Playlist of the Month: Jock Jams

The 2014 Olympics are in full gear and athletes are already nabbing medals on the podium. But what gets these sportsmen/women pumped before they compete? In 2008, when Michael Phelps was in his prime in Beijing, he was seen listening to something on his iPod, headphones glued to his ears and there was one question on my mind: WHAT THE HELL WAS HE LISTENING TO?

I wasn’t the one wondering, the reporters at NBC were wondering too, and apparently the answer is a lot of techno and rap (Lil Wayne). Even Bob Costas said one of the rules to living life during the Olympics in ’08 was “Crank up your iPod and listen to anything Michael Phelps listens to.”

Michael Phelps chose techno/dance and rap to get pumped, and in the 1990s so did the folks who compiled the popular Jock Jams CDs.

I’m assuming none of the athletes are listening to ‘I Like To Move It’ or ‘ ‘Tubthumping’ in 2014 (although after the techno soundtrack at the opening ceremony, maybe they are), here are a few of our suggestions for a new Jock Jams compilation for 2014.

Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify!

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Traci’s Picks

H.A.M. Kanye West & Jay Z

This track says it all in the title: H.A.M. = Hard as a Motherfucker. Go big or go home, guys.

Live It Up by Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull

So as previously mentioned, Jock Jams was a mix of techno, rap, dance, and pop. For me to excited, I also like listening to a song that makes me feel good and happy and positive, and that’s how I feel about this song. Like, how can you not want to dance to this?

Wings by Little Mix

Along the same lines as upbeat, fun songs, I present you with Wings. This was a mild hit over the past year, by Little Mix who won The X Factor over in the UK. You may also know member Perrie Edwards as ‘the girl who stole Zayn Malik’s heart and ruined Directioners everywhere’. Anyways, this song is great and so are they.

Let’s Go by Ne-Yo & Calvin Harris

The lyrics are literally, ‘Let’s go, make no excuses now, your time is running out.’ Olympians, you’ve been training all your lives for this moment. Don’t screw it up.

Work Bitch by Britney Spears

You better.

Molly’s Picks

Shawty Get Loose – Lil Mama

In case you haven’t noticed, we like techno, hip hop, and pop for our jock jams. This track combines all three – and who could forget Lil Mama’s star turn in that TLC tv movie?

The New Workout Plan – Kanye West

Say what you will about Kanye, this song gets you moving.

The Anthem – Pitbull ft. Little John

I think the double Pitbull on this list just highlights how suited he is to the Jock Jam genre.

Je Veux Te Voir – Yelle

The fact that the music vid features gym equipment and 80s aerobic fashions says it all. Nothing like a good smack-talk song for motivation, right?

Get Me Bodied – Beyoncé

Beyoncé isn’t just the queen of everything (so much so that WordPress automatically adds the accent to her name), she’s the great motivator. A Beyoncé song on my iPhone takes my regular elliptical and weights routine and makes me feel like ‘hey, maybe I could be an Olympian or something.’ Like all great Olympians, B is a team player — this track features her Destiny’s Child friends and her sister Solange.

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Playlist of the Month: Songs from 2013 That Need To Stay In 2013

Towards the end of every year, magazine editors, television producers, bloggers, and miscellaneous people on the internet compile their Best and Worst of Lists. Music lovers tend to release their favorite (and least favorite) songs of the year. And unlike books or movies, songs can carry over into the next year and constantly play on the radio, thus making us want to pull out our hair and also the radios from our cars and throw it out the window if we ever hear that one hit song from last year again. 

In the spirit of hating on tunes, here are some of our picks for songs that should stay in 2013 and never show their face in 2014 – or every year moving forward.

Click here to listen to the entire list on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks:

What Does The Fox Say? – Ylvis

Just like Gangnam Style before it, 2013 needed one of these novelty songs and Norwegian duo Ylvis filled that quota. This song wasn’t even made as a real track – if you don’t know the story, brothers  Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker are hosts of a popular talk show in Norway. They created What Does The Fox Say? as a music video to promote their show, and the video went viral and here we are. But let’s just let the fox and its mysterious sounds in 2013, shall we?

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell

I feel like we’re probably on the same page as this, so I’m not even going to explain why this is on the list.

Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

“They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard, I bought a skeet blanket, then I bought a kneeboard.” This song is nominated for not one but TWO Grammys, y’all. GRAMMYS.

Timber – Pitbull ft. Ke$ha

Sometimes songs grow on me. But then other times it’s Ke$ha and I know immediately that I will be utterly annoyed with the song. This song is no different. Unfortunately for us, this was a late entry to 2013 and it’s probably going to stick around until like June. Also, if Ke$ha sings a song with Pitbull in the forest, does it make a horrifying sound?

#thatPOWER – will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber

When Justin Bieber is 50 years old, he’s going to wish he could do 2013 over again. He’s also going to wish he never agreed to do this horrific song with a Black Eyed Pea.

Molly’s Picks

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

As I’ve said before, Imagine Dragons sounds like the name of a pretend band created by two eight-year-old boys who are really into Lego. Let’s allow this song to fade into 2013 and just imagine the dragons from now on.

[Note: I’m noticing a lot of these songs were released in late 2012, but they all climbed the charts in 2013.]

Can’t Hold Us – Mackelmore

This doesn’t even make sense. The ceiling doesn’t hold you. The floor does.

Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia

Apparently my gym is a card-carrying member of the Swedish House Mafia, because this is on every time I go there. [Also, inexplicably, Miss Independent by Ne-Yo.]

Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars

So, I’m of two minds on Bruno Mars. On one hand, I think he’s a talented guy who makes catchy music. On the other, he’s responsible for Just The Way You Are, which is the musical version of a Dove Real Beauty commercial. And readers, you do not want me to get started on Dove commercials.

Wake Me Up by Avicii

Start with a kind of 90s, alternative, folksy sound. But then, let’s add some beats. Wait… what about the music video? Can we have an old west sequence, but also a club scene, but also a model, but also a child? With human branding and ambiguous time travel? And maybe, like, The Dust Bowl? Sure. Have it all.

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