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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Protect and survive

Having been up and down to London a lot recently, I've been experimenting to try and find the optimum iPod playlist for surviving extended use of South West Trains facilities. As an alternative to driving my car into the ticket office and then setting fire to myself on track (when I go, I want to cause the maximum disruption possible, so it's either that or start an internet rumour that there's a secret hoard of Illuminati treasure buried under Clapham Junction), I've iterated to a pretty set. Let me know what you think...

As you as the train is visible, hit play and go into Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins "It's Like That". It pumps you up ready for experiment in natural selection that is any morning train to Waterloo. The pounding beat gets your circulation up so that you can bundle old ladies out of the way and trample schoolchildren to get to one of six remaining seats for the 121 people getting on.

The full-length "vinyl" mix of DJ Tiesto's Adaggio for Strings provides insulating techno-backdrop as the train eases through the Surrey countryside. Plenty of nice variation to help you keep concentration despite the heat and lack of oxygen from the jammed carriages but an excellent trace underlay that allows you to focus on the copy of Metro you grabbed going through the station.

Now that you've finished the copy of Metro and haven't even got to Surbiton, it's time for Peter Rauhofer's "Doomsday" club remix of the old Frankie classic "Relax". I find this to be an excellent track for many public transport situations, especially when you want to turn things up a bit because the person sitting next to you is an management consultant trying to talk to a colleague on a mobile phone, as happened to me last time. What a conversation: "is the synergies presentation ready yet... what... no, synergies... in the switch to multi-model corporate work-life balance education..."

Now we're moving through Clapham Junction it's time to move on to the Blue Man Group version of the KLF groove "Last Train to Transcentral". I saw them do this in New York fifteen years ago, and having taken no.1 son to the show back in New York a couple of weeks ago -- ah, the cycle of life -- I've found it good for managing rising stress levels and the body begins to anticipate shifting to the Underground at Waterloo.

The transfer from South West Trains to Red Ken Rail (I guess I should get used to calling it Boris' Borehole from now on) needs a slightly slower, but still driving effort, so on recent trips I've moved the Canibus with Biz Markie cover of the old Johnny Paycheck favourite "Take This Job and Shove It" up the running order. This takes you through the crowds of commuters and down into the Stygian, airless depths of The Drain, where you shuffle en masse down the steps and into the carriage.

If you're on time, the Chemical Brothers live from Glastonbury "Out of Control" is ideal accompaniment through to Bank and up into The City, where the traffic, filth, beggars, crowds and weather welcome you to the beating financial heart of the British economy.

If you're walking to an office from Bank, I find that the Boy George and Culture Club extended club version of "Generations of Love" is a lovely backdrop, calming and uplifting but not too slow, so that you're ready for action as you walk through the door.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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