BPM.2

So yesterday’s post didn’t break it down for you in your search for the perfect workout playlist. Here is what I have found: jog.fm has done all the work for you. They have discovered that roughly speaking a 9:00 minute per mile pace translates to a 160 bpm, an 8:00 minute/mile pace is 170 bpm and 7:00 is 180 bpm. You can plug in your goal pace and they will suggest songs with that bpm. In addition to that, there is a website, songbpm.com on which you can check the bpm of just about any of your current favorites. And happily, I’ve found it to be very current and up to date.

Add to all this amazingness the fact that you can use the app mapmyrun.com and you can see if it is working because it will tell you how fast and far you are running. Technology kind of blows my mind sometimes. I get that some running purists will dislike this. I can see that  some music aficionados might turn their noses down as well, but, I think it’s pretty great.

My current (new) list has songs from all genres but some of the ones that really keep it fun are the 80s songs. It has  The Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, which, is such a fun throwback. Boy George was one of my first girlhood crushes…not sure what that says about me. Everyone kind of looked Boy George-ish in the 80s. Case in point, today’s selection:

The Cure “Close to Me” 185 bpm. Perfect if you really want to haul. Have a great day and Happy Thanksgiving!

BPM

I find people’s workout playlists fascinating. There is something funny about hearing that your straight-laced friend lets loose to David Guetta’s “Sexy Chick” when she works out, or hearing that when push comes to shove in a race, nothing can keep another friend going like downloaded army running chants. I get it. There is an indescribable umph factor to certain songs . The key to creating the perfect playlist is finding songs that continue to make you want to keep after it, to push just a little bit harder. Sometimes they are oddly great, meaning that they defy what one would think of as a good song to run to (and I concede that these ones are HUGELY subjective). I mentioned in a previous post that The National’s “Don’t Swallow the Cap” is a fantastic song to run to, but I remained somewhat mystified by just why.  On a whim one night I took some of my favorite running songs from a playlist that I keep coming back to because it guarantees a good run, and I checked the beats/per/minute of those songs. All of my favorites clocked in at 180 beats per minute or translated to a double time 90 bpm song. These songs had actually helped me lower my pace per mile and I thought I was just listening to great music. I am not the first to discover that bpm can translate to pace per mile (although I felt like I had made the discovery and that it was tantamount to say, discovering penicillin ) I didn’t discover it, BUT, I am glad that I found this because it is immensely helpful in crafting new playlists and perhaps even setting  goals for faster times.

So I have been tinkering, and there are still some things I can’t account for 1. Sometimes bpm doesn’t matter. Some songs are much slower but move me just as quickly. 2. Then there is the more obvious issue that some songs seem to fit the bill but don’t have that umph factor.  I had high hopes of the scientifically perfect playlist, but while I do think perfection in music is possible, it is perhaps not quantifiable. It is definitely worth seeking though, so I tinker on…

Today’s song is from the Garden State Soundtrack (which deserves a post of its own) and is definitely a great song to run to. Lebanese Blonde actually kind of makes you float magic-carpet style. It’s 92 bpm, so a brisk 184, quick and light double time.

Thievery Corporation “Lebanese Blonde”

Have a great day.

Taking the Reindeer by the Horns

The inevitable shift towards Christmas hustle and bustle is already happening. I was met with Christmas songs at every stop on my errands today and this year I’ve decided to unlock my jaw and embrace the inevitable…Let me pause and say that I am not a Grinch, but I just think that starting Christmas this early leads to such a huge January let down. Part of my passive resistance to the trend of starting the madness early is to not engage (yet). This brilliant idea has made me calm and zen-like every holiday season that I’ve tried it. Ok, maybe NOTSOMUCH. So, this year I am going to go with the flow. If there is a carol, I will be singing it. If I see an item that would be juuuust perfect for so and so I will buy it. I’m setting a goal of Dec 15th for all purchases to be done.

Today’s pick is a happy song, called Holiday; not really about the Holidays, quite the opposite in fact, but a happy little tune nonetheless and it always puts me in a good (read non-Grinchy) mood.

Vampire Weekend “Holiday”

11.7

The sun has returned; albeit it with a seasonal chill. I don’t know how I survived up North for as long as I did. After a long stretch of overcast days, the sunshine is surprising. I forget how much I need it until I feel it once again. Today’s pick is a gorgeous, sunny song with a lilting melody that makes me think of floating on the ocean. Local Natives are from L.A. and have opened for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. This song is from their January 2013 release, Hummingbirds, which was produced by one of the guitarists/lyricists for the National (whom I love as well).

Local Natives “Ceilings”

Rainy Day Cover

I am pretty excited about today’s pick. It is a cover that transcends the original.  Which is saying a lot because I absolutely adore Chris Issak’s Wicked Game. But Emika’s cover of the song , with it’s unusual syncopation and lush, dreamy, atmospheric vibe really hits the spot for a rainy day.  Take a moment and enjoy this gorgeous song.

Happy Monday.