A sonic exercise aid
Summer is my favorite season in New Mexico—it's hot in the daytime, it cools off at night and there are relatively few stinging insects here to pester you. These climate conditions afford my appendages freedom from the chaffing, constricting fabrics that sheath them in the cold months. On weekends in the summer, I like to lounge around outside wearing floral swimsuits, shiny high heels and oversized cheap sunglasses (and an abundance of high SPF sunblock, of course). This activity is often paired with drinks and smooth, dreamy music. Yacht rock and sparkling wine go great with sunshine.
Unfortunately, I have an insatiable fondness of French fries and cooking with butter and cream. Aside from the pursuit of general health, in order to justify forking over hundreds for swimwear every spring, I require at least a couple of hours of aerobic exercise weekly. Recently, while parked on an elliptical machine, half-reading about stewardess-inspired ensembles in some lady-mag, I realized the mixes stored in my iPhone all sucked for working out. "I Want Candy" by faux-Aussie '60s group The Strangeloves was playing. While this is an excellent song with a dancey Bo Diddley beat, it wouldn't provoke anyone to stand up straight, tighten their abs and really work for a bangin' pair of thighs.
Music is a workout motivator second only to the thought of looking svelte and fabulous in swimwear. I realize it's a shallow notion, but vanity is a fact of life. In any case, I needed a collection of tracks with more—as some DJ-types say—BPMs. "Call On Me" by Eric Prydz is the perfect example (to fully understand why, you have to watch its ridiculous, soft-porn jazzercise parody video: see embedded video). And if not BPMs, then songs that convey a feeling of glory or the spirit of winning. So I made a mix of my old dance party favorites that doesn't involve the shudder-inducing sonic foolishness often found on other workout mixage. The songs below comprise more than an hour of music that will pump you up.
1) "Vibrate" • Ghostland Observatory • Paparazzi Lightning
Electro organ music from Austin.
2) “Je Veux te Voir” • Yelle • Pop Up
French and filthy.
3) "Disco Biscuit" • Cagedbaby • Will See You Now
This electronica jam band will help you forget about the burn.
4) "Modern Love" • David Bowie • Let’s Dance
Build your endurance for dancing at ’80s night.
5) "Carnival" • Bikini Kill • The CD Version of the First Two Records
Release your aggression on the elliptical machine.
6) "Perfect (Exceeder)" • Mason Vs. Princess Superstar • Perfect
An electro jam about unmatched hotness from the bad babysitter and Dutch duo Mason.
Misogyny as motivation.
8) "Ready for the Floor" • Hot Chip • Ready For The Floor
A song about getting things done.
9) "Girl and the Sea" • The Presets • “Girl and the Sea EP”
Arty Australian dance music.
10) “Wolf Like Me" • TV On The Radio • Return to Cookie Mountain
One of the best fast songs ever written.
11) "Tribulations" • LCD Soundsystem • LCD Soundsystem
Everybody makes mistakes, keep going.
12) "Oh My God" • Mark Ronson featuring Lily Allen • Version
Mark Ronson’s got more where this came from.
13) "Higher Grounds" • Cats on Fire • The Province Complains
Uptempo Norwegian twee pop.
14) "We Used to Be Friends" • The Dandy Warhols • Welcome to the Monkey House
Do you want to be friends again?
15) "Got Your Money" • Ol’ Dirty Bastard • Nigga Please
A classic hip-hop jam.
16) "Worked Up So Sexual" • The Faint • Blank-wave Arcade
A song about strippers.
17) "Let's Make Out" • Does It Offend You, Yeah? • You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into
An insistent song about lust.
18) "Lovesick" • Friendly Fires • Friendly Fires
19) "Hey Ya!" • OutKast • Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
There has to be at least one pop hit in this mix.
20) "Finer Feelings" • Spoon • Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
This song once helped me through a 5-mile race.
Three Bad Jacks • rock • S.O.L • The Gunmen at Low Spirits
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell • singer-songwriter at Santa Fe Opera
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