signs

June 18, 2009

You know how in Signs, Mel Gibson ignored all the signs? But then, after the aliens landed, he started believing in the signs?

That happened to me last night.

I had a window for a quick road ride between thunderstorms, and I figured I’d just roll out of the garage, down the South Side of Suncrest, maybe a quick tour of Alpine, and back up and home.

So, like always, I put in one headphone, hit play on the iPhone, and let Random take its course.

That’s been my riding music policy for years now. Full Random, no matter what’s on the iPod (iPhone). I LOVE the full random, but sometimes it gets a little weird.

Here’s how last night’s playlist worked out.

As I rolled out of the garage, I got Johnny Cash, Solitary man. I was groovin. And solitary. The random saints were smiling on me.

Lower on the hill, Bon Iver started wailing about Wisconsin. Elden thinks downhill songs should be jammin, but I like to mix it up–I don’t mind some introspective acoustic stuff on a descent. However, wind noise mostly drowned Bon Iver out. Bummer.

As I wound my way through Alpine, Jeff Buckley started in with the very haunting Hallelujah. This, of course, is a totally awesome song, only slightly ruined by its association with Shrek. How many awesome songs have been ruined by their inclusion in movies? And, conversely, how many have been elevated by their inclusion in movies? Depends on the movie I guess.

Hitting the backside of Alpine and beginning my return, I was a bit dismayed to hear the opening strains to the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Now, I have nothing against Ludvig Van’s 9th, a musical piece definitely enhanced by its association with A Clockwork Orange. Although, I’m sure you remember the closing scene from Tarkovsky’s Stalker, with the little girl moving the salt shaker (I think it was a salt shaker, it’s been like 20 years) with her mind, as you get a very faint whiff of the key notes from the 9th in the background. I’m torn. I think I’ll have to go with Stalker, because of the minimalist association. Anyway, a bit dismayed, because the final movement is 24 minutes long, which meant I would get classical music for the bottom section of the South Side climb.

But here’s where I had the epiphany–you don’t need rockin music to ride. You need GOOD music to ride. Music adapts itself to the section. And Beethoven’s 9th, well, who will deny that it has what we in the business call a Big Finish? And it’s no bad thing to have a huge choir of Germans singing Freude as you begin a big climb.

Unfortunately, after the first mile of climbing, I got Tiffany. Yup. I have Tiffany on my iPhone. I Think We’re Alone Now. But you know what? I LOVE that song. And, in case I haven’t made this clear, I WAS alone. So there.

Next the Strokes started in with The End Has No End. That song has no end. And as the climb felt like it had no end, I was not groovin. I may remove that song from the device.

Luckily the Strokes soon gave in to Radiohead. I have enough Radiohead on my phone that I can pretty much always be guaranteed of at least one Radiohead song on any given ride. This time I got Knives Out. And I love Radiohead so much that I typically don’t care which Radiohead song I get. They’re all good.

As I started the final pitch to the top of Suncrest, I recognized the bouncy voice of Regina Spektor, and I admit, my spirits sank a bit. The song was Apres Mois, and I figured it just couldn’t be the song to get me to the top. Until I started listening a bit more closely. “I must go on standing. You can’t break that which isn’t yours. I must go on standing. I’m not my own, it’s not my choice.” This was like the bit in Signs when they all realize in the living room that the little girl left those glasses of water everywhere for a reason. I got to the top.

Only to be welcomed by Kanye West. Jesus Walks. I’m telling you, there is a god. And he lives in my iPhone.

21 Responses to “signs”

  1. bikemike Says:

    i was listening to the original “i think we’re alone now” by tommy james and the shondels, when i was about 7 or 8. that song was/is awesome. i’m just going to ignore the tiffany thing, although, i’m tasting a little vomit right now.

  2. KanyonKris Says:

    Generally I let the act of riding clear out my mind. Sometimes I let thoughts bounce around in my head, but usually I like having the ride push away the cacophonous mess.

    But dug is melding pop culture into epiphanies. You’re on a different level, man.

    Here’s my epiphany from your post: The reason Apple products are so good is because Steve Jobs silent partner is God so He can have a new way to speak to people. Explains the Apple zealots.

  3. mark Says:

    The only thing even approaching your remarkable ability to recall movies and movie quotes is your ability to recall which songs you listened to and in which order.

    I usually roll sans iPod. Sometimes songs will get stuck in my head while riding and seem to just go on repeat. Know which one I like having trapped in there above all others? “It’s not unusual” by Tom Jones. Srsly.

  4. TOB Says:

    U2’s Beautiful Day is typically first-up on my internal soundtrack.

    When it morphs into Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’ by Curly from Oklahoma, I long for an iPod.

  5. Rick S Says:

    I set my ipod to shuffle songs and usually leave it alone and let it play. But there is always one song that seems to play on every ride no matter how short the ride is.

    The Kinks- Lola

    I hate that song. Rachelle put it on one of my playlists and it ALWAYS comes on.

  6. BurkeInTheOzarks Says:

    Let me get this straight – you love every Radiohead song (as do I) but you also love Tiffany (eek)? Wow, that shows some range.

    Also, people’s fascination of Kanye West boggles my mind. I just don’t get it. He’s even worse live – I’ve seen him perform live a few different times on different shows and he’s really quite horrific. Of course, that’s just my worthless opinion.

    I’m actually glad there’s so much music out there that we can all find something to love…

    • stevenbpt Says:

      He’s terrible and yet you’ve “seen him perform live a few different times”. You sure gave him enough chances!!

      • BurkeInTheOzarks Says:

        The rest of that sentence is “on different shows”, not in person. Definitely not in person.

        Not trying to offend any Kanye fans out there – just voicing my own “worthless opinion”.

  7. tohellandback1st Says:

    i love Jesus Walks, and anything else Kanye does. my shuffle has several playlists and which i have on depends on who is visiting… all play is pretty much just for me.

    and i’m tired of being at work and ready for the week to end.

  8. stevenbpt Says:

    I just started using an IPOD on the way to work. Very nice except I have yet to re-sync it to my kind of play list instead of my daughters. We cross over on many kinds of songs but not all. If you get the small head-phones you can even wear them inside a motorcycle helmet. (that was a heads up for Dug to use his and put his books onto his I-phone if he wants to stay literate while riding the motorcycle)

  9. stevenbpt Says:

    Queen, ABBA, Pat Benetar, Gretchen Wilson, Eclipse, Fall out boy, Brian Regan, Cheap Trick, Evanescence and many in between find there way to keep me upright and getting to work in no time.

  10. iGOD Says:

    You are welcome Dug.


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