So the Grammys are over. This is a huge shame, and I know you're really sad, because it means we must now go back to seeing our favorite musical artists on television only when they've been arrested. But not to worry. The musical festivities aren't entirely finished yet, as I've decided to devote today's column to a topic that is surely on everyone's mind: the intersection of music and automobiles.
Music and automobiles have always had a close association, ever since the 1920s, when entire brass bands would pile on top of parade floats and play songs such as "You Are My Sunshine." No one knows how they were able to do this, since "You Are My Sunshine" wasn't written until 1939, but many historians believe it has to do with that magical connection between cars and song.
You know the magical connection I'm talking about, right? That great feeling you get when you're driving down the street, and you're behind the wheel of your favorite car, and the wind's in your hair, and the stereo's turned up, and you realize that when the needle clicks over 120 miles per hour, the pursuing officers hang back a bit. Ahh, the open road…
But I've noticed, in recent years, that there are occasionally a few, shall we say, problems when music and automobiles come together. I am thinking, for example, of the inevitable issues that arise when musicians come in contact with Lamborghinis. Of course, we all know about the recent troubles faced by Justin Bieber, noted one-man boy band, who was arrested last week at the wheel of a Lamborghini after murdering several of his shrill, teenaged fans.
But the musician/Lamborghini troubles go much deeper than that. For instance: thanks to previous postings on Jalopnik, we all now know about the incident where Miles Davis crashed his Lamborghini Miura. And who can forget the time when nationally known rage enthusiast and occasional musician Chris Brown punched Rihanna for throwing his Lamborghini keys out the window?
I think the message here is that we really should do our best to keep musicians away from Lamborghinis. This would really make everyone safer and happier, though I admit there might be a few unintended consequences, such as the inevitable closure of a few aftermarket rim shops.
But when it comes to cars and music, I think we can all agree there's an even bigger issue worth mentioning here: people who blast music from their car stereos.
Now, if you're not familiar with this "loud stereo" phenomenon, you should consider yourself very lucky. You probably live somewhere civilized, such as Western Europe, where no one would think to do such a thing, unless they are visiting from Albania.
But it happens here all the time. It usually goes like this: you're on a date with your girlfriend, sitting at a stoplight in your Range Rover, looking very white; so white that you often encounter friends and family as you shop at Whole Foods. And then it happens: a group of music blasters pulls up next to you. This, I should say, is not an issue of race. It's an issue of cool. They're cool, and you aren't. They're going to go home and light up a joint, whereas you're going to go home and light up a scented candle.
Now, as far as I'm concerned, there are two types of music blasters. The first one, I understand. These are the people with big cars, and big egos, and big lives, and so much personality that they cannot be contained by simply playing their music to themselves. They're cool, and they want you to know it. I am completely OK with these music blasters, largely because they could easily beat me up.
It's the second type of music blaster that I just don't understand.
The second type is people who blast music from lesser vehicles, such as a Toyota Corolla, or a Honda Civic, or virtually anything made by Mitsubishi. Have you seen these people? You're sitting at a light, attempting to mind your own business, just trying to let the soothing sounds of Jimmy Eat World flow throw you, but you can't concentrate because someone is blasting music.
So you look around, intent on identifying just who is infiltrating your peaceful world, and you see him: some guy, two cars up, blasting music from the four-speaker stereo in his 2007 Pontiac G6 with three missing hubcaps.
Can someone explain this to me? I always figured the point of blasting music from your car was to draw attention to yourself. The goal, I always felt, was to make other road users look over at you and think: This is no NORMAL random road user. This is a random road user with an INCREDIBLE taste in music. I'm so glad I could share this experience with him!
But I've increasingly noticed that the people doing all this music-blasting should not, under any circumstances, be seeking any sort of attention. If anything, they should probably be hiding from other road users. I base this on the fact that they're often actively committing at least one vehicular equipment violation, and they look like the type of person with enough marijuana to be legally classified as a dispensary.
I have considered that perhaps these people are blasting the music not to get the attention of you, or me, but rather young women; the kind of young women who think, as they leave the house each morning: I hope today's the day I meet a man at a stoplight! But then I must ask: do you, the music blaster, really want to be with the kind of woman whose sole criteria for choosing a man relates to the kind of music he's playing in his 1994 Toyota Corolla? Of course not! You want someone who is special, and discerning, and intelligent, and beautiful, and most of all, someone who would never settle for anything less than a Matrix.
So my suggestion to you, Mr. Music Blaster, is this: before you turn up your stereo to let us all in on the secret stylings of your favorite pop star, ask yourself a question. That question is: Do I have a Toyota Corolla? If the answer is yes, turn down the volume, unless of course you're a burly, muscular, six-foot-three Mr. Music Blaster. In that case, do carry on. Just make sure all your brake lights are working.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He operates PlaysWithCars.com. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.