Who wants apple spit in their face?

The two days covered today represent the 10th and 11th days of consecutive gym visits–one of my best runs in months. And I feel fine with the reason the streak ended, as my wife, kids, and I got to visit my parents, sister, and nephew on Sunday.

Friday, July 27, 2012

3.00 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Contact–Rent
  • Contagious–Avril Lavigne
  • Continental Drift–The Rolling Stones
  • The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill–The Beatles
  • Contrecoup–They Might Be Giants
  • Control–Metro Station
  • Control–Glee
  • Controversy–Prince
  • Conversation 16–The National
  • Cook’s County–The Who
  • Cooksferry Queen [live]–Richard Thompson
  • Cooksferry Queen–Richard Thompson
  • Cooksferry Queen–Richard Thompson
  • Cool–WWE

If you ask me the best way to start a workout playlist, “Broadway showtune” is not high on my list of options. Now my youngest daughter would strongly disagree with me, particularly when said track is from Rent, one of her favorite musicals (and she’s into them enough that she could do a top 10, and really have to consider all the candidates). I don’t know much about “Contagious” but I should give it more of a chance because I do find myself enjoying most Avril Lavigne I hear. That is also true of Rolling Stones content, including today’s song from their Steel Wheels album. Now while all Beatles songs, particularly their later works, are awesome, some are less useful as workout numbers. Luckily, “The Continuing Adventures of Bungalow Bill” works well in that capacity.

Once again, They Might Be Giants has me looking up information on a song title of theirs. Apparently “Contrecoup” is a head injury, specifically an injury that occurs on the opposite side of the injury’s impact. What a great group–one that entertains and educates! Two different “Control” songs followed with Metro Station giving their own version of the song, while the cast of Glee covered the Janet Jackson hit. I then got to hear a trio of artists I love, starting with an early Prince hit, “Controversy”, which is now more that 30 years old, which I consider the true controversy. Next up was one of my favorite more recent acts, The National, with a track from their most recent album. This trio closed with the Who, which is always welcome. Speaking of trios, I got a trio of “Cooksferry Queen”s from Richard Thompson, with one live and two studio versions. The song was originally on Mock Tudor, a favorite album of the family. When he was young, my son loved “Crawl Back” in particular, which I’ll be visiting soon enough. This list closes with one of the most baffling WWE theme songs ever, that belonging to Carlito. The song opens with Carlito speaking and he states “I spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool.” Here’s my question. Who doesn’t want to be cool? Particularly if the consequences are getting chucks of pre-chewed apple spat at you? I never got that at all. Wouldn’t it have been better and made more sense if he just said “I spit in the face of people who are not cool” or something like that?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

3.15 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Cool, Cocky Bad–WWE
  • Cool Dry Place–Traveling Wilburys
  • Cool For Cats–Squeeze
  • Cool Front–Digable Planets mashup with The Who
  • Cool Jerk–The Go-Gos
  • Cool Places–Sparks & Jane Wiedlin
  • Cool the Engine–Boston
  • Cool Water–Talking Heads
  • Cool, Cool River–Paul Simon
  • Cooties–Hairspray
  • Copacabana (At the Copa)–Barry Manilow
  • Corporate Ministry–WWE
  • Corrina, Corrina–Bob Dylan
  • Corrina, Corrina–Pete Townshend
  • Cosmic Love–Florence & The Machine
  • Cosmic Thing–The B-52’s

It’s another paired bracket as I get another WWE theme to open this list after one closed the last. It’s actually the first of two WWE theme songs I heard today, with the Honky Tonk Man’s Elvis tribute coming first and the mashup of Vince McMahon and Undertaker themes coming later in the list. Speaking of mashups, a message-board friend created (or just shared, I’m not entirely sure) “Cool Front”, which mashes Digable Planet’s “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” with the Who’s “Eminence Front” (easily one of my top 10 Who songs).  The combo is outstanding. The two songs before the mashup were great as well, as I will never tire of the Traveling Wilburys or Squeeze.

