Posts Tagged ‘Tunage’

Yoga Music Pick #7

Posted: September 10, 2013 in Yoga
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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Yoga Music Pick.  That’s partly because I haven’t been practicing all that often or, that when I do, I attend a class that follows the standard wind chimes and whale songs philosophy of ambiance.  But lately I’ve been trying to reconnect with my practice a bit on my own terms.  You might as well read that that as ‘whenever I can fit it in’.  Hey, some yoga is better than no yoga, am I right?  And since reconnecting with my home practice is part of my recent ‘We Can Rebuild Him’ plan to regaining my overall injury free fitness, I’m definitely trying to find the time more often, hence, more yoga.

This afternoon I took such an opportunity to get into some bendy-twisty on my mat at home in between business meetings (and after a 5k Fartlek run workout – yeah, it’s a rough day).  My musical selection you ask?  Why, the ‘Together We’re Heavy’  album by the Dallas symphonic rock band The Polyphonic Spree.  Some of you might remember them as ‘those weirdoes in the colored robes’.  Yes, those guys and, no, they’re not a new age cult.  Although, if they were, that might also appeal to some yoga types to be sure – but they’re not.  Honestly.

Largely the brainchild of former Tripping Daisies front man Tim DeLaughter, the group grew from the ashes after the Daisy’s guitarist Wes Berggren died of a drug overdose in 1999.  Shortly afterwards, DeLaughter collaborated with twelve other musicians, trying to put a sound together that reflected the music he grew up with; something his children would be proud of; something celebratory.  He wanted to explore the orchestral palette and pop sensibility of The Association, the 5th Dimension, Wings, and The Beach Boys; and the vocal style of Ozzy Osbourne from Black Sabbath.  Relax fellow yogi’s, I’m not trying to push heavy metal on your practice; quite the contrary actually.  Think of it this way:  how can you not love a band that makes use of flutes, violins, whistles, tubular bells, organs, piccolos, French horns, glockenspiels, flugelhorns, a theremin, and a full backing choir?  C’mon, that’s some inspired shit to get your yoga on right there!

If these guys don’t look like a “yoga” band, I don’t know what does.

This album comes with a warning however.  Typically, while practicing yoga and listening to music we tend to be attracted to music that helps us focus and ‘become one with everything’  (whatever that means).  ‘Together We’re Heavy’, if you’re not careful, might ‘become one’  a little too much.  It’s just that infectious in its ‘Carpe Diem-ness’.  You may just feel the urge to abandon your practice and ditch the mat altogether to go out to do something truly inspired.  But that’s what yoga is to me…getting inspired and daring yourself to be great.   So this feel good mood totally works for me.

Heat Wave Playlist

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Playlists
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It’s freakin’ hot out.  Like REALLY  hot.  Figures I would wait until a heat wave to begin running again.  Today marked my return to running after a week’s sabbatical to cycle around Lake Ontario as part of the Tour du Lac.  Of course, when the temperature is soaring to 30° (feels like 41°) with an overall humidity level of 98%, today’s goal was simply to finish without totally melting or ending up as a greasy stain by the side of the road.  Fuck pace.

Over all, even after cycling 940 kilometers last week (averaging 133.21k per day), ‘ol Thunder n’ Lightning’ felt pretty good; almost as if they missed it.  Good for me.

So to help me get around the easy 5k route down to Crystal Beach and back, I loaded up a ‘heat wave’ inspired playlist on my iPod that I’ve decided to entitle ‘Running on the Sun’.

Too Darn Hot – Ella Fitzgerald

Heat Wave – Martha & the Vandella’s

92 Degrees – Siouxsie & Banshees

Hot Hot Hot!!! – The Cure

Hot ‘Lanta – Allman Brothers

Hot Stuff – Rolling Stones

Amoreena – Elton John

Hundred and Ten in the Shade – John Fogarty

Hot, Blue and Righteous – ZZ Top

Sun Is Shining – Bob Marley

Hot Love – T. Rex

Burning Down the House – Talking Heads

4/20 Playlist

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Playlists
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Today is April 20th.  So what you ask?  What’s the big deal?  Well, it just so happens that 4/20 (April 20th – get it?) is the infamous all-haloed holiday for smokers, jokers, and midnight tokers everywhere.  Of course my marijuana days are long behind me but that doesn’t mean I also don’t appreciate celebrating the holidays, particularly if it comes with a whole host of awesome tunes.  After all, I may also not be Jewish but I do love me some Latke’s and Matzo Ball soup, dig?  Same difference.  So while others might have chosen to celebrate the 4/20 holiday today on the couch doing bong hits to reruns of the Teletubbies, I decided to celebrate with a different type of high.  Man, just think of how far I’ve come in three short years when my then aspiration was simply to be the first Stoner Ironman.

