Friday, January 9, 2009

Peak Fitness Playlist

When I first started going to the gym, for the cardio portion of my workout, I would borrow a set of headphones and watch something on one of the bank of televisions that lined one wall of the "cardio studio." But this was a hit-or-miss strategy. Sometimes I'd get lucky and I'd catch part of a good movie, or, if I timed it right, Jeopardy. Other times I'd be stuck watching Rachael Ray whip up something involving some combination of sammies and EVOO or--the horror--Fox News.

Finally, I wised up and bought myself an MP3 player. I had just sent my flash drive through the washing machine in the pocket of my jeans for the third time, and it still worked, so when I saw a cheap MP3 player in the same brand -- SanDisk -- I thought it might be pretty reliable. It's pretty basic, but it hasn't given out on me yet, despite being worked pretty hard.

Frankly, I can't imagine my fitness life without it. It adds a hit of pure pleasure to 45 minutes on the elliptical. It provides a soundtrack for long bike rides though the city.

So here, in the spirit of zines (remember those?) that offered a list of tunes the editor was listening to while producing the issue, is my annotated playlist. It's a lumpy stew of songs from every era and genre, encompassing Abba and Outkast, Sir-Mix-A-Lot and Johnny Cash.

I haven't updated my music in a very long time, so I would love any suggestions you have for songs that make you want to move your ass to the music.

My SanDisk Sansa plays songs only in one order--Alphabetical, which means I'm always listening to these songs in this order:

"40 Miles to Vegas"
-- Southern Culture on the Skids
"All Star" -- Smash Mouth
"Across 110th Street" -- Bobby Womack
"Anna Ng" -- They Might Be Giants
"Baby Got Back" --Sir Mix-A-Lot
"Back in 1999" -- John Oszaja (From the soundtrack to Mystery Men
"Behold a Lady" -- Outkast
"Black Coffee in Bed" -- Squeeze
"Call Before I Come" -- Outkast
"Car Wash" -- Rose Royce
"Church" -- Outkast
"Curious" -- Komeda
"Doublewide" -- Southern Culture on the Skids (This never fails to get my heart rate up)
"Dracula's Wedding" -- Outkast
"Eight Piece Box" -- Southern Culture on the Skids
"Fit but You Know It" -- The Streets
"Forty Cups of Coffee" -- Bill Haley and His Comets (Why so many songs about coffee? I made a CD of coffee songs for all my co-workers when I worked at Starbucks.
"Grizzly Bear" -- All Girl Summer Fun Band
"Happyment" -- Komeda
"Hey Ya" -- Outkast
"Hey Mr. DJ" -- They Might Be Giants
"Highway to Hell" -- AC/DC (Goes well with bicep curls for some reason)
"Jason Lee" -- All Girl Summer Fun Band (I love this song. I would love it even more if the subject of the song was not a Scientologist)
"Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition was In)" -- The First Edition (Always makes me want to watch The Big Lebowski)
"Life in the Fast Lane" -- Eagles
"Looking Out My Back Door" -- Creedence Clearwater Revival ("Wouldn't hold out much hope for the tape deck. Or the Creedence tapes.")
"Loser" -- Beck
"Lust for Life" -- Iggy Pop (My very favorite song for pushing myself to go faster. If I ever compete in a race, I will just put Iggy on an hourlong repeating loop)
"Mommy Daddy You and I" -- Talking Heads (A little too cerebral, but it's a nice cool down after "Lust for Life")
"Mr. Me" -- They Might Be Giants
"O.P.P." -- Naughty By Nature (I like this song, but if anyone actually ever asks, I am not down with O.P.P.)
"Our Hospitality" -- Komeda
"Push It" -- Salt 'n' Pepa
"Rapper's Delite" -- Sugarhill Gang
"Rebirth of Slick" -- Digable Planets
"Rehab" -- Amy Winehouse
"Ring of Fire" -- Johnny Cash
"Shotgun" -- Southern Culture on the Skids (This begins a suite of songs that are purely about sex. Best line in this song about unintended pregnancy and shotgun weddings: "Pump action Mr. Jackson, I was cocked and loaded/ Woke up in the mornin', both my barrels smokin')
"Smiley Yeah Yeah Yeah" -- Southern Culture on the Skids
"Shoop" -- Salt 'n' Pepa
"Spread" -- Outkast
"Starbucks Sucks" -- Sewing with Nancie
"Take the Long Way Home" -- Supertramp (This begins a suite of horribly embarrassing songs that I nonetheless enjoy)
"Take a Chance on Me" -- Abba
"Take it Easy" -- Eagles
"The Statue Got Me High" -- They Might Be Giants
"U.N.I.T.Y." -- Queen Latifah ("Who you callin' a bitch?")
"Up on Cripple Creek" -- The Band
"Walk This Way" -- Run D.M.C.
"Wild Thang" -- Tone Loc
"What's Ya Take on Cassavetes?" -- Le Tigre
"When Doves Cry" -- Prince
"Where It's At" -- Beck
"You Shook Me All Night Long" -- AC/DC


Amber said...

That's quite a variety you've got there! Please tell me you don't make it through all of the songs in a single workout... because it will make me feel like a sloth.

Before kids, we used to frequent the gym at Dishman Community Center. They would always blast music from Jammin' 95.5 so I have fond memories of weightlifting to "Back That Ass Up" (my personal favorite at the time). Ah, the good ol' days.

Miriam said...

Nah, if I listened to the whole thing I'd never do anything else! (Certain children who live in this house have accused me of not doing anything but working out, but that is untrue.) I make it through about a quarter of the songs, and the player remembers where I left off.