Monthly Archives: July 2013

Pandora Plays Judas Priest

judas

Thursday mornings are becoming my long run mornings. Like last week, I avoided the heat by going to the gym and running on the treadmill, but I added another mile and went 8 miles, my longest distance in well over a year.

I kept an 8 minute/mile pace, and by basic math, that means 64 minutes for the total run. While normally a treadmill run of this length would bore me, I was able to watch the first round of the British Open on TV, which helped quell the boredom.

Also getting rid of the 64-minute minutia was today’s playlist, a recommendation from my former boss, copy desk chief extraordinaire  and recent Briantology convert Nate McCullough (follow him on Twitter at @NathanAlanMc, occasionally he says something funny).

After my hair band post, he recommended I try something harder next time, leading to Thursday’s line-up of Judas Priest. Admittedly, I don’t know much about Judas Priest other than they’re what Old Man Clemens yells in “Billy Madison,” so I figured I should give them a try.

(If you’d like to submit a playlist recommendation, let me know in the comments or tweet me @bgiandelone.)

Now, for those about to rock…

Judas Priest — “Riding On The Wind”

Five seconds in and I know what’s in store for me. If the drums don’t wake you up and get you ready to run, then probably nothing will.

This song is also littered with bad-ass imagery that will make you want to rip your face off. Glowing god of Mars? Check. Thunderbolt from hell? Check. Screaming demons yell? Check.

Any concerns I had about this playlist melted away with this song.

Song Energy: 9/10
Run Motivation: 8/10
Throwing up the Horns: 6/10
Overall: A

Iron Maiden — “Die With Your Boots On”

Who knew a song about the working middle class could be so hardcore?

Metallica — “Ride the Lightning”

I own the Black Album, as most people should, and I like their music, but I really hate Metallica.

Ozzy Osbourne — “Crazy Train”

Atlanta Braves fans should skip this portion of today’s blog. I warned you.

I hate Chipper Jones. He is easily my least favorite Major League Baseball player of all time. I hate his douchey goatee, the drawl in his voice and his overrated third base skills. If I could, I would kick him in his glass knees.

But the guy does have swag — as the youth call it. He flaunts his love of hunting and fishing, he stayed loyal to a city and fanbase that, from my experience, sacrifices its favorite players constantly, and he named his kid Shea to show how he owns the Mets. I hate that I respect him.

“Crazy Train” is his at-bat walkup song, and like many people who follow sports and have lived in Atlanta, I can’t hear this song and not think of Chipper F-ing Jones. It’s a great motivational song, clearly since it’s played at every professional sporting event, and a great song to run to. I just really hate Chipper Jones.

Song Energy: 7/10
Run Motivation: 8/10
Throwing up the Horns: 8/10
Overall: A

Judas Priest — “Devil’s Child”

These songs are really long. A lot longer than I was expecting.

Scorpions — “Blackout”

Scorpions is the first band to make it to two Pandora playlists. Take a bow.

Iron Maiden — “Flash of the Blade”

Metallica — “And Justice For All”

I’m surprised there’s two Metallica songs in this playlist and none from the Black Album.

Van Halen — “You Really Got Me”

When I think of Van Halen, I think only of “Panama.” During freshman year of college, for some reason the radio station my alarm was set to would play this song consistently at 8 a.m., which is when the alarm would go off for my 8:30 class. Since then, “Panama” was the official theme song of East Laville Room 343.

“Panama” followed my roommate and I into our two apartments for the rest of college, and even to this day we reach down between our legs and ease our seat back.

There’s nothing wrong with “You Really Got Me.” It brings a lot of energy to the Kinks’ original version, but it’s still no “Panama.”

But really, what else is?

Song Energy: 6/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
Throwing up the Horns: 6/10
Overall: B-

Judas Priest — “Rapid Fire”

Ozzy Osbourne — “Mr. Crowley”

Ozzy take 2. His first song was better, though.

Motley Crue — “Kickstart My Heart”

In the Hair Bands post I wrote that “I especially enjoyed (Motley Crue’s) song “Saints of Los Angeles,” which came out a few years ago, and their outstanding work in Kia commercials.” And boom goes Pandora.

The Judas Priest station clearly reads Briantology as it not only put “Kickstart My Heart,” which will forever be the Kia song in my head, but it put it as the final song to be played in an 8-mile run. Sixty or so minutes of rock music were just building to this final moment of adrenaline and fire. And to think, we did all of this to rock.

Song Energy: 9/10
Run Motivation: 9/10
Throwing up the Horns: 10/10
Overall: A+

I wish the playlist had more variety with the bands it played. Twelve songs were played by seven bands/artists, and Judas Priest had three songs on the list. I just wanted to get a broader range of this genre because I don’t listen to it very often, but perhaps I should, especially on long runs. The music had great energy, as expected, and kept me entertained throughout a 64-minute run on the treadmill.

\m/

4 Comments

Filed under Pandora, Running

Pandora Plays Classic Country

country

Before I begin with Wednesday’s playlist, I have some housekeeping to do. The Zoolander gif got me so excited I forgot to mention that with yesterday’s run, I moved on to another notch in the green level of the Nike Plus running thing. There are seven different color levels on the Nike Plus — yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, black and neon yellow — and I have no idea what happens when you reach black, but I’m progressing toward that, so that’s cool.

6tt4r5O4DTrNJLH6wotCqT0yRVjbtBPxg8YiFIurfV4

OK, now on to the run. Atlanta and Louisiana summers share a lot of similarities. Both of them have stretches of temperatures above 90 degrees that make Southerners roll our eyes when news reports talk about how New Englanders are struggling when a heat wave hits their area for a week or so.

But one thing I had forgotten about Louisiana summers that the damn Gulf Coast climate keeps reminding me about is the slew of summer showers. These showers last about 10 or 20 minutes, not long enough to break the heat, but long enough to make everything wet, steamy and humid. That humidity makes already difficult running conditions nearly impossible to battle.

That happened Wednesday as I got ready to run after work. The sun was out and a five-minute shower started. Tempted to get back on the sofa and call off the run, I somehow managed to get out there. I would regret that later.

As for the music, I had yet to listen to any country music, so that’s what I went with on Wednesday. Classic Country. Because if you’re going country, you can’t half-ass it.

Hank Williams — “Hey Good Lookin’”

I immediately regret this station.

When I was around 10 or 11, I listened to Garth Brooks a lot. In fact, the first CD I ever bought was Garth Brooks’ “Fresh Horses.” But that doesn’t mean I like country music.

Garth Brooks is to country music what Bud Light is to beer. People love Garth Brooks. Hardly anyone really HATES Garth Brooks. And if Garth Brooks is the only music available to listen to, then you’re going to stomach it. Same with Bud Light.

As for the song — slow, twangy, nothing exciting; exactly what you’d expect from a classic country song.

(These songs are graded on a VERY generous scale)

Song Energy: 3/10
Run Motivation: 3/10
Southern Level: Says Coke, Not Pop
Overall: C

Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson — “A Good Hearted Woman”

Waylon Jennings will be a running theme in this playlist. Side note: This might be the first Willie Nelson song I’ve listened to for its entirety.

Johnny Cash — “Ring of Fire”

One mile is done and I can see the steam rising from the sidewalk. A ring of fire might be preferable to this.

Jeannie C. Riley — “Harper Valley PTA”

I wanted to go all-in when choosing a country station. I didn’t want to pick Bud Light. I wanted a full-bodied stout, something whose head wouldn’t fall apart after two minutes.

I could have gone the safe route and chosen Today’s Country, Country Pop or Country Rock, but I didn’t want Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Randy Travis (Get well soon) or Taylor Swift. I wanted this, and Pandora is giving me exactly what I asked for.

I heard “Harper Valley PTA” before, but never really listened to the lyrics. I had no idea it was about a feisty, slutty milf.

The note said, “Mrs. Johnson, you’re wearing your dresses way too high

It’s reported you’ve been drinking and a-runnin’ ’round with men and going wild

And we don’t believe you ought to be bringing up your little girl this way”

It was signed by the secretary, Harper Valley P.T.A.

Little gems like these are why I’m enjoying the Pandora challenge.

Song Energy: 4/10
Run Motivation: 2/10
Southern Level: Muddin’ on a Friday Night
Overall: C+

Alabama — “High Cotton”

I refuse to enjoy anything with Alabama in its name.

