WALK-UP WEEK! Worldly Wednesday: “Dougou Badia (feat. Santigold),” Amadou and Mariam



Of all the songs on Walk-Up Week, this would be my own personal song.  I’ve used this song to push me through long runs and long rows.  I see no reason why it wouldn’t pump me up enough to clock one out of the park.

WALK-UP WEEK! Termagant Tuesday: “Blues Walk,” Lou Donaldson



There are a lot of different kinds of ballplayers.  There are the players who are just so amazed to be getting paid to follow their passion that they come across as happy all the time.  Then there are the ones who come across as spoiled little brats, who are more concerned with preserving their badass self-image than they are creating such an image through making consistent contact with the ball.  Bryce Harper, outfielder for the Washington Nationals, is such a player. Harper is good, don’t get me wrong.  But the man can throw a tantrum better than a four-year-old.  If he strikes out, he’s been known to throw his helmet on the ground and jump up and down.  Bless his little $900,000-a-year cotton socks.  “Blues Walk” is a raised-chin, eyes-narrowed, stare-you-down, “see if I care because I’m just that good” kind of a jazz song.  You do you, Harper.


WALK-UP WEEK! Modernism Monday: “Seventeen Years,” Ratatat



Baseball is my favorite professional sport.  “Why,” I hear you reluctantly mutter?  Because it’s easy to understand and doesn’t have the homicidal undertones that football and hockey have.  I’m also the most familiar with it, having played Little League and collected baseball cards as a kid.

The other major reason I love baseball is the awesome modern addition of the walk-up song – aka, the song that plays when a batter steps up to the plate.  I’ve had the same conversation for years with friends and family about what the perfect walk-up song would be, but I hate having to pick one.

WAIT OMG I HAVE A BLOG NOW.  HAH.  Welcome to Walk-Up Week, Part 1: The Non-Ironic Version.  (Part 2 will take place in a few months after my Minnesota Twins have once again blown their chances at the Series, probably after losing, again, to the Tigers or the White Sox, and I think baseball is a hateful and idiotic sport with which I wish to have no association.)  We begin the week with “Seventeen Years,” by Ratatat.  This is a song for that batter with a consistent record of pasting the ball high over the left field wall, but, being a little older than most, is only brought out when his* skills are absolutely imperative.

*His.  It’s always his.  Oh well.

Sacred Sunday: “Crux Fidelis,” King Joao of Portugal



My friend’s new wife being Portuguese, I feel this an appropriate choice for today.  Also, my headache is sponsored by vinho verde, a Portuguese white wine.  So, a calm, quiet little number is also in order.  Many thanks, your highness.

Sacred Sunday: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” Johnny Cash



If the lyrics sound vaguely familiar, it’s because you might know the Moby version of this song.  I won’t link to it because I don’t want to dilute the effect of Cash’s interpretation, which I find to be an intoxicating combination of chilling, inspiring, heartening, and terrifying.  With all the horrific things going on around the world these days, even the most committed atheist wants some powerful entity, higher or not, to cut down those who do such terrible things.

Salubrious Saturday: “Twistin’ in the Wind,” David Byrne



The first full week after being away from D.C. for almost two and the immediate wheels-down-at-DCA thought still remains.  It’s like a fusion of Plato’s Cave and the twist at the end of “The Sixth Sense:” I see tweaked-out, type-A, overachieving anxiety-balls.  I have a much better understanding of why people say that D.C. is a bubble.  I kind of knew that while I’ve been here for the past decade, but now it’s even more obvious.  I still love my “funny little town,” but dudes.  Seriously.  Chill.