Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hungry On Arrival (Spring Heel Jack Remix | Outernational Meltdown

Song: Hungry on Arrival (Spring Heel Jack Remix) | Band: Outernational Meltdown < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 84

I found this song on a compilation, and placed it on my running playlist that I have on my ipod shuffle. At the start of my first half marathon a little while ago, it came on as the first song, and propelled me along for a good part of the first mile. It is a longer song (over 8 minutes), but has an energetic bass and drums with enough subtle variation to sustain interest during any part of a run. It isn't one of those songs with a pounding beat...more of a driving, expansive beat.

Note: While exploring the BPM of this particular song, I used a small application that allows you to tap your space bar, or click your mouse to the beat in order to figure out the BPM (Cadence BPM Tapper). I wound up getting a reading around 170 BPM. All of the various applications I have been trying recently (BeaTunes, Cadence, Tangerine!, and Mixmeister BPM Analyzer) all come up with 84 BPM. I still wonder what the exact correspondence to song BPM my running cadence has, since I always seem to keep a steady 84 BPM, no matter how fast or slow the song. Particular songs just seem to give a boost.

Friday, March 11, 2011

There's No Other Way | Blur

SONG: There's No Other Way - BAND: Blur < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 112

There's No Other Way - Leisure

An oldie (?) from 1991 (?). The drummer really whacks the snare drum hard and the guitar plays a really cool lick. The reverb on the vocals reminds me of most of the pop bands from around that time (and a bit before).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Little Less Converstaion | Elvis vs. JXL

SONG: A Little Less Conversation - BAND: Elvis vs. JXL < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 114

A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix) [Elvis vs. JXL] - Elvis: 30 #1 Hits
Elvis had a new hit. This song is from one of Elvis' movies, Live a Little, Love a Little, from 1968. In 2002, the TV special version of the song was remixed by Junkie XL for the NIKE Football World Cup advertising campaign. A single, credited to "Elvis vs. JXL," was issued and was a Number 1 hit in over 20 countries, as well as showing up on Elvis' 30 greatest hits as number 31. This song has a great Timbales part!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Listening to and/or Buying MP3s

If you have spent any time here, you know that you can listen to the whole songs via the top link in each post. All of those links have been tested and now work. If, for some reason, you would like to purchase an MP3, you can now do so via the Amazon MP3 player, and shortly, you will be able to do the same through the itunes store. Note that the Amazon player, as well as the itunes player will only play a excerpt of each song.

At present, the BPM listings may be slightly inexact, since I have been using a manual BPM tapper, which is a little inaccurate. I will correct these as time goes on. If you happen to know the exact BPM, please feel free to add a would be appreciated!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Busting Up a Starbucks | Mike Doughty

SONG: Busting Up a Starbucks - BAND: Mike Doughty < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 115

Busting Up a Starbucks - Haughty Melodic

The idea of busting up a Starbucks has probably crossed a lot of people's minds, maybe as the result of caffeine withdrawal, or perhaps as a reaction to grand mediocrity in atmosphere...who knows. The songs doesn't really explain, but it has a very catchy chorus. The snare drum rings with the snare off, being whacked nice and hard by the drummer. The bass line along with the acoustic guitar and bass drum keep the momentum going in the song...even a saxophone solo near the end.

Solitary Man | Chris Isaak

SONG: Solitary Man - BAND: Chris Isaak < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 156

Solitary Man - San Francisco Days

This song was on one of my very first running tapes. I used to run over the Brooklyn bridge, and down the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, breathing in all those exhaust fumes. Maybe the wind was blowing them elsewhere, but I am sure I got a good wiff. This song has a great backbeat (at least this version). It was originally done by Neil Diamond, but I think the brass part bopping behind his voice really detracted from the song. Maybe when the song came out, that was the hip magic bullet for producers (the brass section). While looking for the non-existent link for the Isaak version on Amazon, I found this version by a group called Smokestack Lightnin', which is kind of fun.

Fast As I Can | Stone Temple Pilots

SONG: Fast As I Can - BAND: Stone Temple Pilots < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 192

Fast As I Can - Stone Temple Pilots

Double sticking on the snare drum gives this song a really nice push. The guitar riff is really energetic. I am not really sure about the lyrics though...I don't get the line about the liquor store, but with running songs, I find I can overlook the lyrics (usually); however, that said, if you listen to something over and over again, you are bound to find out things you never really wanted to know. 50 per cent!

