So back on September 4th of last year I ran the same course that I ran tonight. Back then I was coming off a couple of months of inactivity (June and July too hot!) and starting to get back into shape. On that night I there was improvement, as I ran the third and fourth miles faster than I had run them. Now tonight while I’ve run a few times in April – January, February and March were too snowy and cold for me to run much – my old body likes the fair weather! Anyway tonight is like the fourth run in April and my first four-miler and while I thought I struggled my overall time was faster than it was back in September and both my third and fourth miles were faster!! So how come?? I think that the answer may lie in the amount of yoga that I have done over the winter this year!! Overall, my weight is lower than it was and I feel better!!
So the iPod was set on shuffle this morning as I set out to work on a stairway hall that I am getting se to paint and this is the resultant playlist – I think this playlist should be in the dictionary beside the word eclectic. What do you think?
1 Pineapple Heart – Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
2. Blue Drops of Rain – Corey Stevens
3. Six Feet Under the Ground – Michael Cleveland
So in in the first three songs there’s one jazz banjo Virtuoso, one great blues guitarist, and a bluegrass fiddle virtuoso in Michael Cleveland a good start in mixing it up!
Ok so it’s not exactly Noah’s flood, but when I went to the basement this morning to exercise I discovered that the hot water heater had sprung a leak! Which means moving boxes vacuuming up water,separating damaged from on damaged junk, and now I’m waiting on a friend to come look at it, to see what I need to do!
So as sit and wait for what I am sure will be bad news, I think I’ll listen to a little Chris Knight and the song that comes to mind ……”Send a Boat”
Well if you told me when I was in the fist half-mile of my run tonight that I would end up running faster and farther than I did on Tuesday night I ay you are nuts!! Obviously I did not feel real spry at the beginning of the run! Part of the reason for that it was a lot colder than i thought it was and I always have trouble breathing when the air is cold. But I had put on an album by what I thought was a progressive rock band Enbound and their 2011 release And She Said Gold and it sounded pretty good, so I tuned in and trudged on!! I clocked in at the first mile point at in 10:16 not bad.So I said let’s just keep moving listening to those guitars. keys and vocals that I could understand!! I asked my self over the course of the next mile, “how was I do” and the answer came back ok!! I really didn’t check my time at any other points. I just kept looking down at my pace and was constantly happily surprised that the pace was for the majority of the time hovering around that 10:30 minute per mile pace!! When I crossed the point where i started and had stopped on Monday night I was almost 2 minutes faster than Monday!! So I kept going and ended up running a full 3 miles compared to 2.8 miles on Monday and the final time was 31:30 for the three miles which coverts to a 10:30 minute per mile pace. I was very pleasantly surprised by both the run and the music! Now like I said the soundtrack for the run was And She Said Gold from Enbound. Since I knew nothing about the band other than they have a great guitar player and vocalist, I went to their Facebook where I found that they are from Sweden!! I went to ProgArchives and found nothing!! Then I googled the Enbound and found them listed on several metal sites. They label their music on their Facebook page as Hard Rock/Melodic Metal. And when I went to a forum where they discuss what groups they put on the Prog Archives site I read that they liked their music but that tended more to metal than prog. I guess I agree but I thought there were several tempo changes within songs and between songs that they would make it to the Prog Archives!! Anyway the band hails from Boras, Sweden a town of about 66,000 people located in the southwest quadrant of the country. Enbound was formed in 2006 by Mike Cameron Force. His intention was to create something special with Enbound, and not just be a normal rock/metal band. The pieces of the band came together over the next several years. bass player Swede was added to the line-up, as well as the extremely talented [then 17, now 20] year old guitar virtuoso Marvin Flowberg. In 2009 the band found their singer in Lee Hunter [Lars Säfsund] who is most famous for his work in the band Work of Art as well as performing in musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, in the TV program “Singing Bee” on Swedish television and performing with Biondo in the Rumanian Eurovision song contest 2008. So in 2011 the albumAnd She Said Gold mastered by Björn Engelmann [Rammstein, Primal Fear, Sonata Arctica] was released. Ok so now my mind has given up on me ans all I’ll say is that in my opinion this is a great album. Full of hard charging metal that will rock you.. with some terrific guitar by Flowberg and then there are some slow ballads and throughout the whole album, Hunter’s vocals are perfect for band!! So as I say check them out!! Here’s the “official” video for the opening track “Combined The Souls”
So back on Monday night (the warmest of this week) I put on my headlamp and ventured out for a four mile run, I created a new route that kept me from crossing or being on any major roads during the run. Overall the run was pretty good and though I always slow down when it’s dark my split times were really not that bad! Overall the course measured 4.13 miles and my time was 41:48 for an average pace of 10:07 minutes per mile. The soundtrack for the run was [Redacted] the latest release from a Neo-Prog Rock band that hails from Wales in the United Kingdom
So like I wrote earlier today, this morning’s soundtrack was a little eclectic, as I listened to two albums at the opposite ends of the musical spectrum. The first was Herb Alpert’s new album Steppin’ Out and at the other end of the spectrum was a progressive rock album from a trio from the UK 25 Yard Screamer. I found 25 Yard Screamer’s name among the new prog rock releases early this morning.. Their new album is titled Something that Serves to Remind or Reward. A quick trip to MOG returned only the band’s 2011 release Until All are One. So that one went on the iphone and played in the background as I worked away, and it certainly made trying to figure out how to get NJDEP approval for our client more pleasant!! A little about the band from the ProgArchives:
So the soundtrack for my run tonight was supposed to be the new release from Michael Lee Firkins – Yep but someone forgot that the album was not on the iPhone but would have been on the iPod if someone had remember to copy it to the phone from the computer! I wonder who that could be!! Probably the same person who embarrassed himself yesterday in the library when the iPhone was playing in his pants and he didn’t realize it and kept wondering why the woman at the computer behind him was blaring the music so loudly. He even accused said woman, when the library aide sheepishly asked him whether he was one with the music playing! That guy quickly apologized to all, collected his books, and QUIETLY left the library!! The music that was playing, that I thought was pretty good and was surprised that the woman was listening to, was Decomposition by Michael Lee Firkins which became the soundtrack of my run this evening!! The run did not start out well! Yesterday, I had walked about a mile from my office to the garage where our car was being worked on, along the way I turned on Runmeter to see my progress and time! When I started my run this evening, I didn’t realize that the walk had not been cleared. The lady said start and I did and felt pretty good. When I hit the first quarter-mile I looked down at the phone and the time of the run said 16:02 uh unless I am literally crawling that is not right!! So I stopped, realized what happened, and then walked around the block and started the run again!! The second time I hit the quarter-mile mark the time was 2:19 which was correct and I went on to run one of my fastest paces of the year 9:50 per mile and much of the time the pace was around 9:30 per mile! I felt comfortable throughout the run!! Michael Lee Firkins was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1967. His father was a lap steel guitarist and his mother a pianist. Michael started playing acoustic guitar at the age of eight. Mostly self-taught, he also took lessons at a local Omaha music store. Learning the songs of the times, Michael was heavily into Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Black Sabbath. Michael’s solo career started with the release of his self titled début album on !Records.The release sparkled with Michael’s blending of genres as his music is rock blended with country, blues and jazz (sounds pretty great to me!) His first release sold more than 100,000 copies. This well received album also lead to Michael being the winner of the “BEST NEW TALENT” reader’s poll in Guitar for the Practicing Musician and also runner-up in Guitar Player Magazine’s “BEST NEW TALENT” readers poll. He was also hailed as “ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PLAYERS OF THE NEXT TEN YEARS” by Guitar for the Practicing Musician. As Michael’s music was also popular in Europe, Firkins won the Edison Award, which is Holland’s version of a Grammy!! (Website biography) The album that I listened to, Decomposition was released in 2001 and is an album of covers except for one Firkins original! Since I am not a big fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd or Rick Derringer. I didn’t recognize several of the songs. The tracks included: “Still Alive and Well,” from Rick Derringer, Manic Depression,” from Jimi Hendrix (yeah I know this one but Firkiins made it his own!) “I Need You,” and “I Know a Little,” both Lynyrd Skynyrd covers, A highlight of the album for me, was Michael’s cover of the “Pink Panther,” (yes by Henry Mancini!!) Keeping with the eclectic nature of some of the covers, the closing track is a Duke Ellington tune “Caravan”. All in all, it is a great album and the label “guitar virtuoso” certainly fits Firkins!!
So the soundtrack for a variety of activities around the house today was a prog/power metal band from Houston,Texas Six Minute Century . The band has been around since 2004 playing mostly locally in Houston. After signing with Nightmare Records in 2008, Six Minute Century released their début album “Time Capsules”. After that release and the positive reviews it received, the band has played many cities in the United States, and been invited to perform at a variety of festivals including: Rocklahoma, Rock The Bayou,festival, Nightmare Metal Fest I and II, and ProgPower XI.My soundtrack today was their second release Wasting Time also on Nightmare Record. The album is hot off the presses! The official release was yesterday! It really only took the first couple of songs to decide that this was a band that I was going to like. well actually it was the use of radio reports about the havoc of the Galveston flood that acted as the intro to the song “City of Hope” that did the trick. It seemed that through the entire album the opening to each song was varied and interesting.!
Well I proved tonight that Tuesday’s run was not just a result of having four days off!! I went into tonight’s run not expecting or really wanting to run as hard as I did on Tuesday! I had convinced myself that all I wanted to do was have a nice easy run. As I set out with those that thought in mind head and the music of Anders Osborne in my ears, I found myself holding a steady pace that was just under 10 minutes/mile and at times going down to 9:30 /mile. So I said ok let’s just let it roll and see where it ends up. Well it ended up again averaging under a 10 min/mile and only 2 seconds per mile slower than Tuesday run with an average pace of 9:53 per mile. So while I’m still not exactly where I want to be, I am running a lot faster and easier than I was back in August!! The music of Anders Osborne that was in my ears and the soundtrack of the run was his new release Peace. The album sits at number 4 on the Roots Music Report Roots Rock Chart, rising from number 25 last week. The first Anders Osborne album that became a part of my library was his 2010 release American Patchwork which I thought was terrific. That was followed into my collection by 2012’s Black-Eyed Galaxy, which was almost as good. Now comes Peace and I think this one’s as good as American Patchwork. While I liked it on my run, I enjoyed it even more listening to it a second time earlier tonight! So I can’t wait until I get to listen a few more times. After listening to and thinking about the personal struggles that form the foundation of his songwriting, I understand why…..
So last night after work I ran. After the run I finished my post about Steve Strongman, I showered, went to the store, and then ate dinner. All the while I was thinking that I would write about the run in a few minutes. So as the minutes passed, my energy slowly slipped away and before long I was closer to sleep than coherent thoughts and writing!! Which is why I’m sitting here on Friday afternoon writing about it! I maintained a pretty fast pace (for me) throughout the run and my pace time continues to go down. There was one time during the run that I checked my pace and it was 9:06, so I sped up a little and sure enough the pace went under 9 minutes!! Unfortunately, I could only keep up that pace for a minute or less!! My pace, however, through the first three miles was just and shade over 10 minutes per mile!! And overall I ended the four-mile run in a time of 40:19 for an average pace of 10:05. I was a tired but happy camper!!! Now I couldn’t think of or find a Prog Rock album to use as the soundtrack for the run, so I selected an Americana album that I’ve been listening to over the last few days, My Rocket Ship from Markus Rill I really like this album. It’s full of great songs, husky, gravelly vocals from Rill and some fine music from his backing band The Troublemakers. Here’s some press from Markus’ website: “If voices were highways, Markus Rill’s would be gravel … like Steve Earle, Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams, Rill excels at songwriting” – PureMusic/USA “Europe’s premier Americana artist” – Rootstime/Belgium Yes, you read that last quote correctly, because… ..