Wednesday, November 28, 2012

POD: KEXP -- Music That Matters

Looking to break out of your music rut? Tired of the same 10 bands you've been listening to all year? Check out KEXP's consistently awesome podcast of Seattle DJ selected, (mostly) indie bands, many of whom are from the Pacific NW and have been overlooked by the Brooklyn-heavy east coast music outlets. 

That's right, they play bands that might not even have been reviewed or mentioned on Pitchfork yet. My favorite DJ is John Richards, whose selections make me think he goes to a shit ton of local music shows around the country -- and in GB -- and hand selects the best to play alongside the bigger indie rock music of Cloud Nothings, Modest Mouse, Of Montreal, and Japandroids. 

The KEXP website and their youtube channel are other goldmines of live recorded and free video streaming music. 

Download the podcast free on iTunes or here.

Tallest Man on Earth live performance in KEXP studios:

Monday, November 26, 2012

SOD: Husker Du -- These Important Years

"I think that lyrics don't mean anything unless you can apply them to your own situation, apply them to something you may have seen in yourself or seen in other people." --Bob Mould, lead singer/songwriter, Husker Du

Every day, I exchange pleasantries with coworkers but we rarely try to give each other something to hold onto, a real connection once in a while, rather than the "how's it going?" we bounce off each other. Sometimes it seems like we should be saying, "look, I'm not an asshole, but I don't have anything to say to you."

This is a perfect Monday song, but really it's an everyday song. All Monday long I want to fast forward or drift into a haze and float on by, getting a little closer to home time or to the next weekend.

My preferred plans and expectations are usually tied up in some moment in the future, a weekend trail run, or Christmas vacation visiting my family, and anything could happen to rip those expectations apart in a moment. Ferris Bueller and Bob Mould say, stop to smell the roses, or they might end up on you.

Chorus #2 (sort of):
Expectations only mean you really think you know
What's coming next, and you don't

Sunday, November 25, 2012

SOD: Replacements -- Left of the Dial

I'm not very good at keeping in touch with people. There are dozens of ways to contact old friends and family. More ways, faster ways than ever. But I don't. I keep tuning in to the fuzz on the radio, rather than the stations I love. I really need to get better at this.

This 'Mats song is about losing touch with someone that meant something to you, and knowing that you'll probably never hear from them again. It makes me regretful, but not hopeless.

Final lyrics in the song:
Pretty girl keep growin' up, playin' make-up, wearin' guitar
Growin' old in a bar, ya grow old in a bar
Headed out to San Francisco, definitely not L.A.
Didn't mention your name, didn't mention your name

And if I don't see ya, in a long, long while
I'll try to find you
Left of the dial

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SOD: Kendrick Lamar -- Backseat Freestyle

This song is damn fun to sing along with.  Maybe not so good with kids or sensitive ears around.  Probably NSFW, well, that's for sure.  

Get in your car in a bad mood, roll the windows down and turn gangsta for a wee bit, and pump some Kendrick Lamar.  

Wait, is it Thanksgiving?  Probably best to play this tomorrow before heading back to work.

Sing along lyrics:

Goddamn I feel amazing
Damn I'm in the matrix
My mind is living on cloud 9
And this 9 is never on vacation
Start up that Maserati
And VROOM VROOM I'm racing

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SOD: Richard & Linda Thompson -- Shoot Out The Lights

The story goes like this, man and woman singers fall in love, get married, and record and release six albums over eight years together before divorcing. They are British singer/songwriters Richard and Linda Thompson, and their final record, Shoot Out the Lights, from 1982, is their most successful, but also their darkest.

The title cut opens side two of the LP, a very Springsteen move to put a song so heavy and powerful in that position. I read the song as a man hiding in his apartment after a breakup, metaphorical gun in hand, hurt, scared, and alone, unable to leave his place during the day, but trapped inside the echoes of his own mind at night. Don't miss the searing guitar solo at the end. It shakes me and I don't even like guitar solos.

I've put off listening to this album for years, despite that fact that it's heralded by all my favorite rock critics, including Bob Boilen from NPR, who I agree with on almost everything (except The Who; how can he like them so much?), but now I've gotten to a place where I want to hear a lot more of Richard Thompson.

Key Lyric:

Keep the blind down on the window
Keep the pain on the inside
Just watching the dark
Just watching the dark

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SOD: Metz -- Headache

Play this song at the start of a hard run.  If it's a hill repeat day, a speed session at the track, or a tempo run that will need a kick in the ass, you've gotta hear the opening track off Metz' self-titled 2012 album, a song called Headache. It's a screamer from this Toronto-based indie punk band.

Pungent, direct lyrics:
"I can't move / I can't stay / I gotta gotta gotta / I gotta get away"

Monday, November 19, 2012

Song of the Day: Passion Pit -- Constant Conversations

This entry needs a better title if it's going to be a regular thing.

Anyway, I listen to a lot of music.  One metric ton of music in fact (not an actual fact).  And I love discovering new bands, songs, albums, sounds, and genres. I'm a non-partisan music listener.  Hank Williams?  Hell yeah. Kendrick Lamar? Definitely.  So I had this idea on my run today that every day I'd post one short blog about a song that has captured my ear, with the youtube video included.  Let's kick the tires on this idea.

Passion Pit -- Constant Conversations

On Gossamer, Passion Pit's 2012 electropop release, Michael Angelakos hones in his prototypical song type -- manic-dance-beat-meets-dark-introspective-lyrics -- with fantastic songs like "I'll Be Alright" that build on "Sleepyhead"'s sonic bi-polarism from Passion Pit's first LP, Manners.  But what I find even more intriguing about Gossamer is the inclusion of tracks like Constant Converstaions, a slow, swinging, intimate R&B song that is today's song of the day.

Favorite lyric:

I never wanna hurt you baby /
I'm just a mess with a name and a price /
And now I'm drunker than before /
They told me drinking doesn't make me nice

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How Do I Blog My Workouts?

For the last four years, from when I started working out, I've logged my workouts on  It's been a fantastic resource, and I've made friends through the forums, received and given inspiration to other triathletes, and learned a lot about the sport.

But I'm not really a triathlete any more.  I haven't done a tri since August, 2011.  Today I followed the live athlete tracking and live video feed (at Ironman Arizona) of some triathletes I know, and some I've only known online, and some pros that kick ass and have a great attitude and I cheer for them, if only virtually.  But throughout 2012, following these great athletes from race to race, being invested in the spectacle of Kona, and wondering whether this would make me want to race a tri again, I've realized that I still have zero interest in doing another triathlon in the coming future.

Of course, like anything else, this could change in a matter of months.  But for me, it's more unlikely that I'll return with every passing month that I stay away from the sport.

So I don't really feel comfortable posting on any longer.  I'd rather write a blog about my running on here, allow it to be for myself any anyone who wants to stop by, but not necessarily connected to triathlon, since I'm probably going to be doing solely ultras for a while.

But I like tracking my mileage, time running, pace, vert gain, etc because they are metrics that can be useful for self-reflection.  What did I do the weeks leading up to a race?  What did I do before my latest injury?  What shoes was I running in?

So I need a gadget for blogger, a tracker that is easy to add to this blog, where I can log my runs in terms of time, distance, and pace, and that keeps my totals for the year.  BT's tracker had this and I found it inspirational and good for reflection.  Anyone have something like this that they recommend?

Examples of the BT logs: