Home » What Do You Listen To While Driving?

What Do You Listen To While Driving?

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Driving preferences are very personal. How we like to sit, how we like to set the temperature, how we pick a lane on the highway. But today, I’m asking about the most personal of all. What do you like to listen to in the car?

Once upon a time, you didn’t have much choice about what you listened to in the car. You either put on a local AM radio station or nothing at all. Some automakers fiddled about with in-dash record players, but they sucked out loud. Eventually, FM radio came along, but it was only with the advent of the 8-track and the Compact Cassette that you got real choice in what you listened to. CDs would come along much later.

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It was only in the early 2000s that we saw a real revolution take hold. It was the rise of the MP3 player, which then begat the aux cord. Today, most of us have some kind of Bluetooth link between our smartphone and our car stereos, but it was the aux cord that really changed the game way back when.

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Children Collide’s first album remains one of my favorites for a hills run.

I don’t just want to talk about formats, though. I want to know what you listen to. Maybe you’re ride or die for Billy Joel. Maybe you still think The Thermals are the most slept-on indie band in the history of North America.

Or perhaps you only listen to crossover collaborations between major pop artists as record labels try to break new talent in the UK and US markets. If that’s the case, we should talk about how Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj totally stunted on Jessie J in 2014’s Bang Bang.

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In parts of Australia, you can listen to a digital broadcast of supermarket radio in your car. Complete with the in-store ads and all.

Growing up, I was big into alternative rock and emo, with a side of trance. On one fateful night, The Offspring spurred me into such an excited state that I ran clear off a mountain road when I missed a braking zone into a tight hairpin. Learn from my example, teenagers – don’t go stupid with your tunes cranked to 11.

But today, I might surprise you. I’m often listening to local AM radio. I don’t have a lot of social connections in my local area, kind of like an old person. The conversational nature of AM radio makes me feel like I live in some kind of community, even if I spend most of my time in the cold isolation of the far-flung suburbs.

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Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

On any trip longer than 30 minutes, though, I’m on my podcast thang. I crank through episodes of D&D Court from the legends at Not Another D&D Podcast. It’s hosted by a bunch of professional Dungeons and Dragons players and DMs. They pass judgement on cases sent in by listeners, such as whether it’s okay or completely stupid for a player to roleplay as Anchorman. I’m a subscriber so I get all the bonus episodes, too. I’ve got a long solo road trip coming up and I can’t wait to blast through them for eight hours straight.

I’d imagine your preferences are entirely different from mine. So tell me—what do you put on when you’re going for a drive?

Image credits: Lewin Day

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Gregg Bond
Gregg Bond
1 month ago

I’ve managed to train Spotify appropriately so the Daylists are usually good fodder as its like the radio and I dont have to think what to put on next.

If I have miles to cover, I do like putting on a whole album and listening start to finish.

Across it all though, I have to make sure MPH doesnt equal BPM 🙂

Skurdnin
Skurdnin
1 month ago

Most of my trips are ~15 minutes or less, so it’s the local jazz FM station or nothing at all. Long trips are usually a Grateful Dead show.

Last edited 1 month ago by Skurdnin
Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago

My daily commute is an hour each way doing around 70 for most of it. Most of the time nowadays its likely Horrorbabble. Dude reads old horror stories (and some newer). I picked him up because his HP Lovecraft Cthulu Mythos was 23 hours long, so that covered a few decent commutes. He’s an excellent vocalist and entertaining performer. Beyond that, Fool and Scholar productions is good too. Also the 1980s Star Wars radio dramas can be found on youtube. A New Hope is 5 hours long! Starring Mark Hammill still too. Eat my World is a good podcast about food history. and often I return to my musical roots, Nu Metal and basically any female vocalist euro metal.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

I prefer to listen to nothing these days when I drive. Everyplace else I go I’m constantly bombarded with input that mostly annoys. I have music I love and very occasionally listen to at home, but on the road I just want the sounds of the car, the buffeting of the wind through an open window and the occasional “f**king asshole” shout that erupts from my own diaphragm as I greet my fellow drivers.