I love the Go-Go’s (saw them in concert my senior year in college), but “Cool Jerk” is my least favorite song by the group. If I want to hear a “Cool…” song involving a Go-Go, I’d much prefer the next track “Cool Places” with Jane Wiedlin of the group teaming up with Sparks. I loved the song when it first came out (the only year of junior high/high school that I had MTV), and was happy that I was able to add the single to my collection thanks to a compilation album. “Cool the Engines” is probably one of the biggest “no duh” songs for the group Boston as it seems like all their album covers were built around giant guitar-shaped spaceships. Coming back to Earth, the Talking Heads sang of “Cool Water”, and if you were looking for a location for such a thing, Paul Simon would correctly suggest a “Cool, Cool River”.

After things were cool for such a long time, I guess the antidote would be some “Cooties”, which arrived courtesy of the Hairspray soundtrack. I think my wife would argue that the list continued moving in a non-cool direction with “Copacabana” (she is most assuredly not a Fan-a-low), but I do find the song fun and will sing along whenever it comes on. If my singing has the chance to embarrass my wife and kids, well it’s always nice to get a bonus like that, right? While most of the Chimes of Freedom cover artists are newer acts, some of the album’s tributes come from stars as revered and longstanding as Dylan himself, and on “Corrina, Corrina”, Pete Townsend provides one of the best of those pairings. I may have to borrow Boston’s guitar rocket for the last two songs, as things get a bit “Cosmic…” with a Florence & The Machine number and the title track from the B-52’s album.


Cheerful songs about bullets and burning

The weekend is here! (Which, truth be told, is not that different from the rest of the week when you’re not working. Actually, I prefer the rest of the week because there’s a chance a company could call me about a job interview during the Monday-Friday time frame, something that’s highly unlikely during the weekend, as those hard-working heroes of human resources certainly deserve the time off on Saturday and Sunday [sorry for the sucking up, you never know who’s reading this]. Well, that’s enough wallowing, let’s get to some exercising and music!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2.5 miles on the elliptical machine plus upper-body weight work at the gym

  • Built for the Future–The Fixx
  • Built to Last–Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Bull in a China Shop–Barenaked Ladies
  • Bullet the Blue Sky–U2
  • Bullet the Blue Sky–U2
  • Bulletproof–La Roux
  • Bulletproof Heart–My Chemical Romance
  • Burn–Deep Purple
  • Burn Away–Foo Fighters
  • Burn Down This Town–Rosanne Cash
  • Burn in My Light–Mercy Drive
  • Burn it Down–Avenged Sevenfold
  • Burn the House Down–Scars on 45
  • Burned (Kane)–WWE
  • Burnin’ Up–The Jonas Brothers

The thing about today’s two lists is that they started so constructive and promising–we were talking about building things. Both the Fixx and Tom Petty were on the same track–after all, if you want to build things for the future, you need to build something to last. But then things took a turn for the destructive with “Bull in a China Shop” that did not let up for the rest of either exercise period. Bull in a China Shop is one of those metaphors that only works in the poetic sense these days, as there aren’t many shops that specialize in china to my knowledge.

The violence moves from bulls to bullets, starting with studio and live versions of a U2 song that’s (this is sure to surprise you) highly political. La Roux’s “Bulletproof” follows. This was a group that my youngest daughter enjoys, but I will admit that when I first heard the song and saw the lead singer, I thought that she was actually male. However, I do find the song infectious and it’s easy to dance to (although my children would prefer that I didn’t, which only makes me want to do it more, particularly in from of their friends–yep, I’m that kind of dad). My Chemical Romance (which is one of the coolest band names ever) has the right idea–with all these literal and metaphorical bullets flying around, it’s smart to protect yourself with a “Bulletproof Heart”. Of course, their timing isn’t great as the bullets die down and the fires start, which might still put their heart in danger.

Things start off simple and slow, as Deep Purple looks to just “Burn”, while the Foo Fighters point out that there’s consequences to the flames with “Burn Away”. Rosanne Cash decides to stop beating around the bush (burning around the bush?) and ratchet up the destruction with “Burn This Town Down”. It seems a little much, doesn’t it? I’m not one to advocate violence, but if you really want to get someone back, wouldn’t burning their house down be enough (something Scars on 45 seem to be willing to settle on)? Do you have to take out the entire town?

“Burn in My Light”, one of my favorite WWE entrance themes, is an older Randy Orton number. His new one, “Voices”, is pretty good as well–Orton tends to get good themes, ones my kids like as well.  Two songs later, I got one of the more iconic and enduring WWE themes of the past 15 years, the instrumental Kane theme “Burned”. (As a side note, I loved meeting and working with all the WWE superstars during my years in the company, but Kane was one of my favorite people in the organization.) The last three Burn songs come courtesy of artists representing three distinct genres with Avenged Sevenfold, Scars on 45, and the Jonas Brothers.

June 13, 2012

2+ mile neighborhood walk to commemorate Red Sox victory #30 of the 2012 season

  • Burning Down The House–The Talking Heads
  • Burning Down The House–The Talking Heads
  • Burning Down The House–The Talking Heads
  • Burning Down The House [live]–The Talking Heads
  • Burning Down The House–The Talking Heads
  • Burning In The Skies–Linkin Park
  • Burning Love–Elvis Presley
  • Burning Up–Glee Cast
  • Burnout–Green Day
  • Burns Supper–Richard Thompson
  • Burnt By The Sky–David Byrne
  • Bury Me–Guster
  • Bushfire–The B-52’s

For almost the entire first mile of my walking tour, I got to hear the Talking Heads’ only Top-10 hit, “Burning Down the House”, five times, four studio originals and a live version (the four studio copies come from the original album, a greatest hits collection, a hits of 1983 compilation, and the soundtrack to 13 Going on 30). I remember when the song first came out (I heard it often because I got most of my music from radio, including American Top 40), I kind of liked it, but it wasn’t till I decided to get into the Talking Heads (to impress a girl) that I really gave the song my attention. I must say that I enjoy the live, Stop Making Sense, version better than the original, as it’s a more driving, rocking take on the song.

Linkin Park takes the burning to the air, but ironically, I could have had a second Linkin Park “Burn…” song if I had their latest single, as “Burn It Down” has been on the radio recently, and has been featured as the musical accompaniment to some highlight packages on ESPN. I always thought the Elvis Presley song was called “Hunka Hunka Burning Love”, but it’s just the last two words. When I saw that Glee had a song titled “Burning Up” that I would hear soon, I assumed at first it was a cover of the Jonas Brothers song I’d heard earlier, but it was in fact a Madonna cover, and I can now tell the difference as Madonna’s version features the proper spelling of “burning”, including the ending ‘g’. I’m not sure how much it will help me, as I’m unlikely to listen to either song willingly.

The list ends strongly for me, starting with a Green Day track from Dookie, and then running into my wife’s favorite artist (non-Elvis Costello division) Richard Thompson. I actually saw him in concert with her in Bloomington, Indiana, but it probably was wasted on me, as I don’t remember which songs he performed, save a rousing cover of “Oops! I Did It Again”. I will say that not knowing the specific songs did not blind me to the amazing virtuoso skill he has with the guitar. If I hadn’t heard enough of his voice with the five renditions of “Burning Down the House”, I got one more “burn” track from Mr. Byrne (ahh, homonyms!) before the fires finally burned out–or so I thought–as after the Guster song “Buried” (keeping with the violence I guess), things flamed up one last time with the B-52’s giving me a “Bushfire”, a song that inspired me to listen to Cosmic Thing in its entirety tonight.


The Musical Circumstances of One’s Birth

Opening graf

May 24, 2012

2+ miles walking (behind a lawnmower!) to commemorate Red Sox victory #22 of the 2o12 season