Just Because | Jane's Addiction

SONG: Just Because - BAND: Jane's Addiction < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 98

Just Because - Strays

The bass drum is really heavy in this song mixed with nice bright snare, and the wall of sound metal fuzz guitar creates a nice forward motion. The lyrics are pretty good as well, with a nice round reverb, and a doubling on the chorus. I also like to run to Three Days (BPM: 105), but it starts out slow and doesn't double time until 3:01 into the song (so I usually anticipate the double timing right from the start). Your milage may vary with the latter.

Hey Ya | Outkast

SONG: Hey Ya - BAND: Outkast < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 160

Hey Ya! (Radio Mix/Club Mix) - Speakerboxxx / The Love Below

This song makes you want to dance around the room, so, of course, it is good for running. I tend to rotate this one in and out of my playlists. The beat is great, and you have to appreciate the acoustic guitar strumming in the background. The lyrics are fun and quirky, and will have you singing along as you move. While I know that this song Rollin' isn't by Outkast, but by Big and Rich, for some reason I associate the two songs. It must be the banjo on Rollin' reminds me of the acoustic guitars on Hey Ya. For some reason the version of Rollin' on Grooveshark seems slower than the one I run to...perhaps the one I have is a live seems to have more umph to it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Salvador | Jamie T

SONG: Salvador - BAND: Jamie T < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 144

Salvador - Panic Prevention

I came upon Jamie T's music around the same time that I first heard Lily Allen. The bass in this song really rolls, and meshes well with the drums. The hit on this, his first album, was Sheila, which is kind of a quirky song (listen to the lyrics). Both Lily Allen and Jamie T occasionally sing in a sort of cockney accent, which is also why I think of them together.

Take What You Take | Lily Allen

SONG: Take What You Take - BAND: Lily Allen < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 100

Take What You Take - Alright, Still

Lily Allen's first album had a lot of great upbeat songs (this is one of them)...interesting lyrics, a crackerjack band, and a top notch producer. The drummer in this particular song sounds like he is having fun, and the sound of the snare drum always makes me feel like I'm running on air. I haven't heard much from her lately...I wonder what's up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

*** Leave Song Suggestions Here ***

Please leave song suggestions in the comments of this post.

All and any type of music, as long as it moves you.

Thanks for your help, as I would like to add new songs to my ipod as well!

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the blog format, especially the links to Grooveshark; and perhaps any alternatives. I have found that being able to listen to a whole song is a plus, as most places you would purchase a song will only allow you to hear a snippet of the song. I have added both Amazon and iTunes links for purchasing mp3s.

Telephone Operator | Pete Shelley

SONG: Telephone Operator - BAND: Pete Shelley < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 120

Telephone Operator - XL1

An oldie but goodie. Shelley was probably better known for his song Homosapien, but I find Telephone Operator to be better produced, with a clear and heavy back beat. Electronic drums and keyboard synthesizers...maybe James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem listened to a bit of Pete?

Someone Great | LCD Soundsystem

SONG: Someone Great - BAND: LCD Soundsystem < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 112

Someone Great - Sound of Silver

All electronics. The xylophone doubles the vocal melody, which is one of the little things that I've always liked about this song. The beat is bubbly and happy, although the lyrics are a bit sad. It is one of those songs that are longer time-wise; but it keeps pushing/pulsing along, which is good for a running song.

Bonzo Goes to Bitburg | Ramones

SONG: Bonzo Goes to Bitburg - BAND: Ramones < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 176

My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg) - Animal Boy

"Egads, Pick up the pieces..." The song was written in reaction to a visit paid by then US President Ronald Reagan (Bonzo references Reagan's role in a film called "Bedtime for Bonzo," in which he tries to teach human morals to a chimp) to a military cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany. See the Wiki for the song for more information. A catchy lyric for sure. The guitar and drums contain the Ramone's typical raw power, with the addition of a "Ah, nah, nah, nah" chorus as well as an xylophone clanking in the background (it always reminded me of a train).

Brimful of Asha | Corner Shop

SONG: Brimful of Asha - BAND: Corner Shop < Click to Stream whole song
BPM: 120

Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix) - The Greatest Hits - Why Try Harder

The version of this song is a remix by Norman Cook a.k.a. Fatboy Slim. The original sounds washed out by comparison. Cook clarified the vocal, upped the bass and gave the drums some kick. Funny, that the original version has the same BPM as the remix, but somehow sounds slower. The bass is much fatter in the remix, and the drums sound a lot crisper with the addition of a tambourine (never underestimate the power of a simple tambourine).