Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Musical Interlude ~ Work Out with hedgewitch

Warning: Rock and Roll with No Redeeming Social Value Follows

Welcome, aspiring aerobic aces. You are entering Hedgewitch's House of Funk, where healthy cardio workout combined with the most bizarre dance moves of the seventies and eighties will soon have you sweating your way to a new you. (Or else you can just listen or ignore.). At my physical this year, I was sternly advised by my doctor that if I wanted to live long enough to fulfill my socialist ambition to qualify for Medicare, I would have to do the dreaded E word on a more regular basis than once every three months. Till now I've been allowing my devoted Nurse and Personal Trainer, and the former Ms. Iditarod, Chinook the Sled Dog, to pull me around the neighborhood daily. However, we have hit a snag here, what with the temperatures reaching that of the surface of Mercury, so I have devised an alternate plan--dancing like a maniac in the AC.
Fun & Safe! Nurse Chinook will provide onsite supervision

I am picking tunes I've made dance mixes from in the past,and can verify that each and every song will provide better cardio and muscle toning than a Denise Austin tape and you will get to look at blasted rock stars who look older and in worse shape than you'll ever be instead of her, an added plus in your total body workout.

 So, fun-seekers, onward to health and all that booshwah.

Hedgewitch's Fitness Tip: More calories are burned when songs for dancing are played at highest volume. This is because a) you will dance better, and b) the ears futilely attempt to pull more blood from the heart to swell the ear veins, close the passage to the inner ear and prevent deafness.Louder is better, class.

First up, to get the muscles stretched, the classic warm up act with Ronstadt's version of The Stones' Tumblin Dice:

Next the Bones really put the fever in the funkhouse with this version of "Happy." It's like it's playing at the wrong speed, they're smokin it out so fast. Keith is actually audible on vocal, and the band is kickin ass. Great lyrics too--esp the opening verse:
I never kept a dollar past sunset,
It always burned a hole in my pants.
Never made a school mama happy,
Never blew a second chance, oh no

A little too much of the Jagger derrieire for my taste(and not enough Keef,) but I'll be dancing anyway  so we'll let it slide. (Caution: Always consult your doctor before dancing to any Rolling Stones song. Beginners may want to skip this):

'kay--deep breath--drink of water--and for those left alive, we'll do some cool down, well sort of, with what I'm sure is a bootleg vid of Janis doing her tightest tune suitable for dancing, Move Over, released in 1971 on the album Pearl, three months after her death at 27 from a heroin od. I never watch her without sadness.You can see the flame in her burning way too bright, the way they do just before they go out, but hey, she'd be the first one to want you to dance. So we'll do that thing. The video quality is bad enough to make you wonder if it's Joplin(it is)or someone they pulled off the street and put a pile of feathers on, and for some strange reason it has asian subtitles, but she is in fine voice, the band doesn't screw up majorly (always a plus with the Full Tilt Boogie guys) and by now, you should be focusing on breathing too much to watch closely anyway:

For anyone still standing, we'll get to something a little less manic but quite danceable, and also a bit more cheerful--my old standby dance band, The Talking Heads, with Wild Wild Life. I'm not much for the video on this one, it's all dubbed anyway, so just the music:

Check out Mr. Businessman/he bought some wild wild life
on the way to the stock exchange oh woh

Closing with  the Kinks'  Low Budget; this is pure self-indulgence on my part, because it's only great for dancing when you're slightly tired and/or barely able to move.

Thanks all for joining me in my pursuit of cardiac fitness. Anyone foolish enough to have actually danced along can probably relate to the line in the Band song Chest Fever, " my mind unweaves/I feel the freeze down in my knees" (and--just before I heave/ I take an Aleve)

It's a multitasking blog now, my friends, till the heat breaks. I'll be doing these little projects every so often when the line up gets old, so if anyone has a particularly crazy tune to dance to that might make me live longer, feel free to suggest it. (It has to be something that you can do the swim to, remember.)

Thanks for playing. We'll be back to poetry tomorrow.


  1. i am kinda glad it is time for me to go to bed...i amsweating fiercely just from thinking about the E word and janis in medicare is even going to be around...pshaw....

  2. Don't SAY that!! It needs to last just a few more years before the RWNJ's dismantle it and give all the money to the billionaires so old people can not only not have enough to live on but also have no medical care--hey, we die sooner, more for them, it all works out.

  3. Stop the madness! If you think I'm gonna dance when I get home, you are doing some serious drugs, girl. My dreams are all of glorious torpor!

  4. @ FB Ha. I bet if I stuck up a Joan Jett song, you'd be dancin your butt off.

  5. Whew! The mix wound down just like me, ground down with the Eighties. (I used to play lead guitar to "Low Budget" in a band of angry romantics called Rip the Silk. We made, oh, ten bucks on a variety of party gigs.) High church of boogie was of course Janice, though I was never a big fan of her backup band -- for rock solid beat and grind, it was the Stones. Some of my fondest memories of playing music was in the late '70's when I cranked up my Strat and my roommate played bass and a buddy of ours sang with strangled vocal chords (why did those guys always figure to sing Mick?). We'd drinkabunabeers rocking Stones songs all night til the landlord called and yelled at us to TURN THAT SHIT DOWN! Ah memories ... the Ronstadt take on "Tumblin' Dice" is flawless ... Thanks for the karmic relief working out the Earth, Wind and Fire chakras ... now to rest my cardiac before the old gods laugh and attack ... Brendan

  6. @B: Yes, the music made the time and the time made the music. I always think myself lucky to have been there(and as Keef says, to still be anywhere) That's a great riff on Low Budget. (I love Rip the Silk. Now bands have names like the one my son was roadie for, Asleep Audience Dream--WTF???)
    And I could do a million of these mixes, but not one without including at least one Stones song--not too many though--that might actually have the opposite effect(of killing me rather than reviving my health.) I'm a big fan of my fellow Capricorn, Joplin, but like Morrison, her opus is so small from the early cutoff of that Sweet Paradise hangup that it's worn and frayed to death by overplaying--still, no one could bust a move like my girl--she was sweating before she hit the first chorus on that one. And if they were looking last night when I broke this one in, the old gods were definitely laughing.

  7. LOL you're right about the Joan!

    PS-I like that "Dangerous Fun" lyric on the sidebar. I think I have lived that about a dozen times.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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