top slots and trains

DJ Rashad – double cup (feat. spinn)
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Jeff Mills – Live At The Liquid Room, Tokyo pt3
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Marnie Stern – Transformer
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Kelis – Acapella
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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Robot Stop
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Carly Rae Jepsen – Cut To The Feeling
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Springsteen, Bruce – Born In The U.S.A. (Live/197585)
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Daniel Avery – Drone Logic
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Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere (Remastered) (Remastered)
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11 Pitchfork Staffers on Their Favorite Workout Music

Music journalists get a bad rap as being sedentary, pedantic sorts hunched over their cluttered desks, arguing about Slowdive B-sides as their primary sport. And when Pitchfork staffers arent doing that, we do occasionally get to the gym, basketball court, or other hub of actual physical activity. Heres what we listen to while breaking a sweat.

DJ Rashad, Double Cup
Running without music is a great way to slowly injure yourself while having pretend arguments with people you will never meet. But running with great music makes the injuries feel worthwhile. DJ Rashads Double Cup ison clear, summer daysmy favorite album of the decade, and it became the soundtrack to developing a running tempo where I could run a half marathon in under two hours. The majority of the tracks on Double Cup clock in at 160 bpm. This is Teklifes preferred footwork tempo, and it also happens to be a perfect cadence for a fledgling runners stride. Jeremy D. Larson

Jeff Mills, Mixed Up Vol. 2: Live at the Liquid Room, Tokyo
Though Jeff Mills ultra-precise turntable skills are the stuff of legend (and make for hypnotic Youtube viewing), Live at the Liquid Room is ragged and rough and fast and noisy and brilliantan explosion of musical energy thats just barely under control. The Detroit techno maestro blows through 38 tracks in 68 minutes with all manner of backspinning, cross-cutting, and wild EQing; some transitions are completely seamless while others are jarring, like being thrown up against a wall. Mark Richardson

Marnie Stern, Transformer
To paraphrase Earl Sweatshirt: I dont like shit, I dont exercise. But Im trying to change that because did you know that endorphins make you feel really happy? Like, even if youre super embarrassed to be the only person in your boxing class wearing a Grateful Dead shirt, you still feel accomplished afterwards! On those rare occasions when I attach my ancient running shoes to my lazy husk, I listen to music that makes me feel like a cartoon character with whirling doodles for legs. Marnie Stern is great for this, especially her early stuff with Zach Hill. As soon as Sterns breakneck finger-tapping begins on Transformer, I feel like Im chasing a supercharged version of myself. Quinn Moreland

Kelis, Acapella
Acapella was written and recorded during a transformative time for Kelis: her four-year marriage to Nas was ending and she was pregnant with her first child. So, to embrace the future, she looked inward on this sweeping, pop-techno hybrid, her first hit single of the 2010s. In juxtaposing the metaphor of an unaccompanied vocal with that of a full-scale orchestra, she explores the loneliness of life prior to her pregnancy: Before you, my whole life was a capella A night-and-day departure from the aggressive, left-field R&B shed explored throughout the Aughts, Acapella is sheer blacklight electronica, its spare, synthesized beat pulsing like frayed coaxial sparking on a concrete club floor. Ryan Schreiber

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Robot Stop
My dogs got one of those leashes thats basically a souped-up bungee cord that attaches to a belt. (Theres a whole fanny pack situation for his food, too. Its a horrible look.) Usually, I just throw on fast guitar music, play it really loud on noise-cancelling headphones, and Shark and I sprint down the road toward the meadow where he likes to poop. Sometimes well go up this really steep hill behind the tennis courthes basically all muscle so hes practically pulling me up by the bungee. Its a blast. King Gizzards stuff usually does the trick, though most stuff by the MC5 or Oh Sees would also be just fine. Evan Minsker

Carly Rae Jepsen, Cut to the Feeling
n the words of Murakami, running can help you seek out a kind of fairness for yourself. And there is no one I would rather soundtrack my small grasps at personal justice than Carly Rae Jepsen. In 2016, I ran only to EMOTION. Since its release, its been a steady loop of Cut to the Feeling (plus a handful of tracks from the underrated new Kehlani album). Trust me: you dont need a running playlist, you need Cut to the Feeling. Jenn Pelly

Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A. (9/30/85, Los Angeles Coliseum)
Bruce Springsteen isnt the strongest guitarist in the worldor even, for the most part, in his own band. But when I listen to this 1985 performance of Born in the U.S.A., Im listening for his guitar solo. Coincidentally, Bruce Springsteen circa 1985 is also my fitness icon. So, during my long, frequent rest breaks at the gym, Im usually searching for this performance in my iTunes library. Sometimes I even fast-forward right to the guitar solo, around the five-minute mark, when you can kinda hear Bruce cranking up his volume knob in anticipation. It sounds like its happening entirely on two strings, scraping against each other and bending across the neck of his Fender like car wheels along a gravel road. Dust rises in the distance. The Los Angeles audience roars. The weight lifts itself. Sam Sodomsky

Daniel Avery, “Drone Logic”
Usually cardio, mostly running and biking or the step machine. These can be boring endeavors, and the easiest way for me to stay focused and retain steam is to listen to techno. Daniel Averys swaggering tunes can transform my dimly lit, dreary gym into an after-hours party. His melodies are crisp and the production quality splendid. Every detail of his body-shaking percussion and brain-tickling synth is rendered in the highest resolution possible (and sounds pretty good on shitty gym headphones, to boot). Kevin Lozano

Talking Heads, Road to Nowhere
Look, if I want to clamber up on my suspiciously wobbly, self-assembled stationary bike and battle the ever-vacillating circumference of various limbs while listening to an aural pun repetitively, to the brink of madness, interspersed with the mewlings of contestants on Bachelor in Paradise as they also toil forth grimly to no discernible return? Only God can judge me, and David Byrne. Silvery men who, 45 minutes into this routine, become nigh interchangeable. I wish I were kidding about any of this. Stacey Anderson

KEXP, Overnight Show [ft. DJ Sean]
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I play basketball at the Y with various other guys of all ages and backgrounds who are willing to get on a basketball court at 5:45 a.m. Legend has it, a different incarnation of this same group used to shoot hoops with Kurt Warner when he was on the Iowa Barnstormers. I usually arrive first and have some time to warm up and listen to headphones. One of my morning rituals is checking out the overnight show from KEXP in Seattle, where its not really morning, which means the DJs pretty much have free rein.
For a long time, my favorite DJ in this time slot was Shani Thunders, but she moved to San Francisco. These days, its the Thursday DJ known on KEXPs page simply as Sean, though Twitter suggests he is Sean Morrow. He has eclectic taste thats pretty simpatico with mine, which can lead to some unpredictable workout soundtracks: Its all well and good cranking three-pointers to Wikis Nutcrackers or Brazilian legend Erasmo Carloss Vida Antiga (from BADBADNOTGOODs entry into the Late Night Tales series), but what the hell was I doing taking free throws to the spacey ambience of Windy & Carls A New World? Actually, that worked pretty well, too. And now when the fellas at the Y ask me when I will write about them, I can tell them I already did. Marc Hogan

LCD Soundsystem, American Dream
Once a week, Robynn comes over and we move the furniture to the edges of the living room and exercise. A trainer by trade, she is a former competitive bodybuilder, a serious metalhead, a lover of great butts, and a heartbreaker. She makes my girlfriend Allegra and I do wall sits, burpees, pushups, and mountain climbers on my grandmothers old Turkish rug and then gossips with us about boys after, as a sort of reward. Its a great way to work out.
When she first started training us, I wanted to impress her, so wed listen to Black Sabbath or Sleep. As we got friendlier over time, we moved on to weeks of Frank Ocean, which Robynn accepted, if not enjoyed. Sometimes Robynn would comment that she liked a song, but most music talk was about death metal. This week, though, excited to finally listen to the new LCD Soundsystem album, I apologized for the upcoming disco and pressed play. Weirdly, she started to dance. Little known fact about me, she said, is that my favorite song ever is Groove Is in the Heart. Two songs into LCD, she grabbed her phone to make sure she saved American Dream to her Spotify. She said she wanted to get dressed to it in the morningand said this while wearing a ripped Morbid Angel tank top.
Allegra is a new LCD Soundsystem fan, too. I just got into them a month ago, she said as we took a break from lunges. Youre a month less cool! Robynn made us do a third set. Matthew Schnipper

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