Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hear Me Out Here…

ten tunes you may not have thought of for a running playlist on your iPod

Most of these songs were pleasant surprises that popped up in a playlist at some point. A good number are older (from the 80s), but there’s a few from the last decade as well. Many could easily be regarded as, shall we say, embarrassing, but I submit to you that I don't care and that you shouldn't either. So here's my list of recommended songs to run to on your iPod (or other mp3 player). Enjoy!

1. Devil Inside by INXS
This is the best iPod run song, period.

2. Two Hearts by Mat Kearney
This song just rolls along with a steady, snapping beat, and has fairly soaring lyrics and vocals to boot.

3. Between Planets by The Jesus and Mary Chain
Powerfully percussive, snapping drums and snarling vocals, with an awesomely driving guitar solo. An early ‘90s classic (their Head On is also an excellent running song, with strong drums and thrumming guitars; and April Skies is good too).

4. It Can Happen by Yes
A slow-build psyche-song that could border on cheesy if you let it. Don’t let it; it’s a good one.

5. Can’t Stop the World by The Go-Go's
Yup. Them. Trust me, this bouncy song is perfect for picking up the pace and surging on. Try it. Go!

6. In This Home On Ice by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The singer’s voice, reminiscent of David Byrne, may not be to everyone’s tastes, but this insistent song maintains its driving beat all the way through.

7. One Last Thing by Angels and Airwaves
Never mind the vaguely religious lyrics at the end (I don’t), and just enjoy the bouncing, rolling, percussive nature of this fast-paced tune (if you can stand the singer’s nasally voice; which I strangely can).

8. Rain in the Summertime by The Alarm
Best listened to on a sweltering summer long run that includes (naturally) a rainshower, this one features a remarkably runnable beat.

9. Going Down to Liverpool by The Bangles
I know, I was surprised too. It’s a simple song, but it’s steady, droning, and pleasant, and the music holds up shockingly well for an early '80s pop tune. Also, the video features Leonard Nimoy, which… yeah. I admit, I honestly laughed at one point (when he cocked an eyebrow in the rear-view mirror). 

10. Reach Out by Mike Doughty
More bounciness in the bass, with inspirational lyrics to boot (also check out Sunshine, among others).

1. The Stairs by INXS (one of those slow-build songs that eventually charges full-bore ahead and carries you right along with it)

2. The Adventure by Angels & Airwaves (this was the first song played over the loudspeakers in the warm, pre-dawn light as runners gathered for the start of the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon, and it was perfect for the occasion; it builds for a minute and then becomes a great warm-up song.)

3. To Try for the Sun by Lindsey Buckingham (awesome staccato guitar work)

4. Part of Me (Jacques Lu Cont remix) by Katy Perry (pulsing beat, catchy vocals, explosive moments… check, check, check; also check out his synth-heavy remix of Mr. Brightside by The Killers)

5. Holy by Frightened Rabbit (holy mackeroly this is a sweet, relentlessly driving tune; see also Radio Silence, Heads Roll Off, and Swim Until You Can’t See Land)

6. Sprawl II (remix) by Arcade Fire (also try Antichrist Television Blues)

7. Echo Mountain by K’s Choice (also, Come Live the Life from the same album)

8. A Real Hero by College (from the soundtrack to the movie Drive)

9. What I Wouldn’t Do by Serena Ryder (snappy pulsing percussion, with upbeat lyrics; plus I just really like the way she delivers the line “hundred different shades of blue”)

10. Little Thoughts by Bloc Party (good for going fairly fast; also notable: So Here We Are and This Modern Love)

Anyway, that’s my list for right now. What about you?? Got any run tune secrets that you care to share? Please throw as many as you like in the comments!

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