This week I’m posting a video of my new song, “Running is Punk.” We’re playing the NY Road Runners’ NYC Half soon so that usually gets me fired up to promote things. This is a demo version since it’s just me on vocals, guitar, and bass with a drum loop. Despite the roughness it still works well for running, keeping an even 180 bpm tempo. So, I’m giving it away for free on reverbnation, it can also be downloaded through the app on my facebook page.
I have been hard at work writing new songs. I have about a dozen demo songs at various stages of completion towards the latest piece I’ve been envisioning.
So, I figured I should give “Running is Punk” some context because it is part of something bigger.
Behind the Punk Music
In a word: minimalism. I love the punk impulse. The–I have something I feel and want to express loudly–impulse. I like the fact it can be rough around the edges.
The ten commandments of punk as described by Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group:
I. Thou shalt return to the basics
II. Thou shalt do so with ferocious intensity
III. Thou shalt be young
IV. Thou shalt be sick
V. Thou shalt be snotty
VI. Thou shalt play hard and break all taboos
VII. Thou shalt keep no other god– especially fucking dinosaurs like Eric Clapton and so called progressives like E.L.P.– before thee
VIII. Thou shalt be revolutionary
IX. Thou shalt be cartoonish
X. Thou shalt remember thy rock past and keep it holy
Or to quote Tommy Ramone, “Eliminate the unnecessary and focus on the substance.”
This is really what the song is about; there is a lot you can get out of a few chords.
Of course, the idea of minimalism is also all the rage in running circles. The same holds true for running as with music: the best part of the sport is the most basic.
Running Music as a Panacea
The whole reason why I do this stuff is because in my life when I’ve been sad or frustrated or angry the things that I can turn to and give me the most in return are music and running. Both are ways to expend your grief without the harsh side effects. As it turns out, they even go well together! “Running Music” has so much potential as a new medium for expression it drives me nuts wanting to get it out there.
It doesn’t take lots of money, power, stuff, travel, relationships, drugs, alcohol, to transcend everyday angst and feel good; it can be done with some sweat, muscle and a song in your heart.
My vision is to play for people in some kind of fitness setting where they could be on treadmills or running a track or even just moving around in place.
I’ve played races like NYC Half this Sunday before. It is so much fun but we can only connect with each runner for a few seconds. I want to have shows that take the idea to completion and you get the full experience.
That 70’s Concept Show
“Running is Punk” is part of a piece celebrating 1970’s New York because it was such a pivotal time both for punk and for running. It is both functional and fun: working on cadence, racing strategy and enjoying a shit-kicking rock show. It’s all about finding the pleasure in running.