Walkin’ Too (Much)!
About once every couple months, I have the following conversation:
R: What are you listening to?
Chris: New Order.
R: Ugh. I’m going to the store. Call me when you’re done.
When he was asked to talk about his divorce, Bob Wiley answered, “There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t. My ex-wife loves him.” I imagine R having a similar conversation with her therapist years from now, only substituting New Order for Diamond.
Anyway, I mentioned back when that I ditched my car a few years ago and started walkin’, cylclin’, and ridin’ the bus pretty much everywhere. As I said in that first post, the sounds of the city can be somewhat grating to my country boy ears, so much of my walkin’ time is spent with earbuds in my ears, listenin’ to music to drown out the din. Over time I’ve built up a collection of songs that I think are particularly suited to walkin’ — songs that are (mostly) uptempo, usually with a pronounced beat, but also with something more intangible, something that puts a hop in my step and just generally makes a walk more enjoyable. As I’ve been (slowly) working on a post on my carless life in a car-happy city, I thought I’d whip out the ol’ walkin’ playlist and give you a sample of my walkin’ tunes. I hope you enjoy them over your Thanksgiving weekend (and if you’re not in the U.S., over your regular weekend). Take ’em on a walk, or on a sit, or on a whatever you happen to be doing with music in your ears.
I love that gritty Television-Talking Heads-Patti Smith sound born in 70s New York City, and this song has plenty of it. With that guitar intro, it’s also an excellent song with which to begin a walk.
I confess that the first several times I heard this song I thought it was from the 60s. It’s not, it’s from the Aughts, but it’s part of that trend from the last decade (though it’s bled into this one) of makin’ music that imitates Cream, the Zombies, The Kinks, and other mildly psychedelic bands from the 60s. You know, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, The Strokes, The Killers, that sorta stuff. The Coral may not be the best of that bunch, but they’re not bad, and this song is definitely good for a short jaunt to the store down the street.
DJs seem to really like to remix The Submarines, and for whatever reason, they tend to hear something darker and more intense than the original mellow pop mixes. To see what I mean, here’s the original version of “1940,” with its laid back reggae beat. And here are two versions of “You, Me, and the Bourgeoise”: the original and the Tonetiger remix (note: this is the only video I could find of the remix, and it accompanies some impressive skydiving footage, but it does have some swearing in the end, because they’re jumping out of friggin’ airplanes, so why wouldn’t they be cussing?!). I tend to like both versions, but the originals are for chillin’ and the remixes for treckin’.
I don’t have much to say about this track, except that it’s awesome, and Mickey Mouse Operation is a great album that you should definitely check out if you like mostly instrumental hip hop-inspired music.
Umm… Pavement. Enough said.
(Warning, this next song has some bad words in it, including the n-word. It’s Wu Tang, so… you’ve been warned.)
About half of my walkin’ playlist is hip hop, because hip hop is great for walkin’. I mean, hip hop is a beat. And walkin’ is a beat. They were made for each other! However, I know we hip hop fans are in the minority here, so I’m mostly avoiding hip hop selections. This track is just too good to pass up though. At a time when I thought hip hop was all about gangters or goofin’ off, Wu Tang Clan taught me what hip hop really was. And they’re good for walkin’ to the neighborhood pub too.
Speaking of goofin’ off.
The disco version of this song was basically for walkin;. It even talks about walkin’… in Central Park, singin’ after dark, which inevitably causes people to think you’re crazy. Only thing is, when you walk to this song, you have to walk like Jagger dances in this.
A post about walkin’ music wouldn’t be complete without Santigold. Santigold is a goddess, a goddess of fun. You should be listening to her.
Wouldn’t be complete without my favorite song for walkin’ (a repeat from the last post) either: