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Power Songs

February 5, 2010

I know I said one of my 2010 running resolutions was to run less with music, but here’s the problem: I really like music. A lot. All kinds too: pop, oldies, classical (I know! I think I’m one of the only normal late-20s person who does), and lots and lots of indie. Pitchfork is my bible, and I listen to loads of at work (the best online indie radio station). So, when I listen to music when I run, it’s not just to get pumped, to distract me, or to keep me going. I just love to listen and enjoy the music! Which makes it even harder to quit.

I might as well spread my love of music and running around the interwebs, so I’m going to do some posts here and there about the awesomeness of good music and kick-ass running. In this episode, I’m going to list my top-ten favorite power songs. A power song is one that gets you pumping; pushes you though that final stretch; makes you kick it up. Good for short races; sprints; speedwork; tempos. Think loud, fast beats, powerful choruses. And here they are (I ended up picking 11; couldn’t narrow it down to just 10).

1. Banquet by Bloc Party
Fantastic, steady beat. Great crescendo to the opening. Try to stay still while listening to this song. Impossible, right?

2. Pork & Beans by Weezer
True, the individual verses are a little slow, but the chorus makes up for it and more. I have witnessed myself (is that gramatically correct?) all-out sprinting while feeling no effort when this chorus hits.

3. Tonight, Tonight by Smashing Pumpkins
This might surprise you! I uploaded this album to my computer when I was home over the summer. I found it in a forgotten pile of CDs from middle and high school and remember loving this song. I started listening to this while running, and loved it all over again, just like I was 11. Still has a great energy.

4. Torero, Chayanne
Fun fact: I studied abroad in Spain and lived there for a bit after college to teach English. Thus, I have a lot of Spanish-language music that I love. And this is a song I LOVE! Yes, it’s in Spanish, but I don’t think that will distract from it’s awesomeness. This song pumps you up. And you know what, I don’t know what it means either.
(By the way…I had never seen the video until I uploaded this. Please watch it. It’s ridiculousness, especially that weird dance, adds to it’s awesomeness.)

5. B.O.B. by Outcast
That is one quick, steady beat. It’s definitely a longer song for a power song (I tend to like shorter ones), but the fast beat makes it go by quickly.

6. For Reasons Unknown by The Killers
I love to run to this song. This song does to me like Pork & Beans does to me. The chorus is soooo awesome, that it just takes over you and all of a sudden you’re running faster and with more energy than you ever thought you had.

7. I Gotta Feeling by The Black-Eyed Peas
Okay, I admit. This stuff is normally not my cup of tea. I mean, this song is everywhere! But, for some reason I love it. It pumps me up and makes me want to get going. I have listened to this on repeat while running. Embarrassing? Probably.

8. Just Dance by Lady Gaga
I love Gaga. I want to have the balls to wear what she does. And her music is awesome. I think this is the best one of her songs to run to. Try it. And think about wearing some crazy costume while doing so; I bet Gaga could run a marathon in a bubble suit.

9. Inside, Outside by The Grates (Language)
This band has a ton of awesome, high energy, super fast-paced songs, perfect for a final pick up. Can’t you just imagine yourself finishing a race strong while listening to this?

10. You! Me! Dancing! By Los Campesinos
There is a major problem with this song that holds it back a little. The first minute and about fifteen seconds is a weird crescendo and a cacophony of painful sound. But then…boom. Don’t give up after the first 45 seconds! Keep going! Because you will realize that this is one awesome song. I LOVE this band. You should look into them…

11. Wake Up by Arcade Fire
Ahhhhh Arcade Fire. You won’t find any music list by me without an Arcade Fire song; I love them so. This song is one of their best and coincidentally their best song to run to. Great, strong beat, beautiful music, motivational. Picture yourself running…do you see yourself running fast? You’re welcome.

So there you go. Will these songs make you run fast? Well, you have to do the work, but they sure won’t hurt!

What are your favorite power songs?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 3:26 pm

    What about Kanye’s Stronger? That one always makes my runs better. Or at least to the point where I don’t hate doing it – which is a big improvement for me.

    • Betsy permalink*
      February 5, 2010 3:38 pm

      You run? I thought all you did was sit-ups and then admire the results.

      Good song, though. I don’t think I have it for some reason! Off to go spend more $$ on itunes…

  2. February 5, 2010 4:34 pm

    Thanks Betsy! Always looking for more running music. Maybe these will help me PR on Sun. I like Hey Mama, by black eyed peas, mostly because the cadence is perfect for nice fast running.

    • Betsy permalink*
      February 5, 2010 7:07 pm

      just play Hey Mama over and over on Sunday and you’re guranteed a PR. I forgot about that song! A good one for running. I might have to add it for my playlist for Sunday. C’mon PR!!!!

  3. February 5, 2010 6:38 pm

    Hi! I’m new. And I like your taste in music, esp. Bloc Party. And Los Campesinos. Although I agree about the boring intro. I can’t help but gun it during “Up Up and Away” by Kid Cudi. Oh, and “Daylight” by Matt and Kim. Totally hipster, but I’m over it.

    • Betsy permalink*
      February 5, 2010 7:06 pm

      I’m a HUGE Matt & Kim fan. Listening to them right now!! Great stuff to run to.

  4. foodcoma permalink
    February 5, 2010 10:23 pm

    The remix of Seal’s ‘Amazing’ is great for hills.

  5. February 8, 2010 12:28 am

    Great list Betsy!!!!!! I have #7 and #8 on my list. I’ll definitely be adding the others!

  6. eatavegan permalink
    March 8, 2010 1:09 pm

    Thanks for the awesome playlist! My faves lately are the Amy Winehouse version of Valerie and anything by Ke$ha or M.I.A…. I also give myself permission to listen to the cheesiest of cheesy pop music while running; can’t get Replay by Iyaz/Sean Kingston out of my head these days!

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