Now, THAT’S my kind of workout!

*sigh*

What an idiot.  But I digress…

So, anyway, my usual Saturday morning swim with the coach today was uneventful enough as there’s not really anything particularly pot-themed that you can do in the pool (not that she would have been as enthusiastic as I was to “celebrate”), although we did do 4 sets of 200m  at one point, but that hardly qualifies as a real celebration.  Afterwards, though, I chose to hit up the gym with one of my prearranged 4/20-themed iPod playlists to hit the weights doing 4 sets of 20 reps each and, VOILA! , we have our special 90 minute ‘4/20 Playlist’.  Now, I realize that this is, like, totally contradictory to the typical triathlete’s lifestyle but, hey, don’t judge me.  It’s just all in good fun.

Casey Jones – Grateful Dead

Comin’ Into Los Angeles – Arlo Guthrie

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Bob Dylan

Burn One Down – Ben Harper

Panama Red – New Riders of the Purple Sage

Two Hits and the Joint Turned Brown (live) – Yonder Mountain String Band

Indica & Sativa> Rocky Mountain Way> Indica & Sativa (live) – Ekoostik Hookah

Muggles – Louis Armstrong

Reefer Man – Cab Calloway

Champagne and Reefer – Muddy Waters

The Pusher – Steppenwolf

Last Dance with Mary Jane – Tom Petty

I Love You Mary Jane – Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill

Light Up or Leave Me Alone (live) – Traffic

Recreational Chemistry (live) – moe.

Eight Miles High (live) – The Byrds

If anyone has any recommended additions that I can add to next year’s playlist, please consider outing yourself and leave them in the comments.  I won’t judge you – I promise.

Apocalypse Playlist

Posted: December 23, 2012 in Playlists
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150617_10152356426845704_2114802348_nLord knows that during some of my long runs it feels like the world is about to end.  Hell, I almost got myself zapped by lightning and fried to a crispy critter during one training run.   The difference between those usual sucky ‘end of the world’ days and today, however, is that, today, it really is going to end.  Supposedly; not that I’m about to run out and purchase 10 years worth of peanut butter and Tick-Tacks just yet, mind you.

Of course, I’ve been through this ‘end of the world’ shit before (click HERE to read) and, yet, here I am again, this time at the predilection of those pesky Mayans.  Yes, the Mayans, the very same people who gave us chocolate, chewing gum and the corn tortilla, are now also suggesting that today, the 21st of December, the world is finally going to go to shit in one big final blaze of glory at the hands of a huge earth-bound comet, or alien spaceship, or whatever…so sayeth the ‘Great Plumed Serpent’.  Goodie.  So what do I decide to do while waiting for the marauding aliens to begin wreaking havoc?  Why go visit the in-laws for a leisurely drink, of course.  But you can’t very well listen to your apocalyptic music over Christmas cookies, can you?  So I postponed listening to my “Apocalypse” workout playlist to today while spinning instead.  So it’s a day late, who cares.

So what does one listen to while waiting for frogs to rain from the spin studio ceiling, the water at the YMCA fountain to turn to blood, and the world outside the window to otherwise grind to a screeching halt you ask?  Well, for this purpose specifically I give you another very special playlist, something I will affectionately title: “When the World Goes to Hell in a Hand Basket”:

1812 Overture (Finale) – Tchaikovsky

Running Out of Time (Miracle Mile) – Tangerine Dream

Idioteque – Radiohead

Kingdom’s Coming – Bauhaus

It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.

The End of the World – the Cure

Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones

Four Winds – Bright Eyes

Here Comes the Flood – Peter Gabriel

Until the End of the World – U2

Talkin’ About World War III Blues – Bob Dylan

Eve of Destruction – the Turtles

Armageddon Days Are Here Again – The The

1,000 Cities Falling Apart (Part 1) – The Sadies

Sons & Daughters – The Decemberists

Mushroom Clouds – Love

The Earth Died Screaming – Tom Waits

Mushroom Clouds – Love

The End – the Doors

1999 – Prince

Remembrance Day Playlist

Posted: November 13, 2012 in Playlists
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It seems like just yesterday I was planning out and listening to my planned Halloween themed soundtrack while rowing on the ergometer and, now, here I am again, a day late and a dollar short of another holiday workout which has by now become my custom.

