Monday, May 4, 2009

Pittsburgh Marathon Mix

Yesterday was the Pittsburgh Marathon. I'd been looking forward to this for a number of reasons. 1) After Baltimore, I was amped to have another go at 26.2 2) It's PITTSBURGH! The Steel City! The City of Bridges! The City of Champions! And my hometown! I've been fighting what I think is a mild case of plantar fasciitis for a few weeks, which killed the tail end of my training and made me nervous as to how the race would go. But it went, and with little problems. The biggest difficulty was the endurance of the last 6 or so miles, especially given that I've been running so little for the last few weeks (and my training topped out at 18 miles). But I did it, and I'm pleased as punch (and sore as hell). Baltimore was significant because it was the first (and you never forget your first). Pittsburgh was special because it's home. We pounded through many of my favorite neighborhoods, through my undergraduate alma mater and over a few bridges (unavoidable in this town). So despite it being difficult on account of the spotty training and some moderate rain, it was a pretty stellar day.

But enough with all of that. What I'm here to share is what I listened to for 26.2 miles. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't think that I could have done it without the music. So here's what made the cut for the Pittsburgh Marathon playlist:

1. Iggy Pop - Real Wild Child

I didn't realize until I was running that the last marathon mix also began with Iggy (that one was "Lust for Life"). Wasn't planned, but maybe Iggy Pop is good luck.

2. Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?
3. Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl

Speaking of "Lust for Life," I know that the Jet song is so obviously a ripoff, but I think it's done well, and to be honest, it doesn't even bother me. I look at it as more of a pastiche than a blatant copy.

4. Hot Hot Heat - Talk to Me, Dance With Me
5. New Young Pony Club - The Get Go
6. CSS - Jager Yoga
7. Hyper Crush - Shes a Freak

I haven't listened to the Hyper Crush album (last year's The Arcade since August (I distinctly remember listening to it on a run during a visit to Portland, OR). I think that it can get tired after a while, but it was rather refreshing having not heard it for so long, and this was one of the first songs to really get me moving.

8. Simian Mobile Disco - Hustler
9. Crystal Castles - Crimewave
10. New Order - True Faith-94

11. Cut Copy - Hearts On Fire

I think I've played "Lights and Music" to death at this point, and this has taken its place as my go-to track from last year's In Ghost Colours. I love the little break that's sort of a quotation of a hundred late 1980s hip hop songs.

12. Kylie Minogue/New Order - Can't Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head

I needed a good Kylie track (when don't I?), and opted for this mashup, included on the recently released Boom Box remix compilation. I was very into mashups for a year or two when I first got to Iowa, but the novelty wore off. But with Kylie and New Order, how can you go wrong?

Cant Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue

13. Daft Punk - Around the World

The monotony and solid beat were perfect for pacing.

14. Justice - D.A.N.C.E.

One of the few repeats from the Baltimore marathon mix.

15. T.I. - Swagga Like Us (Ft. Kanye West, Jay Z & Lil Wayne)

"Swagga-swagga like us."

16. Messy Marv - Get on My Hype
17. Dr Dre - Still D.R.E
18. Notorious B.I.G. - Notorious B.I.G. feat Lil Kim and Puff Daddy
19. Ol' Dirty Bastard - I Can't Wait
20. Spank Rock - What It Look Like
21. The Prodigy (feat. Kool Keith) - Diesel Power

I can't say that the Prodigy album is in heavy (or even moderate) rotation these days, but it still hits the spot on occasion. And this collaboration with Kool Keith remains one of, potentially THE highlight of their big album, The Fat of the Land. This was also roundabouts when it started raining. BOOOO

22. David Bowie - Dead Man Walking
I took a walk break when this song came on, then had a good chuckle and the serendipity.

23. Nelly Furtado - No Hay Igual
24. Rainbow Arabia - Omar K
25. M.I.A. - Jimmy
26. George Michael - Outside
27. Sheila E - Holly Rock

"Holly Rock" has become a running staple in the last 6 months or so. First of all, it's Sheila mothafuckin' E. Second of all, it rocks. I've never been able to confirm Prince's involvement in this track. The ASCAP database lists her as the sole writer, but there are so many Prince-esque elements (especially the sped-up guitar). I'll have to dig through those Prince books when I get back to Baltimore.

Sheila E - Hollyrock - Sheila E

28. Prince - Tick, Tick, Bang (original demo)
29. Prince - High
30. Prince - Chocolate Box

First Prince set! The 1981 demo of "Tick Tick Bang" is far more high energy and electro-based than what would surface on the Graffiti Bridge album 9 years later. "High" is a recent rediscovery from an unfortunately unreleased 2000 album. And "Chocolate Box," well - one of the hottest tracks from his latest effort.

Tick, Tick, Bang - Prince

31. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Suck My Kiss
32. Faith No More - Falling to Pieces

Back to the Rock. "Falling to Pieces" was the first song to which I found myself mouthing all of the lyrics. I probably seemed borderline schizo mumbling "somebody put me together" to myself.

33. Kiss - Parasite
34. Misfits - Where Eagles Dare
35. The Damned - Neat Neat Neat
36. The Clash - Police on My Back

Sandanista! - you never get old. "Running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday, Saturday, Sunday." Granted, I was not being chased by the police.

37. New York Dolls - Trash
38. The White Stripes - Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine
39. The Stooges - Loose

Stay tuned to Ick Music for my review of the new New York Dolls album, which includes a rerecorded version of the classic "Trash." The White Stripes song was a perfect choice, and a great lead-in to The Stooges. Is "Loose" the best song on Fun House? I'm starting to think that might be the case.

