Thursday, 29 March 2012

Calling All Freaks

I've posted a lot of singer-songwriter stuff of late. So today here's an electronic track from The Crystal Method, Name of the Game. The song is great, the video? Sort of silly, so maybe just listen  The BPM is 182, so should help you hit that sweet spot while running.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Light Up That Sky

About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All is the first tack on Dan Mangan's newish album Oh Forture. Dan Mangan is a singer-songwriter from Canada. His tunes are melodic and bitter sweet, with smart poetic lyrics. I listened to his album Nice, Nice, Very Nice on repeat all last summer. Oh Fortune took me longer to like, but it is really an amazing album.

This song is quite interesting as a running cadence song. It's a waltz! So has a 3 beat timing. Why this might work for you?  Stick with me I'll get to the point.  According to Danny Dreyer of Chi Running fame you should be running at cadence of at least 85 steps per minute per foot, and not more than 90 unless you're a sprinter or elite runner - that's 170-180 for people who count both feet. So far I mostly agree with him, although I like running at 180-185 and I am no elite runner! He also uses SPM for steps per minute like my strides per minute. I thought I invented that, but I guess my subconscious just remembered it from his book.  He suggests using a metronome, in fact he says
I would have to say that I have learned more from running with a metronome than I have from any other device, book, or coach. (Chi Running pg 112)
Well I had to try it then.  So I downloaded a metronome app on my phone and went out for a run, but I didn't get past about 30 seconds before ripping out my headphones.  It was so awful, maybe I had the volume up too loud, or maybe I just find music at the right BPM much more motivating and pleasurable while being equally effective!  Think about that for a minute, as far as Chi Running advice goes, getting the cadence right is the most important aspect of injury free running.

But one other thing he says is that you should try to set the metronome to beep every third step, so for 180 SPM that would be 60 BPM.  The reason is that the leading foot switches from left to right and you don't end up having a stronger side.  I tried to do this with songs at 60 BPM and that didn't work.  But this 92BPM song by Dan Mangan is actually a waltz, and even though I stumble a bit the first few seconds (the long intro doesn't help), I find I can run to this.  I hope this works for you and I hope that you are convinced enough to go listen to more Dan Mangan.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Exotik Schweizer Musik

I haven't been posting as frequently as usual, because after coming back from a week of vacation, my internet got mysteriously turned off and it took two weeks to turn it back on again.  I have internet access at work, but well I am supposed to be working at work, so not so many posts.  But now everything is back up.

The other reason is that I am a little depressed about not being able to run much.  Over a year ago I got a running induced stress fracture, on the cuboid of the left foot.  The fracture itself didn't hurt that much, and I ran on it for a week with my foot twisted inward just slightly, which lead to a very painful case of posterior tibial tendinitis.  The doctor said it takes about 6 months for a cuboid fracture to heal.  That was over a year ago!   My foot feels OK, and every week or two I do a test run, 4 or 5 km and the see how it feels the next few days. So far it hasn't felt good.  Mostly I stay positive, after not being able to run for a long time, even little runs feel amazing!  And I do a lot of MTB.  But this last week or two I've been feeling a little sorry for myself again.

Well time for some music.  The song in this post is Zumurud, and it is really different from what I usually recommend. Its official style is 'world'. Mich Gerber is swiss, and I'd be willing to be bet a whole lot of money his native language is German.  Germans (German speakers) are really good at getting all ethnic and into 'eastern' cultures and music, and Mich Gerber, certainly is doing a great job of channeling some oriental desert musician here.  The BPM is 90 so great for a 180 SPM run.

Friday, 16 March 2012

6 Free Running Songs for March 2012

Here's the March 6 free running songs post.  These songs are all available on Epitonic for free and legal download.  To download the song, click on the name of the song.  The band name links to the Epitonic page about the band.  They all are close to 90BPM so work for a 180SPM (strides per minute) run.

With the exception of Clinic all the bands this month are from the US.  Hope you find something you like

Fit Against the Country by Horse Feathers  90 BPM
From Portland, Horse Feathers, fit in the indie folk genre. 

Furr by Blitzen Trapper   92 BPM
Again from Portland, again indie folk rock. I love the lyrics of this song,
The sound sent shivers down my back
But I was drawn into the pack and before long
They allowed to join in and sing their song 

The Verna Cannon are from Columbia, South Carolina. This is a lovely sweet song, that I've been running to for a long time. 

Porno by Clinic 87 BPM
It is only a little pornographic. Clinic are from England, the sound is something in between pop, electro and rock.  They sound English to me.  

Headcage by Matthew Dear 93 BPM
Matthew Dear is awesome.  He's from Michigan and is electronic but with melody and lyrics.  This is a style that I love, its sweet and deep. 

Raw Gore by Mux Mool 88 BPM
Crunchy electronic from New York City based Mux Mool. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

No Stopping It

A year or two ago I went through a few weeks of being obsessed with The White Stripes. I listened to them on repeat, but as suddenly as go into them I got out of them. I haven't listened to them since, except for a couple of songs that are on my running playlist. Of theses songs, The Denial Twist, is my favourite.  The BPM is 91, so your feet will go 180SPM or so...

Friday, 9 March 2012

Burning Me Inside Out

I've been listening to Sean Hayes all day so decided to post another song by him. If you missed my first Sean Hayes post, it's here.  There I recommend his song Garden, which is one of my all time favourite songs and my absolute favourite running song.  But 3am is a great song too.  The YouTube video is of a live version, its quite close to the album version and he just looks so adorable.  I have such a gigantic crush on this guy!!

Oh an before I forget the BPM is 89, so perfect for a 180 SPM run.  'Set your life on fire. Sean will fan your flames' - Rumi, (well almost)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Have a Good Day

Another song by my kraut pop hero's Wir Sind Helden, Guten Tag. Guten Tag means good day, in have a good day, and is used like old fashioned English Good Day for Hello - who says Good Day anymore?  This was their first hit and the song that made them famous. Its a frantic little pop song with amazing lyrics, I looked around for an English translation of the lyrics and to my surprise the translations seemed really bad, they seemed to get the meaning just the opposite of what I understood listening. But this is the beauty of Wir Sind Helden, they play so much on words that it is kind of impossible to really translate. Anyway she sings

My voice against your mobile phone,
My fists against your nail lotion,
My teeth against those of Dr. Best and his son,
My soul against your gentle epilation.

It was on sale, on offer a special deal:
'Trade in a boring old life for new version'.
I just tried it out at home when I realised:
The product is broken – this is the complaint.

I won't trade anymore, I want my life back.

But in German you trade against something, so I always understood the against in the first 4 lines to meanin exchange for.  Then she sees that the products don't work as advertised. White teeth do not make you happy. But you can also kind of read the first four lines, with the against, just as against, like a rebel against. Anyway if you haven't done it yet, learn German, it's worth it for the Wir Sind Helden catalogue alone!

Its got a BPM of 92 so a bit on the fast side for a 180 SPR run, but not totally out of range.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Catch-up February 2012

Just back from a week off with the kids, so I'm exhausted!  I need a holiday to recuperate from my holiday.

So here  is the catch-up list for February on Spotify, Run To The Beat Feb 2012 180BPM.

There are two missing songs;  Slow Cheetah by The Red Hot Chili Peppers (see post here) and Motivation by Clams Casino (download here). They are just not available on Spotify.  I think Clams Casino is too indie, just click on it to download, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, like Metallica and The Beatles are so rich they have become tight-ass with their music and don't put it on services like Spotify.  Oh well in the end the dinosaurs will all be dead.