Mythology of Life: Night Motoring Through Cities

Note: Motoring certainly does not equal driving. For an explanation, visit this previous post.

"I can't think of anything more beautiful than the moments of life where all we can do is catch our breath."

I get that tingling sensation whenever I motor through cities at night. You can know a place very well by day yet somehow feel transported to an otherworldly city when you experience it by night. There is a different pace and quality. The lights. The patches of people out on the town. The mystery of a dark alley. It's more forgiving to travel the wrong way on a one-way street. The night is when a city can truly reveal itself from the imposing cover of day.

The constellation of lights. The hues of yellow reflected in the streets. When it rains, everything casts a reflective image. 24/7 shines flourescently. The stars are upstaged.

Vices thrive. Insomnia takes grip on the afflicted. We get a second wind. The energy and the danger comingle. You may get the urge to lock your doors. In a heliolithic society, the night owls have chance to fly. Daysleepers are roused.

Choice of music is critical. It the soundtrack to the nightlife. The mood must be set. Here are a few of my quintessential selections:

- "Knives Out" by Radiohead
- "Revenge of the Number" by Portishead
- "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" by The Postal Service
- "Question" by Tricky ft. Alanis Morissette
- "One More Murder" by Better Than Ezra
- "Don't Panic" by Coldplay
- "Love of My Life" by Santana ft. Dave Matthews
- "Disappointed" by Ivy
- "Jet Lag" by Joss Stone
- "Ray of Light" by Madonna
- "Southside" by Moby ft. Gwen Stefani

Added on 6/10/07
- "On Top" by The Killers
- "The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton" by Beck
- "Monday Morning 5:19" by Rialto
- "Come Lay Down" by Howie Day
- "Without You I'm Nothing" by Placebo
- "Harrowdown Hill" by Thom Yorke
- "Goodnight Moon" by Shivaree

Selection that makes me shiver: "Halloween" segue --> "The Stone" --> "Crush" by Dave Matthews Band on the epic Before These Crowded Streets album

Create your own soundtrack to enhance the experience.It may push blood through your veins. It may grip your heart. It may be something you own... or something borrowed, something blue. Or upbeat.

This is part of the mythology of our lives. When you experience it next, catch your breath, look up up up at the buildings through the sun roof (if you're lucky to have one), and live the moment. I hope it gives you the chills.


Anonymous said...

I'm always looking for good "road trip" music to add to my collection. Thanks for the ideas!

Allie D. said...

I absolutely loved this post, Chris, and your pictures... Wow. You have a major talent here. Have you considered doing any submissions of your work? MSNBC has a This Week in Pictures section that a lot of people submit to. You should look into that or some other publications.

Great song choices, btw. Crush is the ultimate night driving song. I also love to listen to Fake Plastic Trees when I'm driving at night.

Army said...

Glad to pass on the sleek tunes, Greg!

Allison, do you remember when we got lost in the industrial district of Cincinnati and all we could think about was Better Than Ezra's "One More Murder"? LOL -- those were some scary good times!

Allie D. said...

LMAO!! I had forgotten all about that! I think that was after the Alanis concert, if I remember correctly. :)