Monday, November 14, 2022

Workout Megamix Liner Notes - Part VI: Recent Updates (continued)

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Hear my entire Megamix (200+ songs) on Spotify - click here!


As you may have seen last week, I’ve appended my original workout music playlist (from years ago) to include a bunch of new songs. Well, not actually new, and not always even newer, but stuff I more recently realized is just perfect for exercising to indoors. I got to half of these tracks last time, and here are the rest. It’s not just a list, but also the liner notes: not the ones from the musical artists, which would of course be plagiarism, but my notes on why I like a song and/or anything else interesting about it.

I’m also including, as an appendix, the complete list of all my favorite workout songs since I originally started this project. Enjoy please enjoy.

Liner Notes – Dana’s Ultimate Superfly Workout Megamix Part VI

Icky Thump - The White Stripes

              The first few White Stripes albums were amazing, but then their fifth album pretty much sucked. Critics seemed to like it, but screw them. I almost gave up on this band but then went ahead and checked out “Icky Thump,” their sixth (and alas, final) album. Daaaaaamn! The whole collection is kickass! Pretty much any of the songs on it would be a solid addition to your megamix, but this track, along with 300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues and Martyr for my Love for You, are particularly good.

Loot My Body - Man Man

              This song has it all: it’s fast, it’s funny, it rocks, and it somehow puts me in touch with my inner hipster while mocking hipsters and making me relieved I don’t seem to have an outer hipster. I think it takes a pretty special song to do all that.

Move Your Body - Sia

              Okay, so Sia is one of those acts I decided to check out because of an Eminem song. I liked her background vocals in Beautiful Pain so I checked out a Sia disc. (Yes, an actual disc, as I’m a Spotify newb.) My first impression was wow, she really needs a better songwriter (e.g., someone like Eminem). Her lyrics are so repetitive and uninspired. At the same time, her songs do have a good energy, and half the time riding indoors I’m cross-eyed and brain-dead anyway, and upon reflection I have concluded that this song, and others on her “This Is Acting” album, are perfect for indoor workouts. Also, one of her concert tours was called “Nostalgic for the Present,” which I think is clever (in an albeit cynical way).

Non-State Actor - Soundgarden

              For many years, I thought “Down on the Upside” was Soundgarden’s final album. They’d been releasing an album every couple years during their heyday, and then they broke up, and I thought that was that. Well, while I wasn’t looking, they quietly got back together and recorded “King Animal,” after a sixteen-year hiatus. This album almost passed me by completely, but a couple years ago I came to wonder (for reasons I can’t recall) if the novel Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov might have been an influence on the band. I researched this a bit and though I never found anything to support my theory, I did come across this last album and discovered it’s fricking great. If Non-State Actor doesn’t get you amped up during your workout, nothing will. Also check out By Crooked Steps, Bones of Birds, Black Saturday, and A Thousand Days Before.

Not the Same Anymore - The Strokes

              Okay, so this is another band I lost track of, and then suddenly there was this new album, “The New Abnormal,” which dropped at almost exactly the same time the U.S. went into shelter-in-place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that regard, the title of this album seems incredibly prescient. And it’s a kickass collection, definitely one of their finest. Not the Same Anymore starts off kind of mellow but builds nicely until it’s rocking plenty hard, and then it goes out like a lamb. Very cool indeed. Other good workout tracks from this album are Why Are Sundays So Depressing, The Adults are Talking, and Bad Decisions.

Pony - Ginuwine

              This is a workout megamix recommendation from my daughter Alexa. It’s amusing right off the bat with background vocals from some guy with an impossibly low voice. Then the proper singing kicks in, of course, or the song would be nothing but a gag. This is kind of an R&B style song, I think, so it’s kind of a departure from the general feel of my playlist, which never hurts. Very solid beat here without causing the kind of head-thrashing that eventually makes your neck sore.

Safe From Harm - Massive Attack

              This is a band I started listening to all the way back in 1991 when I was still in college. I rediscovered Massive Attack because my daughter wandered into their oeuvre and put a lot of their music on a playlist she made for me. Safe From Harm is a bit different from the rest of my megamix it that it’s trip hop instead of rock or rap. But don’t worry, it’s fast and rhythmic enough to keep your pedals turning.

Smile Like You Mean It - The Killers

              This is one of those anthem-like exuberant songs that just go well with exercise. Heck, if I were one of those people who can dance, I would surely dance to this. It’s probably not one for your everyday mix because it’s a bit repetitive and simple, but gosh, it’s great for working out. Another good Killers song is Mr. Brightside.

Soul of a Man - Beck

             I cannot keep up with Beck. He has just put out so much stuff, and nobody ever tells me. It’s like I ought to subscribe to a music magazine or something, but to my earlier point, music critics are morons, and Rolling Stone has tobacco ads (which for me is an automatic boycott). But I digress. I stumbled across Beck’s eleventh studio album, “Modern Guilt,” more than a decade after its release, and although great music often has to grow on you gradually, Soul of a Man grabbed me instantly—I was like, “Holy shit, this song is awesome!” It’s also pretty short (about 2-½ minutes) which can feel like a relief during a workout if, like me, you often rest for just a bit between tracks.

Stop - Jane’s Addiction

              For me, this song is all about nostalgia. It brings me back to my UC Santa Barbara days. Jane’s Addiction played live on the UCSB campus as part of Extravaganza1989 and I’ll never forget it. Not the concert itself, mind you, since I didn’t attend, but the fact of it. A friend said the show sucked because the band members were totally drunk. But this song—that is, the recording they made when sober—is a great fit for indoor workouts. “Stop—now go!

Thrift Shop - Macklemore

              This is a fun, funny song with a nice bouncy beat that’s great to ride along to. I absolutely love thrift shopping, and because my daughter turned me on to this song, it always reminds me of thrifting with her, and/or with her sister, and since I’m now an empty nester this song only gets more poignant over time. “This is fucking awesome.”

What’s Up Danger - Black Caviar & Blackway

              Look, let me make one thing clear: I’m not a giant fan of comic book movies (though I did like the first Wonder Woman). I’m trying to be a fricking adult, okay? According to Wikipedia, “Black Caviar claimed that ‘when the opportunity to write a song for the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse film came up, [their] 10-year-old selves were freaking out.’” Yeah, ten is about the perfect age for Spider-Man. But hey, the ticking-clock background effect in this song makes a nice metronome to pedal to, and being able to enjoy lowbrow pop songs is one of the great things about working out indoors.

More reading

Here are links to the rest of my series of Workout Megamix liner notes:

Appendix – the complete Megamix list

For your convenience, here’s the complete list of Ultimate Superfly Workout Megamix tracks (208 songs, 54 artists, about 14 hours of music). Enjoy please enjoy.