  • Born As Ghosts–Rage Against the Machine
  • Born at the Right Time–Paul Simon
  • Born for This–Paramore
  • Born Free–M.I.A.
  • Born in the U.S.A.–Bruce Springsteen
  • Born of a Broken Man–Rage Against the Machine
  • Born on the Bayou–John Fogerty
  • Born this Way–Glee Cast
  • Born this Way–Lady Gaga
  • Born this Way–Lady Gaga
  • Born this Way [starsmith remix]–Lady Gaga
  • Born To Be My Baby–Bon Jovi
  • Born To Hand Jive–Sha-Na-Na
  • Born To Love Volcanos–The Dead Milkmen
  • Born To Run–Bruce Springsteen
When you’re at the gym, it’s nice to start a workout with Rage Against the Machine to kick things off and get you moving. You don’t need to move this way when you’re pushing a lawnmower however. Slow and steady wins the race with mowing, and moving too fast can lead to problems like running over a rock or clogging the mower deck. However, even though I don’t want to move too quickly, it’s still nice to get not one but two Rage songs from The Battle of Los Angeles. It’s the first of many “born” decisions and scenarios this list covers. Which would be better–to be born as a ghost or born of a broken man? I would say the latter, because although your dad may be broken, you can still make something of yourself.
I probably don’t give the Paul Simon album The Rhythm of the Saints enough credit simply because it followed Graceland and there was no way I could love the new album as much as that one. It’s not fair, as the album is still excellent, particularly with songs like “Born at the Right Time”.  Paul gives way to a couple of modern women-led songs, first Hayley Williams with Paramore, then M.I.A. “Born Free” was the first single from her album Maya, and it’s a song that I didn’t find appealing at first, but it grew on my with additional listens. Speaking of additional listens, I still find it humorous that the Reagan people clearly didn’t give Bruce’s “Born in the U.S.A.” enough listens to actually understand the lyrics in order to ascertain that it wouldn’t be an appropriate campaign song. My iPod listed “Born on the Bayou” as a John Fogerty song, but it’s clearly Creedence.
Seeing that I got almost twenty minutes worth of “Born this Way”, it’s a good thing I’m a fan of the song. Every once in a while you hear a song and know that it will remain popular for years to come and not fade into the “remember this one?” category. This song, with its amazing message, should fall into the first category. Not necessarily the Glee version that started things off, but the Lady Gaga song that I heard three times (the original twice and a dance remix). She really does channel 80’s Madonna on the number.  After Bon Jovi, I got another Sha-Na-Na song from the Grease soundtrack. I remember hearing the song as a kid and being convinced that “hand jive” is a euphemism for something dirty.
My mowing session ended with the Dead Milkmen giving me the strangest “Born…” scenario (and who wasn’t born to love volcanoes?) and  another Bruce Springsteen classic.
May 25, 2012
3.44 miles on the elliptical machine plus upper arm weight work at the gym
  • Born To Run–Cowboy Mouth
  • Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)–The Talking Heads
  • Borrowed Time–Richard & Linda Thompson
  • Borrowing Time–Aimee Mann
  • Bossy Boots Song–Spongebob SquarePants
  • Boston–Augustana
  • Both Crosses–The Hold Steady
  • Bottle and a Gun–Hollywood Undead
  • Bottle of Blues–Beck
  • Bottle of Smoke–The Pogues
  • Bottom of the Ocean–Miley Cyrus
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams–Green Day
  • Bounce–Timbaland featuring Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott & Justin Timberlake
  • Bouncing Off the Walls–Sugarcult
  • Bound–Suzanne Vega
  • Bout to Get Fruit Punched, Homie–The Wonder Years
  • Box Set–Barenaked Ladies

My gym time began with the same song that closed my mowing time, as Cowboy Mouth covered “Born to Run” as well. It is a straight cover, perhaps a little more rocking than the the Boss’s version. The final “Born…” song is courtesy of the Talking Heads from the awesome Remain in Light album. With my weight-loss aspirations right now, this last “born…” song might be the one for me, as I’d love to be able to say “I’m so thin”. The next two songs are in the proper order alphabetically, but it seems like they’d make more sense thematically if they were reversed. After all Aimee Mann’s “Borrowing Time” should com before Richard and Linda Thompson sing of the time they borrowed. Thanks to my kids, SpongeBob was once again part of my exercise routine.

I love Augustana’s “Boston” as it makes me think of my college days. “Both Crosses” is the first song I’ve heard from the Hold Steady’s 2008 album Stay Positive, which is a great collection of music and one I’d highly recommend to anyone.  I then jumped into a run of three “Bottle…” songs, first from Hollywood Undead, then Beck gave me a “Bottle of Blues” before old friend the Pogues finished things off with their bottle filled with smoke. Miley Cyrus then took me to the bottom of the ocean, before Green Day hit it with the awesome “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” from American Idiot. While I do love the album, I don’t have much interest in seeing the musical. Green Day does not scream musical theater to me for some strange reason.

Timbaland delivered a track from “Shock Value”, one that is incredibly over the top with its sexuality, and I also heard another track from the American Wedding soundtrack (the Sugarcult song, not the Suzanne Vega selection) followed by a number from The Wonder Years, a pop punk band my son is really into these days. I haven’t given them enough of a listen to decide where I land opinion-wise, but with the volume of music my son has picked up by the band, I’m going to have a chance to do so. My last song of the day was a clever number from Barenaked Ladies’ first album Gordon that spoofs career-spanning retrospectives of musicians, which is particularly enjoyable when you think about where the band would be going over the next few years.