17 January 2006

Riding music

    They're my theme music. Every hero's got to have some.
      Jack Spade
      I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka

One of the nice things about riding the stationary bike is my iPod. I don't use it when I'm out on my bicycle, as I like to hear the car before I can taste its hood ornament. Besides, there's stuff to look at and enjoy in an outdoor ride. The view in my basement is kind of limited.

I've been trying out different albums and artists, looking for good exercise music. This is music that helps me keep pace and push harder. So, following is something not entirely unlike Jeri's Megashuffle, my commented exercise music album list.

Soundtrack to The Matrix: This was a no-brainer, really. You've probably seen the film, so you know the music has plenty of energy to keep you going.

"Sehnsucht" by Rammstein: Their self-described musical style is Tanz-Metall ("Dance Metal"). I bought this because I liked "Du Hast", and I wasn't disappointed. Also, its German lyrics mean I'm less likely to sing along, which can be difficult while exercising.

"In Your Honor" (Disc 1) by Foo Fighters: This, their latest, is an excellent album. It's a double-disc album, with all the hard stuff on the first disc and the slow stuff on the second. The tempo of a few songs is a little slower than I'd like, but it makes up for it in power.

"Guero" by Beck: I think this is Beck's best effort to date. This is one of those CDs I played to death when I got it. It works well for exercising, but I had to skip "Broken Drum" because it was just to plodding. I also didn't make it "Farewell Ride" before I stopped. It's title is vaguely apropos, but it's way to slow.

"Party Mix!" by the B-52's: This was an EP with danced-up versions of material from their first two albums, songs like "52 Girls" and "Private Idaho." This is one of the best so far for pacing. It also turned out to be a really good match for one of the programs on the bike - when you hit the really hard part, "Lava" starts with a beat that is just a little slower.

"Substance 1987" by New Order: More remixes, this time on the class New Order compilation. It's a long album, so it was a good choice when I decided to lengthen my ride to 45 minutes.

"Music for the Masses" by Depeche Mode: Not a bad start on this one, but there were too many slow points. Slow plodding melodies from Depeche Mode? Who woulda thunk.

"Comfort Eagle" by Cake: You might not think this works, but it does. It's all in the beat, I think. This was another one that meshed with the program I picked on the bike. "Comfort Eagle" came up right during the final push.

"American Idiot" by Green Day: This is an example of pure power trumping any tempo issue. Plenty of fast beats there, to be sure, but even when there isn't, there is enough drive to keep you those pedals turning.

"Dookie" by Green Day: I don't know why I didn't see this one sooner. Every now and then I forget how great this album is. It doesn't slow down until track eleven ("When I Come Around"), and then only barely.

Other candidate albums mostly have the same issues as "Music for the Masses" - too many slow spots. It's probably time for some playlists. There are plenty of great songs for exercise, even if the whole album doesn't fit. "Immigrant's Song" and "Run Like Hell" work well, even if "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Waiting for the Worms" don't.

Well, I don't know how relevent this analysis is to anyone, but there you go.

1 comment:

Rob S. said...

I remember once back when the world was still using cassettes, my brother taped "It Is Accomplished" from my copy of the Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack over and over and over again for weightlifing music. It's in no way fast, but it does have a sense of inevitable, methodical propulsion that's probably much better for weightlifting than cardio.