth, its folklore. These songs have created a new world to get lost in as we drive endlessly throughout the night. Whenever Sean is driving he’ll put on #1 by Big Star and him, Vaughn, and Kevin will headbang to all the genius honky and blues riffs (including one occasion in the parking lot of a Cookout in Greenville, SC with White Reaper). Visiting all these rich, musical cities has allowed us to experience the places where some of these sounds were first conceived.
At the same time, I’ve felt that being such a long distance away from home forces the psyche to try to recreate that familiar environment subconsciously, represented by the big influence of New York City acts such as The Velvets, Richard Hell, or Television in the playlist. These songs are direct and delivered with such power because of the brilliance of the lyrics and the sleazy, sexy, street poetry they crafted. They’re a good reminder of both the excitement and shittiness of the city in the best way. This collection of songs captures the mixed feelings of adventure, ambition, exhaustion, and freedom bred by the unpredictability of life on the road.