A Lyft Playlist


A Lyft Playlist

I have an iPod jack built into the center console of my Jetta. A perk that came with the California Edition. I’m able to control it through the stereo. Sort of. I can’t switch between playlists, select songs or anything sophisticated (that I know of), but I don’t have to worry about cords or accidentally leaving it in plain view when the kids who smash windows come patrolling the cars in my neighborhood.

Most of the time, I keep the volume down. I’m never sure what passengers will think of my choice in music, which leans heavily on punk and post-punk. I try to play songs people will like, but I listen to mostly obscure bands. Yeah, I know, like all record collectors, I’m a pretentious asshole.

When I made my playlist for the car, I added what I thought were relatively popular bands. Sometimes people recognize a band and they get excited.

“My Bloody Valentine! No way!”

Or, “Is that really Minor Threat?”

Once, an older guy got so excited when he heard the Buzzcocks that he sat in my car for five minutes telling me how he used to be roommates with Steve Garvey in New York. We were pulled over on Market and eventually a parking enforcer got behind me and flashed his lights.

Most people don’t care. Some are clueless.

One evening, a woman got in while “Teenagers from Mars” was playing.

“Is this the radio?” she asked.

“It’s my iPod,” I told her.

“Oh, I just never heard such aggressive music before.”

I resisted the urge to tell her that the Misfits are like the bubblegum pop of punk rock.

On a Friday night, I picked up four girls and a guy on Polk Street going to Ashbury Heights. The girl up front directed me. Her name was Shannon.

“Who’s this playing?” she asked. “The Smiths?”

“No, uhmm…” I tried to think of their name. With my mind wrapped around the best way to get from downtown to the Haight, I drew a blank.

“You don’t know?”

“I do, I just can’t remember everything I dumped on my iPod.”

One of the girls in back said something and Shannon reached around to respond. Her hand slipped off the seat and landed on my shoulder.

“Oops, sorry,” she said.

“Shannon’s making moves on the driver!” the girl in back yelled.

Everybody laughed.

A second later it came to me. The Wild Swans. But it was too late to say anything without coming off weird. The girls had moved on.

MY PLAYLIST:

Adrian Belew • Agent Orange • The Aints • The Alley Cats • Alternative TV • Amebix • Angry Samoans • Anti-Nowhere League • Anti-Pasti • Athletico Spizz 80 • The Au Pairs • The Avengers • The B-52’s • Bad Brains • The Bats • Bauhaus • Big Star • Billy Childish • The Birthday Party • Black Flag • The Black Heart Procession • Black Mountain • Black Randy • Blackalicious • Blondie • Blue Orchids • Blurt • The Bo-Weevils • The Boys • The Boys Next Door • Brian Eno • The Brian Jonestown Massacre • The Briefs • The Brilliant Corners • The Buzzcocks • Camper Van Beethoven • Cat Power • The Chameleons • Cheap Trick • Chelsea • The Chills • Chumbawamba • The Church • Circle Jerks • The Clash • The Clean • Clinic • Cockney Rebel • Coil • The Comsat Angels • The Contortions • Corrosion of Conformity • Cowboys International • The Cramps • Crass • Crime & the City Solution • The Cure • D.O.A. • The Damned • The Dandy Warhols • David Johansen • Dead Boys • Dead Kennedys • Death • Del That Funkee Homosapien • Delta 5 • Delton 3030 • Descendents • Desert Dessions • Devendra Banhart • The Deviants • The Dickies • Die Haut • Died Pretty • Discharge • Dr. Doom • Dr. Octagon • Dream Syndicate • The Dukes of Stratosphear • Dungen • Earthlings? • Echo & the Bunnymen • Ed Kuepper • El Rego et Ses Commandos • The Embarrassment • Empire • The English Beat • Essential Logic • Exodus • The Fall • Fang • The Feelies • Felt • Fields of the Nephilim • The Flamin’ Groovies • The Flesh Eaters • The Fleshtones • Flipper • Flux of Pink Indians • The Flys • The Freeze • Fugazi • Gang of Four • Gary Walker & the Rain • GBH • Glaxo Babies • Gogol Bordello • Government Issue • Grant Hart • Gray Matter • Green on Red • The Greenhornes • Greg Sage • The Gun Club • The Heartbreakers • Holly Golightly • Honore Avolonto • The House of Love • Hüsker Dü • Ian Dury • Iggy Pop • Index • Iron Maiden • J.J. Cale • The Jacobites • The Jam • Jane’s Addiction • Jazzateers • The Jesus & Mary Chain • The Jim Carroll Band • Johnny Thunders • Joseph K • Joy Division • Julian Cope • June Brides • Khmer Rouge • Killing Joke • King Khan & The Shrines • King Missle • The Kinks • Kitchens of Distinction • Kool Keith • Kommunity FK • KRS-One • La Dusseldorf • The La’s • Laughing Clowns • LCD Soundsystem • Le Tigre • The Leaving Trains • Lee “Scratch” Perry • Lene Lovich • Let’s Active • Liquid Liquid • Lizzy Mercier Descloux • Loop • The Lords of the New Church • Los Super Elegantes • Louis Tillett • Love & Rockets • Love Tractor • Lydia Lunch • Lyres • Madvillain • Magazine • Magnetic Fields • Mahotella Queens • Marcy Playground • Mark Lanegan • Mazarin • MC5 • MDC • Medium Medium • Megadeth • The Mekons • Metallica • Mick Harvey • Mighty Lemon Drops • Minor Threat • Misfits • Mission of Burma • The Misunderstood • Mo-Dettes • The Modern Lovers • The Monochrome Set • Mulatu Astatke • My Bloody Valentine • The Names • Neil Young • Nektar • Neu! • The New Christs • New York Dolls • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds • Nico • Nikki Sudden • Nova Mob • Oh-OK • Ol’ Dirty Bastard • The Olivia Tremor Control • Opal • Orange Juice • Orechestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou • Os Mutantes • Patti Smith • Payolas • Pere Ubu • Pete Rock & CL Smooth • Pixies • PJ Harvey • Poison Idea • The Pop Group • The Pretty Things • The Psychedelic Furs • Public Nuisance • Pylon • Queens of the Stone Age • R.E.M. • Radio Birdman • Radiohead • Rain Parade • The Raincoats • The Rapture • The Raveonettes • Reagan Youth • The Replacements • Revolting Cocks • Richard Hell & The Voidoids • Ride • Roky Erickson & the Aliens • The Rolling Stones • Rowland S. Howard • Roxy Music • Sad Lovers & Giants • The Saints • Salvation Army • Savage Republic • The Scientists • Scott Walker • Screaming Trees • The Seeds • Serena Maneesh • Shane MacGowan & the Popes • Shocking Blue • Shop Assistants • Siouxsie & the Banshees • Slayer • The Slits • Small Faces • Smashing Pumpkins • The Smithereens • The Smiths • Social Distortion • The Soft Boys • Sonic Youth • Souls of Mischief • The Sound • Spacemen 3 • Spencer P. Jones • Spiritualized • The Stems • Stiff Little Fingers • The Stone Roses • The Stooges • Straitjacket Fits • Subhumans • Suburban Lawns • Suicidal Tendencies • Suicide • Supergrass • Swell Maps • T. Rex • T.S.O.L. • Talking Heads • The Teardrop Explodes • The Telescopes • Television • Television Personalities • That Petrol Emotion • Thee Headcoats • Thee Milkshakes • These Immortal Souls • Thin White Rope • Thrill of the Pull • Tom Verlaine • Tomorrow • The Triffids • True West • Tubeway Army • U.K. Subs • U2 • The Undertones • United States of America • Vaselines • The Velvet Underground • The Verve • Vic Godard & The Subway Sect • The Wake • Wayne County & The Electric Chairs • The Wedding Present • The Weirdos • Whipped Cream • Wild Swans • Wipers • Wire • Wolfgang Press • Wooden Shjips • The Wreckery • Wreckless Eric • Wu-Tang Clan • X • X-Ray Spex • XTC • Yo La Tengo • Youth Brigade • Zero Boys • Zounds • The 13th Floor Elevators • 100 Flowers