Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Music Comma Paired

Well, gentle reader, it's time for another of my updates on my lates musical fascinations. This time, I've found myself repeatedly listening to two or sometimes three songs from the same album, so I thought I'd frame today's post in pairs.

  • "End of Me" by Apocolyptica featuring Gavin Rossdale, and "Broken Pieces" by Apocalyptica featuring Lacey Sturm, both from the 7th Symphony album. You may recognize the featured vocalists as the frontpeople of Bush and Flyleaf respectively. These songs combine classical string instruments with contemporary style and lyrics. Of course I enjoy them.
  • "What You Want" and "My Heart is Broken" by Evanescence, both from the band's self-titled album. These two tracks have all the traits of Evanescence pieces I've enjoyed in the past.
  • "Immigrant Song" by Karen O, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross as well as "An Itch" by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from the soundtrack to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. "Immigrant Song" is, of course, a cover, but I really enjoy the extra electronic sounds and "noise" layered on to this version. They really give it an unsettled, busy feeling that seems right. This track was used in one of the trailers and over the Bond-like title sequence of the film. "An Itch" has a completely different mood and tempo, but it still feels, as its name suggests, agitated and ill at ease. I like that. I wonder if Mr. Reznor has a second Academy Award in his future.
  • "Heavy in Your Arms" and "Dog Days are Over" by Florence + the Machine, both on the Lungs (Deluxe Edition) album. "Dog Days" is very up-tempo, which seems out-of-character for Florence and Company. "Heavy," which is not available on the regular version of the album, is much more sedate, and it's certainly the standout on the Deluxe Edition. I was a little disturbed to learn that it was used in the soundtrack to one of the Twilight movies. Because of (a) that discovery, (b) the fact that I was working my way through the Hunger Games books when I first encountered the song, and (c) that I seem to associate all female-led, young-adult novels with each other, this track has become linked in my mind to Katniss Everdeen and the nation of Panem.

So that's what I've been listening to recently. How about you, gentle reader?

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Scream, Expletive, Scream

One of the many internet memes that float about in the subculture of automotive enthusiasts is the video of a race-car driver taking his significant other, his mother, or a celebrity for a lap around a race track. Screaming, swearing, and wild gesturing ensue. Although these videos appear to reinforce the stereotype that women are afraid of driving fast, a few of them are actually pretty funny.

Here's a vid of former Formula One driver Riccardo Patrese taking his rather expressive wife for a spin in a Honda Civic Type-R. It's a street car, and they aren't wearing any safety gear, and, given Mr Patrese's relaxed and subtle smile, I don't think they are going all that fast. Still, Mrs Patrese is moved to offer her husband the traditional Italian gesture of love and respect.

In the below video, Rolex Sports Car series driver João Barbosa* took his bride for a lap in a Dayona Prototype. They are clearly wearing full safety gear (minus her gloves and probably shoes), the vehicle is a race car, and I've read that they reach 185 mph in the video, so Mrs Barbosa probably has a lot more to scream about. And scream she does. Indeed, its sometimes difficult to tell whether the high-pitched wails in the soundtrack emanate from her or the car's gearbox.

* And by the way, how crazy-cool is that first name?

PR: Box Jump for Height

Last Friday, I tied my personal record for the box jump for maximum height. I'm confident reached this same benchmark almost 5 years ago when I was learning parkour at Primal Fitness, but I didn't record the event then. That's why I'm doing so now. The new record is 48 inches, which I consider not bad for someone only 66 inches tall. A couple of guys at CrossFit Diesel have managed 50 inches. They are both about 74 inches tall, but I'd like to catch them, so that will be my short-term goal.

PR: Back Squat

Last Thursday, I set a couple of probable* PRs for the back squat:
  • 2 reps: 235 lb.**
  • 3 reps: 230 lb.
* I haven't been recording PRs for multiple reps of this excercise, so I'm not certain. But I will be in the future!

** I'm uncertain about this one and must recheck my notes.