Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Motivation Station: Rock While You Sweat

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 3:35 PM

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With the Olympics in full swing—and my eyes glued to the tube every night—I've been thinking a lot about the intersection of sports and music. What is Michael Phelps listening to on his earbuds before his races? What would an emotional montage about the trial and tribulations of my athletic journey be set to? And are the athletes as dismayed as I am that David Cook's American Idol victory song "The Time of My Life" plays over NBC's closing highlights each day? My Olympic fever also makes my evening runs a bit easier. Relative to top-flight athletes, I don't know pain, I don't know heat and I don't know stress, so I should stop spending every step wishing it was over. And I can't run without music, so when it comes to the soundtrack for my jogs I tend to take it pretty seriously. A couple of my favorite bands work well—Drive-By Truckers and The Hold Steady both write upbeat songs that tell interesting stories, stymieing a bit of the boredom. I also tend to like songs about running, or escape—Menomena's aptly titled "Running," Kyle Andrews' "Tennessee Torture Dream," which opens with the always-inspirational line: "Just wait till I start running / Your feet will seem so slow," and pretty much everything on The Thermals' The Body, The Blood and The Machine or Tokyo Police Club's A Lesson In Crime—nothing like escape from a post-apocalyptic wasteland to make you move a smidge faster. Oh, and a little Kelly Clarkson never hurt anyone. When it comes to local music, I love The Features' "Guillotine," insanely amazing Ghostfinger classic "Aminal Eye"—that ominous beat is delicious—and Thad Cockrell's melancholy but effective "Second Option." I know you Cream readers fear the sun and work up a sweat just thinking about how much you hate the Pink Spiders, but anyone else got any local tunes they pump when they're feeling the burn?

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