Ladies and Gents, meet one of the nicest guys ever.
John, Founder of HellaSound Running Music, is Teh Awesome. Had he not swung by the old site eons ago to comment on our Interactive Group Workout Playlist, I may never have had the pleasure…mainly because his gig is writing/playing/producing some awesome music that’s designed specifically for runners – (looooonnngggg tracks, meant to keep you moving and paced to your stride) – and the only time I run is if someone is chasing me.
Yet another chance meeting that has proven fortuitous! Huzzah, interwebs!
Now, go back and read what I said about the music. Seriously, think about it. Runners (I’m remembering back to when I was one) need to keep up momentum. They need to stay on pace, fluidly moving through the lulls that come midway through, and the thoughts of “crap -why am I doing this again?” And, I’m not just talking serious runners – I couldn’t be, because I wouldn’t have ANY idea what they sound like – I’m talking to you, on the treadmill at the gym in between dropping the kids at school and a swing through the grocery store. The mindset is the same: if you’re gonna do it, do it well and make it enjoyable.
Enter John and HellaSound. Imagine a thirty minute track of original music, synched to your stride, with beats and rhythm paced for moving…that DOESN’T SUCK! Whatchu like – 80’s-influenced indie rock? Hard, Heavy, Intense, Aggressive, Metal? Indie rock, funk and jazz? Yeah, well he’s got it, and more on the way…and for less than the cost of a trip to Starbuck’s, you can have it, too. Check it.
Oh, and while you’re there, check the November Listening Party at HellaSound, wherein John picks three songs and asks a guest to pick three, they listen to them “together” and give their (ahem) “professional opinions”. You just might recognize this month’s guest:
And this month’s guest just *might* have inadvertently ripped off some comments about song/artist from conversations I’ve had with Rock and Roll Mama and Ash Behind the Lens, which I totally didn’t realize until yesterday! (What can I say? I have brilliant friends. Obviously, I listen when they talk. And…my analysis was beer-induced…) 😉
But FIRST – check out this shuffle from John. Pure kick ass coated in hell yeah. Coltrane – are you kidding me? Enjoy!
1. John Coltrane – Acknowledgement (7:47)
Pretentious to start of with jazz’s most profound tenor saxophonist? Probably. But damn. Listening to John Coltrane “think” through all the permutations of what he’s trying to say, and the soul-searching screams of his instrument… The crazy rhythms of Elvin Jones’ drums and McCoy Tyner’s chords layering weaving behind him, it’s like going to the most amazing church service you’ve ever been to.
2. Deftones – Hole in the Earth (4:06)
Immediately rips your face off with 3 giant chords. For a song that you can, theoretically, waltz to, it opens like 747 engines going full-blast. These guys can rock, but they can also create these amazingly beautiful songs. The vocals walk the line between breathy and full-on rock.
3. Trans Am – Television Eyes (5:02)
Here’s where I immediately lose everyone that made it through the Coltrane opener. Low-fi robot rock, the main melody of the synth sounds so great and dirty. And yes, he’s singing through a synthesizer. The build up in the bridge is absolute madness. Side note: these guys put on a great show.
4. Blackalicious – Blazing Arrow (2:39)
From psychotic robots to probably one of the most linguistically gifted MCs ever to rock a mic. A great backpacker little hip hop song.
5. Stray Cats – Stray Cat Strut (3:19)
A classic. I didn’t start playing the guitar because of Brian Setzer, but as soon as I did I tried to learn all his riffs. Slick, jazzy, lots of great subtle things going on in this retro-old school rocker. Plus, what a great chorus! Again, classic.
6. Johnny Cash – The Mercy Seat (4:35)
Johnny Cash covering a Nick Cave song. Nick Cave does some of the darkest, manliest music there is; any song with a lyric “My kill-hand is called E.V.I.L.” is a song that shaves with a rusty straight razor. Manly. I think Johnny Cash version makes it a little more approachable. Great, dark song about taking your place on the electric chair—the “mercy seat”.
7. Shudder to Think X-French Tee Shirt (4:08)
One of my favorite bands of the 90s. Of all the fantastically, marvelously unlistenable songs on their brilliant album “Pony Express Record”, this, for some reason, was chosen as the radio single. LOL. It stays on virtually the same chord for most of the song, until the glorious chorus vamp at the end. I remember hearing it on the radio and turning it up full blast, in amazement. Love it.
8. Chicago – Make Me Smile (complete) (6:27)
Chicago really was a good band at one time. No, seriously. This song is near and dear to my heart. Everything is completely right with it. Amazing drums, great horn arrangement, great guitar sounds, and the voice. Oh lord the voice. If I could sing like Terry Kath, I’d never leave the shower.
9. 5ive Style – Deep Marsh (3:16)
Bill Dolan, the guitar player, is one of my all-time favs. I even interviewed him for Hella Sound [http://www.hellasound.com/site/read/once-around-the-park-an-interview-with-bill-dolan/]. 5ive Style was a kind of funk, math rock, I-don’t-know-what-you’d-call-it instrumental band. I hear The Meters and Led Zeppelin, married in a way that truly appeals to me.
10. Mika – Lollipop (02 – Mike – Lollipop) (3:05)
Okay, so this might be a bit of a throw-away song, but hey, how can you not like this song? Besides, I’ve thrown a ton of crazy crap at you, so sit back and listen to a really great pop studio piece, and have fun! LOLLIPOP!