When running or biking solo, I usually listen to my iPod on shuffle. My iPod isn’t exactly loaded with dance music or your typical workout-type songs. Don’t get me wrong, a little LMFAO or the like is great for working out. But my music library is populated with the likes of Ben Folds, Cake, Death Cab for Cutie, and a metric ton of Bob Dylan. And a fair amount of what my wife calls “hipster music” (for the record, not a hipster. I own no skinny jeans and will drink PBR only if it’s free). So on the whole, it’s fairly restrained, relatively quiet, and occasionally whiny. But the random selection keeps me guessing, and now and then I discover an unlikely song that, for whatever reason, makes an excellent workout song. There are a few different categories of these songs, so I’m splitting this up into a few posts to cover them individually.
Category A: Songs that ROCK!
Ok, sorry for the classic-rock-station enthusiasm. None of this is actually on classic rock, at least not for a few more years. But sometimes a distorted guitar riff and a driving beat really does get your adrenaline pumping. Some examples:
Arctic Monkeys “Red Light Indicates Doors are Secure” Just try not to shout along with the “NO SURRENDER!” part (1:30) while you’re running on a crowded trail. People might think you’re awesome.
The Hold Steady “Chips Ahoy” or pretty much anything from their album Boys and Girls in America. I must admit, I don’t know the rest of their catalog at all, and bought this album on a whim. But every time one of these songs comes on it gives me a boost of energy.
Death Cab for Cutie “The New Year” I love a song with great dynamics. It starts with a slap in the face, comes down for a while, and comes back with a vengeance. At the last chorus I usually realize that I’ve increased my pace by about a minute per mile. Oops.
Got suggestions? Criticisms? I’m all earbuds.