QotW: What music do you listen to when driving your nostalgic?

We all know the correct answer is “the engine,” but sometimes you need to rock out to some tunes to fully capture that nostalgic feel.

What music do you listen to when driving your nostalgic?

With songs their bosozoku-inspired costumes and songs like “Boso Skyline Phantom,” “330,” and “Wangan Nocturne,” Kishidan (Japanese for The Knights) is our current playlist favorite. Their songs are steeped in nostalgia for rebellious youth, being outcasts and, of course, vehicular mayhem. The long performance above is from 2006 of a song called “The White Lightning of Route 127.”

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining or inspiring comment by next Monday will receive a random toy. Click through to see the winner from last week’s question, “What car would you drive across Japan?” 

Before we get to the answer, here’s part 02 of the Kishidan performance.

Now that you’ve got your tunes cranked up, imagine driving across Japan while that song is blasting from the speakers of this week’s winner, nominated by 47hako.

By definition I would consider this a “Grand Tour” of Japan. The term Grand Tour derives from the Italian phrase Gran Turismo, homage to the tradition of the European grand tour from country to country. In Japan it would be from Prefecture to Prefecture, island to island.

Automobiles regarded as grand tourers are able to make long-distance, high-speed journeys in both comfort and style. Thus I quote: “A grand tourer (GT) is a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement.”

I’ve driven as far west to the old world splendor of Kyoto, as far east as chic Yokohama, as far inland as the grasslands of Mt Haruna, as high as Mt Fuji, and through the tightest streets of downtown Tokyo.

With this in mind, without a doubt, based on what I have seen and driven in Japan. I would insist on a “true” Japanese GT car, something on par with the likes of a Aston Martin DB9 or Porsche 911. As cliche as it may be a Millennium Jade, 2002 (R34) Nissan Skyline M-Spec Nur. As far as Nostalgics, of course the grandest of Japanese purpose built GT’s, a white, Toyota 2000GT.

Omedetou! Your prize from the JNC gashapon is a Choro-Q Toyota Celica.


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27 Responses to QotW: What music do you listen to when driving your nostalgic?

  1. Emperor says:

    The Predators – Sleepy Dragon
    9mm Parabellum Bullet – Supernova
    Ayu/trance – M or Audiene
    Yellow Monkey – Touge
    sooooooooo many others

  2. 84hachi says:

    When I drive my ’84 AE86. I listen to the music that was popular in Japan at the time that car was made. P-Model, Rebecca, Mikuki Nakajima, Luna Sea, YMO, The Borems, Little Creatures, Mari Hamada, yes even Shonen Knife.

    I would go to one of my little hideaway roads. Put on some P-Model (2D or Not 2D and Chevron are the best) and instantly get transported back in time to 80’s Japan. Through my eyes I see period correct FC’s, Cressida’s, Skylines, etc. In the fall on a local mountain road Wait for the Winter Season by Miyuki Nakajima would change the scene yet again to a Japan feeling.

    80’s Japanese music, being played in an 80’s Japanese car turns the world around you into Japan in the 1980’s. I would do anything to travel back to see it with my own two eyes. But, since I can’t. What I can do is live it through the the speakers of my car.

  3. dankan says:

    My second night in Japan I wandered into a ridiculous dive near the train station. The song that came on just as we came in the bar was “Linda, Linda” by The Blue Hearts. Ever since, I’ve been a fan. A little dirty, a little angry and very much not the shiny, high-tech image of Japan, but some real soul. If anyone hasn’t heard them, and seeks something better than J-Pop, please give them a listen.

    I’m still trying to work out how to get a sticker of the Cromagnons logo with four blue hearts above it (I haven’t figured how to to incorporate a High-Lows image as well). I plan on sticking that on the Nozaki arc on the FR-S/BRZ I’m saving for.

    • John M says:

      When I got reassigned to Okinawa from Northern Japan, I bought a 2nd gen.Honda Prelude from a small used car lot off base. Someone had left a mix tape in the tapedeck and the first song I heard was Linda Linda – I still can’t get it out of my head. Another popular song by them is Train-Train, which I have butchered during a couple late night karaoke box sessions, but great song to mumble through after a few Kirins (pardon the digression).

      As for longer drives, my wife and I can agree on the B’z. They are the Japanese equivalent to Aerosmith or Van Halen. Their Silver and Gold CDs provide enough hits to get us from San Bernardino to San Diego. They have often been used on TV and Nissan even had a popular campaign with their song “Run” for the Nissan Avenir, which looks like a great road trip car. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LccWV1IauGM Got to see them live at the House of Blues in LA – good show.

      • dankan says:

        Ah B’z, along with L’Arc en Ciel, is a band which I just don’t get. Japanese rock music seems to either go for a very punk/lo-fi aesthetic, or go for the full-on Bon Jovi hair metal thing. I get the former, but be it English or Japanese, I just don’t get the latter. I’m glad someone can though, so I salute you sir!

  4. Unionmine says:

    My favorite music to listen to is the sweet sound of a set of dual Mikunis feeding a build L20b with a burns stainless muffler. Music to my ears..

