Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Running Music for Hipsters

I am a music lover. Partly because it pays the rent and partly because the combination of my iPhone, headphones, and armband case increases my chance of finishing a run by about 123%. I have never been much of a music lover for music's sake. I love the way that music serves me by making everything I would be doing anyway much more bearable. Example: I like teaching. If I wasn't a musician, I would still be a teacher, but the fact that I teach music makes teaching AWESOME.

This is why I pick the majority of my music based on whether or not it will be suitable for running. I would never buy music from a band like Muse if I just sat in an office all day, but it's like they write music specifically for runners. "Time is Running Out"- what better song to sprint to? "Knights of Cydonia" with it's galloping horses gives me an instant pace boost. I've listened to those songs so much while working out that I actually have a conditioned response of a raised heart rate just thinking about them.

My next purchase will certainly be Arcade Fire's new album The Suburbs. You can preview the the whole thing here on NPR's website. Musically, the word I would choose to describe the album is "pulsating." It rises and falls in tempo, but there is a nice forward motion throughout. If you just want a song to scare you off the couch, you couldn't do better than to buy "Empty Room." You'll know what I mean the millisecond you press play. I also love Win Butler's voice. He's got Dave Grohl's clarity and articulation minus the screaming and poor lyrics. Perfect Balance.

My only irritation with "The Suburbs" is the overdone theme. We get it already. The suburbs suck! We know! We got it in 1999 when we watched American Beauty thanks to Sam Mendes (someone else who can't seem to stop talking about how awful the burbs are). Ben Folds told us again in 2001 with Rockin' the Suburbs. The suburbs have been the subject of every hipster's angst for the past 10 years, and frankly, it's just not revolutionary anymore. It's also a bit insulting to my intelligence to have this theme reiterated to me by someone whose music sounds so (pardon my French) mainstream.

But whatever. The music is lively, nicely layered, and great to run to. So buy it. If you're like me, you never remember the lyrics to anything anyway.

Belated running schedule for the week:
Sunday: 4 miles EASY
Yesterday: off
Today: X-train
Wednesday: 3-4 miles at MP (marathon pace)
Thursday: 3-4 miles EASY
Friday: X-train
Saturday: 8 miles

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