If I really want to rev my engine beforehand, I probably ought to read Born to Run for the third time--it never fails to ignite a temporary lust for long plodding miles of singletrack. That book does the same thing for me as really good DH videos, which may be indicative of the nature of each sport. Running is my cerebral, solitary retreat, while I like riding because it is adrenaline-pumping, sphincter-clenching, and delightfully social.
There may be nothing finer than a well-made DH video. I entertain no dreams of gravity racing but those films have universal mountain biking appeal. Something about the perfect integration of images and music elevates both to their maximum potential. For example, I watched Made the other evening. Long ago I had decided that Tegan and Sara wasn't really the band for me. But on this viewing of Made I noticed how perfectly the angry, plaintive rock of "The Con" meshed with some righteous shredding at Bromont, and I fell head over heels for it. That song has now been on repeat in my head for a week.
I love how a different perspective or context can completely alter and improve a song. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' first album always left me a bit cold because it seemed too simplistic and punky, but then I listened to a podcast that explained the song "Maps". It was a based on Karen O's disintegrating relationship and in the video her face shows unbearable pain. Another song that is now running through my brain nonstop.
Sometimes when someone I respect really likes a song or artist, I give it more time and consideration than I otherwise would. I recently downloaded the Sleigh Bells album because it got so much buzz last year. After a few plays I relegated it to the Meh pile as being too noisy and repetitive. Then it came up during an unintentional listening session with some friends, who all thought the album was great. It inspired in Rimmer this flawless gem of musical criticism: "The intro [to "Treats"] makes me want to set fire to a car, and the rest of the song makes me want to watch it burn."
Needless to say it's back on my playlist.
Forgive the tangents but this is what I was thinking about on my run today, through smothering humidity, cloudbursts, and the intoxicating smell of wet ferns. I never talk about music on this blog. It seems like a pretty personal and subjective pleasure, and similar to people who constantly label themselves "foodies", I think people who are deeply enamored with their own opinions about music are beyond annoying. But I think we all know what it's like to be really affected by something we're listening to, and that is why I feel okay talking about it.