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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
nogoodforme's Ultimate Workout Jamz!
I don't listen to anything remotely cool or hip when I work out. I'm always amazed when people tell me they were listening to shit like Caribou or Titus Andronicus (or whatever else is Regulation Indie) while running on the treadmill. It's like I'm listening to aliens speak or watching Tolkien elves play the harp, or something like that. I look at them wondrously and think to myself: Who are these crazy people? I'm frankly amazed at their hipster commitment! Me, I figure if I'm putting my body through the physical effort of working out, I can give into my cheesiest music impulses: hence, I really only like rap, metal, cheesy 80s dance-pop and reggaeton when I work out. Yeasayer are kind of an odd exception, because while the kids love them, they sound like androgynous Tears for Fears, which is just vaguely related to cheesy 80s pop. This song is really just fun to go out jogging with; I like to time it where I come out of my warm-up and into the strenuous part of my run right when the drums start crashing in. I seriously have to stop myself from shouting "WHOO HOO!!!" and pretending I'm a naked white person running through the desert like in the video. But luckily I just channel that energy into an interval sprint or something. Because it would actually kind of suck to a naked white person running in Riverside Park. (Kat)
When I say "metal" in my aforementioned entry on Yeasayer, I don't mean the newly awesome cool metal like Krallice or Wolves in the Throne Room. That's way too au courant for the likes of sweaty, jogging me. I mean HAIR METAL, like bombastic, stripper-writhing-on-the-hood-of-a-car metal. Tawny Kitaen metal! I didn't have Whitesnake, Poison or Warrant on my computer, but Quiet Riot should do well enough. I love the Slade original as a music human, but the workout human in me only accepts the amped-up 80s version. Workout human is such a dictator! (Kat)
The great thing about listening to songs you loved as a kid while you work out is that your mind immediately starts running this kind of psychological background program that exists separately from your physical, bodily labor. This mental process is called "nostalgia," and it does a lovely job of making you forget you're at that painful 20-minute point in a hard run, right as your body burns through the last of its immediate energy stores but hasn't quite started going for the fat yet (which is, after all, a back-up energy source.) Your mind is like, "La la la, this song is so funny! Remember when you were riding to the football game on the highway in so-and-so's little Geo Tracker and it was blasting and you were trying to eat a sandwich but it spilled all over the backseat and so-and-so got mad?" Meanwhile your body is screaming, "KAT YOU ASSHOLE WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!!!" but you pay it no mind because, dude, that sandwich sounds like a frickin' good idea right now. (Kat)
It's always so weird and exciting for me, the part in "Peak Out" when Wings' "Silly Love Songs" gets mashed up with "We Want Some Pussy" by 2 Live Crew. It makes me run so fast and far. (Liz)
But what makes me run even faster, the Fastest Girl in the West, is my iPod playlist that's mostly all songs that come up when you hit "Genius" on "Wango Tango" by Ted Nugent. It's alotta Van Halen and some Kiss and Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith and also "Da Dip" by Freak Nasty, for some reason. And "Shout at the Devil" by Motley Crue but it's not satanic cuz they're saying to shout at the devil not with the devil, okay? Like, the devil could be your mom or your boss - it's whoever's holding you back from the American Dream, man. That's what Nikki Sixx says, anyway, in his adorable dork/bonehead/Valley Girl-hybrid voice. God, what a babe. Maybe if I run or elliptical enough miles to "Shout at the Devil," my hair will end up exactly the same as his in 1984. (Liz)
And then sometimes you need a soulful workout song, a soundtrack for sweatily reflecting on the fragility of human life and the redemptive possibilities of love. "Will You Be There" is so fucking epic: it's whales shooting from the sea in slow motion, it's eating a McDonald's caramel sundae in your car at midnight 'cause your childhood pop idol is dead, it's performing an extemporized sequence of pirouettes and grand jetés and arabesque penchées in the living room while baking brownies and babysitting your baby brother and sister on a Saturday night in ninth grade. I always want to cry a little, when Michael sings the part about how he's only human. (Liz)
Wouldn't it be so cool if you were at a gym, running on a treadmill, and then you jumped up and spun around in the air, and then you landed back on the treadmill really neatly and elegantly, and then you continued on with your treadmill-running as if nothing had happened? Imagine if you saw someone do that? Wouldn't you think they were the hottest shit in the world? Accomplishing said feat is my dream.
"Southern Girls" by Cheap Trick makes me feel like this is an attainable goal. I would perform my treadmill spin-cycle air-jump at exactly two minutes and twenty five seconds into "Southern Girls", and land just before he says "You think this boy he loves you," and then the whole gym would applaud and marry me. In conclusion, this song rocks and is the best song ever to work out to and, all working out aside, I just wanted to point out that "And you'll never run away when you find out why I wanted to find you" is one of the sexiest scary song lyrics a stalkery creep has ever sung. What Southern Girl could say no to that? (Laura Jane)
Gyms are weird and crazy places. Like airports, they are non-worlds. At the gym, I don't look cool, or even recognizably like myself. My general attitude toward the gym robbing me of my superficial identity can be best expressed by the phrase, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Who cares if in real life I'm this cool writer who listens to 60s psych and wears vintage minidresses and wants to fuck the patriarchy? At the gym, I'm just another boring loser wearing a black Spandex-y t-shirt thing I made my Mom buy me at Wal-Mart and shimmery tan Old Navy capri-length leggings.
I do, however, live in perpetual fear of running into someone I know while walking home from the gym. "Hi!" I'd say, "This is how I look when I pull my hair back into a sweaty ponytail and am extremely sweaty and my face is red!" And then, to save face, because I'm vain, I'd probably make some joke along the lines of, "What? No? I didn't just go to the gym! I just think it's cool to dress like this now! It's my new look!"
The gym is not real life, and "Gold Digger" by Kanye West is not real-life music, it's gym music, and I don't care what none of y'all say- I STILL LOVE IT. I think it's cute, and groovy, and romantic, and pro-woman. I love when he says "Get down, Girl/ Go 'Head, Get Down," because, personally, I only get down when I have Kanye's permission to do so. (Laura Jane)
PS: Remember that brief window of time in 2004, when the whole world acted like Jamie Foxx was actually Ray Charles? That was fucked. JAMIE FOXX IS NOT RAY CHARLES. I hate all the Jamie Foxx parts of this song, and I chose not to credit this song to "Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx," because I hate Jamie Foxx.
The number one place in the world where my taste in music most resembles a gay man's is definitely "the elliptical machine." Hi! Are you an "extended club mix"? Of anything? Perfect. C U ON THE ARC TRAINER!!!! (Laura Jane)
PS: In case you're wondering if I ever work out to the Beatles, the answer is "kind of." For the most part, I don't work out to the Beatles; it seems kind of unholy somehow. The only Beatles songs I work out to are "Twist and Shout," "I'm Down," "Money (That's What I Want)", "Baby You're A Rich Man", and then the other day I went into this crazy aggro thirty-five minute-long trance and listened to "Helter Skelter" over and over and over again and physically exerted myself more than I ever have in my life and channeled all the rage I have ever felt toward anyone or anything into my calves and sneakers and I felt it to be quite an apropros "Helter Skelter" listening sesh.
Tags: 2 Live Crew, Ace of Base, aerobics dreams, ballet, Cheap Trick, fancy treadmill feats, gay men, Girl Talk, hair metal vs. hipster metal, Helter Skelter, Jamie Foxx is not Ray Charles, Kanye West, McDonald's sundaes, Michael Jackson, Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx, non-worlds, nostalgia, Paul McCartney, Quiet Riot, running, Tawny Kitaen, whales, working out, Yeasayer
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