As I am normally surrounded by meatheads in the weight room at the Y, I am never without my Nano stocked full of my favorite music to drown out the profanities, inanities, and other verbal assaults on the English language.

I was getting into a rut though, I found I was clicking past more songs than I was listening to and was rather bored with everything I was listening to. There was a few months were I rediscovered African Choral music and there was also an interesting experiment regarding Pucini during leg squats, but overall just bored, bored, bored, bored, bored….

I was just coming down off a long stretch of Tejano music I had been working out with and what I love about this music is the varied layers of influences you hear, particularly polka. But there were a few songs were what I was listening to was so familiar yet I couldn’t put my finger on it and the delicate layering of sound was preventing me from bringing the identity to the forefront. So I emailed a friend of mine who teaches music theory at a university back home and had him pick it apart for me. Of course, it took him all of five second to pinpoint the sound.

Klezmer.

Klezmer is a style of music from the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition and I will tell you this: it rocks. For those of you who watch South Park, they play it occasionally as Kyle’s family’s theme music

So I start frantically researching and downloading Klezmer music and the speed of light. I love discovering (or in this case rediscovering) new music. It’s like falling in love, or lust, whatever, you just can’t get enough of it and it makes the world all nice and rosy.

I even remembered a great little band back from the island I lived on in Maine: The Casco Bay Tummlers.  I’ve been listening to quite a bit of their music while lifting this past week and it is perfect.

I know, I know, but before you start calling me all meshuggenah, you have to hear me out first. The big problem with listening to music while you lift or run is that you get caught up in lyrics and lose your count or you fall rhythmically in line and end up going too fast or too slow. Klezmer has no singing (or at least anything recognizable), hence, you don’t lose your place, and the rhythm is so varied you can easily pick a pace and stick with it. The music is snazzy, the beat is phenomenal, it is completely joyous and often unhinged. The musicians play with such reckless abandon I can’t help but just be happy while listening to it.   

But at the end of the day, I’m a fickle lover. This phase too shall pass and I’ll be off again, looking for the next new sound to ring my bell. In the meantime, on what I believe is the first day of Chanukah (someone please correct me if I am wrong), I will be doing back and shoulders at the gym, trying out a new group Klezmer musicians from South Africa of all places.

Gezunt! 

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