Today’s plan calls for this intense fartlek run. Quite possibly, it might be one of the last few runs in shorts and a t-shirt this season (you suck, Saskia). I mean, it is November after all. The goal is to complete 5 x 2 minutes HARD / 3 minutes recovery intervals with a few 30 seconds sprints thrown in at the end (for a total of 10.3k) because that’s the direction these workouts are heading. My musical companion is the ‘Boomslang‘ album by Johnny Marr & the Healers.
First of all, what the hell is a “boomslang” right?
Well, a boomslang is a large venomous African snake. Its name literally means “tree snake” in Afrikaans and Dutch. The expression “I got boomslanged by…” in South Africa means to get caught up in something (like a boomslang snake hanging from a tree.) I would offer that “this run totally boomslanged me this afternoon” (and I did!)…but I digress. It is also the first, and to date only album by Johnny Marr & the Healers released in 2003 and comprised of drummer Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr’s kid) and former Kula Shaker bassist Alonza Bevan with Marr handling guitars and lead vocals.
Having lived with advanced sideman syndrome ever since his glory days in the Smiths, Johnny Marr finally steps into the spotlight with his full-length frontman debut. So how do Marr and the Healers stack up against alma maters the Smiths, The The, and Electronic? ‘Boomslang’ is a rock-solid collection of dreamy, droning, sublimely melodic pop offerings.
Marr makes little attempt to match the languid solipsism of Morrissey, the existential dread of Matt Johnson, or the enigmatic electro-pop of Bernard Sumner. Instead, from the hypnotic rock of ‘The Last Ride‘ to the reflectively pastoral ‘Something to Shout About‘, Marr’s songs are as unaffected, his singing as mellifluous, as the tastefully expressive guitar work that’s earned him a place among rock’s most acclaimed instrumentalists. One thing is for sure, Johnny really knows his catchy hook and this album has them a-plenty. Other standouts include ‘Caught Up‘ featuring layers of backwards guitar and a zippy slide solo, ‘Need It‘ (which provided some good inspiration through the 1st and 2nd intervals, ‘Bangin’ On‘, the seven minute long ‘You Are The Magic‘ (which kept my pace up through the rather painful 3rd interval), and ‘Down On The Corner‘ (which, dare I say it, is reminiscent of the Stone Roses).
The only real drag on the album (for me) was ‘Another Day‘ which was a bit gay, or least it added nothing to my workout. Some people might like it but it’s not exactly my cup of tea.
‘Headland‘, at a mere 1:34 long, is also a bit of a throwaway.
But what can you do?
Not every track on every album can be a total gem I guess.
Anyway, the weather today was absolutely perfect. Warm and clear with absolutely zero wind in either direction; Thunder Bay Rd. is as gorgeous as ever. I am proud of the fact that – suck as they did – today proved that I’m almost back in my “Iron form” with these fartlek workouts which I was doing twice a week in February and March earlier this year prior to the whole “EPiC Disappointment” (click HERE). I was only 5 minutes off my time and absent from the workout was only 5 extra 30 seconds sprints…which I probably could have done if I wasn’t being so methodical and patient in my current run program. In another two weeks, I will be more or less back to a similar run workout plan…three months early.