Parsko
Parsko
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

DITTO!!!!!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

First… I have a 2008 Honda Fit Sport. It’s a decent stereo, but it only does AM, FM and CDs. No streaming, no connectivity, no USB, no bluetooth. So it was from the era where everyone was asking for USB connectivity, but legacy OEMs were stubbornly refusing to offer it most of the time.

I listen to music about half the time and the news/talk radio the other half.

For music, I’ll gravitate to harder rock usually. But sometimes I’ll want something different and listen to Sarah McLachlan. Or maybe something from The Who. Or maybe Supertramp.

For radio, I regularly listen to CBC radio (99.1 on FM) for the news and various radio programs, I listen to 680 news for traffic reports/other news, sometimes I’ll listen to the Funny 820 all-comedy radio station if I want something light and funny (820 AM) and sometimes I’ll listen to a selection of Rock, Pop and maybe even dance music stations I have programmed into my stereo.

This morning on the way to work, I started out by listening to CBC radio 99.1 and then I switched to a CD… AC/DC’s High Voltage album:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Voltage_(1976_album)

And specifically the last song I listened to was this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-qkY2yj4_A

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago

My dad was able to get an iPod to work in his 2002 Civic with a radio adapter powered off the cigarette lighter. He had to put a radio transmitter on the iPod that the car’s radio could be tuned to. It was a clunky setup, but he made do with it until he bought a car with Bluetooth.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

Yeah I could do that, but I’m fine with it as-is. And I don’t want the clunky setup.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

I have just added a 2008 Honda Fit Sport to my list of the next car I will buy.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I’ll let you know when I’m selling mine… likely in a few months. How handy are you at fixing rust?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

I am better at creating rust

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Me too!

AssMatt
AssMatt
1 month ago

KEXP, unless there’s an Italian V8 within earshot.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  AssMatt

It feels like it’s the only station left.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

So I was a DJ at the restricted to campus radio station in college for two years. I played viola growing up, so classically trained as it were. Then I was a music writer at a local level for a few years (side hustle that never made money). My tastes are broad and in some cases deep. I have many playlists on my devices and said devices are paired to my car and that’s how I listen.

Lately, I’ve been trending more older pop and soul/R&B. Lots of output from Stax Records from the 1960s (the label had Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and others). But very little is off the table for me.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Myk El

Lived in Mississippi for a year. Good music.

IanGTCS
IanGTCS
1 month ago

Both my cars are old enough that they have Aux and Bluetooth (albeit flaky in one) and USB ports for a thumbdrive. Longer trips I’ll plug in my phone or a USB drive for music. My normal commute is under 15 minutes so I generally listed to the radio. Either CBC or one of the local rock stations. Or if the jays are playing I’ll listen to that.

Music choices tend towards 90s punk (Bad Religion, NOFX, Rancid, Green day) or metal. Early morning long drives to the cottage tend to be time to crank some Tool.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
1 month ago

Retrowave (Fantom ’87, Cartridge 1987…), instrumental hiphop (Blockhead, Yppah…), Lots off other stuff I don’t even know how to classify like Moss of Aura, Nym or Febersvan, lots of French music although I don’t speak French, The New Division, Lots of brass band stuff like Lucky Chops, Too Many Zoos and Moon Hooch.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

I usually spend my most of my time in the low to mid 30s on Sirius XM. Great stuff from old to new.

Though in the Mustang, due to its age, it’s all FM radio…which feels very appropriate to me.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
1 month ago

I listen to OFF. The only 2 vehicles I’ve purchased brand new came without radios from the factory, and they stayed that way. Mostly due to backup camera requirements in the US, it is impossible to buy a car without a radio any more.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

I appreciate your purity…that is true auto enthusiasm!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

Do you know the markup on a radio in a car? Diamonds are marked up less. A $10k dealer mark up on a $30K is less. The radio cost 20% of the cost.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Name checks out.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

Really? Eggsalad? Maybe throwing shade isn’t the best idea? LOL

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

I stick with music. My playlists vary significantly, but there’s usually at least some picks from:
The Mountain Goats
Barenaked Ladies
Cake
Allister
Less Than Jake
Ingrid Michaelson
Sarah McLachlan