‘Till I Collapse - Eminem
16 Shots -  Stefflon Don
20 Dollar - M.I.A.
212 - Azelia Banks
8 Miles & Runnin’ - Freeway/Jay-Z
911 Is a Joke - Public Enemy
A Punchup at a Wedding - Radiohead
A Thousand Days Before - Soundgarden
A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T - The Hives
Adrenaline Rush - Obie Trice
Airbag - Radiohead
Alive - Sia
Ass Like That - Eminem
Average Man - Obie Trice
Bad Girls - M.I.A.
Bad Guy - Eminem
Be Somebody - Kings of Leon
Beautiful - Eminem
Beautiful Pain - Eminem w/ Sia
Best Rapper Alive - Lil Wayne
Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
Black Saturday - Soundgarden
Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos - Public Enemy
Blow Up the Outside World - Soundgarden
Bones of Birds - Soundgarden
Borders - M.I.A.
Born Free - M.I.A.
Brain Stew - Green Day
Broke as Fuck -  YBN Cordae
Bucky Done Gun - M.I.A.
Burden in My Hand - Soundgarden
Cash Money Millionaires - Lil Wayne
Celebrity Skin - Doja Cat
Cha Ching (Cheq 1-2 Remix) - Lady Sovereign
Charmer - Kings of Leon
Cheers - Obie Trice
Closer - Kings of Leon
Come As You Are - Nirvana
Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
Cool Cats - Obie Trice
Cops Shot the Kid - Nas
Creep - Radiohead
Cry Now - Obie Trice
Deja Vu - Eminem
Desperation - Eminem
Discombobulated - Eminem
Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man) - Devo
Down In It - Nine Inch Nails
Easy to Crash - Cake
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Everlong - Foo Fighters
Eyelid’s Mouth - Soundgarden
Fell In Love With a Girl - The White Stripes
Fell On Black Days - Soundgarden
Fight the Power - Public Enemy
Follow My Life - Obie Trice
Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Fresh - Devo
Galang - M.I.A.
Get Free - Lana Del Rey
Girls LGBNAF - Ice-T
Give It Away - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gnat - Eminem
Godzilla - Eminem
Got Hungry - Obie Trice
Hands On You - Eminem/Obie Trice
Happiness is a Warm Gun - The Breeders
Heart In a Cage - The Strokes
Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana
Heartbeat - Ice-T
Hustlers - Nas
Hypnotize - The White Stripes
I Am Not a Human Being - Lil Wayne
I Could Have Lied - Red Hot Chili Peppers
I Go To Work - Kool Moe Dee
I Will - Eminem
Icky Thump - The White Stripes
If I Had - Eminem
I’m Back - Eminem
I’m Your Pusher - Ice-T
It Takes a Muscle - M.I.A.
Jack My Dick - Obie Trice
Jesus Christ Pose - Soundgarden
Just Lose It - Eminem
Killing Lies - The Strokes
Knives Out - Radiohead
Know It Ain’t Right - M.I.A.
Last Nite - The Strokes
Legacy - Eminem
Like Suicide - Soundgarden
Little Acorns - The White Stripes
Loco-Motive - Nas
Lollipop - Lil Wayne
Longview - Green Day
Look In My Eyes - Obie Trice
Loot My Body - Man Man
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Love Me - 50 Cent
Love Me or Hate Me - Lady Sovereign
Love the Way You Lie - Eminem
Matangi - M.I.A.
Mockingbird - Eminem
Money Over Bullsh*t - Nas
Mother - Pink Floyd
Move Your Body - Sia
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Mr. Carter - Lil Wayne
Mrs. Officer - Bobby Valentino/Lil Wayne
My Dad’s Gone Crazy - Eminem
My England - Lady Sovereign
My Mom - Eminem
My Name Is - Eminem
My Wave - Soundgarden
No Love - Lil Wayne/Eminem
No Regrets - Eminem
Non-State Actor - Soundgarden
Not Going Back - Nas
Not the Same Anymore - The Strokes
Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
Offend In Every Way - The White Stripes
On the Other Side - The Strokes
One Mic - Nas
One Time 4 Your Mind - Nas
Outshined - Soundgarden
Overfloater - Soundgarden
Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones
Paper Planes - M.I.A.
Personal - Ice-T
Pony - Ginuwine
Pump Your Fist - Kool Moe Dee
R.A.K.I.M. - Rakim
Rabbit Run - Eminem
Radio Suckers - Ice-T
Rap God - Eminem
Rewind - Nas
Rhinosaur - Soundgarden
Richard - Obie Trice
Roughnecks - Obie Trice
Safe From Harm - Massive Attack
Santeria - Sublime
Searching With My Good Eye Closed - Soundgarden
Seduction - Eminem
Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
Sexodus - M.I.A.
Shoot Me Down -Lil Wayne
Shooter - Lil Wayne
Sick Of You - Cake
Sing For the Moment - Eminem
Smack That - Eminem
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Smile Like You Mean It - The Killers
So Human - Lady Sovereign
Soul of a Man - Beck
Spoonman - Soundgarden
Stan - Eminem
Stop - Jane’s Addiction
Suck My Kiss - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sunshowers - M.I.A.
Superunknown - Soundgarden
Survival - Eminem
Sympathy For the Devil - The Rolling Stones
Take It or Leave It - The Strokes
Take, Take, Take - The White Stripes
Takeover - Jay-Z
Tango - Lady Sovereign
Tarantula - Bob Schneider
Tell Me Why - M.I.A.
That Was Just Your Life - Metallica
The Adults Are Talking - The Strokes
The Air Near My Fingers - The White Stripes
The Day I Tried To Live - Soundgarden
The Day That Never Comes - Metallica
The Girl Tried To Kill Me - Ice-T
The God That Failed - Metallica
The Hardest Button to Button - The White Stripes
The Man Who Sold the World - Nirvana
The Monster - Eminem with Rihanna
The Real Slim Shady - Eminem
The Righteous & The Wicked - Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Unforgiven - Metallica
The Unforgiven III - Metallica
Thrift Shop - Macklemore
Through Being Cool - Devo
Time To Get Ill - Beastie Boys
Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs - Beck
Trunk - Kings of Leon
U Wanna Be Me - Nas
Ultraviolence - Lana Del Rey
Unorthadox Daughter - No Lay
Untutored Youth - The Hives
Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
W.T.P. - Eminem
What I Got - Sublime
What’s Up Danger - Black Caviar & Blackway
What’s Wrong With Them - Lil Wayne
When I Come Around – Green Day
Where Did You Sleep Last Night - Nirvana
Where Is My Mind? - The Pixies
Wherever I May Roam - Metallica
Whip It - Devo
Why Are Sundays So Depressing - The Strokes
Worse Dreams - Soundgarden
Wrong Way - Sublime
XR2 - M.I.A.
Yah Yah - Eminem
You Ain’t Got Nuthin - Lil Wayne
Young Lust - Pink Floyd
Zero Chance - Soundgarden

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