George Jones — “The Grand Tour” (Clean version)

Pandora has this as a Clean Version, but I’m not sure what that means. It’s a sad song as George Jones tours his vacant home after his wife left, but I’m not sure why it needed to be cleaned.

Also, I can’t find an “Explicit Version” anywhere online. Is there an extra recording where George Jones goes Eminem and drowns the ex-wife for taking his kid in the divorce? If so, that would blow the Harper Valley surprise out of the water.

Johnny Cash — “Get Rhythm”

Classic country only has one singer: Johnny Cash.

Waylon Jennings — “Theme From The Dukes of Hazzard”

Now this is what I was expecting. Waylon Jennings gets a comeback with the biggest South-uniting song next to “Dixie.”

I have worked in both locations where “The Dukes of Hazzard” movie was shot — Baton Rouge and Covington, Ga. Also, I covered football games in Coweta County, Ga., where the original TV show was filmed, so I have some Duke street cred.

If I’m going with a theme song to a show about rebel Southerners in fast cars, I’m picking “Eastbound and Down” from Smoky and the Bandit, but Jennings’ theme comes in a close second.

By the way, the heat is getting ridiculous now. The hen-house is empty, the fox is lickin’ off chicken feathers and the Giandelone’s goose is about to be cooked.

Song Energy: 6/10
Run Motivation: 5/10
Southern Level: Confederate Flag (It’s ‘bout heritage, y’all)
Overall: B

Conwy Twitty — “Hello Darlin’”

I always though Conway Twitty was just someone Family Guy made fun of. I didn’t know he had enough clout to make a Pandora playlist. One mile to go.

Waylon Jennings — “The Conversation”

Correction: Classic country has only two singers: Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

Sammy Kershaw — “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

Holy crap. A few more blocks.

Loretta Lynn — “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man”


There are worse ways to end the run, so at least a somewhat up-tempo song is a welcome way to end. Though at this point anyway to end works for me.

I’m not sure why, but I heard this song a lot at LSU tailgates when I wrote a football tailgating column in 2005. I can see the obvious reason, but there are other songs with Louisiana in them that have to be more fitting for football tailgates than this right?

Also, according to the song, the two are separated by the Mississippi River that is filled with alligators on its banks. But the river separates the two states in the middle and northern parts of the states. Alligators, I believe, are all located in the southern Louisiana swamps. I’m no fisheries expert, but something seems wrong.

Song Energy: 6/10
Run Motivation: 4/10
Southern Level: Y’all
Overall: B

The South will rise again, Yee Haw! OK, classic country didn’t get me that excited, but it was just what I expected, and that’s not a bad thing. I did enjoy the station more than I thought I would. I’m still not drinking the Guinness of country, but maybe now I was move from my Bud Light to a Bud Heavy every now and then.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pandora, Running

Pandora Plays Ke$ha

kesha

I have really been enjoying the Pandora challenge, now in its third week. But I needed a break and wanted to listen to a familiar, sinfully enjoyable station for Tuesday’s 6-mile run.

If those crazy Crossfitters can have a cheat day, then why can’t I, right?

So Tuesday I bypassed the heavy metal, country, jazz and electronic stations in my queue for my trusty Ke$ha station. Yeah, that’s right, Ke$ha — don’t forget the dollar sign either.

She’s crazy, kind of weird looking without glitter and her songs are all about stuff that I’m too old for now, but I still love her music, so no matter how hot or how bad this run would be, at least I’d have some good music to go with it. Expectations were high as I was lacing up my shoes, and Pandora smashed them.

Ke$ha — “We R Who We R”

Really, there aren’t any BAD Ke$ha songs Pandora could have chosen to start the run — “Crazy Kids” is pretty weak, though — but “We R Who We R” is a damn good one. The energy is high like any other Ke$ha single, but the lyrics make this a hit.

The song is littered with hot pants, eye glitter, looking sick and sexyfied and even Jesus on a necklace-ace-ace. There’s so much going on lyrically — even if it is on a superficial level — to enjoy that it’s impossible not to take the run har-har-har-har-har-hard even on a hot day.