Beyond them, it’s typically a long grab bag of indie, pop, punk, classic rock, and alternative, and any long drive will have me skipping a track or two that come up when I’m not feeling them. That’s the nice thing about long and varied playlists.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

This is like asking a squirrel to pick what part of my yard it likes to destroy the most.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

A good terrier should be able to help you with the squirrels. Just promise me you won’t shoot it if you get one that sucks at hunting.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Terrier maintenance and upkeep is a bit more than I can handle with semi-frequent travel and three hoopties to feed, though. Also, I’m not a cruel dingus, so I prefer it when doggies have kind handlers who can keep them alive and happy for as long as possible.

I’ve heard they don’t like mint? Maybe I should plant some peppermint in the flower beds and hope it doesn’t die like everything else I plant. (Fingers crossed on my recently planted cacti.)

Last edited 1 month ago by Stef Schrader
IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

As much as possible I’ve left my yard critter-accessible. I don’t put in stuff that I will worry about getting torn up or chewed on. I designed the platform for my shed so that it can be safely dug under because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep groundhogs and skunks from claiming it as their home. That’s just my philosophy though. Letting the wildlife do their thing is a lot easier than trying to stop them. I can call animal control if they get into the walls or attic.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Yeah, I had to make the pest control call lately. Raccoons and squirrels had ripped open a hole in the roof under one of the attic vents.

I’d really, really prefer skunks stay out, though. It seems like the squirrels (and raccoons, and who knows what else) here went from friendly tree varmints to Destroyers of Yards over the past few years, though. My yard is pock-marked with holes. Any seat cushions left outside get ripped to shreds. I don’t know what the hell changed that made the local varmint population decide to get more destructive. Maybe I need to borrow a friend’s dog to pee in the corners so they stay out of my yard.

Last edited 1 month ago by Stef Schrader
IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

I think you can buy coyote urine to use as animal repellant. Not that having two dogs pee in my yard multiple times a day seems to have driven anything away.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Yeah—that’s what the pest guy used to drive out the raccoon from the attic.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

If he has a gun just shoot the squirrels, they are abundant and tasty.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

she’s way too close into the city for that, or else she might be enjoying some squirrel chili right about now

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

A 22 is very quiet won’t go too far but will kill a Squirrel. Also a rabbit but you can buy rabbit in the store Squirrel is harder to get.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

deeeeefinitely not an option when your itty bitty yard butts up to four others, one of which is an apartment building

Last edited 1 month ago by Stef Schrader
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Humane trap and a good chili recipe?

Musicman27
Musicman27
1 month ago

I do not drive yet, but when I do I will most likely be listening to Retrowave/Outrun and other electronic music.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
1 month ago
Reply to  Musicman27

Fantom ’87 was on the top of my Spotify wrapped last year

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
1 month ago

I know I would find some good suggestions in this comment section. Fantom 87 added to library

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
1 month ago

Lately?

Mostly Sofi Tukker, K. Flay, Hugo Kant and Gin Wigmore, plus whatever related similar stuff YouTube Music queues up for me.

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago

Riding the velomobiles, I like listening to the following artists, among others, and I’ll keep it to 10:

-Ghoul Chapel
-Ghost
-GosT
-Perturbator
-Dimmu Borgir
-Sisters of Mercy
-Cannibal Corpse
-Goat Smegma
-Rotting Christ
-Cattle Decapitation

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I approve of this list.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

CC and RC are fun. Never heard of Goat Smegma, and if i didn’t listen to a fair amount of reprehensible music, I’d say you made that band name up, but I bet it’s real, and no, I’m not googling it.

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago

The cover art that Goat Smegma uses is great.

I could post a list of Trve Kvlt black metal to listen to as well.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Please do. I was just listening to the most recent Enslaved record, which sounds great. I saw them live a few months back and the music is too dense with thick chords and you couldn’t really discern anything.

