Tunes, Brah.

Yeah, so where have I been?

I wrote up a fine post last week, and the red screen of death took it away from me. So I let it die, and here I am to write something that’s (hopefully) more interesting than the last time I posted.

As with most of my attempts at ‘training’ for bicycle racing, this last attempt was sidetracked…temporarily, of course, but sidetracked nonetheless. I like to think of it as a good cause. I scored tickets to see A Perfect Circle live in Phoenix. Can’t pass that up. But it sure did put a hurtin’ on my liver, and on my regular training rides. This is ironical-like, see, because APC performed their album ‘Thirteenth Step’ in its entirety, which is all about alcoholism. I’m like a goddamn poster boy.

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It was a top five concert for sure. They are a regular feature on my iPod on the rare occasion I listen to one while riding. I am one of those purists who likes the sound of my freehub body singing, the slap of my chain against the chainstay, the turning of the cranks. It’s all music to me. I do, however, participate in the newer ritual of plugging in and shutting out everything else, especially on long rides in which suffering is mandatory and coherent thought is not.

This, of course, begs the question: what are your top five riding songs? You know, the shit that gets you fired up, the tune that keeps you going when your legs have long since given up, the push for that last bitter sprint…

Here are my top ten. Why ten? Because I’m writing this post, goddammit, so I make the rules.

The songs, in no particular order:

1) Tool “Aenima”

— (Feels good to get flushed out, don’t it?)

2) The Raconteurs “Steady As She Goes”

— (Great on a long climb.)

3) Led Zeppelin “Communication Breakdown” or “Rock N Roll”

— (Anything by Led Zeppelin, really. Except for the hot dog song. Ugh.)

4) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club “Six Barrel Shotgun”

— (Great fuzz, good drive. This is a sprint song.)

5) Gogol Bordello “Wanderlust King”

— (I get lost a lot, even on trails I ride all the time.)

6) Faith No More “Epic”

— (Before the word EPIC became a hipster orgasm, it was the title of one of the raddest songs ever.)

7) The Misfits “Where Eagles Dare”

— (Ugly and loud. Like a post-ride–never mind.)

8) The Dead Kennedys “California Uber Alles”

— (Also ugly. Good for mud, steep descents, and gnarly crashes)

9) Nico Vega “Burn Burn”

— (If you’ve never heard of this band out of SoCal, google-tube them right now. Bad Ass female lead singer…)

10) Chevelle “Wonder What’s Next”

— (Good for any 24 hour race. The course always seems to change at 2 in the morning, doesn’t it?)

I thought of about thirty more as I made this list, but I’ll spare you. Post a comment. Tell me your riding tunes.

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About D2

I am a writer and a photographer. I never killed a man in Reno, but I once rode a bike through a casino in Vegas. Bikes are cool, huevos rancheros are for breakfast, whiskey is for dinner. Denver, Colorado, USA

59 thoughts on “Tunes, Brah.

  1. @d2 – some of us have ESP when it comes to our taste in music. i was JUST listening to that exact song by the ranconteurs yesterday!!! that dude is from here, cincinnati, what’s his name…jack lawrence. his band, the greenhorns used to play in a bar i worked in. weird.

    faith no more – i saw them in 89, my BIL’s band was the opening band and we all hung out backstage and got fucked up. my sister always hooked me up.

    my top 5 right now are below.

    1. Do you wanna touch – Joan Jett
    2. Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
    3. Speedfreak – Motorhead
    4. Wake and Bake – The Goats
    5. You hate me and I hate you – GG Allin

    so many other’s i love love love and of course i have a lot of stuff i’d never admit to….

  2. Tool
    Rosetta Stoned
    Forty Six and 2
    Pushit off the Live Saliva Album
    No Quarter off the live Saliva Album

  3. Not a playlist but these end up in the rotation often.

    Down by law – fight song,
    Faith no more – we care a lot
    Bluebeard – theory of natural selection (out of print Cnd indie punk)
    Lou Reed – Vicious
    Killing Joke – Eighties
    The Who – Who are you?
    The Replacements – I will dare
    David Bowie – Heroes
    Machines of Loving Grace – Butterfly wings
    Junior Murvin – Police and thieves
    Bad Brains – I pay to cum
    The Clash – Rudie can’t fail
    The Clash – Jimmie Jazz
    Bluebeard –
    Rocket from the Crypt – straight American slave
    Guitar Wolf – Fujiyama attack

    newer stuff floats in and out depending on whims

    Sometimes if I’m into head down hurting on climbs then Wilco, Cracker or Jesus and Mary Chain or something like that gets dialed up.

