I still have an hour to kill before I am due to pick up HRH so, with my “long run” behind me, I’m tagging on this extra 45 minute functional strength and core workout which, at some point, dropped off my radar altogether. The inspiration on the mat then is the ‘Smoke Ring for my Halo‘ album by Kurt Vile.
Featuring his backing band, the Violators, this album was released on Matador Records back in 2011. The album was released to critical acclaim upon its release, with Mojo actually placing the album at #12 on its “Top 50 albums of 2011” list. I had no idea he, or it, even existed at the time.
There aren’t any real “rockers” on the album. There is no sexy ‘Pretty Pimpin‘ or any 9 minute long stoner opus’ a la ‘Waking on Pretty Day‘ but, when placed altogether into one neatly packaged album back to back, it’s an absolutely amazing listen. Channeling everyone from the Dead to ‘Mellow Gold‘-era Beck to Lou Reed, Vile comes off as total malcontent, but there’s an oddball warmth behind his laconic sneer that echoes the late slacker comedian Mitch Hedberg; for every “I wanna write my whole life down/burn it there to the ground” (‘On Tour‘), there’s an “If it ain’t workin’, take a whiz on the world” (‘Runner Ups‘). My favorite tracks though were the incredibly catchy ‘Jesus Fever‘ and the delicately th0ughful ‘Ghost Town‘. ‘Peeping Tomboy‘ is also a great tongue-in-cheek number which, oddly enough, was strangely appropriate given that I was also people watching from my mat through a series of leg pirouettes and bridge presses.
Yeah, I’m back to being that weird gym guy again.
Anyway, if I had had this blog going 6 years ago – and assuming I actually knew who Kurt Vile was – this album would inevitably have topped my “Best of 2011” list. So with these workouts in the bag, it’s time to grab a protein shake and head over to pick up HRH and her “mad stacks” from her babysitting gig and think about making my way home before one of these ladies on the elliptical machine in front of me calls 911.