I listen to music a lot of the day. But I don't listen to a lot of music. My main-stays of any moment float to the top of the playlist several times a day - or several times a session - and I eventually have to shuffle them off to a higher shelf to preserve my sanity. I'm always on the hunt for good new music that won't get repeated ad nauseam on the radio and gems I missed due to a rather underwhelming grasp of popular culture when I was a kid.
Right now, I have a mixed playlist which has escaped whole-sale banishment since July. Considering I'll listen to it two or three times entirely through during a single long ride, that's endurance. Here are my ear-worms of the moment:
** Too Close, Alex Clare. Got to be true to myself. A strictly-observant Jew from NYC dub-stepping while kendo fighters beat on each other. His entire "new" (released in Europe in June, 2011; finally crossed the Pond in July, 2012, as part of a Microsoft commercial) album is pretty good, and the video to Treading Water is equally as genius.
** The Gambler, Kenny Rogers. 'Cuz every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser. The modern The Art of War.
** Copperhead Road, Steve Earle. He never came back from Copperhead Road.
Steve Earle in the mid-to-late 80s: what would happen if a country
band, a hair band, and a Scottish bagpiper had a kid. Extra points if
anyone can tell me what television role Earle played in the early
2000s. Hint: He acted on the best show ever, and the character's name
was a tribute to two other country stars who share the same first and
** Fast Lane, Bad Meets Evil. [NSFW; Explicit Language. Although at least they're anatomically correct, which is something I guess.] Movin' at the speed of life and I can't slow down. This beat can get me moving on a bike like nothing else. Too bad Eminem/D12 and Royce da 5'9" had a 6-8-year-long falling out back in 2003 or else we might have more tracks like this.
** Next To Me, Emeli Sande. When the end has come and buildings falling down fast. Meet Adele 2.0. Seriously, Emeli's first name is Adele, which she dropped in light of the massive success of Emeli's country-woman, Adele. Adele 2.0 is going to be very big - just as soon as the radio stations "discover" her. For less athletic pursuits, try "My Kind Of Love" or "Where I Sleep."
** Thift Shop feat. Wanz, Ryan Lewis x Macklemore. [NSFW; Explicit Language] I'm
gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket...probably
shoulda washed this, smells like R.Kelly's sheets....I'ma take your
grandpa's style, I'ma take your grandpa's style, no for real, ask your
grandpa, can I have his hand-me-downs? The un-official theme song of the neighborhood in Austin where I live. My trivia actually named ourselves "Smells Like R.Kelly's Sheets" one night.
** Seven Devils, Florence And The Machine. See I was dead when I woke up this morning, and I'll be dead before the day is out. Only Florence could make the plot of the Game Of Thrones even more dramatic.
** Sail, AWOLNation. Forget SBR-ing, I have AWOLNation to thank for discovering what I want to do when I grow up.
** Danza Kuduro, Don Omar and Lucenzo. Don't lose your breath now. Danza Kuduro is basically the R-rated, Reggaeton version of the Hokey Pokey. Don't believe me? It's also a great song to run to.
** Titanium, David Guetta feat. Sia. You shoot me down but I won't fall. American radio finally caught on to this song. Titanium came out in August 2011, immediately topping the charts around the world - except in the US. The music video (kid from Super 8!) was released December 2011. I bought it in January 2012, and have listened to it so much, if it was a record, the vinyl would worn through with holes. I didn't hear it on US radio until June 2012. At least now everyone can enjoy it as much as I do.
** Even If It Breaks Your Heart, The Eli Young Band. Keep on dreamin', even if it breaks your heart. I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience their own "bright-eyed child" moment.
** In For The Kill, La Roux (Skream Remix). I'm going in for the kill, I'm doing it for a thrill, I'm hoping you'll understand, and not let go my hand. I hang my hopes out on a line. I will admit I found this song by watching the trailer for the remake of Judge Dredd. I will not admit how many times I rewatched the trailer for a now-confirmed-to-be-horrible movie just to hear the song.
** Hard Way Home, Brandi Carlile. See all the times I should have turned back. Another great song for running.
** Radioactive, Imagine Dragons. I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust. Man, that drop gets me every time; Skrillex ain't the only one who can do it. Extra points if anyone can tell me what commercial featured this song during the Olympics.
** Stubborn Love, The Lumineers. It's better to feel pain than nothing at all. This song was preceded on my play list by Hey Ho, by the same band. A snippet of Hey Ho was used in a TV show, which led to a petition to sell The Lumineers' music on iTunes, and away they go.
** Breathe Of Life, Florence And The Machine. From my heart down to my legs. The absolute best thing to come out of the implosion of "Robsten." You can take the bad acting, leave me the good music.
** Lights, Ellie Goulding (Dubstep Remix). I've owned this song since it first came out back in 2010. Now that the radio stations finally got their hands on it in 2012, I'm kind of done with the original version, so I've taken to listening to the dubstep remix. Plus it helps longer intervals go by faster.
** Trouble Weighs A Ton, Dan Auerbach. What's wrong, dear sister, did your world fall down? Smack in the middle of The Black Keys' band-dom, Dan Auerbach stepped out to do a solo album, and recorded this. Sometimes you just need a plaintive tune - and it doesn't hurt if it's used in commercials for Sons of Anarchy.
And although it is currently not on my active playlist, this track always gets shuffled back down off the upper shelves.
** Zigeunerweisen, Pablo Sarasate, performed by Itzhak Perlman. Yes, classical music. Please try to get past minute 7, when the driving beat rivals those of classic rock bass lines.