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Can’t stop the music

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The right song + the right time + the right place = the right pace.

Who said I can’t do math?

Music sets the mood, brings us up when we’re down, celebrates our inner emo, and unleashes a kickbutt demon. It will get the partay started and can just as quickly shut it down (just see what happens when you switch from some bumpin’ Jay-Z to a Lawrence Welk jam… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz). I promise you – forget to charge your iPod and you can discover just how much you miss the beat.   

I even keep iPod close to my heart.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of tunes. Little known fact: RFL is a classically trained musician. Went to college on a music scholarship before I gave it all up for the glitz and glamour of a business degree. Music is a visceral experience, it can shape your perception of how you experience the world surrounding you. It’s been such a gift to have in my life, and I can’t imagine being without it – I’d be a sad sap without it. [You know what else is sad? Mom and Daddy RFL mourning all that money down the drain for lessons]

Back to the lecture at hand. We’re not going to get in to the runner’s iPod debate. The ones about racing with or without. Or you’re only a “real” runner if you run without musical motivation vs. if you cruise with tunes you look at the “real runners” like seriously dude, chill out. People can go back and forth all day and I’d rather keep this focused on ME. (MEEEEEEEE.)

Not a fan of the typical iPod earbuds, but my jlab ones crapped out and I haven't replaced them yet.

Instead let’s celebrate tunage that gets you motivated during a workout – whether you are hitting the road (safely, so you can still hear cars, cyclists, and that cute guy you’ve been wanting to chat up) or in the gym. But before I share a snippet of my list, check this out…

I had cruised over to Skinny Runner’s blog and picked up this sweet little technical tee that has a musical theme. Please tell me you get this.

This is the front..... See the birdies? What kind of birdies... It's a.....


Go ahead and sing along. You know you wanna!

Get it? GET IT? I love ironic shirts! 

Here are some of the songs that grace my playlist, and why. You may sense a theme of aggression, anger, and a desire to ride all up in to your hood but really – I’m sensitive and delicate like a fluffy cotton ball. (If you want to have a listen, look’em up on iTunes or Amazon)

  1. Rage Against the Machine: Calm Like a BombAnytime I need a kick of speed or power, this will carry me through. Perfect for hill sprints because of the ascending guitar line. (PS: last race I ran I started with this and won my age. Calm like a bomb indeed!)
  2. Jay-Z: Show Me What You GotWell, Mr. Z… If you insist…
  3. Silversun Pickups: Panic SwitchNice, quick driving beat. That’ll get you going.
  4. The Prodigy: Firestarter (tied with Breathe) – I was friends with a guy once who called me a little Firestarter (a twisted Firestarter) (hey hey hey). Both Prodigy songs are great for hill work or bridge runs as they will get you on a solid pace.
  5. Ludacris (featuring Field Mob): Georgia  This is perfect for when you’ve found your cruising altitude. Plus, it’s MEAN in this dirty south!
  6. Daft Punk + the Glitch Mob: Derezzed (Remixed)I am not a fan of electronica. If it makes me want to break out the glow sticks and take a hit of E, then I’m probably not going to rush to download it because I do neither of those things I previously mentioned. Yet I really like this. It’s almost mellow, great bass line. Give it a shot.
  7. Birdman (featuring Lil Wayne): Always Strapped – If I need a shot of badass, I’m cuing this up. Pace comes in to line, get my pump on in the gym. Go on, try me. grrrrrrrr.
  8. Breaking Benjamin: I Will Not BowOfficial training song of RFL’s 2010 MCM. “I will not fade, I will take your breath away”.
  9. Albannach: Bare Arsed BanditsSure, if you don’t have Celtic blood pumping through your veins, the dulcet sounds of the pipes could be mistaken for screeching cats. But. This is not old school pipe and drums folks. This is hot. They are hot. And when the Nach comes on, I run like I’m Braveheart out to get me some English prey. (PS: Jamesie is MINE. Back OFF)
  10. Tool: StinkfistThe lyrics and song just makes me happy. It’s joy. “It’s not enough, I need more/Nothing seems to satisfy/I did/I don’t want it/I just need it/To breathe, to feel, to know I’m alive”
  11. Lil Wayne: 6 Foot 7 FootTalk about getting my stride back. If I’m lacking this gets me right back on track. He’s so wee.
  12. Ludacris: How Low I like to change the lyrics and I’m a sucker for a full bass line. “She can go faster than I ever thought she could” ; “Faster than your momma’s ever seen it in her lifetime” .  And then Luda tells me he thinks I’m a superstar and compliments my backside. Good stuff I tell you.
  13. Dropkick Murphy’s: The Rocky Road to Dublin1 2 3 4 5!
  14. Evanescence: LacrymosaCombining two of my favorite things – Mozart’s Requiem (Lacrymosa) and Amy Lee. See if you can hear the nuanced mood of the chorus each time it’s sung. She’s conveying a different emotion each time although the words are the same. Plus, how they layered this with the choral arrangement is just glorious. Go download!
  15. Jethro Tull: Locomotive BreathI really think I was born to the wrong generation, because I love this kind of rock. Side note – when I was a kid I remember when Jethro Tull won the MTV Metal award over Metallica and I was all how does a flute trump Metallica?

 Yes, for a certain someone – I’m aware that there is an appalling lack of Journey here. But I make no apologies for art.


So what rocks you on your iPod?

What song or artist would you rather not admit to having? There are two. 1) Lady Gaga: Paparazzi. They used the song for the Westminster Kennel Club commercial and now it reminds me of my dog. And since I spend more time chasing him with my camera (have I mentioned that I have 58  pictures of him on my Blackberry?)  than I do in constructive pursuits it seems fitting.   2) Ke$ha: Sleazy featuring Andre 3000. Seriously, the dollar sign in the name is lame and there isn’t enough autotune in the world.  But this version with Andre 3000 and a great background beat almost makes up for an obnoxious voice and crappy, offensive lyrics. ALMOST.  

There. My shame is now public.

6 responses

  1. I am going to have that “bird” song stuck in my head all day now! My current playlist song that I would never admit to my kids that I have… Rihanna’s S & M. I can’t stand the words but I love the beat.

  2. You have quite the musical range in your list!! Check this out for your “6 foot 7 foot” enjoyment; these 2 are pretty awesome!

    • I heart Karmin! Thanks for the reminder. They’re version of “Look at me Now” is genius, and ‘Written in the Stars” is really well done.

  3. Ok I’ll ‘fess up- Kid Rock’s “Cocky”


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