Just Hit Play

A weekly series where you’ll find a handful of songs to add to your workout playlist. 

Let’s do a theme for this week’s JHP. Themes are fun, right? This week’s songs will all make you say, “hey this sounds like it’s by (insert well-known band name here)”.

Clarias — The Size of Bullets

If you turned on the radio and caught the chorus, you might think that Bon Jovi is putting out a new record. Nope, that would be the relatively unknown band named Clarias out of Boston. It’s a catchy song that I could run to.


Sunday’s Best — Saccharine

I was never huge into punk so I won’t embarrass myself by trying to take a stab at making a comparison here, but after seeing how short their wikipedia page is, I figured it was a safe bet that both the song and the band have flown under your radar.


Fun. — Some Nights

Ok, so this song is getting a ton of air play as a follow up to the We Are Young single. I’m adding it anyways because (a) it’s my favorite song to run to lately and (b) it has the unmistakable sound of a modern Queen song.


The Weeks — Altar Girl

If you like the southern rock of Kings of Leon, check out this group. If you like Altar Girl then check out their other stuff  — both the Rumspringa and Comeback Cadillac albums are worth your time. The Weeks have a grittier, less-polish-and-more-punch sound to them than Kings of Leon, which I dig for my workouts.

Note: Sorry, I couldn’t find a full length version or youtube video. Check this out or go to Itunes: http://www.last.fm/music/The+Weeks/_/Altar+Girl
Patrick Sweany — Them Shoes
Another dead-on soundalike, Them Shoes could easily be mistaken as a Black Keys song. It might be too slow of a tempo for you to workout or run to but it’s a cool song so I threw it in.
Alright that’s it for this week. Be well…

Just Hit Play

A weekly series where you’ll find a handful of songs to add to your workout playlist.

Ghostland Observatory — No Place For Me

Shoutout to the boys from Austin, TX here. Ok so they might seem a little crazy…

A) They’re based out of Austin


B) They like laser lights a lot


C) Their drummer looks like this


I have absolutely no idea what the lyrics to this song mean, but I just try to think about a dark time or place in my life and how I want to get as far away from that as possible, and that gets me going. Crank this one up loud.


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — Wings

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Sasquatch 2011

Making his second appearance on JHP, this one goes back before he was all over the radio. The cool thing about Macklemore is he’s good for a fun, jump up and down anthem type song, and he’s also good to give you a social commentary song.

Wings is about the addictive nature of collecting shoes and the pressure kids feel to have the best kicks in school. The song has rises and falls with slower, dramatic phrases followed by Macklemore getting angry a la Eminem or Lil Wayne (his idol, I think). The video is really well done, and of course shows off his town of Seattle. I dig the Spike Lee Nike references, too.


I’ve got to cut it short this week, but I’ll be back next Monday with more songs for your workout playlist. Until then, be well.

Just Hit Play

A weekly series where you’ll find a handful of songs to add to your workout playlist. 

It’s another Monday, which means another installment of JHP. I try to bring a variety of music to this segment, so what you end up getting is one or two “normal” songs, when you think about typical workout music, AND a couple others that either are probably new to you or songs that you might not consider something you can workout to.

Also, if anyone has a better suggestion on how I can embed or link music, please please let me know, cause right now I’m just pasting in pics and Youtube videos. Alright, let’s get to it.

The Black Keys — Gold On the Ceiling

If I’m doing a longer distance, lower intensity cardio like a run or bike ride, these guys can really help pass the time. I love their sound, and while 94% of their songs don’t have the intensity for, say, a P90X workout, they’re great for when I can just go on auto-pilot on a run, tune out the World, and listen to some good bluesy rock.


Ahhh…the ’87 Dodge Caravan with the wood paneling…was a finer automobile ever created?

Oh yeah, back to the music…Gold On the Ceiling just so happens to be the current Black Keys song on my running playlist, but you can pretty much pencil in any of their work. GOtC has a nice shuffle to it. Check it out:

Konshens — Jamaican Dance

One of those borderline workout songs I alluded to, this one works for me when I use the power of imagination. This song comes on my shuffle when I’m out for a run and I teleport myself to a sandy beach in the Caribbean with a cool breeze blowing, kids playing soccer with a ratty old ball, palm trees for their goals, and wild roosters running around. It’s that care-free island living, where people dance even when music isn’t playing.


Variety is good, especially on an hour long run, and this song definitely provides that. The only reggae-ish song I own (admittedly, it’s way more pop than reggae), it’s very catchy and wakes me up when my mind is going numb from staring straight ahead and putting one foot in front of the other over and over and over and over and over and over and over….yeah I don’t like running…

The White Stripes — I’m Slowly Turning Into You (Live)

On my P90X playlist, this is one of those angry songs that can really motivate. It’s got that live energy of the crowd, Meg pounding on the drums, and Jack shredding on the guitar and yelling at me. It takes awhile to build, but by the end I just want to punch something or run through a wall.

Here’s the clip from the documentary, Under Great White Northern Lights (a good doc, btw, if you’re a White Stripes fan)


We Were Promised Jetpacks — Quiet Little Voices

OK, first off…best band name ever. Mookie Blaylock is a close second.

So these guys are an indie punk band out of Scotland, put out their first album in ’09, but I only learned of them recently when they came up on a pandora station of mine.

And their song Quiet Little Voices is a two-wayer for me. I could listen to this as a power song on a run or I could have it in my P90X playlist and crank out some pullups to it.

Here’s them singing the song live in London. Caution: a little bit of bad language when talking to the crowd, but the lyrics are clean


We’ll call it good for this edition of JHP. Come back next week for some more suggestions.

Be well, y’all.

Just Hit Play

A weekly series where you’ll find a handful of songs to add to your workout playlist. 

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — Can’t Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)explicit lyrics

As a former Seattleite, I’ve gotta start out with a shoutout to Seattle’s best rapper — Macklemore. It’s been good seeing him come up on the national scene lately with a couple songs on the radio. And his live shows are supposedly insanely good.

You’ll definitely be seeing more of him in future Just Hit Play’s, but for now check out this track — it’s got a nice uptempo beat, a good chorus with Ray Dalton, and some cool bridges with some horns that’ll get you pumped.

As always, he’s reppin’ his hometown strong in the music video for “Can’t Hold Us”:


Daft Punk — Around the World/Harder Better Faster Stronger (live version)

To be honest, I’m not that into techno. It’s too confusing. What’s the difference between house/electronic/techno/dubstep? What’s good and what’s bad?

What I do know? This song is great to run to.

It’s got a driving beat that keeps building, and then it happens. This filthy bass drops and the crowd (this is a song recorded live) goes nuts.


It’s like all the energy of a Berlin techno concert with 80,000 people — all on who knows what kinds of drugs — gets shot through my earbuds and passed on to me, and I have to physically hold myself back from going into a full out sprint.

Check out the song below:


Maynard Ferguson — Gonna Fly Now (Theme from “Rocky”)

Sly Stallone has done some questionable film work in his time, like this and this. But, you can’t really nitpick with “Rocky“. Plus, “Rocky” has what a lot of other movies in that motivational/underdog genre lack — a classic theme song that’s guaranteed to make you want to keep going even when you want to quit.

Time for a confession: I was a band geek growing up. Playing the trumpet is sort of a tradition passed down on my Dad’s side; that might explain why I’m a little partial to the Maynard Ferguson version of Gonna Fly Now, even though it’s not the original version from the movie. I was fortunate enough to see Maynard twice with my Dad before he passed, and it’s something I’ll never forget.


This might not be for everyone, but check it out. And if it does end up making it on your running playlist, try this for a challenge: re-enact the movie scene by finding some footsteps of a building to run up before the song ends


That’s it for this week, but I’ll be back next monday with a few more songs for ya. In the mean time, leave a comment or post a suggestion on how I can embed the songs a little more cleanly? Thanks as always for reading.