Tag Archives: rock

Alternative Rock Battle: 90s vs. Today


It’s been a long few days at work, so I apologize for not updating the blog. Right now I’m sitting in the DMV because these clowns didn’t file the right paperwork when I was in a few months ago so I have to do it again. I’m No. D317 and we’re up to D309. This could take awhile and I’m using this time to update my progress with the Pandora challenge.

I also didn’t update the blog last week because there wasn’t really much to update. I ran on Monday, took Tuesday off and planned to run the rest of the week. But a work emergency had me working a 12-hour day on Wednesday, 10 hours on Thursday and left me dead tired on Friday.

I did manage to run Saturday and Sunday, a 4 mile run followed by a 5 miler. Since I had a rough week and just wanted something familiar, I chose 90s Alternative for Saturday and Today’s Alternative for Sunday and compared the two. Which decade has the better alt rock? Let’s find out.

Nirvana — “Come As You Are” vs. Foster the People — “Pumped Up Kicks”

These were the first two songs played on the runs, and it brings up an interesting debate. On the 90s side, we have one of the biggest rock bands in the decade despite the fact that it stopped producing music early in the 90s. Today’s Alternative counters with a band that isn’t a big name necessarily but has one of the biggest hits in the past three years.

I know there are a lot of Nirvana fans out there, and I’m one of them WE’RE UP TO D310 but I have to give this one to Foster the People. “Come As You Are” by far isn’t Nirvana’s biggest hit. It’s probably No. 3 or 4 on the Nevermind album. “Pumped Up Kicks” is the biggest song Foster the People have and probably will ever have. For that alone, point goes to Today’s Alternative.

90s Alternative: 0
Today’s Alternative: 1


Stone Temple Pilots — “Interstate Love Song” vs. The Lumineers — “Ho Hey”

This is an easy decision here. Stone Temple Pilots wins this one going away.

“Hey Ho” is a fine song for a movie trailer, but it’s unbearable to hear on the radio or in this case on a run. WE’RE UP TO D312. WE’RE ROLLING NOW. It’s slow and whiny, which I’ll come to find out is the MO for Today’s Alternative music.

No one can argue with Stone Temple Pilot’s impact on rock and its energetic D314! sound. “Interstate Love Song” isn’t their hardest song, but it’s one of their most popular, and for good reason.

Point goes to 90s Alternative.

90s Alternative: 1
Today’s Alternative: 1


Red Hot Chili Peppers — “Under the Bridge” vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers — “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”

Holy crap I hate the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I mean, I absolutely cannot stand to hear any song by that band. They’re total crap in my opinion, and there’s only one song by them that I can tolerate, and that’s “Under the Bridge.”

The reason I can tolerate this song is because in high school when we’d travel to away track meets, we’d break out in an acapella rendition of “Under the Bridge.” It wasn’t good, but it passed the time and ticked off our coach.

Any other RHCP song that isn’t “Under the Bridge,” including “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” automatically loses.

Point 90s Alternative

90s Alternative: 2
Today’s Alternative: 1

Tonic — “If You Could Only See” vs. Linkin Park— “Burn It To The Ground”

This is an interesting matchup. Linkin Park’s high energy, up-tempo song against Tonic’s slower, but with more ranges song. Each one is a strong song on its own and each one makes a decent running song, so it’s hard to compare the two.

Like every tough decision I make in life, I make a sports analogy and use past results to figure out a winner. “Burn It To The Ground” is a faster, stronger song with punishing, bruising notes. Similar to an SEC football team (You may already know where I’m going with this). “If You Could Only See” has substance and some star parts that will do damage when in the right set, but the depth isn’t there. Similar to a Pac-12 football team.

So SEC football vs. Pac-12 football. I believe we all remember what happened in 2011 when LSU faced Oregon. The Ducks put up a good fight, but they couldn’t sustain the LSU depth and punch. LSU won, and so, too, does Linkin Park.

Point to Today’s Alternative.

90s Alternative: 2
Today’s Alternative: 2


Nirvana — “Heart-Shaped Box” vs. Mumford & Sons — “I Will Wait”

Like I said before, I’m a Nirvana fan. Not a huge one like many people I know, but I did have a Kurt Cobain poster in my freshman dorm room (Mostly because my roommate said I needed a poster of something to get rid of the dirty wall color).

“Heart-Shaped Box” is also my favorite Nirvana song of all time. Many die-hard fans despise this song because it’s essentially a love song to Courtney Love, but I think it’s great.

Mumford & Sons is dying for me. Very quickly, too. I liked the band when they first became popular around 2009, but there’s only so much “Little Lion Man” you can hear before you agree that they really fucked it up this time. D317! YES! BRB! Add that every song Mumford & Sons has sounds the same, and we’re going on four years of hearing basically the same song.

Point 90s Alternative

90s Alternative: 3
Today’s Alternative: 2


Smashing Pumpkins — “1979” vs. Capital Cities — “Safe and Sound”

It’s an elimination game for Today’s Alternative in this best-of-seven series, so this is a big matchup. Unfortunately for them, 90s Alternative comes out with its best performance up to date.

You can beat The Smashing Pumpkins, but you can’t beat “1979.” It’s by far the best song on the Melancholy and Infinite Sadness double album, and that’s including “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.” This album had a big impact on me growing up. I dreamed about getting older so I could ride in the back seat of my friends car because of this song.

“Safe and Sound” is a good song, but there’s no question which song wins here. Despite “1979” being slow for a running song, it still dominates.

Point 90s Alternative

90s Alternative: 4
Today’s Alternative: 2

Third Eye Blind — “Semi-Charmed Life” vs. Imagine Dragons — “Radioactive”

The match is over, but we still have one more song to go, so let’s do it anyway. Although, again, it’s not pretty for Today’s Alternative.

Nothing, and I mean absolutely, nothing can beat “Semi-Charmed Life.” The song first appeared on the 90s Hits station in my first Pandora challenge post, and I was happy to see it return for the 90s Alternative.

“Radioactive” is good, but holy crap it’s overplayed. Everyone needs to stop playing it on the radio and for the love of God stop making sports montage with this song in the background.

Point 90s Alternative

90s Alternative: 5
Today’s Alternative: 2

90s Alternative dominates the faceoff. I liked Today’s Alternative, but it’s sound doesn’t compare to the 90s Alternative sound. Today’s sound is slower, whinier, more depressing compared to the 90s (and the 90s had two songs sung by a guy who blew his head off!).

Am I getting old and thinking they just don’t make good music like they used to? Perhaps. But I will still love the 90s.

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Filed under Pandora, Running

Pandora Plays Judas Priest


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.



Filed under Pandora, Running