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.