Saturday, November 26, 2011

Soundtrack of my life

Cheesy title aside, I'm going to take the time this week to do a little more informative blog-post.  I invite you, the intrepid reader, on a little journey that details what goes on inside my head when I'm training.  Well, to be more specific, not what goes on in my head that involves thinking because -frankly - letting anyone in there would be an interesting experience...

When I'm riding my bike, I'm generally listening to music.  Even when I'm riding with someone if it's a tough ride with some intervals I'll generally leave one earbud in just to kind of have some noise to drown out any pain (and still be able to hear the other person/people and traffic).  If I'm running about 1/4 of the time I'll run with music.  That really depends on whether I can find my shuffle or not.

I'm a lover of most kinds of music; I've been known to listen to decidedly non-pump-up stuff and ridiculously-will-explode-your-heart type pump up music.  So really, anything goes.  I tend to like "harder" stuff on my bike rides and mellower stuff when I'm running.  Well, that's the way I'm feeling this week anyway; next week might be something totally different.

So here's what's on my playlist right now and this is in no particular order

I'm sure there are people out there that are "real" Snow Patrol fans; they've enjoyed them for a long, long time and way before they got big.  Well, congratulations.  That and 1.79 will get you delicious medium coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Delicious.  I think I first heard this song in Scott's 4-banger (otherwise known as a 4-Runner, no funny ideas) several weeks ago and I knew that I needed to have it.  As soon as I got home I downloaded that sucker and it became my new Heavy Metal Drummer (Wilco).  For those that don't know (and Seth might be the only person that does) I overplayed the living daylights out of that song my senior year of college.  I loved (loved) Wilco, but especially that song.  This song just makes you feel...happy, for lack of a better emotive description.  The bass line and the refrain make it upbeat enough to be a good workout song.

Disclaimer: I'd never before seen this video, it's definitely a little weird.  The song itself is a little weird to be honest.  I've never really been able to decide why it appealed to me but I think it's the sort of electro-rock sound it has going for it.  I'm definitely a fan of electronic music and rock music and one might say this blends the two with an odd synth sounding vocal line that I don't really understand but all in all the package works for me (now).  I'm fairly confident in saying that this song won't last a whole lot longer but it's got a place on the list for now.

This song combines two of my more favorite musical likes: the crystal method and Emily Haines (of Metric).  I think I've essentially decided that I REALLY like female lead singers.  Especially when they're backed up by sweet electro-pop sounds (well, Crystal Method would probably not agree with being called electro-pop and I agree with that; I'm just making a sweeping generalization!).  I've had this song on my playlist for quite some time now but it hasn't ever been removed, in spite of the list going through many revisions and edits over time. I guess it's a keeper!

Just because that last song got me thinking of Emily Haines, here's a song that's been in my top 25 most played for quite a long time.  In fact, it might have the longest tenure there of any song currently in my music library.  Emily Haines is kind of a cult goddess (good evidence of why can be found in this video; she dances around on stage in tiny shorts, heels and a mix of instruments...pretty awesome) but I originally liked the music and later stayed because of her.  I guess that's kind of like saying you read Playboy for the articles but what are you gonna do? They're intelligent and well-written...

This is probably one of the greatest rap songs of all time.  Residing on one of the greatest albums (of any genre) ever made.  I don't say that lightly.  I rarely, if ever, listen to rap anymore but hear it every now and then on the radio and listen to some of the "top" songs that show up on iTunes (I realize that's not representative of all rap but Eminem's songs were both top of the charts and critical successes) and rap has gone rapidly downhill since this album.  Even Eminem's new stuff (and older new stuff post Eminem Show) isn't even in the same league as this album.  "Lose Yourself" gets a lot more playtime at athletic events because it's more age-appropriate but this song belongs on those playlists as well.  If I ever need to feel jacked-up, this is WITHOUT A DOUBT on the go-to for "play me right now."

Let's change directions here (and by change directions I mean a 180!) and take some time to appreciate an artist that I like, unabashedly.  Katy Perry has several songs that have been or are on this list but I'm taking "Firework" and giving it this blog-immortality (so few covet, so few receive...).  I mean, who else recently has put so many hits? I kissed a girl, Hot and coldTeenage Dream, California Gurls, ET, Waking up in Vegas...ummm I should probably just stop now while my hole is only 5' deep...

Alright so let me try and regain some credibility with this next one.  I haven't really listened to much Arcade Fire but I think I first heard this song on some sort of google web project (I don't remember what it was called but this song provided the background in some way).  I'm not sure exactly how I'd describe this song.  It's kind of like when you go into iTunes or a music review or something and read the description of the artist/album/song whoever writes those can come up with the most perfect descriptions of whatever is happening but I have NO idea from where they pulled that stuff.  I think half of it is made-up words that have since become common vernacular.  Or common at least if you're ''in the know.'' Not me.

The Chemical Brothers are one of the greatest electronic music groups of all-time.  Although, when you really think about it, electronic music hasn't been around all that long and has since evolved into all different kinds of music (house, trance, house trance, acid house, trance techno, techno, etc) but Chemical Brothers has remained one of the most popular groups in the over-arching genre.  Trent Reznor (NIN) was the first to do the entire soundtrack for a move (Social Network), followed very quickly by Daft Punk (Tron: Legacy).  Chemical Brothers joined them with "Hanna" which, although much less popular than the prior two, was very good.  This song is a long, multiple tempo romp that's great for long intervals on the bike or a couple of miles during a run!

There are tons of examples I could put for Daft Punk.  They are SUCH an awesome group.  It's just these two guys that nobody ever sees (they wear masks and costumes and never do interviews in person so nobody knows what they look like) so they are super mysterious which only adds to their cache.  They've been around for a long time, have produced numerous top hits and put on an amazing live show (at least from what I can tell in videos; they don't do live very often but I'd do ANYTHING to go see them live if it was anywhere near me).  I had the Tron: Legacy Reconfigured soundtrack on repeat for a while on my shuffle and before that had the original soundtrack on there so I've heard all versions of those songs multiple times...but luckily I listened to them long before that movie elevated their popularity to a more "general" audience because some of their best stuff is way older.

So that's part 1; I may or may not do a part 2.  Hopefully I can get around to it tomorrow because I know many out there are DYING for the next post!

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