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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Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
1 month ago

The new Justice album is pretty good.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 month ago

Apple Music (Last 4 songs: REO Speedwagon, Formula 400, The Beatles, Judas Priest). Traffic and weather on local radio. Sometimes I’ll put on sports talk if I don’t want to listen to music or “real news” and just want background noise.

I used to have Sirius. I originally had it for talk radio – Opie and Anthony, Howard Stern. What is left there isn’t worth subscribing to anymore.

And the music channels I frequented sounded like they were on repeat after a while (Boneyard, Lithium, Hair Nation, Classic Rewind/Vinyl, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, etc.) and the sound quality stunk compared to my phone connected via bluetooth.

I burned out on podcasts. I just can’t get into anything and when I look for a new one, there are 10,000,000 of them and I give up.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

Right now, I’m listening to the soundtrack from “Palm Royale”
I fluctuate between Chill Mixes, Yacht Rock, Henry Mancini, Herb Alpert, Piero Piccioni, Belinda Carlisle, Duran Duran, Swing Out Sister, etc…
…streaming off Apple Music.

The only time I was really into news/talk on XM was the week I was driving across the country at the beginning of lockdown.

Last edited 1 month ago by Urban Runabout
No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
1 month ago

Pretty reliably Sanguisugabogg, Weedeater, Viagra Boys, or NPR. Occasionally Freddie Gibbs.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 month ago

I listen to my local community radio station via their internet broadcast, KVMR. When I can’t listen to that station remotely, I listen to whatever local community or college radio station in the area.

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
1 month ago

I’d listen to YOU, The Autopian, if you’d had a program on XM Radio!

Dave
Dave
1 month ago

Primarily podcasts – Everyday Driver, The Smoking Tire, Strict Scrutiny, Wait Wait…, PetaPixel, Things You Should Know. Music is usually Radio Margaritaville on SiriusXM.

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
1 month ago

While driving, I’m usually listening to FM radio – 80s/90s/early 00s country, and also some rock and alternative. I still keep a book of CDs and cassettes (in my truck), and those will get played fairly regularly, especially if my youngest is with me – he insists on listening to Fun by Garth Brooks any time he rides in my old truck with me.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago

I borrowed hundreds of CDs from the public library and ripped them. So my phone has thousands of songs.
My collection skews old hard rock, with near-complete inventories of Rush, Van Halen, Metallica, and Megadeth. In other genres I have tons of Beastie Boys, Daft Punk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, and Love & Rockets.
I also have “newer” hard stuff, like Godsmack, Disturbed, and System of a Down.
I really like Skrillex.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
1 month ago

I really appreciate that you consider Godsmack and SoD newer (on my list too). Makes me feel young again.

I overlap about 90% with you here. Probably swap out a few for Rage Against the Machine and Linkin Park with a sprinkle of Foo Fighters.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago

I don’t have any of those, but I’ve been digging The Revivalists, and I’ve sort of re-discovered Beck. Also Evanescence is quite good.
Yeah I kept up for a long time after becoming an adult, but somewhere around 2006 I wasn’t keeping up anymore. Thanks, kids.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
1 month ago

Amy Lee has an amazing voice.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago

Damn right!

Outofstep
Outofstep
1 month ago

Podcasts, audiobooks, or various genres of music. Lately it has been Latin trap music. Although in the last few days I have been listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar.

Swasscaddy
Swasscaddy
1 month ago

SiriusXM HLN (headline news).

They mostly run continuous Forensic Files episodes. Nice little murder mystery every 30 mins. Yes, there are ads, yes, I have heard quite a few of them before, but sometimes it actually wasn’t the husband, go figure?

NewBalanceExtraWide
NewBalanceExtraWide
1 month ago

I’m suckered into the XM stations, even though it makes no sense. I bop around between Outlaw Country and First Wave, with occasional forays into XMU. I really should just cancel it and pair my phone, but I hate making decisions, and I strangely enjoy swearing at my radio when the DJ chooses an obnoxious song to play.