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago

This is far from an all-inclusive list, but hardly anyone knows of these:

-Bone Awl
-Hell Konfessor
-Empire of Hate
-Xaxamatza
-Blue Hummingbird
-A Feast for Lampreys
-Muknal
-Drowning the Light
-Drottnar
-Genocide Kommando
-Qliphothic Realm
-Volahn
-Svarttjern
-Kuxan Suum
-Strigoii
-Glossolalia
-Axeman
-Acualli
-Kallathon
-Black Twilight

If you want to go more OG(and who have had plenty of time to stablish their infamy, so technically no longer Trve Kvlt):

-The Black Satans
-Darkthrone
-Mayhem
-Burzum

Last edited 1 month ago by Toecutter
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Thanks! I’m an og myself and familiar with the classics, including Bathory and the church burning and brain eating shenanigans, but I didn’t know any on the first list.

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
1 month ago

The Adventure Zone is my D&D Podcast pick, music is usually streamed via Tidal. It’s a massive mix as I’m pretty random in my music tastes.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
1 month ago

These have been my choices for the last few weeks:

The Garden (full discography)
Ginger Root (full discography)
Burial (full discography on shuffle)

Last edited 1 month ago by Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Always broke
Always broke
1 month ago

I do a lot of podcast lately, but have also gotten into audio books, especially for longer trips.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago
Reply to  Always broke

Try horrorbabble for one of the best vocalists in the industry for audio books. Of course, if you don’t like early 1900s horror stories, there might be limited interest regardless of his performances.

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago

Mostly podcasts or V10 sidepipes.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

I didn’t realize your Viper is one of the early ones with those. So cool – totally makes my day…talk about “they’ll never make these again”, even back then.

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Mine is one of the *later* ones with them. The Gen 1 had sidepipes, they went away with Gen 2, came back for Gen 3 and stayed until the end.

I also can’t see another production vehicle built with them again. Crazy that they lasted this long.

They are cool, and the exhaust noise coming from 2 feet below your ear definitely makes for a unique (not always great with the highway drone) driving experience. On the whole though, I have mixed feelings. They are impossible to keep clean and it really shows. I’ve burned my leg and my kids struggle to get over the wide sill to climb in.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

I had no idea they returned. And so you have real side windows and actual door handles – talk about best of both worlds!

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
1 month ago

Spotify liked songs playlist on shuffle (about 1,200 songs) spanning multiple genres, or DSG farts and turbo noises.

I tried doing the audiobook thing but I couldn’t focus on the book.

I haven’t listened to a “broadcast” since Google Play Music came out in 2011. All of my radio presets are whatever they were set to at the factory.

Last edited 1 month ago by Angrycat Meowmeow
IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago

Mostly music, but sometimes I’ll listen to NPR for news. My musical tastes revolve around rock and blues. Two albums I’ve been playing a lot recently are Purple by STP and Superunknown by Soundgarden. Both came out in 1994, so this is a milestone year for them. I usually get my blues fix from Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, and Albert King. AC/DC remains a go to for longer drives where I need to keep myself alert and focused.

Edit: And Clutch! How could I forget Clutch? I’ve only been listening to them since I was 14…

Last edited 1 month ago by IRegertNothing, Esq.
IanGTCS
IanGTCS
1 month ago

Clutch are awesome. I’d somehow never heard of them, despite their music being right up my alley, until about 10 years ago when they toured with Mastodon. First song they played was the house that peterbilt and I became an instant fan.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
1 month ago

Whatever youtube music picks on the supermix playlist that seems to be random songs but always spot on for my mood of driving.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
1 month ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

There are days when I think YouTube Music is powered by the paranormal.

And I don’t think I’ve looked for a song I couldn’t find, unlike every other subscription service I tried. I’m sort of mad at myself for trying almost every other service before settling on YTM. Google has a habit of killing things just as I start depending on them…

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 month ago

Lately I have been listening to a Lorna Shore station on Pandora. Using an AUX cable to connect my phone.

MY LEG!
MY LEG!
1 month ago

Swings between house music from my radio app or the local FM jazz station, weirdly enough, despite probably being one of the youngest posters on here. I blame that on my school’s radio station being jazz.

Last edited 1 month ago by MY LEG!
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
1 month ago
Reply to  MY LEG!

old-school house music is one of my go-to genres for long bouts of driving.

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