  4. The songs I listen to when I ride are

    MC5 “kick out the jams”
    Stooges “Shake Appeal”
    Fear “I don’t care about you”
    Sick of it All “Prick in the roses”
    anything by Faith no more
    Clutch “Electric Worry” or “Burning Beard”
    Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip “Development”
    Death by Stereo “Sing Along With The Patriotic Punks” or “Desperation Train”

  5. “Hit The City” Mark Lanegan w/ PJ Harvey
    “Mountain Song” Jane’s Addiction
    “Three Days” Jane’s Addiction
    “My Burning Time” Last Crack
    “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” Dropkick Murphys
    “Cosmic Slop (live)” Funkadelic
    “Prehistoric Dog” Red Fang
    “Maggie’s Farm” Rage Against the Machine
    “Stormy High” Black Mountain

    For the cool down:
    “She Sells Sanctuary” The Cult
    “Cold Boy Smile” Black Crowes

  6. Anything from Face to Face especially the Live album

    “I won’t See You Tonight” Part 1 & 2-Avenged Sevenfold. On Long climbs

    Anything from the first Little Devil video “seek and destroy”, it just had a shit ton of good classic rock.

  7. Howzabout ya leave the earbuds at home when ya ride? I called “on your left” three times to a fat fuck dawdlin’ down the middle of the trail today. Seriously, much slower and he’d a fell over.

    So I finally get room to pass and he’s listening to-well who cares? Jesus, make a checklist or something.

    Inflate tires/check
    Lube chain/check
    Check QR/check/
    Pull head out of ass/check

    I mean it ain’t rocket surgery or nothin’.

  8. Yea, I hear you joe, but on the other hand, it’s pretty fun to scare a shart out of them what with interupting their bliss and all.

  9. I dunno Gnome. Maybe it’s yet another sign of old age. But for me a tootin’ good time is one where everyone makes it home safe and sound with as few unruffled feathers as possible.

  10. Gnome, I may be just an old fusspot who cares little for shifting and less for coasting, but by my lights anyway, none of us are owed anything, nor do we owe, except to ourselves.

    Woah! I’m channelling Ayn Rand, I’m out of booze and the liquor stores are closed. Gonna be a long night.

  11. Geezus Joe is a grumpy old man, but at least he knows it.

    Rolling Stones “Paint it Black”
    Felt “Permanent Standby”
    Cage “Scenester”
    Quicksand “Thorn in My Side”
    Quicksand “Fazer”
    Fugazi “Song #1”
    AC/DC “You Shook me all night long”
    And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead “How Near How Far”
    At the Drive In “One Armed Scissor”
    and since everyone else is doing it
    Tool “Jambi”

  12. So then you’ll remain there, waiting for others to be aware of your wish to pass, because they owe you nothing.

    That works too.

  13. Once I discovered sex, drugs, music, and cycling I became a hell of a lot less grumpy. Here’s to keeping all that in the system until I go.

  14. I don’t listen to music while riding a bicycle. I listen to nothing. I need nothing from time to time.

    Right now, sitting here, I’m listening to Big Daddy Kane.

    … to give you a Crooked eye, just like St. Ides.

  15. I’m with Big Jonny, no tunes. I love music, but there’s alot of people dying with their ipods on, and I kind of like taking in what’s going on around me out there.

  16. Well, I tend to think there is a bit of group-think happening where ipoding it is now hip like,” I got shit to do so leave me alone” type of front. Sad really, and I’m with ya’ll except there is an occasion when I hit the tunes on some of those long dumb road rides I do on a whim. Otherwise, I like how my tires sing in the dirt.

    But to add to Joe’s point, I get a bit perturbed when I gotta yell at top dollar so a heffer can finally realize there might be more than just her on the urban trail and no, walking down the middle isn’t going to work for the rest of the users who are making there way by.

    Tune in, tune out, drop knowledge, drop out.

  17. I don’t do tunes on a bike, just don’t feel safe. On a trainer I do. My fav is middle aged metalica, and, as mentioned before Tool is cool.

  18. My go-to songs for a tough workout these days are:

    Jeff the Brotherhood – “Heavy Krishna”
    Bloc Party – “Like eating glass”
    The Thermals – “Here’s your future”
    Boys Noize – “Kontact Me”
    Los Campesinos – “you! me! dancing!” (even though budweiser is now using it in a commercial)
    Ida Maria – “Oh my god” – check out the vid, she’s nuts:

  19. …Rule 62:
    …You shall not ride with earphones. Cycling is about getting outside and into the elements and you don’t need to be listening to Queen or Slayer in order to experience that. Immerse yourself in the rhythm and pain, not in whatever 80?s hair band you call “music”. See Rule 5 and ride your bike…

    …Rule 5:
    …Harden The Fuck Up…

    …music ???…i fucking love music & enough so that i really wanna listen to it & not give it half an ear when i’m paying attention to the senses i use when riding a bike…
    …you will not find me riding with people listening to music…beyond the dangerous aspects, what’s the point when they’d rather be in their own little self centered world rather than sharing the camaraderie ???…

    Ministry – Jesus Built My Hotrod
    Butthole Surfers – Who Was In My Room Last Night
    Motörhead – Overkill
    Amon Amarth – Twilight Of The Thunder God
    Spiderbait – Black Betty

    Rage Against The Machine – Wake Up
    Rob Dougan – Clubbed To Death
    Steve Earle – Copperhead Road
    Page/Puff – Come With Me (Godzilla OST)

    Tiësto – Ancient History or Adagio For Strings
    Darude – Sandstorm
    Propellerheads – Spybreak or Take California

    The Beloved – Sweet Harmony
    Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Possess Your Heart

  21. i plug in when not on the road…or one ear plug and the other dropped…and sure makes sweet ass ear plugs….they are ported and dont give the shitty distortion that wrecks an ear

    sound tape is
    storm troopers of death ….speak engish or die
    the gallows…an orchestra of wolves
    atmosphere… You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having(plug in when i am decending)
    aesop rock…everything
    fu manchu…everything
    the go! team

    i road like a freaking maniac to the gallows…it was all about slay, and they were slaying it!

    btw..i ride by myself most of the time….social is social

  22. I’m not going to lie, I like some tunes on my solo rides every once and a while.

    any song off the album Angel Dust- Faith No More
    “The Juice”- Michael Rose (of Black Uhuru)
    anything from The Classics album- Rat a Tat
    “My Wall” – Ten Foot Pole

  23. I never mtb with ‘phones on, but I do roll the roads with them on, but turned way down (lots of the roads in my ‘hood are out in the country).

    Usually just go with what’s playing in my head or in the Jeep on the way to the trails:

    Bad Religion “Supersonic”
    Soundgarden “Blow Up the Outside World”
    Led Zeppelin “Over the Hills and Far Away”
    Bob Marley “Three Little Birds”
    Catherine Wheel “God Inside My Head” or “Waydown”
    Rage Against the Machine “Know Your Enemy” (Maynard from Tool on that track)
    Muse “Starlight”
    Pink Floyd “Learning to Fly”
    Monster Magnet “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”
    …and anything by the Spice Girls. ;)

  24. You guys say you ride with headphones once in a while as if it’s something to be ashamed of.

    I taught high school English and I was lucky to get my students to unplug for class. I don’t listen to music very often when I ride, but when I choose to ride with tunes, I sure as shit don’t feel ashamed about it…I don’t care how grumpy the guy behind me on the trail is when he has to find a way to pass me. I listen to my iPod in moderation, and for that I am proud of myself, because Americans seem to have lost the entire notion of moderation.

    I feel no shame for listening while riding. I don’t do it often, but when I do, goddamn it’s good.

  25. always drop an ear out in traffic…my rule
    need to add the stormn and the russian cirles to the playlist
    and shure is the way to go…they cost a bit but it is like buying sunglasses…the difference is real…sound is great and it won’t fuck up your ears

  26. For a hard climb, I like to bang it to Justin Bieber. For hammering on the flats I will go with, Miley Cyrus, or Jonas Bros. If I’am grovving a downhill, I gotta go N sync or Ashlee Simpson.

  27. …when moses (& eddy merckx) brought those stone tablets down from the mountain back in the days before gary fisher invented dirt, i read “the rules” & thought to myself, “yea, verily, for i hath sinned & been but a breaker of rules for all my life but with these words from on high, i am blessed & may goodness & merciful cycling follow me for all the days of my life as i strive to be as one with them”

    …within this ‘church of the bike’, it’s never too late to redeem oneself, brothers & sisters, by asking yourself, “what would ***eddy*** do ???”

    …& in the words of mark ‘chopper’ read, eddy would “harden the fuck up”


  28. Hmm… the post was about music to listen to whilst biking. You don’t do that, or think it’s HORRIBLE, well then don’t post a comment. We who do, don’t give a shit if you do or don’t. My first rule, never pay attention to some goob’s “LIST OF ALMIGHTY RULES.”

  29. …@kjt…

    …awww, poor baby…was that hard on your delicate little psyche ???…

    …most of us acknowledge ‘the rules” as being both fun & humorous but i guess you prove the ol’ adage “to each his own”, huh ???…

    …i hope you weren’t egregiously offended by ‘ajax’s’ list of riding music…i sense there was a bit of humor implied there also…

  30. @bgw Read the fucking post douchebag. The author, D2, is asking fellow bikers their favorite music to listen to while riding. Get off your self-righteous high horse for once and shut the fuck up.

    And anyone who uses ellipses as much as you do would take a dick in the mouth.

    Just sayin.

  31. Don’t know how that happened. Mmmm, bourbon…Anyhizzle-

    KJT, you need to live alot more and BIKE

  32. What? Again? Anyway…

    KJT, you need to live alot more and BIKE alot more before you even entertain the notion that you can call bgw “some goob”. He was there when they INVENTED dirt, you little pissant.

    And turkey?
    1-STFU aint’t for you to give to bgw.
    2-Your “dick in the mouth” comment RINGS with the voice of experience.

    These are my friends. So I’ve never seen them. Never stopped blind people from liking someone, did it?

  33. @Joe: I invented biking. And dirt! And headphones! So don’t you preach at me, mister.
    I also invented electricians. So there.

  34. Freewheel spinning?
    Chain slap?
    Coasting on a geared bike? WTH?

    Judi – you are a bad motherfucker. Some hardcore shit there. Respect.

    D2 – I downloaded some of that Chevelle. That is crap. I’m with ya on the rest of it. Gogol Bordello are new to me as is Nico Vega. Nico Vega is playing here in town on Saturday. Skipping that to see Wild Flag on Tuesday

    My top 5 alphabetical:
    Archers of Loaf – Form and File
    Black-Eyed Snakes – Honey
    The Buzzcocks – Why Can’t I Touch it?
    Califone – Ape-like
    Crooked Fingers- Atchafalayan Death Waltz
    Dead Milkmen – Surfin’ Cow
    Drive-By Truckers – Aftermath USA
    Faith No More – Jizzlobber
    Fishbone – Fight the Youth
    Fugazi – Margin Walker
    Gang of Four – Natural’s Not In It
    The Geraldine Fibbers – Richard
    The Jim Carroll Band – People Who Died
    Kashbad – Zure Zain
    Lucero – Noon As Dark as Midnight
    The Misfits – Vampira
    Motorhead – Burner
    P.W. Long – Bound to Ride
    Red Red Meat – Sulfur
    Reverend Horton Heat – One Time For Me
    Reverend Horton Heat – Baddest of the Bad
    Richmond Fontaine – Harold’s Club
    Scott H Biram – Blood Sweat and Murder
    Scott H Biram – I See the Light – What’s His Name?
    Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Sons of Cain
    Urban Dance Squad – Fast Lane

  35. Chevelle’s kind of a guilty pleasure.

    Motorhead…yes. Good deal.

    Nico Vega’s a concert to see. They put on one hell of a show. If they come around again, definitely try to check them out!

    @gnome: I take it back. Just for you, though.

  36. KJT, I was shaggin’ your mama back when gas was a quarter and Miller was beer. BGW had sloppy seconds.

  37. Oh and Gnome deleted some of his/joe’s Ayn Rand poetry it thought you guys were intellectuals?

  38. Colin, best I can tell my posts are intact. Couldn’t imagine anyone up in here fucking with them.

  39. …wow, turkey…you really proved your intellectual prowess with that clever extrapolation about my punctuation-al habits…yessiree, i do believe…
    …unfortunately, my on-line pal, senor joetheelectrician seems to have you pegged…now wipe that ‘pearly’ dribble off your chin when you’re talking, ‘kay ???…

    …& kjt, it was nothin’ personal, ’bout yer mama, i mean…we DID ride our bikes over there (cool, right ???) & we DID bring her beer n’ doobs (cool, again, huh ???)…

  40. …we’re gonna need a group hug here pretty soon & in this crowd that is a scary fucking proposition…

    …can i get some oil for these turbulent waters, please…

  41. No deletions on my part Colin. I tend to limit my censoring abilities for the comments that start with “I’m going to kill you…”

    Back to the point, I had to think about this because it’s rare that I rock tunage while rolling, but when I do:

    L7, Zero 7, Monster Magnet, Hank Williams (I II & III), Willie, Cash, Massive Attack, Van Halen, Man Man, Avett Brothers, Bowie, and whatever shit Snake Hawk throws my way.

  42. Yep Turkey,

    That was an extremely eloquent response to BGW.

    I think that henceforth you should be known as Tofurkey, as is what is a pale imitation to the real thing.

    Take care out there.

    (Good on you, Joe my Man)

  43. Personaly, I will only wear headphones on the wind trainer, on the road or trail I like to be aware about what is happening around me.

    Sadly, I don’t recognise most of the bands mentioned, it’s not as if they were the Grateful Dead!

  44. There’s nothing like riding a great mountain bike on a mountain path – particularly in the spring time. I cannot imagine anything at all I would rather go do – well, there’s ONE thing .. ;-)