Friday 21 August 2009

he's the hairy handed gent who ran amok in Kent....

Earworms of the Week

> "Master of Puppets" - Metallica
> "The Trooper" - Iron Maiden

I like rock music. I like running to rock music. It probably won't come as much surprise to learn, then, that as my mileage has increased in the run-up to the Half Marathon, I've been listening to lots and lots of heavy metal on a playlist a I plod my weary way around the place. I've been listening to Muse, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Probot, Rage Against the Machine, AC/DC... but above all, I've been listening to Metallica and Iron Maiden. There's something about the driving drum beat and the screaming guitars that makes me pick my knees up and run that little bit faster, no matter how tired I am or how much I've started to drag my feet. It also, it must be said, makes the whole process somewhat less boring. When you're out for ninety odd minutes, with nothing much to think about but how much you're hurting, you take all the distraction you can get..... Is it poor form to wear an iPod on the day itself, do you think?

> "Shoot the Runner" - Kasabian

Damn those gibbons, but I'm finding some of their music damn near impossible to shift from my brain. Perhaps this one is a plea for mercy from a tired athlete in training? Or a desperate cry from a despairing full back as the player he's supposed to be marking leaves him for dead?

> "Caribbean Moon" - Kevin Ayers
> "Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes" - Kevin Ayers

I was introduced to Kevin Ayers courtesy of Mike's Shuffleathon disc from last year, and was curious enough to get myself a collection of his work. It's not something I like to listen to every day, but just once in a while it hits the spot perfectly. For some reason, I seem to find his cod reggae "Caribbean Moon" stuck in my head, when it's pretty far from his best song.... but it is absurdly catchy and there's not a whole lot I can do about that (great video too). "Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes" is much more like it, and it a rambling tale of a man who walks into a bar. Puts me in mind of Stan Ridgeway's "Camouflage", for some reason....

> "Money" - Pink Floyd
> "Free Money" - Patti Smith

In my head for fairly obvious reasons, I would say. The Floyd song is probably the more famous (and marvellously covered by the Dan Reed Network, if memory serves me correctly. Des will be able to confirm, I'm sure...). I prefer the Patti Smith song though, as I love the way the song works its way up from a whisper to a gallop and then eases itself back down again.

> "Cheek to Cheek" - Fred Astaire

A colleague of mine at work was disgruntled about something this week, and asked me who he should escalate to. I suggested the Head of Delivery, who happens to be a sikh. My colleague, also a sikh, dismissed the idea. "No, I don't want to be accused of the whole Sikh-to-Sikh thing". Now, this statement had two immediate effects on me: the first was to wonder what on earth the sikh-to-sikh thing was. Was it like the masons? The second was to plant that wonderful Irving Berlin song into my head.... only with sadly altered lyrics and an unfortunate mental image of two sikh gentlemen waltzing around the office together.

> "Romeo & Juliet" - The Killers

A great song at the best of times, but this is a really, really good cover version and one that I've heard twice in the last week. Once was when I chose it on my iPod in the car, but the other time was a lot more random when it popped up on the radio. Good song.

> "Afternoon Delight' - Starland Vocal Band

C and I took out 4 DVDs last weekend: The Wrestler, Valkyrie, Doubt and Revolutionary Road (can you guess which two I chose and which two C chose?). All good films, I thought, but none are exactly upbeat. As we finished off the last, Revolutionary Road, on Tuesday night, my mind drifted off into the thought that I actually really like Will Ferrell films, Anchorman in particular. I've been toying with the idea of buying myself a "Stay Classy, San Diego" t-shirt, and that thought after watching all those excellent but downbeat films pushed me over the edge and I hopped online and placed an order. Is it geeky? Probably. But 60% of the time it works every time.

Sky rockets in flight?
Afternoon delight.

If you don't think this song is the greatest song ever, I will fight you. That's no lie.

> "Werewolves of London" - Warren Zevon

It was listening to Kevin Ayers that planted the seed that I should listen to some Warren Zevon next. The two are loosely associated in my mind because they sound similar-ish, at least in terms of their singing voices. Zevon wrote lots of good songs, of course, not least "Raspberry Beret", but it's this one that stands out a mile for me. Ahhhh-hoooooh!


And that's your lot. I'm off to Oxford this evening and then onwards to watch England hopefully regain the Ashes at the Oval on Sunday. In the meantime, may I point you in the direction of our Just Giving page in the hope that you might see your way towards making a donation....? We're running the half marathon to raise money for the MS Society of Great Britain. Thanks to all who have given money so far - you've been very generous and your generosity humbles me.

Have a good weekend y'all, and stay classy.


  1. (yes, I know Prince wrote "Raspberry Beret", but Zevon does a great version of it, ok?)

  2. I really kind of want to know what the Sikh-to-Sikh thing is. Rest assured that you passed that particular bug on.

  3. "Hairy 'handed' gent"

    Devil is in the details.

    Have to say whenever I hear that Kid Rock song on the radio start up I think, 'oh, a bit of Zevon on the radio, shame they've chosen that track yet again but hey...' Then Kid Rock starts in and it reminds me why I don't listen to the normal radio anymore.

    I thought that was one of the cheapest 'cover' songs i.e., rip of the music track and just sing over it but then I saw the Black Eyed Peas last week on some late night music channel murdering a Dick Dale number. I'd had a drink at the time and would like to refresh my memory of its awfulness but it seems they've seen the error of there ways and pulled it from the interweb with some nonsense about it being unavailable due to copyright restrictions in my country. Yeah, right.

  4. "Hairy 'handed' gent" - seconded

    As for running the half marathon with the iPod, I say go for it.

    I ran with mine on my first half marathon. I'd signed up with a mate, but trained seperately. I was lucky enough to be able to do most of my training on the route itself, so my track list was built around my run rate and the geography. Come the day itself I plugged in and went off like a training run (although there were far more people out than normal!)

    Other runs have been more popular runs (like the Great North Run) so I've left the music off to allow me to soak up the atmosphere.

    So, I'd say it's up to you. If your likely to get lots happening around you, and want to be part of it, leave the music off. If it's likely to be quiet out there, apart from the start and finish, I say plug in and zone out.

    Hope that helps in some way.

    P.S. were you the SwissToni on back in the day? If so, I was Bodger. Hi. If not, ignore this!

  5. "handed" it is. That'll teach me to post in a hurry. I actually listened to the song back and corrected my "that" to a "who", but somehow missed the bigger mistake!

    adslguide - I don't think so. I used to hang around on back in the day, but I can't even remember what I called myself then.

    I'm planning to run with my iPhone using the "Runkeeper" app - a GPS tracker that is brilliant and keeps me up to date on my running pace and how far I've done etc. I'm not certain the battery will last 2 hours with that and a playlist on. I should find out tonight though as I'm planning a long one.

    Sorry for the earworm Joe. At least you don't have the accompanying mental image, right?