Songs for a Specific Purpose – Discuss

I’m sporty.  I’m not very good at any of it, but I’m happy to give it a go.   My current sport of choice is road cycling.  I say current, because I try new activities and they then become my new favourite thing.  I’ve only owned my road bike for just over a year.  I also have a mountain bike and take that out every now and again to give me an adrenaline rush.  I also run.  I also swim – summer lido life is my favourite time of the week.  I’ve given up netball – it’s too hard on my knees.  This summer I am spending 5 days learning how to surf.  You get the picture.  Sport keeps me fit, deals with any stress I’m feeling as I beast my body, it’s social and I get a sense of achievement when I do something I never thought I could manage.

When I run and in the winter when I use my bike on the turbo trainer, I have to listen to music.  It’s a way of distracting me from my ragged breathing and any pain I might be feeling, the beat also keeps me going.  Some of the music I use on my various running and turbo playlists is not at all what I would listen to on a day-to-day basis – it has a purpose; to motivate me.  I associate certain tracks with activity (I have a pavlov’s dog type reaction when I hear Pendulum – I just want to run!) and rarely listen to them when I’m not running or on the turbo trainer.  The music I use is varied, ranging from hard rock to dubstep to mainstream pop.  What the tracks have in common are high BPM or soaring melodies.

I mentioned Pendulum above;  I remember the first time I saw them perform.  I was blown away by the music and the light show.  Witchcraft, Watercolour and Propane Nightmares have all found their way onto my running playlist.  The way they all start quietly and lift to thrashing drums and synths helps me speed up and maintain a good fast pace, the gorse and heathers of my local common a blur in my peripheral vision as I concentrate on keeping up with the beat.

Then there’s Britney’s Toxic.  A good track for the front or back end of the running playlist.  Steady, pulsating beat for warming up or down.  The bass line played loud through headphones is awesome.  Crazy in Love by Beyonce is another good pop tune I’m very happy to plod to.  Rudimental’s Feel the Love is the sort of track you want to come on just as you are reaching the mid-point of that stubborn sandy hill that’s always such a bitch to get up.

Then there’s the heavier stuff; Clutch are a relatively recent addition to my running list.  Their track X-Ray Visions is a fabulously noisy tune to get my arse up most hills, as is Fuckshovel’s Long Time Dead, originally introduced to me by Darcey’s Dad on RR. Drowning Pool’s Bodies is one that is great when you are gritting your teeth to just get through.

In terms of turbo training on my bike, it’s dubstep all the way.  I love the undulating, off-kilter beats this sort of music offers.  It means I can pedal at high cadence and then just as the track kicks in, get out of the saddle and grind out and imaginary hill.  Skrillex and The Qemists both have great tracks for this sort of training.

I’ve put a little playlist together of some of these tunes for you to enjoy (?)

So, why am I telling you all of this?  These are pretty much all tracks I wouldn’t listen to at any other time other than to train.  I want to know your tracks you only listen to for a particular reason.

Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue.  What do you know about all of this?  Do you have tracks that you train to, or that get your creative juices flowing?  Are there tunes you need to listen to at work to help you concentrate?  Do you have a favourite song that lulls you to sleep?  If you are a performer, is there something you need to listen to before heading on stage; a musical lucky charm?  What are your tracks you save for a particular purpose?

The Rolling Stones: Rescued Girls

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The first cassette I remember is The Rolling Stones High Tide Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) (UK version). I learnt to rewind Little Red Rooster so my father could listen to it again. I also sussed how to fastforward past the “boring” Lady Jane and As Tears Go By – my introduction to editing an album to make it as you want. It was also the first adult album in the house.

My father would’ve loved the latest Stone’s album because it returned to the Stone’s love of the blues. He also would’ve loved the total bluesy, funky soul fest of Emotional Rescue and Some Girls if they had released completely different tunes from the sessions for those albums.

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Wilson Wednesday – Meri Wilson

Welcome back to Wilson Wednesday. Well last week I thought I had broken the Spill as no-one seemed that interested in Chris Wilson until Ali finally popped up and told me that the youtube links (which work fine down under) were not working in the rest of the world. So much for globalisation. Shame, I actually thought Chris might have appealed to many of you. Never mind. Its becoming more of an issue for me actually, and taking away a bit of enjoyment from RR and Song Bar. But these things happen, and usually there are alternative ways of sourcing the tracks.

Anyway, I am unprepared again this week, so lets go with some novelty double entendre this week, courtesy of Meri Wilson. I didn’t know this song or singer, but stumbled across a mention of it on a blog that I read – where they were talking innuendo songs. This track certainly fits that brief!

Sounds like it charted quite well briefly in the UK.

Will try and write something more insightful for next week.

‘Spillin’ The Beans – Amerikana by The Stevenson Ranch Davidians

For dull reasons, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is a day late this week, but never mind, this week’s column is about a very interesting album, Amerikana, by yet another band I’ve not previously heard of, and that band is The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, even though they have been around in various forms since 2006, although they haven’t released anything since 2009, which makes me feel better about my ignorance of their existence.

The Stevenson Ranch Davidians - Amerikana (cover) 168

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RR Films: Odd Couples

In an effort to keep the duck hobbling forward, those good(?) Christian ladies, Theresa and Arlene, have formed an unholy alliance. Lord help us!

But sometimes two people with different agendas or perspectives (or genders or personalities) can create something positive, or at least fun… So let’s hear about films starring odd couples (a Shoey-guru’d topic on the original RR).

I’ll go for Mary & Max, a bittersweet animation about a young girl from Australia and an old man from New York who strike up a curious long-distance connection. As actually happened.

What films about odd couples would you recommend?

Earworms 26 June 2017

Thanks for all the good wishes for my Prague trip last week, I can recommend it – a beautiful city. Anyway, enough of that – here is a fresh selection of worms for your enjoyment. If you’d like to join in, please send an .mp3 or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, with a few lines about why you’ve chosen it. Many thanks to all contributors – comments welcome, below.

Offa Rex – The Queen of Hearts/Blackleg Miner – severin: Offa Rex are The Decemberists plus Olivia Chaney on vocals and various instruments. They have an album forthcoming – released in July. These are two of the three tracks available so far. One not so familiar. One well-known from versions by Ewan McColl, Steeleye Span and many others.

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