  5. Nigel says:

    Falco, the Clash and Public Enemy or Run Dmc !
    (If my Civic had a CD player).

  6. Emperor says:

    Man dont forget the classics like the Stones,ZZ Top or CCR

  7. grandtouring says:

    My Bee Gees Gold 8 track. It came with the car.

  8. Geoff Danielson says:

    My car only has AM radio, so I generally get to pick between geriatric rock and roll and talk radio.

    I admit, “All Elvis Saturdays” is growing on me, when I can hear it between the snarls of an uncorked L-gata.

  9. Tyler says:

    Ice Cube, because my car’s just so… cool.

    No, really. Haha. I listen to music from the 20’s on up to today. One of my favorite tapes right now is Cab Calloway.

  10. cesariojpn says:

    National Public Radio. It’s very hard for me to stand songs with lyrics in them, so I prefer instrumentals, and only NPR has that short of me trying to fumble with a cassette adapter for the radio unit in my AE86. Plus bonus when you have such things like Car Talk on the weekends.

  11. jkg says:

    I didn’t hear it first in a a nostalgic car, but in a near-brand new ubiquitous box cars they have over there, but Kaze wo Atsumete by Happy End is a great cruising song regardless of your car’s age. One of the best on Kaze Roman, which was ranked as the best Japanese rock record of all time by Rolling Stone Japan, it is quite different from what most people think of when they hear the term Japanese rock. It’s also a song a lot more people know than know they know. Ask a Japanese person if they’ve heard it and they’ll say know, play it for them and they’ll probably recognise it. And if you’ve seen Lost in Translation you might recognise it from the karaoke scene. The whole album is worth a listen, especially if you like acoustic rock in the vein of The Band

  12. Dutch 1960 says:

    When I drive the 1977 RX3, I need 1977 music on the cassette (stereo speakers in the package shelf behind the rear seat).

    Long trips can start with Green Grass and High Tides from the Outlaws (one song 20 minutes right there), glam it up with the Desolation Boulevard album from Sweet, go with the Agents of Fortune album from Blue Oyster Cult, get a little ridiculous with some Boney M or Apache from Tommy Seebach. Early Dire Straits goes back to the 70s. Finish up with the long version of the Moose Song from Big Head Todd and the Monsters, which is modern but could have been from 1977. If you are stuck at home, all the you tubes are good. Go with the 70s versions, no cheating with the modern re-dos when the band members are old and fat and the outfits are sane.

  13. hrhuffnpuff says:

    Iron Maiden’s “Maiden Japan”!

  14. ACSK says:

    The 0.5% of the time I actually listen to music in the car I almost exclusively listen to Japanese music (I have a vast collection from every genre around for the past 50 years). The last few months, I’ve probably been listening mostly to Ketsumeishi (last few months = 3 times, haha) – although I did listen briefly to Superfly. I like pretty much all genres. Whatever I’m in the mood for any given day.

  15. Tofuik says:

    I’d like to say its something classy, or even remotely related to JNC, but no. I blasted Weedeater, Sleep, Bongzilla, and other various heavy stoner music as I buzzed around town with an unfiltered honda 4 banger just as nasty sounding as the music.

  16. Heath Gordon says:

    Electronic music mostly. Drum and Bass, House, Dubstep etc..

  17. nito says:

    My 240z doesn’t have a radio, but the exhaust tone is music to my ears 🙂

  18. Johnny Aguirre says:

    gotta have me some LED ZEPPELIN in my ’73 Rx-2! living here in LA, it sure makes for some great zipping through traffic music, well along with the hi reving rotary. (1) 8” bazooka and 6 plate speakers that sure make for some crispy clear highs and just a touch of lows… ahhh 🙂

  19. Beans says:

    Krs-one, Return of the boom bap. Nuff said 😉

  20. RobR says:

    When I’m driving, I always have something by Clutch on tap. There’s nothing like a late night drive with the windows rolled down on my 620 while Space Grass is blasting. “Jesus on the dashboard! Oh Yeah!”

  21. Drive510 says:

    Old school JDM shakotan music

    Guitar Wolf

  22. jkwade says:

    Though I listen to lots of different music while I’m driving, if I really want to get into the “nostalgic mood” I turn on China’s Elvis, Teresa Teng. Before anyone calls foul for me not listing a Japanese artist, I actually studied Chinese (not Japanese) in school. So I am a little biased there, but I do listen to her for a good reason. Were I to listen to Meiko Kaji exclusively, I would only be driving in 70s Japan. Not that that is at all a bad thing, I do it all the time. But Teresa Teng is often credited as the first “pan-Asian” artist, and was equally popular on the mainland as she was elsewhere in East Asia. I can see me driving my little Corolla all over Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, the PRC, Korea, Malaysia, and so on when I listen to her. That is why she is my favorite choice for driving “nostalgically.”

    For anyone who hasn’t ever heard her, here is one of my favorites. It’s a bit different from a lot of her stuff, much bluesier.


  23. Camshaft says:

    Three names you need to google right now:

    Kavinsky. Lazerhawk. Keenhouse.

  24. Catalak says:

    Triple carb symphony.

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