1: My roadmap to greatness
I haven't had this much fun building a mix tape since freshman year in high school.
In this day and age of singles and downloads, album-writing has become a lost art. But it's one that I cherish.
I buy most of my music on vinyl, and nothing makes me happier than listening to an album that's great from the first beat to the final cadence. I don't want to hit the "skip" button.
When I first starting building my marathon playlist, I went through my library, grabbing several of my favorite albums and a whole bunch of individual tracks.
My original vision was having 4 hours worth of this and that. But, unsurprisingly, I had a hard time breaking up the albums.
There were two very easy decisions - the first track and the last track.
Somewhere, I've still got several playlists from the biggest shows my band played. And going to a show and finding a way to snag the band's playlist was like making off with golden fleece.
Our 26.2-mile show will be starting before we know it. I'm thrilled to share my setlist with you. It might not be crudely written in Sharpie, but it'll have to do:
Track 1 (4:12): "Everything in its Right Place" - Radiohead. Duh.
Tracks 2-15 (53:21): Girl Talk's album "Feed the Animals," in its entirety. After Thom Yorke's offering of zen, it's time to get the party started. If you ever, EVER, struggle to get motivated to work out, play this album and buckle up.
Tracks 16/17 (7:22): "Chips Ahoy" and "The Swish" by The Hold Steady. Debatably my favorite band, and these two tunes are some bona fide blood-pumpers. I feel bad not including a Hold Steady album in its entirety, but every once in a while, I'm injecting a little "taste" from one of my favorite artists to let me know where I'm at (or at least where I should be). At this point, we'll be approaching an hour and, ideally 7 miles.
Tracks 18-31 (41:04): The Weakerthans' album "Reconstruction Site," in its entirety. This album is a masterpiece. I've been finding that, in my longer runs, my body settles into its groove after about an hour. So at that point, I'm going to listen to something that needs not keep the adrenaline flowing. For 41 minutes and 4 seconds, I'm going to bask and enjoy the weather before it gets too hot and I need musical reinforcement.
Tracks 32-39 (26:49): As the heat rises, the cavalry arives. I frickin' love Fugazi. I'll listen to eight songs of theirs as we pass the halfway point. First I'll hear "Break," "Place Position," "Recap Modotti" and "Five Corporations" from "End Hits." Then comes "Cashout," "Full Disclosure," "Epic Problem," which features the greatest bridge EVER, and "Life and Limb" off "The Argument." I originally had the following Cursive collection first in the list, but then realized it would be sacrilege to not put Tim Kasher's model of musical manhood first. For those scoring at home, Kasher is the frontman of Cursve and The Good Life, two of my favorite bands.
Tracks 40-51 (51:18): A carefully selected collection of Cursive tunes. These albums I didn't mind breaking up, because they feature such extreme highs and lows. We'll start with "Sink to the Beat," "The Great Decay" and "Mothership, Morthership Do You Read Me" from the band's EP "Burst and Bloom." Then comes "Sucker and Dry" from "The Difference Between Houses and Homes," then "Shallow Means, Deep Ends," "A Red So Deep," "The Lament of Pretty Baby," "The Game of Who Needs Who the Most," and "The Radiator Hums" from "Domestica." After "From the Hips" off "Mama, I'm Swollen," the Cursive set wraps up with "Bloody Murderer" and "Staying Alive" off "The Ugly Organ." That last track builds to the most epic, hair-rising passage I've ever heard.
Track 52 (3:13): "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire," by Queens of the Stone Age. As we begin our final hour of running, it's time for another benchmarker that says, "Hey guy, it's time to get down to business. You're welcome."
Tracks 53-66 (47:21): A handful of tracks from the best thing that every happened to me as a runner - P.O.S., an artist from the Twin Cities who calls his style "rap you can skateboard to." I'll hear "Let It Rattle," "Drumroll (We're All Thirsty)," "Savion Glover" (a tribute of sorts to Fugazi's "Five Corporations"), btw, "Purexed," "Graves (We Wrote the Book)," and "Low Light Low Life" from the album "Never Better." Next are "That One," "Music for Shoplifting," "Duct Tape," and "Ants" from "Ipecac Neat." Finally, "Half-Cocked Concepts," "Paul Kersey to Jack Kimball," "A Teddy Bear and a Tazer" and "P.O.S. is Ruining My Life" off "Audition," which leads us to the power song.
Track 67 (5:06): "Wolf Like Me," by TV on the Radio. In a perfect world, I won't even get to this song. Because that would mean we finished in less than 3 hours, 55 minutes. OK, who am I kidding? I don't care where we are time-wise, the moment we hit 25.5 miles, I'll be tapping into this song and whatever battery acid I've got left to run on.
And when I get there, I'll open the throttle like never before. I haven't trained four months to trot across the finish line. I'm going to be like a man on fire.
OK. Now I'm pumped. Let's do this.