Monday, April 16, 2007

Climb mix

So the other day, Fat Cyclist challenged his readers to come up with a list of seven perfect songs to listen to while grinding the pedals up a killer hill. I didn't give such a list much thought until today, while turning the elliptical pedals at the gym and listening to the new Modest Mouse album ... yeah, again. So there I was, cycling through my boring routine and staring off into space when I noticed my field of vision begin to narrow. I snapped out of la-la land and realized that not only was my heart racing, but I was turning some crazy RPMs on the digital display. I didn't even make a conscious choice to go so hard. What made me do it? "Florida."

Exercise music is completely personal, of course, based on cadence preferences and general taste, among other things. But in my opinion, "Florida" is the most perfect hill-climbing song ever recorded. It has everything I need in a climbing song - a catchy beat punctuated by bursts of energy, an ethereal enough melody to mimic complacency whilst pushing through the pain tunnel, and lyrics that won't challenge you to think too hard while you're in there.

This got me to thinking about taking up Fatty's challenge to make a hill-climbing playlist. So these are my seven songs. They are not my seven all-time songs, really, just the ones I'd put on my iPod right now, today. This list would probably be different tomorrow. I'm not sure how well these links will work. Not all of the songs had handy YouTube videos, including "Florida."

A lot of you have probably already posted your own seven-song list at Fatty's place. But feel free to send it my way. My iPod is dying for some diversity.

"Florida" by Modest Mouse - "I stood on my heart supports thinkin', 'Oh my God, I'll probably have to carry this whole load.'"

"Fire It Up" by Modest Mouse - "When we finally turn it over; Make a beeline towards the border; Have a drink, you've had enough."

"The Bleeding Heart Show" by The New Pornographers - "Watch 'em run, although it's the minimum, heroic."

"Wolf Like Me" by TV on the Radio - "We could jet in a stolen car; but I bet we wouldn't get too far; before the transformation takes; and bloodlust tanks; and crave gets slaked."

"What Never Dies" by Sense Field - "Some don't want to see you win; Some don't want to see you fly; Some don't want to see you live; They just want to see you."

"Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well" by Mike Doughty - "Oh all the days; That I have run; I sought to lose that cloud that’s blacking out the sun; My train will come; Some one day soon; And when it comes I’ll ride it bound from night to noon."

"Miami 2017" by Billy Joel - Hey ... don't judge me.


  1. Hi Jill,

    I didn't find an e-mail link, so I thought I'd put this in your most recent post....

    It's a link to a bike with (or a conversion kit to put) a ski on the front of a bicycle and a track to the back. Thought you might like it.


  2. hi u duin?
    Lets link.

  3. Gotta be honest Jill, I never heard any of the stuff you listen to-most of my "climbing/hard core exercise music" is by groups like AC/DC, Metallica, Guns n' know, old geezer music :-)

    47 on the outside.......14 on the inside.

  4. personally: i just put on Moon & Antarctica (Modest Mouse) and keep it going ... round-and-around-and around. it gets so that i don't even have to have it actualy playing to hear the music. now it's all just in my head.

  5. Um...I am not much of a biker, but I think most of the tracks by Rammstein would pump up enough adrenaline to do that uphill climb.

  6. Here here, Donut guy.

    Nothing got me to the summit faster than Hell's Bells and/or Back in Black. That is when I used to listen to music while riding. Anymore, I prefer to have all my senses about me while pedaling.

  7. Can't handle all the linky linky stuff, but here you go:

    The Hold Steady- "Little Hoodrat Friend".

    Outkast- "Way You Feel"

    Lyrics Born- "Calling Out".

    Dropkick Murphys- "Fighting 69th"

    NOFX- "We're the Brews"

    The Toasters- "Run Rudy Run"

    Public Enemy- "Miuzi Weighs a Ton"

    So there.

  8. More old(ish) guy stuff:

    "This Corrosion" by Sisters of Mercy
    "She's Lost Control" by Joy Division
    "Burning Inside" by Ministry
    "Facination Street" by The Cure
    "One Chord Wonders" by The Adverts
    "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" by The Pogues
    "Running on the Rocks" by Shriekback

    Different songs for different hills. For instance "She's Lost Control" is a bit slow for charging a short hill. The song's got a slow steady cadence with a great build of intensity, perfect for a long hard climb.

  9. "Entertain" by Sleater-Kinney
    "The View from the Afternoon," Arctic Monkeys

  10. Hi Jill I love ride a bicycle to, and I learn about Alaska Because I have a co worker that is from there.

  11. Modest Mouse = Awesomenicity.

  12. Have to admit that I generally have some good climbs when Modest Mouse is hollering about "Doin' the Cockroach" through my headphones!

    Another Sense Field fan! Yippee.

  13. Hmm, never been one for Music to Pedal by. When driving though then the music is on. I wonder what that is that makes it seem right to play music in one zone and not another?

  14. I am by no means a cyclist.

    I did however find it odd that I stumbled upon your blog after getting home from the gym where I was doing cardio on a stationary bike listening to Modest Mouse. Que twilight zone music...just me? Anyway it gets creepier. I was feeling particularly blah today and had to force myself to the gym. "Dashboard" came on and pushed me through it.

    My "Beefcake" playlist includes "FLoat on" "Florida" and "We've got everything" When I made the playlist I thought it was odd to include Modest Mouse, glad to see others share my taste in work out music.

    Side note, their new disc is killer. I am going to see them in Toronto next week on my way to Vegas which is very out of the way for me as I live in the middle of Canada. Good times.

    Great blog by the by. Alaska is beautiful. I grew up two doors down in the Northwest Teritories. We could have been neighbours.

    keep up the great work


  15. I'm not a cyclist - I do run and occasionally will do a cycling class at the gym. After listening to Modest Mouse - Fire it up(thanks to your recommendation), also it was my first introduction to Modest Mouse - I completely understand why it would be a great cycling song!
    For running, however, I need fast paced songs - and I'm into the pop tunes. Missy Elliott get your freak on; Gwen Stefani wind it up; Avril Lavigne girlfriend; Actually - Finger 11 Paralyzer may be a great cycling tune. Nelly Furtado Man Eater; Pink who knew. Janet Jackson so excited.

  16. Just got the new Modest Mouse today (finally!), and am giving it the first listen right now. I'm up to "Missed the Boat", and so far it KICKS ASS. Of course I expected no less from MM...

    I also picked up the new Nine Inch Nails, which came out today. Don't know if you're a NIN fan, but if so, you'll definitely like this one. In my opinion, it's their best one since "Pretty Hate Machine" ("Broken" is still my favorite NIN album though).

    Thanks for turning me on to The New Poronagraphers! I'd never listened to them before, but checked them out after reading your post. I really like them! I'll definitely be picking up a couple of their CD's soon.

    To all - check out to setup your own customized radio stations based on the bands you listen to. It's completely free, and will introduce you to a lot of new music you might not otherwise know about. It's great for passing the time at work, brightening up that otherwise dreary cubicle existence... :)


  17. Granted, I'm not a connoisseur of popular music, but I never heard of Modest Mouse until 2 weeks ago when I read somewhere that they have a concert scheduled locally. Now I hear/read about Modest Mouse everywhere.

    I always wondered how my dad could be as out of touch with popular music as he was. Now I think I know how he felt.

  18. TVC - if you have a chance to see Modest Mouse live, you should. They put on one helluva live show. And if they play at 1st Ave, you definitely gotta go! (oh how I miss 1st Ave...)

  19. I LOVE modest mouse... nice choice. Though to be honest I am a house, techno, and dance-hall fan when it comes to music for working out.

  20. From the photos you post , It seems you have always nice weather in ALASKA … lol but I would like to see depicted a really STORMY WEATHER …

    Is it possible to send me some photos ???
    Thanks GIANNIS

  21. I just stumbled onto your blog because I am going to Seward, Alaska for the summer. My internship is at the Alaska Sea Life Center. I've never been and am super-excited! This semester, I have become obsessed with "spinning." Achilles tendinitis prevents me from doing anything else really. :( I would suggest "Podrunner" available on I-Tunes. It's a free podcast with a new techno mix every week that lasts an hour.

    Otherwise, just about any U2 song puts my in a good mood.


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