So today’s special Remembrance Day soundtrack was inspired to accompany a slow, mellow flexibility-based yoga workout at the gym this evening after a steady 30 minute interval row on the ergometer.  The original intent was to go on the weekend but, instead, I was coaxed into enjoying the freakishly warm weather outside doing more, well, outside stuff.  After a breakfast of steak and eggs, we watched ‘Kidzilla’  sing at the local cenotaph during the Remembrance Day ceremony, before indulging in a brief bike ride around the neighborhood and, after a short rest on the couch taking in ‘Band of Brothers’, I finally got around to cutting the lawn for the final time this year.  I’m not sure cutting grass qualifies as ‘working out’ but I’m chalking it up as such anyway.  Truthfully, it was just nice to be outdoors in November in just a t-shirt.

So that brings me to yesterday and my pre-made list of somber, remorseful remembering tunes.  So, behold, I offer you my Remembrance Day Workout Yoga Playlist:

We Were Soldiers– Joseph Kilna McKenzie

Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits

The Gunner’s Dream – Pink Floyd

Dogs of War – Pink Floyd

Decoration Day – Drive-by Truckers

Highway of Heroes – The Trews

We Take Care of Our Own – Bruce Springsteen

The Unknown Soldier – The Doors

The Last Post – unknown

Platoon (Opening Theme) – Samuel Barder

Suicide is Painless (M*A*S*H) – Johnny Mandel

Bring the Boys Back Home> Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd

In My Life – The Beatles

Masters of War – Bob Dylan

Living With War – Neil Young

Peace Train – Cat Stevens

Road to Joy – Bright Eyes

Sam Stone – John Prine

Nuclear War (Version 4) – Yo La Tengo

Life During Wartime – Talking Heads

War – Edwin Starr

As always, if you have a favorite Remembrance themed song or a recommendation for next years playlist, please feel free to post it here in my comments.

Belated Halloween Workout

Posted: November 3, 2012 in Playlists, Training
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  • Long Row (click to see stats)
  • 10,412m (45:08)
  • Avg. Heart Rate = 153bpm
  • Max. Heart Rate = 166 bpm
  • Avg. Pace = 2:09.9/500m
  • Avg. Watts = 159.9
  • Calories = 608

This was pretty much my expression after 45 mins on the erg…

I realize that I totally missed the boat on this one.  Really, this post was intended for this past Wednesday being as it was Halloween n’ all but I had, shall we say, more pressing matters to take care of; namely, Trick or Treating.

Now, walking around the neighbourhood collecting candy with ‘Kidzilla’  hardly classifies itself as “exercise”, especially given I’m munching on her candy for most of the way, but I’d also hate to waste a perfectly good playlist.  So rather than go out for an easy run which was customary as a bachelor (i.e. last year), I’m using it today at the gym instead as my belated motivation to get through a long 10k row and the subsequent weights and core workout afterwards.

So, similar to my traditional Christmas playlist, here is my Halloween-themed soundtrack for your viewing (listening) pleasure:

Halloween theme – John Carpenter

Tubular Bells/The Exorcist – Mike Oldfield

What’s He Building? – Tom Waits

Red Right Hand – Nick Cave

Cry Little Sister (Lost Boys Soundtrack) – Gerard McMann

Lullaby – The Cure

Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus

Halloween – Siouxsie & the Banshee’s

Boris the Spider – The Who

Be Careful With that Axe, Eugene – Pink Floyd

I Put a Spell on You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Dark Night (From Dusk Till Dawn) – The Blasters

Season of the Witch – Donovan

Ghost Town – The Specials

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – David Bowie

Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon

Don’t Fear (The Reaper) – Blue Oyster Cult

Meet Ze Monsta – PJ Harvey

Every Day Is Halloween – Ministry

Devil Went Down to Georgia – Primus

Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man – Concrete Blonde

Son of Sam – Elliot Smith

People Who Died – Jim Carrol Band

Going to Hell – Brian Jonestown Massacre

The Walking Dead theme – Bear McCreary

If anyone has any suggestions for next years Halloween playlist, please feel free to leave them in the comments as I’m always open to new forms of totally creeping myself during my ghoulish holiday workouts.

