Without music, life would be a mistake. Nietzsche once said that, and I back him all the way. Europe is a vast wonderland of adventures, with perpetual stimulation, culture, rosé and the casual comfort of being able to smoke a cigarette any damn place you feel. But even after all the expansive history and art and seafood and baguettes and wine and debauchery that seems to ceaselessly blend from one day into the next, without music to soundtrack the experience, an adventure in Europe, or anywhere, can fall flat. So make sure headphones are on your list of essential packing items, check the European tour dates of your favorite bands, and don’t be afraid to wander into some karaoke bars or live music watering holes where you may not speak the language. Music is as close to a universal language as we have, and it’s way more fun to wander the cobblestone streets of Lisbon or Antibes or Paris drunk as fuck humming Brian Jonestown Massacre with some street-bought hashish rollie dangling from your lips.
Here are my top ten songs from my European adventure that were stuck in my head, on repeat. In no specific order.–Maya Eslami
1. Adult Books, “Casual Wrecks” from their new album Running From the Blows.
2. Kevin Morby, “Destroyer” from Singing Saw. Kevin Morby plays the Constellation Room at the Observatory in Santa Ana on 6/2 and the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles on 6/3. Check out dates for his full tour here:
3. The Pesos, “Cumdown” from Carpet Dope.
4. The Abigails, “Calm Before the Storm” from Tundra. I met up with my buddies The Abigails and saw them play in some black dungeon of a warehouse in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. The weather was sticky hot and rainy, and the sun set that night at 10:30pm. The crowd was beyond stoked, and Warren Thomas – the lead singer – indulged their antics as they swept him on their shoulders and carried him around the room as he shouted, “Fucking oui oui motherfuckers”.
5. Brian Jonestown Massacre, “Anemone” from Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request.
6. The Parrots, “Let’s Do It Again”.
7. Tomorrows Tulips, “Casual Hopelessness” off their Tired EP. I saw the Tulips play in Lisbon in an art gallery with an outdoor beer garden of sorts. Alex was in a great mood; Ford had a new haircut. Dom had his projections on display. It felt like home.
8. The Cactus Blossoms, “Change Your Ways or Die” off You’re Dreaming.
9. Cherry Glazerr, “Haxel Princess” off their self-titled debut. This album came out in 2014 and I’m still relentlessly listening to it.
10. Cass McCombs, “Opposite House” off his upcoming album Mangy Love, out August 26th on ANTI.