Harvey Firebirdman
Harvey Firebirdman
1 month ago

I listen to what ever music I have put on my phone so mostly classic rock and metal music. Though it is hard to hear the music in my Cummins due to wind noise and engine and the firebird anything above about 55 mph the volume has to be cranked to hear. I did put my cassette player back in the bird and I do have some cassettes even have one of those Bluetooth cassettes which actually works well.

D-Dog
D-Dog
1 month ago

I bet this question makes no sense to David.

VogonFord
VogonFord
1 month ago

Podcasts. Nothing but podcasts.

Okay, occasionally I listen to KMHD, which is a public radio jazz station, but like 99% of drives I take I’m listening to a podcast.

Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
1 month ago

Let us not forget what also revolutionized in-car audio before the aux input– the cassette adapter with the dangling 1/8′ earphone plug that you could attach to anything with a headphone jack.

Last edited 1 month ago by Highland Green Miata
Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago

I used one of those with a Sony Discman for many years.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 month ago

During the day: CCR, The Band, Jim Croce, America and all the bands that sound like them

Sunset: Yacht Rock and Smooth Jazz

Night-time: Synthwave

TheBadGiftOfTheDog
TheBadGiftOfTheDog
1 month ago

It really depends. In my car, a Saab 9-3, which I am selling today, I’d listen to just about anything. Pop, rock, jazz, metal, electro-swing, classical.
But in my old truck it’s either straight-up rock or most often just the rumbling music of the V8 and wind noise.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
1 month ago

I live in an area where radio signals overlap, so it’s impossible to just leave it set on one or two stations because one minute you’re listening to Slow Ride and the next you’re listening to how god wants to free us from our sins. Mostly I either leave the radio off or listen to Amazon Music, which gives me a lot of variety, but usually matches my tastes.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

I have same issue with a local college station: one minute it’ll be Daft Punk, the next, some perky DJ with the morning laugh-track

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

How the world has changed. D&D in the early 80’s was squarely the realm of unlovable, untouchable, very punchable basement dwelling nerds or attention seeking wannabe devil worshippers .

Now its just for regular nerds.

Thi
Thi
1 month ago

90% of the time it is K-Pop, right now on a binge of IVE, NMIXX and NewJeans, but IU is the all time leader.

With that said… If I want to get a speeding ticket the answer is Eurobeat.

If I want to break the speed of light… It’s the eurobeat remix of Freebird, aka the most dangerous driving song ever created.

https://youtu.be/xTemcPZw8Eo?si=in4uyhU3cbzOQRI1

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

Podcasts. Music gets me too in the zone for public roads.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 month ago
VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago

On short drives, I don’t usually turn the music on at all. Nice to check if the car is complaining or making funny noises.

I work from home, as well.

On weekends I often drive ~90 minutes to see friends or family, so I’ll usually listen to two albums from my phone back to back via Android Auto. It’s mostly my existing collection, so it’s a variety of things, but usually upbeat in general.

My favorite genre is instrumental post-rock, but mostly it’s alternative and indie rock.
(Interpol is probably my favorite non-instrumental band)

Edit: I use cruise control on the highway, so high-energy stuff is unlikely to get me into trouble.

Last edited 1 month ago by VanGuy
TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

Uriah Heap/King Crimson/progressive rock channel on Pandora. When I’m out in the mountains with little connectivity, I have 20-odd shows of a favorite DJ at a local college station downloaded on the iPad to carry me through

Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac is also a staple cause it’s that voice in my head that drives my heel

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Not surprising because it’s not my generation but I feel like nobody has heard of Uriah Heap and they are missing out on a great band

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

Magician’s Birthday is an absolutely epic listen for sunrise mountain drives.
If you dig UH, see if you can find For Ladies Only by Steppenwolf. I hadn’t known it existed, but they did swerve over into prog rock for an album. That’s another one I really have to watch my speed listening to.

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