So, one thing leads to another (Thank You Easter Bunny), and I ended up with a promotional copy of The Crystal Method‘s “Drive” last week. As I’ve dealt with, in detail, in these pages – this weekend, running didn’t happen. Tuesday, Jon and I headed out at lunch, declared a truce, and had an exceptionally pleasant run.
This afternoon, Jake had soccer practice. Missy wanted to go (Who wouldn’t want to go sit in the late afternoon sun on a perfect New England summer day?), so I say “Hey, why don’t I run over to the field and meet you?” Kind of a reach – I hadn’t actually measured the distance to the field, but I was pretty sure it was close to the 6 I had on the schedule for today.
Took the opportunity to fire up “Drive” and see exactly how this Nike+iPod “Run” thing works.
It works well, assuming that other artists riff of TCM’s lead.
The general concept is sound – a unified sound, a biting rhythm, etc. And TCM execute it extremely well, both lyrically and musically. Just as I got to the first rise in the road, the track really kicked off with the “It’s Time” portion driving me up the first hill I came to. When I got to the just killer “wall” on Yetter Road, the remix of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” started – skillfully mashed up to highlight “Keep your eyes on the road” while avoiding mention of “your hands upon the wheel”. Being a huge fan of The Doors, and probably a bigger fan of recycled and remixed memes – this part rocked.
In any case, I found myself 45 minutes later running into the Library parking lot (how cool is it that the Soccer fields are behind the Library?) with the next-to-last bit of the mix (Glass Breaker) and Charlotte Martin (who I’d never heard before) crooning into my ear. Yowza. Talk about finishing strong…
I dug the experience. I’ll admit, I’m a fan of electronica when it’s done with a strong nod to sounding like, well, actual music. (Jeeze – did I just write that? This must be where High School Bill comes forward to kick Future Bill’s butt and remind me that I used to be cool) (No, actually I didn’t). And this was exactly in that vein. The beat was constant, but changed up more than enough not to be monotonous.
And what a run! Late evening, and it’s mostly downhill from the house to the Library. But, I’m guessing that having a solid soundtrack also played a role in getting me down to SUB 8 MINUTE MILES! for the evening. I kid you not.
I’m excited about the whole concept – this might be the kind of thing that could revitalize the concept of the Album and save it from the tyrrany of the Single. Instead of just making one killer track, TCM here stitch together 45 minutes of coherent sound. Tough to grab a soundbite, but taken as a whole – exceptional.
If I were to make one recommendaiton, though, it would be to get the Run released as a collection of multiple tracks instead of one massive track. That way you could tailor the run – chop out a couple of sections to make it a 4 miler instead of a 5 miler, maybe reprise “Roadhouse Blues” again at the end to push the run up to 10K. YMMV. (Your Mileage Might literally Vary) If you want to DIY that hack, I imagine the track could be burned to CD, re-imported as an MP3, and chopped up using Audacity or something, though I’d recommend checking terms and conditions of the ITMS and the laws governing your jurisdiction before doing it.
At $10, the pricing seems pretty fair to me – you are getting an entire album’s worth of music, even if it is a single track. And, unlike a couple albums I’ve bought lately, all the bits are worth hearing, especially if you’re running.
(The ultimate irony? I can’t count this as a Nike+ run, as I’d left the receiver sitting on my desk at work.)
So, if you’re a fan at all of dance/electronic music, and have $10 to spare, there are worse choices you could make than trying The Crystal Method’s “Drive” out. Help build a market – who else do you want to hear tackle this?
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