Song Energy: 7/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
Glitter Level: Looking sick and sexyfied
Overall: A

Anna Kendrick — “Cups”

If Katie was doing this review, she’d probably put up straight 10s across the board for this song. She has become a huge Anna Kendrick and “Cups” fangirl since watching “Pitch Perfect,” which is good with me because this song — and Anna Kendrick — isn’t bad at all.

will. i. am. and Britney Spears — “Scream and Shout”

I always feel a bit of shock when this song keeps playing after 30 seconds because I’m so used to hearing it in the Beats by Dre commercial.

Far East Movement — “Like a G6”

Ke$ha — “Die Young”

Ke$ha song No. 2. When I do these write-ups, I like to read up on the songs first, and I was completely unaware of the “controversy” with this song.

From Wikipedia:

The day after the Newtown shooting in Connecticut transpired, the song was pulled from some radio stations, causing a controversial online message with “Not Your Fault Kesha” trending on social networking site Twitter. The track, which features the lyrics “like we’re gonna die young”, was refused airplay by certain radio stations because they center around premature death. The withdrawal sent out a mixed response online. Responding to the event, the pop singer tweeted: “I’m so so so sorry for anyone who has been affected by this tragedy and I understand why my song is now inappropriate. Words cannot express.”

But like gun control regulation, this Newton reaction has ebbed as I hear “Die Young” regularly on Sirius/XM.

Miley Cryus — “We Can’t Stop”

Halfway done. The first three miles went by really fast. Sadly, I couldn’t hold the pace and the last three were slower.

Avril Lavigne — “What the Hell”

My college roommate and I bought Avril Lavigne’s Let Go album in 2002. That’s how much we both, embarrassingly, like her music. This song is no “Sk8er Boi,” but really, what is?

Flo Rida — “Low”

There is no Flo Rida song out there that will make me feel sad. Me listening to a Flo Rida song is similar to Zoolander and his orange mocha frappuccino.

BG2

I had a discussion last night with Katie which Flo Rida song was better, “Low” or “Right Round.” I contended at first that “Low” was better because it put his career on the map, showcased pornography posters and popularized boots with the fur. She said “Right Round” was better because it had Ke$ha in it. I can’t argue with that. Katie wins.

But “Low” is a fantastic song with great energy

Song Energy: 7/10
Run Motivation: 8/10
Glitter Level: Fly just like my Glock
Overall: A

Ke$ha — “Your Love Is My Drug”

Ke$ha song No. 3.

Icona Pop — “I Love It”

I’m ready for this song to go away soon.

Katy Perry — “Last Friday Night”

I just learned that Kenny G. didn’t play the saxophone in the original song; he just appeared in the video. That kind of takes away from this song a bit.

Iyaz — “Replay”

One more mile to go.

Kesha — “Blow”

Yes, that makes Ke$ha song No. 4 on this playlist. I told you Pandora did not disappoint.

“Blow” is an edgier song than the previous three Ke$ha tracks on this playlist, and that’s not a bad thing when you’re crapping out at the end of a run.

If you’ve never seen it before, please please please watch the video. The second half is just one complete WTF mess. Ke$ha and James Van Der Beek start shooting at each other — poorly — but keep missing and instead hit unicorns, who bleed out rays or rainbows. There’s also this genius dialogue — “Well, well, well. If it isn’t James Van Der Douche.”, “I don’t appreciate you slander-Beeking my name, Ke dollar sign ha.” — in the middle of it. The final seconds will also haunt your dreams.

Enjoy!

Song Energy: 8/10
Run Motivation: 6/10
Glitter Level: Throw some glitter, make it rain on ’em
Overall: A

Straight A’s for Ke$ha and Pandora, but I knew that would likely happen before I took my first step out the door. Wednesday I plan to restart the Pandora challenge, but it was nice to get this small break and enjoy my sinful music choices.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pandora, Running

Pandora Plays The Blues

blues

Monday’s run was a bit subdued. It was a Monday, and as much as I hate those people who go around the office saying how much they hate Mondays, this particular one had me in a comatose state all day.

Maybe it was the fact that on Sunday, I ate a 40-pound steak and never fully woke from the subsequent food coma. Maybe it was the fact that it rained all freaking afternoon, putting me in a Charlie Brown gloom kind of state. Maybe it was that I busted my ass at work writing scripts — after first Googling how to write scripts — for upcoming video shoots. Or maybe it was a combination of all three.