40. Sonic Youth - Kool Thing

41. Anthrax - Bring the Noise
42. Public Enemy - Welcome to the Terrordome

PE's original of "Bring the Noise" is a superior recording, but Anthrax adds the edge that I needed to kick it up a notch. PE is another of my favorite artists all around for running, though I included fewer tracks this time around. No disrespect, boys.

43. The Roots - Boom!
44. Run-D.M.C. - Run's House
45. LL Cool J - Jack the Ripper
46. A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario
47. 2 Pac - Fuck the World
48. Digital Underground - Doowutchyalike

Hip hop set. It was difficult, but I refrained from shouting "WHO'S HOUUUUUUUSEE?????" out loud. The 2 Pac track - I figured that was how I'd feel at this point in the day (fairly accurate!). And DU, well, shit. Runhowyalike.

49. Janet Jackson - Control

A huge pickmeup. I almost went for "Black Cat," but "Control" won out. The full video for this was recently On Demand - featuring Jam, Lewis and Jerome?! Holy carp.

50. En Vogue - Free Your Mind
51. C+C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat
52. TLC - What About Your Friends

Some early 1990s goodness. Oh, TLC. VH1 Classic informed me that yesterday was the anniversary of Lisa Left Eye Lopez' funeral. I might actually make a TLC post soon based on what I see as their stylistic similarities to Prince. No promises.

53. Bobby Brown - On Our Own

I recently read Don't Stop Believin': How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life by Brian Raftery. Awesome book, highly recommended. Raftery contends that "On Our Own" is an ideal karaoke song. I've had it on my list for years, but never got around to it. It is a tight jam, Ghostbusters II references and all. Maybe I should be sure to pull this one out at my next karaoke outing. "Y-y-ya know it."

54. Michael Jackson - Jam

Dangerous is NOT my favorite MJ album by any stretch. The ballads are horrible ("Heal the World," "Will You Be There," "Gone Too Soon"), and overall, the album doesn't hold up well, given it's extremely dated arrangements and production. But it has its nostalgic charms, given that Teddy Riley is at the helm, new jack swinging it all over the damn place. To that end, I will say that the album has some of the best running tracks in MJ's catalog, and "Jam" is up there for sure.

Michael Jordan, Heavy D, AND Kriss Kross? No, not dated at all!

55. Prince - Billy Jack Bitch (5:31)
56. Prince - Acknowledge Me (5:27)
57. Prince - Days of Wild (9:19)
58. Prince - Hot Thing (Extended Remix) (8:26)

More Prince, of course. I suppose "Jam" led me to follow it with "Acknowledge Me," which one could argue is Prince does New Jack Swing. "Days of Wild" is a little less dated, and was another song that I mouthed all of the words to. Hopefully nobody around me was paying attention as I said things like "Dont blame it on a jockstrap full of jizz." "Hot Thing" is a dance classic, and this 12" mix is pure fire. PURE FIRE.

Hot Thing (Extended Remix) - Prince

59. Chromeo - You're so Gangsta

Just like Baltimore, this song somehow disappeared. WTF?

60. Lee "Scratch" Perry - Pum-Pum

It was probably inappropriate for me to be singing this to myself.

Pum Pum - Lee Scratch Perry

61. Santogold - Say Aha
62. Pixies - Broken Face
63. Buzzcocks - What Do I Get?

Skipped. I needed to get to a high octane power song. Ergo:

64. Hedwig and the Angry Inch - Tear Me Down

This was just what the doctor ordered. Loud guitars, thumping drums, and a dash of glam. This was a swift kick in the pants, and put me into gear more than I had been at this point.

Enemies and adversaries
they try and tear me down
You want me, baby, I dare you
try and tear me down.

Ah hell, just take a listen!

Tear Me Down - Stephen Trask

65. Guns N' Roses - Live and Let Die

This kept it going. Remember how Axl used to run all around the stage? That's what I was thinking of in the final stretch while this played. The bombasticness (I think I just made up that adjective) of the song did me well running down Penn Ave. in the Strip.

66. Van Halen - And The Cradle Will Rock...
67. Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
68. Van Halen - Panama

All great songs, but skipped. I figured I had one song left, and had to get to my VH standby:

69. Van Halen - Unchained

This is it, the tune that took me across the finish line. "Unchained" has been a running staple for about a year, when one of my best pals praised VH as some of the best cardio music on the planet. He was right.

I had 13 more songs planned just in case, but fortunately didn't need them. Next time!


KrissyGo! said...


#44: I TOTALLY busted out "Whooo's hooooouse?" when I read it in the list and then laughed out loud (LOL'd, if you will) when I read your commentary.

I'm impressed that you plan out a marathon-length mix and genre blocks. I'm such a finicky runner that I sometimes do a lot of skipping until I land on the *perfect* song for the moment. Thus, the shuffle is always on shuffle, and I have to have a smattering of everything with me because I never know if it's a Zen Iowa cornfield day or a rock the f*ck out day, or a damn-that-song-just-changed-everything until I hear it.

Gonzo said...

re #44 - it's kind of irresistible! While I love the show Run's House, I struggle with the fact that this song can now be considered a TV theme. At least Snoop Dizzle made a new song for his show (with Bootsy, no less!).

I will say that I'm perhaps not finicky, but I am very picky. I like making playlists for the marathons (well, all two of them so far) mostly because I have a pretty good sense of what I like to run to and when I'll need certain music (i.e. songs to kick it up a notch) in the process. It's also a way to keep me from paying attention to the mp3 player, skipping to find something, etc. Instead, I can focus on singing along to Ol' Dirty Bastard.