Playlist Bingo (Part 2)

Posted: October 20, 2012 in Gym, Playlists
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Well, it’s official: the indoor off-season training has begun…albeit not exactly in earnest yet.  It’s been four – sometimes glorious, sometimes funkyweeks of inactivity so I figure it’s time to get my ever-expanding ass back into the grind.  Yes, it’s back to the gym; Hello, meatheads!’  And you know what that also means; lots of getting lost inside my own head while plugged into my iPod.  It’s either that or having to listen to people making noises similar to those of hissing cats, growling bears, angry squirrels, what have you. Shit, I’m even pretty sure I heard a guy fart through his nose while struggling through his reps the other day.  It’s like trying to work out in some alien petting zoo.  So given the choice to listen to my iPod or listening to some dude who sounds like a constipated sea lion, I’ll take the tunes any day. Besides, I haven’t lifted anything heavier than a stack of pancakes for the past few months now, so anything that takes my mind off the fact that my muscles are ripping apart is a total bonus.

So similar to my ‘Random’ Playlist Bingo I listed here for my easy run a while ago, I decided to do the same again yesterday for another hour or so just to see what other gems (or complete embarrassments) happen to be lurking on my iPod that I’ve also managed to forget about.

1.  Lua – Bright Eyes

One of my favorite Bright Eyes tracks.  Yes, it’s about unreciprocated love from a prostitute, but who cares?  It’s pretty and I like it.

2.  Brokeback Mountain Theme – Gustavo Santaolalla

I guess I am secure enough in my sexuality to have the haunting love anthem for a movie about gay cowboys on my iPod.  Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean I also want to advertise it around the gym either lest some lovesick Meathead should misinterpret my love of acoustic ballads as a thinly-veiled ploy for hot man ass.

3.  Gimme Some Water – Eddie Money

Wow.  I have Eddie Money on my iPod. Who knew?

4.  Charlie Brown – Coldplay

This is a relatively new song I discovered, largely thanks to the amazing Ironman Wales video (click HERE for video) they released that features this particular tune.  There is nothing particularly motivation or encouraging in the lyrics, but there is something about the melody that simply makes me want to tear down walls and chew up and spit shit back out.  This song will always bring back amazing memories as well as serve to get me fired up to even newer heights.

5.  Grasshopper – Ride

Clocking in at nearly 11 minutes, this is full on balls-to-the-wall rocker that literally screams “give ‘er!”

6.  Ave Maria – Schubert

Again, wow.  Opera!  Not what I was expecting to be sure but, you know, there is something serene about listening to Schubert while pumping iron (or in my case, ‘pushing tin’).  Everything almost appears to be going in slow motion.  Of course, it also brings to mind cannibalism thanks to the movie ‘Alive’, but I’ll just try and block that out in favor of experiencing a little culture between reps.

7.  Grounded – Pavement

I love this tune like Steven Segal loves kicking ass.

8.  Elephant – Tame Impala

Something I discovered on YouTube.  A pretty catchy tune actually that lends itself well to working out at the gym.

9.  The Beltless Buckler – Mike Gordon

No comment.

10.  The Living Daylights – A-ha

In my opinion, you’re not a real man unless you have at LEAST one James Bond theme on your iPod.  This just happens to be mind.

11.  You Keep It All In – The Beautiful South

12.  38D – The Beautiful South

Two tracks back to back from my high school days.  One has a catchy chorus and one is about having big tits. Maybe not your ideal weight-lifting tunes but, hey, what can you do?

13.  Get Miles – Gomez

A catchy, foot-stomping, driving song that seems to mirror the ebb and flow of the gym’s atmosphere perfectly.  How can you not love a rock song that features a tuba in it?

14.  Stagger Lee – Nick Cave

A particularly morbid cover version of the popular folklore figure of Stagger Lee or, Stag O’Lee, or Stackalee, or however else you may prefer to refer to the dude, first published by John Lomax in 1910 based on the murder of William “Billy” Lyons by Stagger Lee Shelton.  Of course, Mr. Cave takes the liberty of adding a few more four letter superlatives and gory detail to make it more, well, enriching.

15.  Inner City Blues – Marvin Gaye

Knowing me, it wouldn’t completely be one of my playlists without the statutory Motown track.

16.  Goin’ Out West – Tom Waits

17.  Lazy – Love & Rockets

18.  Harold & Joe – The Cure

Another three random throw backs to my high school days that emphasize the “Goth Days” of black jeans, Doc Martens and dyed hair.  I still love Tom Waits as well as Love & Rockets but, thankfully, I take much more Vitamin C nowadays.  It’s not often I listen to the Cure anymore, however, but this was a welcome surprise.