Whatever the cause, I was not up to a run on Monday, but thanks to Katie’s insistence on going to the gym after work, I strapped on my shoes and hit the treadmill.

My mood carried over to my Pandora station as I clicked on the Blues Guitar station and started running.

 

B.B. King and Eric Clapton — “Ten Long Years”

This post won’t be a typical post as I really have little understanding of blues. I love the music and listen to it all the time on the B.B. King Blues station on Sirius, but I can’t really tell one song from the next. All I know is 95 percent of the songs make me happy, and that’s why I went with this station.

I will say this about blues guitar, with each song being around 5-6 minutes, I get fewer songs but I get to enjoy the songs I really like for longer. I’m willing to sacrifice quantity over quality in this case.

 

Santana — “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”

Instead, this post will be a collection of random thoughts that occasionally race through my head during a run. Normally I can focus on the road in front of me, but while on a treadmill, it’s basically impossible to focus on anything.

Like an ADD kid hopped up on Surge — aka, me in second grade — I look all over the place and wonder just what the hell are all these people in the gym doing? No, I don’t want the obvious answer of getting fit and losing weight. While that’s true for many, I have no Goddamn idea what some people are doing there.

 

Back Door Slam — “Gotta Leave”

I’ve never been much of a gym person, but since joining one in February, I’ve noticed that people are really effing weird there. Take, for example, the non-lifting bros. They’re at the gym, sporting their Ralph Lauren hat, frat mixer shirt and short that are either way too long or way too tight. These guys don’t believe in middle ground.

They also seemingly don’t believe in lifting weights at the gym. Instead, they’re there to watch their bros lift, comment on said bro lifting, watch the TV with ESPN on and then slap their bro on the arm and scream, “Did you see that?!?!” when Yasiel Puig throws somebody out. Yet they do not lift.

 

Don Celenza — “Backstreet”

Surely they lift somewhere sometime because they’re all 5’10”, 240 pounds with biceps the size of their heads. But they don’t lift at my gym, at least not when I’m there. And like Jenny McCarthy’s kid to peanuts, they are allergic to the leg-machine side of the weight room as their thighs are the size of a toe.

So why are you there? Your bro doesn’t need your support. Get out!

 

Melvin Taylor –”Depression Blues”

Bros aren’t the only non-gym workout people.Flirty girl chicks who do two minutes of cardio so she can flirt with the staff are always out in full force when the gym is at its peak hours. The hardest part of Monday’s run wasn’t the first mile, last mile, pace or anything like that — it was the 40 seconds I had to stop breathing because of Flirty Girl’s perfume ridding the air of all oxygen.

Following two surely grueling minutes on the elliptical, she proceeds to the front desk, where she remains talking with the manager/trainers for the next 20 minutes. What’s amazing, though, is that non-workout bro and non-workout flirty girl never interact or even cross paths. Is it bad that I want to introduce them to each other and start a Nicholas Sparks gym novel?

 

Tommy Castro, Jimmy Hall, Lloyd Jones — “Be Careful With a Fool”

Finally, local news people, what the hell are you doing? We arrived at the gym around 5:45 and left about an hour later, so we were swamped with local news coverage on nearly every TV. What kind of disaster are you running? I shouldn’t be able to see you moving your eyes (or your head for whoever does the NBC33 broadcast) while you read the teleprompter. Graphics people, you’ve had over a year to work on your George Zimmerman coverage intro and you’re still going with a gun’s crosshairs? And weatherguy, I saw your station’s broadcast Sunday night where you said the rain would be over by early Monday afternoon. Yet here I am, watching it pour outside the window at 6:30.

People say newspapers are dying, and that’s true, but local news stations can’t be too far behind.

 

Johnny Winter — “Help Me”

Back to the music. I know I sound bitchy in this post, but I loved the station. Blues guitar rarely goes wrong. It’s slow, yes, and probably not the best for a run, but in a day full of gloom, getting into a dark, nicotine smoke haze was just what I needed. It put me in a good mood and made me happy that I got out there for 5 miles.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pandora, Running

Pandora Plays Hipster BBQ

hipster

I’ve been called a hipster before by friends and loved ones because of the clothes I wear, the food I eat and the things I buy. But I never thought anything of it. I thought they were just joking around because they’re my friends. They wouldn’t call me something that is bad or hurtful and a hipster isn’t a bad person, right?

