My morning drive to the Acom HQ was set to my “High School Hits” playlist. This playlist consisted of the songs that I grew to love during my high school years. The tunes were what I would listen to with my bandmates, what I would listen to in the car going to and from school and as I walked to my classroom. These were the songs that kept me company during my first heartbreaks as a teenager, the songs that breathed life into the days I would make ligaw my high school crushes.
These thoughts brought me to the road trips of my high school. As a young teenager, I did not know how to drive and ride-sharing apps like Grab, Uber, and LaLaMove did not exist. I was just brought to and picked up at school everyday. In the car, I was. On weekends, I could go to gimmicks provided that I have a safe way to go there and that I have a safe way of coming home before 12 midnight. This was the time my rock band Ashley’s Kryptonite was very active, performing at different bar gigs and at different high school Battles of the Bands. Luckily, one of my bandmates was always kind enough to have us ride with him and their family driver for almost all our gigs.
Fittingly, music was a big part of these drives. We were always singing along to our favorite pop rock songs as well as to the latest indie rock hits. Sometimes, we needed to rehearse on the go, so we sang or banged our instrumental parts out loud together. As with my previous article “Relationships and the Road,” the road trips between destinations become a blank canvas for memories with our companions.
One of my fondest memories was going to Pantabangan for a camping trip with my high school class. I rode my classmate’s huge Grandia while another group travelled on a Starex. At some point during the trip, the Grandia and the Starex engaged in a race on the rural roads. It was crazy! The host of the ride, a semi-professional disc jockey, was playing loud EDM during most of the trip. We are now older and suggest against playing music too loudly in the car, especially during a race between two trucks.
In high school, I was heavily into the songs of Weezer, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Death Cab for Cutie, and Up Dharma Down. The indie rock tunes that these band churned out really stuck with me. They tackled everyday topics such as romance, working life, and politics, but always had unique perspectives. Their instrumental arrangements would also leave me amazed.
One album that stood out in this period of time was The Beatles’ Abbey Road. Abbey Road had polarized reception during its release, but is now considered one of the best albums of all time. The arrangements and extended musical suites are almost perfect, and The Beatles does this while still making each and every song an earworm.
These are the music I listened to on the road almost everyday that time. The ‘song’ for this week is the extended musical suite from Abbey Road:
The separate tracks supposedly form one whole song. This song is a masterclass in songwriting care of The Beatles, featuring their best instrumental arrangements and their best melodies. This song makes for one heck of a road trip!
Tune in next time for the next Acom Soundtrip!