“That’s when the DJ dropped my favorite tune”
Spinning, I’ve come to learn in recent months, is a great way to expend a tremendous amount of energy while going absolutely nowhere. It is both exhilarating and defeating, offering all the physical benefits of performance cycling without any of the beautiful vistas or genuine sense of accomplishment in excursion.
That’s why it takes a good spinning instructor to motivate you through the 60-minute nightmare that is pumping your legs and sweating profusely in a small, poorly ventilated room in a suburban Cleveland gym. And while some instructors will try to get you to use your imagination — “We’re coming up on a big hill!” they’ll shout excitedly, while you ponder which hallucinatory drug they have recently ingested — the best know that the way to galvanize people in an exercise environment is to fill the air with tunes. Glorious, pump-up tunes.
Naturally, this is where it gets tricky. Because if we know one thing about the world today, it’s that our beliefs in politics, religious practices, social and moral standards and, most of all, music could not be more diverse, sometimes frustratingly so.
It is, then, with much chagrin that I report that my personal preference — a spinning class based solely on Springsteen (I would call it “Spinsteen”) — has not yet been met. The instructors whose classes I’ve attended tend to veer more toward the Top 40 or the ‘80s hair metal or the early ‘90s club songs. And that’s all right, I suppose. Although it must be noted that one woman did, fleetingly, inject a little Bruce into the proceedings. Somebody (not me, I swear) had requested a Springsteen song before class, and she obliged with the only such offering on her iPod.
The song? “Streets of Philadelphia,” Bruce’s haunting hymn about alienation and dispossession, written for “Philadelphia,” in which Tom Hanks plays a lawyer afflicted with AIDS.
Not what you’d call a pump-up tune.
Some do it better than others. And with that in mind, let’s see how the 2013 Cleveland Indians did in selecting their pump-up tunes, in our much-anticipated annual “at-bat music” installment of CastroTurf.
Tip of the cap, as always, to Annie Merovich, the Indians’ manager of scoreboard operations, for providing the list.
Michael Bourn: “We Still In This B&*@#” by B.o.B. featuring T.I. and Juicy J. (Favorite lyric: “Stop blowing my buzz, quit killing it” reads like a comment on the Draft-pick compensation rules for free agents.)
Asdrubal Cabrera: “Limbo” by Daddy Yankee, “El Teke Teke” by Crazy Design, “No Me Corra Cantinero” by Vitico Castillo, “Dime Que Hago” by Farruko. (Favorite “Limbo” lyric: “Y esto esta como como pa como pa como pa rumbear,” which loosely translates to, “Watch out for those dugout steps.”
Jason Kipnis: “Satisfaction” by Benny Benassi (RL Grime Remix). (Favorite lyric: “And then just touch me/’Til I can get my/Satisfaction.” That’s actually the only lyric, so I didn’t have much to choose from.)
Nick Swisher: “Who I Am (What’s My Name)” by Snoop Dogg. (NOTE: An all-time classic video. As for the song itself, not exactly similar to “Hang On Sloopy.”)
Michael Brantley: “Started From The Bottom” by Drake. (Favorite lyric: “I’ve done kept it real from the jump/Living at my mama’s house, we’d argue every month.” A tale as old as time.)
Carlos Santana: Something called “Gibberish” (I tried Googling it, and I have no idea), “Solo Sucede” by Gabriel Cazali.
Mark Reynolds: “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line with Nelly. (Favorite lyric: “She was sippin’ on Southern and singin’ Marshall Tucker/We were falling in love in the sweet heart of summer.” Another tale as old as time.)
Lonnie Chisenhall: “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne.
Drew Stubbs: “Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris, “Ima Boss” by Meek Mill featuring Rick Ross, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.
Mike Aviles: “Hit ‘Em Up” by Tyga.
Jason Giambi: “Wolfpack” by C-Murder. (Note: This is the theme song for the New World Order team in World Championship Wrestling, but I’m sure you already knew that, right?)
Lou Marson: “What I Got” by Sublime (Note: No more “Easy Lover” by Phil Collins, but this will do.)
Ryan Raburn: “Kiss My Country #@$” by Rhett Atkins, “Whistlin’ Dixie” by Randy Houser.
Justin Masterson: “Rebirth” by Skillet.
Ubaldo Jimenez: “Rie y Llora” by Celia Cruz. (Favorite lyric: “Lo que es bueno hoy/Quizas no lo sea mañana” or “What is good today/May not be tomorrow.” Amen, Ubaldo, amen.)
Zach McAllister: “Return of the Mack,” by Mark Morrison.
Brett Myers: “Answers To No One” by Colt Ford. (Favorite lyric: “A jealous man is weak, so think before you speak/If you love ‘em let ‘em know, if you hate let it go.” Boom. Outta here.)
Carlos Carrasco: “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. (Favorite lyrics: “Dreams of war/Dreams of lies/Dreams of dragons fire/And of pitches high and tight” … or something like that.)
Bryan Shaw: “Sail” by AWOLNATION.
Matt Albers: “Sleep Now In The Fire” by Rage Against the Machine.
Cody Allen: “Take It Outside” by Brantley Gilbert.
Joe Smith: “My Kinda Party” by Jason Aldean.
Chris Perez: “Firestarter” by Prodigy.
Vinnie Pestano: “Walk” by Pantera. (Note: If you thought “Firestarter” was a strange choice for a closer, then what do you make of “Walk” for a setup man?)