New Songs for Old People: “Voices of a Traveler” by Souvenir Driver

Portland shoegazers take a page from eighties anthems for new release.

I hear a lot of older people say they don’t have time to discover new music anymore. Allow me to remedy this issue. I will pull up something brand new and liken it to something older that people will remember from when they used to discover music on their own.

If you like The Cure or any track on the Pretty in Pink movie soundtrack, you may enjoy the new song called “Voices of a Traveler” from a band called Souvenir Driver.

With “New Songs for Old People,” individuals can get into a new song that sounds similar to something old that they liked. It won’t be scary or weird or unlikeable to listen to new music, because it will just feel like a sequel to music they already know and enjoy.

For instance, if you like the sadness of The Cure as well as the hopeful teenage sound of the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, including the infectious “If You Leave” by the unpronounceable Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark, you may enjoy “Voices of a Traveler” by Souvenir Driver.


Eighties babes like Andrew McCarthy grace the cover of the Pretty in Pink soundtrack in vinyl along with The Cars Greatest Hits, also in vinyl, and a guitar for no reason at all.

There also seems to be a nod to David Robinson, drummer for The Cars, not to be confused with the David Robinson of “Mr. Robinson” fame, formerly of the San Antonio Spurs.

On top, for flavor, is a sprinkling of Midnight Oil and early REM.

Put ‘em all in a blender circa the late eighties, mix until smooth, and freeze until 2017. Voila, friends.

Listen to “Voices of a Traveler” from Souvenir Driver on SoundCloud Now

This small connection to an ever-changing cultural landscape will be especially helpful when people go on Tinder dates. They will want to seem hip and know about current music, but in reality, they have no idea where to start.

Sample Dating Interaction

You can have the song playing in your car and they’ll be like, “Great song, where did you hear about it?”

And you can shrug and be like, “Some music blog.”

You can read even more about the band Souvenir Driver in this Atwood Magazine article. However, don’t appear to know too much about the band or the song, or really anything though. It is important to make life look effortless so your Tinder date doesn’t think you have too much baggage.

3 Basic Things to Know About Souvenir Driver:

  • They are from Portland, Oregon.
  • They don’t like that guy USA chose for President that terrible day in 11/16
  • “Voices of a Traveler” is their first single off the new record

PRO TIP: Going to a show is a great date idea. You don’t have to talk very much and you can react to a shared experience. Have dinner first so you don’t get hangry, though.

You Can See Souvenir Driver LIVE at:

Uhhhh, I’m not sure since they don’t have any tour dates listed on their website. Maybe you can ask them: souvenirdriver@gmail.com

Tell ‘em Large Marge sent ya!


New Songs for Old People is a music blog episode series specifically designed to ease older Millenials and Gen Xers into new music in a way that is simple and non-threatening. Building from familiar cultural references, New Songs for Old People helps restore relevancy to aging populations with fun and rewarding content.

P.S. – I ain’t pickin on ya, Souvenir Driver. Just trying to get people out of their bubbles and listening to new music.



Motorcycle Giant Sends Cash

Besides the occasional birthday card from Grandma, most of us are unaccustomed to receiving cash by mail. That’s why Honda’s new marketing campaign is so shocking.

I first became interested in motorcycles after working on the award-winning documentary Bring It 2 Peter. As part of the shoot, we retraced the steps of  Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper from the 1969 counterculture classic, Easy Rider. While interviewing riders, and traveling along the original Route 66, I fell in love with the sense of freedom that’s inherent to owning a bike.

Last summer I finally became a licensed motorcyclist myself, and as a smaller, fairly cautious rider, I wanted to buy a machine that wouldn’t be too overwhelming right out of the gate. The 250cc Honda Rebel was the perfect choice and, as an owner, I often receive correspondence from the company.

Usually, the mail I receive from Honda is fairly uninteresting warranty information or welcome-to-owning-a-motorcycle type of material. But when I rip open this particular envelope, a crisp new dollar bill falls out.

My first thought: “Is it fake?”

Having received many fake plastic credit cards in the mail and “too good to be true” checks, I immediately smell a rat.

Why is Honda sending cash through the mail?

I read the letter, and scan the accompanying survey. It is indeed an actual dollar. In addition, the company wants to ask me a few lifestyle questions so they can compile marketing insight.

As a product marketer and content strategist myself, I know how valuable these insights can be. They can help to more effectively target potential buyers, upgrade product features, and in some cases learn some embarrassing truths about your brand.

Do I fill out the survey? Of course I do. And I take the trouble to drop it in a mailbox. Why?

One of the reasons is that it is unexpectedly delightful to receive cash (even a small amount) by mail. This company just gave me something of immediate value, never knowing if I would fill out the survey.

As humans, we are often taught that “one good turn deserves another.” Plus, compared to the general public, I’m sure motorcyclists are statistically more likely to take risks and approve of risk-taking behavior (like sending money through the mail).

