One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. ~ Bob Marley
Without music, life would be a mistake. ~ Nietzsche
No pain, no mistakes, no gain. Fuck it; I’ll take music for 500, Bob. ~ Bitch’in Suburbia
If there’s anything that your Bitch, Bob Marley, and Nietzsche can all agree upon is the importance of music as a tool for better living through grooviness.
Witness, for example, a recent post-party cleanup on New Year’s eve. The classic rock portion of the playlist came on starting with Gimme Shelter, and the motley lot of us flew into a tidying frenzy. Scorecese couldn’t have orchestrated it better — up to and including air guitar from the lone guy in the group with the rest of us rockin’ a bad Merry Clayton falsetto. Rape and murder might be just a shot away, but a clean kitchen is at your fingertips when you crank up the Stones.
Now, think about working out. I’m a big spin class girl, and a lame playlist is like listening to baseball stats during sex. A kick ass track or two or six, however, can help you lose five pounds like that — all in sweat. (For my local LA peeps, try TC’s class at Blazing Saddles. Just sayin’.)
Music is transformative — as Marc Maron said to his nieces and nephews when he turned them on to his favorite album (Black Sabbath, Vol. 4, especially the song Supernaut): “Those moments where you hear a bit of music or see a bit of film, and you’re like, my life is never going to be the same because someone dumped that into my head… it just reconfigured all of it – the brain is now different.”
So, the question is, are you ready to be reconfigured and get some shit done? I have a few Bitch’in suggestions to get you rolling — a starter by genre so you can mix yourself a bitch’in brew of musical inspiration.
If you like hard-driving classic rock:
Bitch by the Rolling Stones: This could also be Gimme Shelter or about a thousand others… but I have a soft spot for this one.
Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin can motivate even Sisyphus to push that rock up and over the misty mountain. This one is just my personal fave.
Enter Sandman by Metallica: If it worked for Mariano Rivera, Yankee Hall of Famer, it will work for you. Even a Sox fan (yours truly) can concede that.
Tom Sawyer by Rush: My husband believes no list would be complete without Rush, although his preference is Working Man. To me, Rush is like the Three Stooges — more appealing to the Y-chromosomal peeps. I can give it up to Tom Sawyer, though.
If you like lighter classic rock/pop/New Wave:
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: This one’s about 10 hours long and just the best lyrics of all time. It’ll make you want to skip some school, act real cool, stay out all night. Seriously, it’ll be all right.
Can’t Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers: Literally you can’t stop and sit down when you listen to this tune.
Let’s Go Crazy by Prince: Again, you could pick from thousands and never go wrong with Prince. But don’t you want to go crazy, just for a little while?
So Lonely by The Police: If you are feeling down, this is the best pick-me-up I know of to kick the blues away.
Train in Vain (Stand By Me) by The Clash: For all the punks in the house, this is my favorite groove by the Clash (among many, many others).
If you like rap/hip hop/disco:
Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang: You know you live to up jump the boogie — take it all they way to 15 minutes or for a lighter dose, try the short version.
Lose Yourself by Eminem: Seriously, lose yourself. Goddamn that Eminem if he doesn’t kick the adrenalin up to high gear!
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson: A lot of not stopping here in the Bitch’in picks — this is the mother lode.
Freedom by George Michael: GM is the flip side of Eminem. He still rocks an adrenalin groove to get you going, but it’s a bit, uhm, frothier.
Got to Give It Up by Marvin Gaye: Nobody’s sexier than Marvin Gaye, and this shit will propel your forward, hips first. (Eat your heart out, Robin Thicke! Although this song is why Blurred Lines is so damn good.)
If you like reggae/ska:
Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti & Spearhead: As I always say, love is the answer, no question. And this song is the most infectious expression of love you can listen to. You will dance your way through whatever it is you’re doing.
Trenchtown Rock by Bob Marley & The Wailers: Like my old friend Bob Marley said, one good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain… so go take a hit, mon!
Santeria by Sublime: Again, this jam makes hard work seem as easy, and best of all, no animals need to be sacrificed in this version of Santeria.
King Without a Crown by Matishyahu: A super inspirational, groovy vibe from a very spiritual man — no matter what your views, his belief in a higher power is uplifting and will get you moving and grooving.
I Confess by The English Beat: Get it all off your chest and throw it down on the dance floor… and now you’re really ready to get shit done!
If you like country:
Well, I don’t know what to tell you, it’s not my bailiwick. But my kids like that Luke Bryan dude if that’s helpful.
And look, I know that this music suits a person of a certain age. Some or all of it might not be for you (although I suspect at least a couple of those tunes will pump – you – up!) The point is to find that beat that lights a fire under your ass and sparks a connection in your head, heart, and loins.
By the way, don’t tell me music isn’t the great equalizer, either — one of my daughter’s 12-year-old friends, Kay Cook, is already writing and playing her own music.
No excuses! So if you see me mixing my tunes with extra special sauce, just know I’m gearing up to go kick some ass — and I’d love to know what pumps-you-up, too — please share your faves on the comments here or on Facebook.
Now enjoy this mixed tape I made just for my Bitches — and rock on with your brilliant self! If you are on Spotify, I’ve shared the list (Trudi Smith Roth – let’s be friend and music buddies if we aren’t already!)