Some mornings it’s really hard to get going. Today is one of those mornings. Under-slept and cranky, I’m staring at a blank computer screen while I sit in a noisy coffee shop and rain drizzles out of a dumpy grey sky.
Andy is pretty chill, but he was beginning to wonder when I would write another blog post for the Bull site. Honestly, I’ve got nothing and a day like today doesn’t really help. Despite therapeutic amounts of coffee, I’m only alert enough to be annoyed at the people around me—makes me comparable to an irritable terrier.
So, today’s post will be a bit different. I’m listing some of my favorite songs to keep me moving when I’m worn out. Songs with a good, driving beat. They aren’t necessarily what I always listen to, but they are what I like when I’m tired. In no particular order, here’s a selection of songs to keep Producer Allie awake.
- “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys. I love the bluesy rock of The Black Keys, especially songs like “Sinister Kid” or “Gold on the Ceiling.” But when I’m tired and need to get going, the driving beat of “Lonely Boy” is the winner.
- “Go Let It Out” by Oasis. I have a lot of good memories tied up with Oasis songs, but “Don’t Look Back in Anger” does squat for me on a day like today. Instead I need to hear the Gallagher brothers telling me they’re leaving town and I’m going with them because the right time is always now.
- “Layla” by Eric Clapton. I know there are a lot of people who liked the unplugged version of this song, but I’m not one of them. Written for Clapton’s ex Pattie Boyd, I like the fire-in-the-belly angst of the original—nothing beats the electric version for unrequited love. I relate to unrequited love and I have a crush on Clapton.
- “Hammer to Fall” by Queen. There are so many songs by Queen that are overplayed, this isn’t one of them. It’s kind of a forgotten hit and I like that. But, you really need to listen to a live version of the song, so much better than the studio version. Freddie Mercury was one of the best frontmen in music and that is so glaringly obvious in the live performances.
- “Tie Your Mother Down” cover by the Foo Fighters. Another Queen song, but this one covered by the Foo Fighters. I love the harshness the Foo Fighters bring to this version of the song, especially when they perform it with Roger Taylor and Brian May.
- “Rebel, Rebel” by David Bowie. A concert staple for the late David Bowie, this song celebrates being weird with one of the most recognizable opening guitar lines ever. And if you don’t sing along to “Hot tramp, I love you so”, then I don’t want to know you.
- “Little Sister” by Queens of the Stone Age. You may have noticed that this list is a little heavy on rock. The combination of throbbing beat contrasted with sinuous vocals puts it on the list. And somewhere the ex who got me hooked on Queens is laughing his ass off.
- “Hate To Say I Told You So” by The Hives. About mid-aughts there was a punk revival and these quirky Swedes were part of it. That jangly vintage riff at the start of the song drives the punk shriek/shout of thrilled-to-be-there lead singer Pelle Almqvist. And, it’s not every band that can pull off a punk sound in spats.
- “Guilty” by Gravity Kills. During that industrial rock sound in the 1990s there was NIN and everyone else. Gravity Kills were part of the everyone else crowd, but managed to get two of their songs onto soundtracks. This one was on the soundtrack for the movie Seven and features a driving roughness paired with some synth slickness that defined the genre.
And, there you have it. My highly selective list of songs that I like when I’m tired. I like a lot of music, but vintage reggae and classical don’t quite fit the bill when I’m looking for music that will help keep me awake and moving.
What would be on your list?