Point A to point B: Songs about transportation

December 1, 1955, one Rosa Parks essentially (and politely) said, “Nah” to the request she get up from her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus. This simple gesture — an act of non-doing, really — set off a Civil Rights movement of similar peaceful but powerful protests all around the country, in the pursuit of equal rights for African Americans. Rosa and her public defiance using public transit was the inspiration for the December 1, 2022 #ThematicStatic show, featuring songs about methods for getting to and fro.

Listen (👇🏼) to the archived hour of music and remember that you can now listen live to #ThematicStatic on Thursday mornings, a full hour 9-10am CST, and/or on Sundays when it is re-broadcast from 8-9am on WNXP.

#ThematicStatic Playlist – 12/1/22

Outkast – “Rosa Parks” – Puts respect on her name more than 50 years later.

Liz Cooper “Motorcycle” – This one-time Nashvillian is now making it in NYC, and a song off her new solo album was requested by Nathan. #locallove

The Clash – “Train in Vain” – Mark and Kevin both requested Clash tunes.

The Avalanches – “Subways” – Aaron asked for this one. Nashville, as it were, continues to ask for a subway system or any viable and reliable form of rapid transit as the city grows at a rapid clip.

Tom Waits – “Downtown Train” – Deep cut request (another library-building opportunity) courtesy of Rex!

Gomez – “Airstream Driver” – That thing where you can stay put or hit the road, sleeping in a sleek silver bullet of a camper. Also a 2009 song from this English rock band, Gomez.

The Shangri-Las – “Leader of the Pack” – This was for motorcycle mama, Tammy! “Is she really going out with him?”

The Replacements – “Kiss Me On The Bus” – Vince requested the Twin Cities legends singing about mobile make-outs.

Geggy Tah – “Whoever You Are” – Never have I ever gotten a request that was so fit for #ThematicStatic AND so needed in our 90s music library. I haven’t heard this in years, and yet it came right to Stephen when we asked for requests! Sample lyrics from the 1996 ode to courteous drivers:

All I want to do is to thank you
even though I don’t know who you are
You let me change lanes
while I was driving in my car

“Whoever You Are”

Phish – “Cars Trucks Buses” – Elliott and Nekos both asked for this one, and would you believe the boys from Vermont included an album track that was under 2:30?! It’s funky, instrumental and fun and I will not be taking any sh*t at this time, thank you.

Tracy Chapman – “Fast Car” – What a heartbreaker.

The Flaming Lips – “Mr. Ambulance Driver” – One of the least enjoyable modes of transportation, bested by only the hearse, I guess, the ambulance is still a way to get from somewhere to presumably somewhere you need medical attention. (By the way, the beginning of this video is entertaining but not for the squeamish.)

BRONCHO – “Get In My Car” – Anna requested this Tulsa, Oklahoma band I’d honestly never heard of before. Great song fit in this set!

Prince – “Lady Cab Driver” – I’ve been watching too much early Sex in the City and feeling nostalgic for the idea of hailing taxis in NYC in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Before THAT, Prince illustrated the taking-a-cab ROI as suuuuuper high in 1982.