On Sunday, I realized I have no friends or family.

Or at the very least, I learned more about the hipster community and realized that those calling me a hipster were not joking around, but rather grouping me with people who ***deep breath*** have terrible taste in music.

Sunday’s run playlist from Pandora was a station called “Hipster BBQ.” I have no idea what that means, but a Google search brings up this image below, so that’s all you really need, isn’t it?

hip1

What’s weird is I thought I shared some similar music likes to the hipster crowd – I like Matt and Kim, I listen to Fitz and the Tantrums (though I’m not sure they’re hipster enough) and I liked Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” (you know, before it sold out and became all mainstream and whatever).

The following playlist, though, has me rethinking my hipsterness and whether I’m even qualified to drink PBR anymore…

Now Now – “School Friends”

This song starts the run, and right now I’m thinking, “OK, I can deal with this.” It’s slow and I can barely hear what the singer says because she sings so low, but I can work with this.

If I was at home working on a blog post or at work reading sports-related blogs and message boards, this song would be fine. It’s soothing and kind of relaxing, but on a run, that’s disastrous.

I’m starting to wish I had gone Round 2 with the hair bands playlist right about now.

Song Energy: 2/10
Run Motivation: 1/10
Hipster Level: PBR
Overall: D

Cults – “Go Outside”

Hey, I’ve heard this song! And I am outside! So ironic!

The music video starts with the NBC news break about Jonestown. That’s how you know it’s so hipster bad.

Matt and Kim – “Daylight”

I really like Matt and Kim. Their albums are bookmarked on my Spotify and I listen to them all the time at work. This song also made my best of 2009 CD for my previous job’s CD club.

I’ve tried to go to their concerts before, but work or other more important stuff (like football) got in the way. (Skipping a concert because of sports is a valid hipster excuse, right?)

But again, for a run, this song just doesn’t work. I appreciate hearing it, but I’m starting to realize this station as a whole was not built for physical activities. Who knew hipsters didn’t like to work out and play sports?

Song Energy: 4/10
Run Motivation: 3/10
Hipster Level: Black-rimmed glasses (Starting to become too mainstream)
Overall: C+

Washed Out – “Feel It All Around”

I thought this song was Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” when it started and I was quite confused. Compare the two song beginnings. You’ll see.

Robert Delong – “Global Concepts”

Oh joy, electronic music! For the most part, this playlist had been underwhelming but not annoying or anger-inducing. That changed here.

The song starts a capella for a minute before going all electronic for another minute, back to a capella, then back to electronic, with a strange emphasis on the word “fucking” in each transition.

At least this run is halfway over at this point.

Song Energy: 4/10
Run Motivation: 1/10
Hipster Level: Exaggerated Moustache
Overall: D

Little Green Cars — “The John Wayne”

Just watch the first 30 seconds of this video. You’ll see five faces you watch to punch really hard. Poor Duke being associated with this crap.

Generationals – “Put a Light On”

See, the good thing about these songs is that they’re all about 3 minutes or less, so you don’t have to listen to them for too long. But that also means you have to hear more of the songs.

Also, the music video for this song was shot in New Orleans, so I recognize most of the scenes in the video, including the suburbs where I grew up. So does that make me a hipster?

 

St. Lucia – “All Eyes on You”

No words. ZZZZZZ

Miami Horror – “Holidays

Final song of the run. Hurrah!

At least this one has energy to it. It’s not a song I’d listen to again like with the songs at the beginning of the playlist, but at least it’s more than a person whispering into a mic or doing a capella.

I’ll give it a passing grade, but it’s on a bell curve. And I’m so tired of the hipster sound that I’ve given up on my tough grading.

Song Energy: 6/10
Run Motivation: 5/10
Hipster Level: Skinny Jeans
Overall: C+

When I got done with the run, I texted my former friend Kristen and threatened her if she ever called me a hipster again. No more PBR for me. No more skinny clothes for me. I need something loud and with a lot of electric guitar now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pandora, Running