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... Make a summer rock 'n' roll road-trip mix

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Track 1: Start with something a little quiet and steady. I know you're excited about being on the road. You've been staring at your desk daydreaming about this and just hoping that you and her won't argue about laundry the whole time, but you can't let all of this out at once. Think "I'm on Fire," with the persistent snare and the melody that floats above it, and you're on the right road.

Track 2: You take it up here, something with a strong open like the gun firing in "Shotgun." You'll really be moving now, past the on-ramp and onto the interstate, and the engine will be loud and this song should be loud, too, and the desk and laundry will seem so far away.

Track 3: Keep the beat steady now. Maybe "I'm Waiting for My Man," maybe something new.

Track 4: You have to take it down a notch here. Something with a quiet open and a few low bridges, probably "Caravan" because that was the song playing at the dive when you first kissed her. She likes to sing it to you and here she will, she'll lean over from the passenger seat and sing it to you.

Track 5: What was that song you were listening to when you were 13 and the older kid passed you a joint and you felt a little bit uncomfortable and didn't even really inhale but passed it along to the next guy and then everybody sat around listening to that song on repeat while talking about being "brothers"? Play that song here.

Track 6: No matter what, you will fuck up this track. Inevitably, this is the moment when you remember that no matter how far you drive, you will never be able to outrun the desk and the arguments about laundry, and somehow the lyrics in this song will remind you of that fact. Here's a tip: Just skip it. Move on to the next.

Track 7: Take a deep breath. Reach across and find her with your hand. The road will open up ahead of you.

[Repeat.]

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