For some reason I remembered Waffle House being awesome… was this the first time I’d been in one sober?
Decidedly undercaffeinated we pressed east toward the state commonly known as Little Weeziana and the legend that is New Orleans.
As soon as we crossed the border the lush flatlands of Texas gave way to swamp. The first giant puddle we saw was literally stagnating below the “Welcome To Louisiana” sign. By the time we had driven fifty miles in I was convinced we were going to get passed on the right by a fanboat.
Birdie scanned the terrain for something to Instagram and commented; “I’m not sure this place is inhabitable.”
I was inclined to agree, as we had yet to locate a Starbucks within reasonable distance from the highway.
Determined to have an authentic Louisiana experience by lunchtime, I scanned Google for the deep south’s favorite chicken and biscuits- Popeye’s.
Actually I was hoping for a Bo’Jangles, which is a superior purveyor of basically the same thing, but we wouldn’t be in their territory for another few days. It’s like being stuck with Krispy Kreme when all you want is Dunkin’ Donuts.
So we ventured into the bayou, wedged our Cali-registered Mercedes between a Silverado on 33’s and a Taurus that looked like it spent all twenty five years of its existence under water.
Territory remained unfamiliar as we tried to order. The chick behind the counter was speaking some dialect of English I was sure couldn’t exist outside of parody skits about this region, and yet…
Anyway we got the chicken and got the hell out of there, charging into a torrential rainstorm on the way to our final destination.
Birdie’s mum had been exceptionally kind and sent us a first world care package in the form of a couple nights at the Loews Downtown. Our rig would be getting valet parked for the first time since W163 was the current M-Class chassis code.
The place was spectacular- and downright majestic in comparison to the Dallas Motel 6 we had inhabited the night before, where I had tried to microwave Ramen noodles in the ice bucket in an effort to conceal the dead-body odor emanating from under the beds.
We hit the hotel bar before we met up with a bro of mine for just long enough to spot no less than four Tommy Bahama shirts. I was surprised we didn’t see more, considering that there were five dudes in the place.
With that scene exhausted we caught a cab uptown to a place I can’t remember the name of and linked up with Cliff, an old friend from my archaeological field school. He’s a NOLA native who works in cultural resource management in town.
Giving us an expedited rundown of the city he told us that while Bourbon Street and the French Quarter were worth seeing, the city’s life spread far beyond what I’d seen on Girls Gone Wild. From what I could see he was right… but I wasn’t that concerned with seeing how the locals lived. Bring on the beads.
Need some time-killing distractions?
Of course you do, that’s why you’re on this website. So I thought I’d make a top five car-heavy music videos for your viewing pleasure.
But the day after it went up I realized I had left out some pretty essential items to this list… as a result I had no choice but to evolve it into a “top ten”.
Since this is the internet and I know you’ve all got short attention spans I’ll start with the best:
(#1) David Hasselhoff: Jump In My Car
I started out trying to think of jokes about this… but then I saw the part where DH dances in front of crazy star-animations about one minute in and almost pissed myself. Watch the whole thing, or you might miss the part where DH grows devil horns. Oh yeah, it’s in there.
(#2) Big Tymers: Get Your Roll On
The song’s pretty terrible, and not in the endearing way that Hasselhoff’s is. But the cars are 90′s sweet and who doesn’t love a stock Cadillac Deville. I Guess.
The Big Tymers jam “Bling Bling“ is a lot better (actually one of my favorites) but it doesn’t feature quite as many wild vehicles as this video.
(#3) Jamiroquai: Cosmic Girl
I don’t understand how anybody can listen to Jamiroquai but this video is 100% car. An F40, F355 and a Diablo go at it in a Goldeneye-esque duel through the mountains that’s very cool.
(#4) *NSYNC: Bye Bye Bye
Yeah you’ve got to wait three minutes for the cars to show up, but who cares? This is one of the greatest songs of all time so shut up and enjoy it. And just look at JT with his brillo-fro! As for the car scene itself I’m not really sure why a Dodge Viper couldn’t escape a puny little Z3, but I’m guessing JC Chasez was too distracted by Lance Bass giving him road head to find the gas pedal.
(#5) Lil’ Wayne: Stunnin Like My Daddy
Great beat, sweet motorcycles and a Mercedes R-Class sporting Birdman’s signature red paint scheme (does he know that’s a minivan?). This is a badass jam and one of my favorite music videos ever… maybe I should have thought about the order I put these in a little harder.
(#6) Darude: Feel The Beat
My cousin brought this to my attention after seeing the first incarnation of the post, and after a look I couldn’t help but include it in the list. It’s got some cool shots of the protagonist blasting across Euro-style backroads and even a helicopter towards the end. And I guess the Dodge Viper SRT-10 was a really popular music-video car…
(#7) Notorious B.I.G.: Hypnotize
Not only is this one of the most recognizable songs in hip-hop, but it’s got a sweetass music video you don’t want to miss. Starts out with Diddy and Biggie on a Cigarette or Fountain type boat, then all of a sudden they’re in an epic car chase running from motorcycles and Hummers in what would be a short-lived Mercedes E-Class convertible. Did I mention they’re going in reverse and Biggie is holding the gas pedal down with his pimp cane? Nice.
(#8) Jay-Z: Change The Game
The set for this is a pretty cool motorcycle shop, with a few burnout scenes for good measure. But the real jem of this video is the crash scene about two minutes in when the rapper Beanie Sigel smashes a car with his butt. This song was pretty low-profile when it came out but I really like the beat.
(#9) Sammy Hagar: I Can’t Drive 55
Yeah I know, this should be a lot higher on the list. It’s a classic! But I didn’t think of it until I was down to the bottom, so here you go. It’s got an incredible car (Ferrari 512BB), a thrashing beat and an unforgettable haircut. Bookmark it. Fun fact: Sammy updated the song in 2001 to “I Can’t Drive 65″ to reflect new speed limit laws. Maybe he’ll stop complaining when they raise it to 105.
(#10) The Oak Ridge Boys: It’s Hard To Be Cool In A Minivan
This video will always have a special place in my heart because of the painful months I spent behind the wheel of my mother’s Honda Odyssey when I was between cars around 2007. And yes, I did put disco lights all over it. Why wouldn’t I? I still find myself making runs to AutoZone in that thing when I can’t get any of my own vehicles to start. Which is all too often.
(Honorable Mention) Will Smith: Miami
There’s only one short car scene here, but come on- it’s Will Smith dueling with Eva Mendez on the A1A! I also like the wacky transitions and it goes without saying that anything Will Smith touches turns to gold.
If you’re wondering why I left out “Act A Fool” by Ludacris and “Fast Car” by Wyclef John it’s because the former is lame and the latter takes place in a video game. I don’t buy that that was a creativity-statement, Wyclef… you were just too cheap to rent a real “fast car.” Disqualified.