I’m a bit of a scardy cat about flying – being a Capricorn I like my feet firmly on the ground. But there’s no denying some of the pleasures of traveling by plane: the first glimpse of a new city at night, the first breath of unfamiliar air… and did I mention the complimentary movies? But, let’s face it, its getting harder: If the never-ending security checks don’t take the last bit of glamour out of air travel, then the eco-guilt will.
This is where music’s power to create magic from the mundane comes in. Who wants to hear a song about removing your shoes at the X-ray machine, or choosing between chicken and beef? Music reminds us that soaring above the clouds, despite all the irritations and anxiety, is a pretty amazing thing.
Back in 1957, commercial air travel was still radiant with romance, particularly, I imagine, if you were Frank Sinatra. Buoyed by Billy May’s breezy arrangement, our opening track COME FLY WITH ME invites us to join the good life. Unfortunately, I doubt that it will ever be as glamorous again.
Another aspect of air travel that you can’t escape from, especially if you live in Australia, is jetlag and The Specials capture those jetlag jitters beautifully on INTERNATIONAL JET SET. Jack Johnson reckons that the safest way to travel is in the air, as he shamelessly promotes NORTHWEST AIRLINES while Billy Bragg and Wilco have booked to travel on an AIRLINE TO HEAVEN.
The Foo Fighters win the prize for the funniest video clip with LEARN TO FLY. Having TENACIOUS D, (Jack Black and Kyle Gass), guesting wasn’t a bad move either. Check it out:
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. Relax….
Time to take a listen to the Boxtops who don’t have time to take a fast train, they need a ticket for an aeroplane. Their baby just sent them a LETTER. The Beatles are keen to tell us all about a “dreadful” flight to the USSR from Miami Beach in the opening track from their White album, BACK IN THE USSR.
Prince is addicted to air travel. After all, without it how could he call himself an INTERNATIONAL LOVER? Jonathan Richman, bless his little cotton socks, likes nothing better that to imagine that he’s A LITTLE AIRPLANE. I think they’ve both got a little bit of explaining to do!
In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.
It would be impossible to choose between the talented siblings, Angus and Julia Stone. Their song, PAPER AEROPLANE,is dedicated to the best way to send a letter. Take a look at this clip.
The Byrds wrote the song EIGHT MILES HIGH about their first trip to London. Lyricist Gene Clark suffered badly from a fear of flying. Roger McGuinn’s Coltrane-inspired guitar solo led some radio stations to ban it because they thought it was a drug song. Silly people.
With AMELIA Joni Mitchell turns to the ghost of vanished aviator Amelia Earheart to confide the regrets of a life ruled by wanderlust: “I’ve spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitude.” That girl certainly knows how to write a lyric.
I love AIRPLANE SONG by Scouting for Girls. Here’s the original 2006 demo for you to look/listen to. Yeah, get yourself on an aeroplane, ’cause its been too long since you went away.
We now need to lock our trays and put our seats into the upright position. Turbulence ahead with the Steve Miller Band singing JET AIRLINER, Hoodoo Gurus with I WAS A KAMIKAZEE PILOT, HELICOPTER by Bloc Party and Red Hot Chili Peppers with ZEPHYR SONG.
We can’t forget the humble flight attendant and there’s no better song to do it with than the Hall & Oates number LAS VEGAS TURNAROUND (otherwise known as the, non-PC, Stewardess Song).
We followed with Goldfrapp singing FLY ME AWAY. Now if you listen to the show or read the blog, you’ll know that I’m a film/video freak and especially like good animation. Take a look at this fantastically quirky video clip for Goldfrapp’s song.
To finish the show: Susan Raye’s one and only hit, L.A. INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
Now, as you exit the aircraft, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed amongst the Theme Park cabin crew and, as the captain, I’ll get first pick.
Next week: AUTOMOBILES when I’m looking forward to playing Mic Conway’s National Junk Band’s tune, WHO GAVE YOU THE LICENCE TO DRIVE ME CRAZY?
Drop me a line if you have any requests!
Here’s this week’s playlist:
Come Fly with Me – Frank Sinatra
International Jet Set – The Specials
Northwest Airlines Blues – Big Jack Johnson
Learn To Fly – Foo Fighters
Airline To Heaven – Billy Bragg & Wilco
The Letter – The Boxtops
Back In The USSR – The Beatles
International Lover – Prince
I’m A Little Airplane – Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Paper Aeroplane – Angus & Julia Stone
Takeoffs and Landings – The Ataris
Eight Miles High – The Byrds
The Airplane Song – Scouting For Girls
Amelia – Joni Mitchell
Jet Airliner – Steve Miller Band
Zepher Song – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
I Was A Kamikazee Pilot – Hoodoo Gurus
Helicopter – Bloc Party
Las Vegas Turnaround – Hall & Oates
Fly Me Away – Goldfrapp
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
Plane Crash in C – Rilo Kiley
LA International Airport – Susan Raye
Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time. Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org
Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn
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Posted on August 19, 2009, in Broadcasting and media, community radio, music - nostalgia, music, blues, music, country, music, r&b, music, soul, Radio Program, Uncategorized and tagged aeroplanes, Angus and Julia Stone, Australia, Blues, Byron Bay, country, Foo Fighters, Frank Sinatra, Goldfrapp, music, pop, R&B, radio, Scouting For Girls, Theme music. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.