“Wow, how gutsy and irreverent – like me,” I think.

Now Honda (in my mind) is like me, they’re my pal. They give me money. It’s no big deal to answer a few questions – especially since they are fun. One of the survey questions asks if I feel that motorcycling increases my sex appeal (duh), or gives me a “sense of freedom” (double duh).

Of course, I have no idea what kind of response rate they get from these surveys. It would be a great A/B test. Maybe I’ll think about that later. Right now I’ve got to drive my sexy motorcycle down to the corner store and spend my free cash.

Like motorcycle movies? Check out Bring It 2Peter.


About the Author

Melany Joy Beck is an award-winning independent filmmaker. Her Kickstarter project, Bring It 2 Peter (co-produced with Janelle Sorenson) was selected Special Jury Prize at the Nevada Film Festival 2011, Best Documentary at the Central Wisconsin Film Festival and Official Selection at the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival.


5 Secrets to Crowdsourcing Success

In 2010, Janelle Sorenson and I were trying to figure out how to fund our short documentary, Bring It 2 Peter. Part of Janelle’s job at the time was the decidedly unglamorous task of sorting mail. However, occasionally she would stumble upon something interesting, like a hand-scrawled envelope addressed to Hollywood actor Peter Fonda.

The envelope was dirty and wrinkled when we found it, and it had multiple postal markings. The last of which was a stamp that said, “Undeliverable.”

We took that as a challenge and decided to follow Fonda’s route from his most famous movie, the 1969 cult classic, Easy Rider, retracing his steps in reverse to Los Angeles to locate the actor.

The road to Bring It 2 Peter.

The road to Bring It 2 Peter.

It should be easy right? We’d just borrow a camera and go!

CHECK IT OUT > Our 2010 Kickstarter Page

I’m sure your project is no different. I’m sure it’s amazing. I’m sure you’re excited and full of joy and hope and everything but capital.

“What’s capital?” you may ask. Capital is the upfront money it takes to make a film. Or a record. Or a macramé bust of Marie Antoinette. We artists need it. And I’m going to tell you how to get it. Or at least how we got ours. So without further ado, let’s get going.

  1. Don’t Talk About the Money – It seems crazy since that’s what you’re trying to get, but your backers are more focused on the finished product. They want to think about what it will be like to hold it in their hands and tell all their friends that they helped make it happen. At least that’s how I felt with the projects that I have chosen to back. In fact, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have now found that certain Kickstarter phrases seemed to guarantee failure. I’m not sure about all that, but it’s definitely best to focus on the emotional impact of what you’re doing. Tell your story. Kickstarter (or IndieGoGO or whichever platform you choose) takes care of the money part for you.
  2. Shoot a Great Video – A picture is worth a thousand words, but video can be shared on Facebook, or a blog, or anywhere web traffic roams. A video is content and people LOVE to share content, especially if it is surprising or novel. Why? Because it makes them look cool. And deep down, we all kinda want to be cool.
  3. Hire a Writer or at Least an Editor – One thing that Janelle and I had going for us with our film is that we were both writers. We had three English degrees between us, as well as some marketing and publishing experience. I’m not saying everyone has to have that, but you can definitely hire somebody to edit your page fairly reasonably. Check out the Freelance Writer’s Association website for a ballpark cost. You can also hire a local college student who may work for deferred payment (they get paid once you make your goal) or even just a credit in the project. Ask around.
  4. Be Realistic – Sure Amanda Palmer got a million dollars to fund her project, but she’s Amanda Palmer. If you don’t meet your goal, then with most of these crowdsourcing platforms, you get nothing. One of our biggest concerns with Bring It 2 Peter was not only getting nothing, but of being labeled a failure. The idea that there could be this website out there with a giant stamp of “Did Not Make Funding” for one of our pieces of art was just not an option for us. So what can you do to make sure that doesn’t happen? Well, a couple of things. Number 1 (actually number 4) is to lowball. I cannot stress this enough. Put up the lowest possible figure that could possibly allow you to make what you want to make. Why? Because you cannot fail. I don’t care if you have to set the limit at $100 and your mom pays it. Which leads me to number 5.
  5. Have an Angel in Your Pocket – Not a real angel, although I’m sure that would help too. I’m talking about an angel investor. Somebody you know with a decently high credit card limit in case you’re 2 hours away from the end of your funding period and don’t feel like you’re going to make it. You can’t use your own credit card because that would be cheating, but your dad, or great aunt Mildred are fine examples of angel investors that can share in your success.

About the Author

Melany Joy Beck is an award-winning independent filmmaker. Her Kickstarter project, Bring It 2 Peter (co-produced with Janelle Sorenson) was selected Special Jury Prize at the Nevada Film Festival 2011, Best Documentary at the Central Wisconsin Film Festival and Official Selection at the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival. Watch it now at: