48 Comments

  1. ‘SCUSEZ-MOI? I have dozens of Gregorian Chants/Medieval music on my Sonos (Missa L’Homme Armé is playing at the moment). This is BEAUTIFUL. But then, as my ‘exercise’ is yoga and reading, it is perfect for me, altho this is what I usually play when doing yoga:

    In my younger days, I tried JAZZERCISE. The so-called music being played at a volume of 11 (out of 10) was so aggravating that I couldn’t concentrate on what my body was supposed to be doing. A gym facility we joined had the same issue. (I was recently dx’d with misophonia, which might ‘splain a lot.)

    Anyway, thanks for posting this site – I see there are many similar ones I can use.

  2. This presupposes that we ALL want ‘bouncy’ wake-up music. I’d rather wake up to Enya’s music, or Gregorian Chants; I don’t want music I have to jump out of bed to turn off (altho, if you have to go to work/school, that may be the entire point of having cacophony wake you up).

  3. For me, the worst exercise music would be music that actually induced me to, ugh, “exercise.”

  4. A play which I read in print and got almost nothing from at that time was Beckett’s “Act Without Words II” — of course, there was no spoken dialog so the text to read was just a description of the action.

    Then sometime later I saw a student / amateur production (but directed by the brilliant Nick Rudall) and was overwhelmed! Portrayal of two modes of life, somehow weirdly abstracted to a fantasy landscape. Spiritual exercise and calisthenics. (But both do brush their teeth.)

    Later still, I saw a filmed or video-recorded record of a stage production — I think it had E.G. Marshall and so may have been at the time of the original American tour of “Godot”. Meh. Okay, made its point, but not as deep as what Rudall did with his two undergrads.

    Later still, a couple different film versions. I can’t find that old tripod video, nor one I saw at some point that actually had film-style costumes and scenery.

    but This one seems to now be celebrated or the standard, discussed in Wikipedia:

  5. @Olivier – ‘the dream and the illusion’ by Crimson King ?

    The tracks Olivier mentions make up ten minutes of instrumental noodling on King Crimson’s first album, In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)… the track is listed on the album as “MOONCHILD including THE DREAM and THE ILLUSION”, and was a track I thought of before I even saw Olivier’s post.

    The instrumental bit starts from 2:20 here: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2slokn

    Some other KC tracks may also be tricky, such as “Discipline” from Discipline; according to Wikipedia during the piece the two guitars of Belew and Fripp respectively use the following pairs of time signatures: 5/8 and 5/8; 5/8 and 8/8; 5/8 and 9/8; 15/16 and 15/16; 15/16 and 14/16; 20/16 and 20/16; 12/16 and 12/16; 12/16 and 11/16. Throughout the the drums play in 17/16.

  6. Worst music for working out? I don’t go to the gym, so I’m making some assumptions here regarding a song one might want to be motivational, so here are some songs you may just get on your nerves instead…

    Anything by the Shaggs, some by Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie.

    Also there was a two-song experiment: “The Most Wanted Song”, and “The Most Unwanted Song”, both engineered from a questionnaire asking what the public liked best and least regarding music.

    This is the Most Unwanted Song, and as I recall the Most Wanted song was composed mostly of modern R&B cliches. I have not been able to listen to more than a couple of minutes of each, so be forewarned…

  7. Just when I was about to post my suggestion of John Cage, in comes CaroZ with the snipe.

    I would also think something like “Take Five” (or “Unsquare Dance”) would be hard to exercise to.

  8. As with comics, we all have our likes and dislikes; it seems we’re getting close to dissing other’s preferences in music . . .

  9. Andréa, dissing? Hardly! I admire anyone who likes crappy music. There is so much about and it is so much easier to find than good music. It must be delightful to live like that.

  10. I was referring to to the comment about ‘anything by Leonard Cohen’ and, in fact, calling something ‘crappy music’ would seem to be judging not only the value of the music itself, but the value of the person who likes it.

  11. Least motivating lyrics of all time:

    “My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why. I got out of bed at all. The morning rain clouds up my window. And I can’t see at all. And even if I could, it’d all be grey.”
    “Thank You” by Dido.

  12. @ DJD: Those lyrics do sound pretty miserable, but the lyrics do get more positive as the song goes on.
    My tea’s gone cold, I wondering why I got out of bed at all
    The morning rain clouds up my window, and I can’t see at all
    And even if I could it’d all be grey, but your picture on my wall
    It reminds me that it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad

    And, with the music, it’s actually got a bit of bounce to it.

    I’d say “Why Get Up” by The Fabulous Thunderbirds has more relentlessly bleak lyrics, though it’s fun musically.

    Why get up, why get up
    How can I get up, why should I get up
    This whole world’s gone crazy
    Think I’ve seen enough
    I’m gonna sleep forever why get up

    And if we’re on the topic of bleak lyrics (but still pleasant musically), There’s the Theme from MASH aka Suicide is Painless:

    Now, the Marilyn Manso cover of it replaces the nice music with something bordering on atonal and arythmic and the delivery is certainly daker. Very much not bouncy morning wake-up music.

    @Andréa: I’m a fan of Leonard Cohen’s music and have heard it characterized in many unflattering ways. “Not bouncy wake up music” is a quite reasonable description of a lot of it. More negative assessments of it wouldn’t hurt my soul. Someone’s taste in entertainment isn’t a particularly good way to judge their character in most cases. Sure, if they list their favourite book as Mein Kampf and their favourite movie as Birth of a Nation and list several White Power bands as their favourite music, I certainly am going to think less of them. But if they like Nickelback, Game of Thrones, and Stephen King? To each, their own. I might even dip into some of their suggestions from time to time. I might find something I like.

  13. Andréa: I see a big difference between “that music is terrible,” and “that music is not bouncy and/or not good to exercise to.”

  14. I dearly love to listen to Dylan, Woody Gurthrie and Leonard Cohen on the car radio. They are wonderful story tellers. The folkier side of music is often more for listening than dancing, etc.. Disco, however, IMHO would seem more suited motivating physical movement.

  15. @Andréa: There’s a LOT to love about Leonard Cohen’s repertoire… but not much of it qualified as “Bouncy Wake-Up Music”..though, to be fair, y’all have presented quite a lot of far better candidates for “the worst possible exercise music”.

  16. Now I’m trying to think of Leonard Cohen songs that *could* work as bouncy wake-up exercise music. The chorus of “Tonight Will Be Fine” comes to mind. In a pinch, “Lover Lover Lover Come Back to Me” and maybe “There Is a War” and — then I think I got nothing.

    (Not meant as a dis on Leonard Cohen, whose music I love; it’s exercise that I hate.)

  17. After extensive tests, a recognized authority (Phil Connors) has demonstrated that the absolute worst option for wake up (and presumably also for exercise) music would be this.

  18. Kilby, I like that song very much, so you posting something negative about it means has mad me very sad. I am now drunk and crying uncontrollably. Even this doesn’t help.

  19. Several months ago, I found the youtube site for those puppets and thought they were pretty funny (albeit creepy). Those puppets are a LOT of work and so well done, as are the many videos available.

  20. Assuming a constant beat would be important, The Beatles song “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” has an ever changing time signature (4/4, 5/5, 9/8, 10/8, and on and on)?

  21. I would think that the absolute worst wake-up music would be “Rock-A-Bye Baby” because when a cartoon character sings it to another cartoon character, the other character immediately goes to sleep, as in this Chuck Jones classic: https://youtu.be/Z9qMCP7cmlg?t=161

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