Friday, January 29, 2010


So Geneva basically rocks, especially the old town where we've spent much of our time. Its been the perfect respite from all my worries about knee pain. It helps that Frankie and her friends are totally up for nights out and that Frankies landlord knows as much about the music/running scene as I do. It is almost eerie how similar his bookshelf and CD collection is to mine. My knee is killing me again and I will need to start the process of fixing it when I get back but until then its lots of wine, good times, Diesel jeans, amazing food, and jumping on trams without paying.

Love Kel

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'll Keep The Wolf From The Door

Last night Radiohead played a gig in LA (Again) and the goal was to raise as much money as possible for Haiti. They obviously played the gig for free and there was no charge for the set up either. The tickets were sold at auction and almost 600k was raised. I should be really happy but I can't help feeling a little frustrated at the fact that Thom seems to enjoy playing in LA a little too much. This was his 4th gig out there (he played three solo gigs in October). Maybe a bit of East coast action eh lads? There were a lot of celebs at the gig too which only adds to my disappointment at not having the opportunity to bid on a ticket. They most likely paid a lot for the privilege so I shouldn't really begrudge them. After all the goal was to raise money, which they did very successfully. So for tonight, excluding the few vids I saw earlier, (I got up at 5:15am to see the youtube vids because I couldn't sleep) I will just have to enjoy the many great offerings on youtube.

Love Kel

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Like Watching You

Man, five days on the road and the world of joyful music passes me by. I spent the weekend drinking copious amounts of extra dark French Roast coffee and listening to wonderful music. Last Thursday Jonsi dropped by the Soundcheck studio of WNYC (NPR) to talk about influences and play some stripped down tracks from his new album. If you have any interest you can both listen and download the show HERE

Jonsi is such an amazing artist that I am completely and utterly in awe. After listening to the music for 24 hours I was so happy that I changed direction and started playing a lot of very uplifting, cheesy, electro pop and dance music. I wouldn't call myself a convert, I still LOVE the minimal and very melodic techno but over the last year artists like Fred Falke, The Whitest Boy Alive, and Diamond Cut have gotten a lot of airplay in a time when there is a lot of competition to get on the Kelrock rotation. That sounds arrogant, but it is not meant to be. The youtube video below is an example of what I'm talking about.

I'm feeling a little better today about my current situation as a sideline athlete. Perspective is very important and my upcoming trip to Switzerland to visit Frankie has taken my mind off all the nonsense of sore knees and training. At least for now......

Peace and much love,


Saturday, January 23, 2010

You Climb Endless Trees

Its been a tough week for training. Basically I did nothing. We were on the road with work visiting Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Salt Lake City. The trip was fantastic but kicking around in the back of my mind was the miserable reality that my knee has regressed and is unable to take the very meager training load I'm giving it. My lack of posts here has been down to general disappointment in my progress, or lack thereof. I am taking 2 weeks off all exercise and I'm going to go back to the original rehab plan to see if that makes a difference. If it doesn't work I may have to get another MRI and see if there is still a minor tear somewhere in the joint.

Trying to stay positive is very difficult but in the wake of global disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti I need to cop on and stop feeling sorry for myself. There is so much good stuff happening right now that perhaps I need to be grateful for the wonderful friends, music and life I have at my fingertips. I intend on doing that while trying to fix the problem. I'll be back in no time, still hungry and very determined.

Love Kel

Monday, January 18, 2010

Space And Time

Yesterday I did 90 minutes of very relaxed riding on my trainer. We had the first winter Providence Bike indoor ride. There were about 8 of us and to kick it off we didn't do a session or even talk, rather we watched "A Ride With George Hincapie", and what a perfect kick off to a 10 week program it was. Usually we watch stages from the Tour or the Classics and we mimic pacelines, hill climbs, and sprints. The duration of our sessions usually tops out at 1:45 - 2:00 so the 90 minutes relaxed ride was the perfect warm up for what lies ahead. We will also start up Bar Biking in the afternoons thus loading up the Sunday (if my knee can take it of course).

With a great workout in the bag I have decided to take today off. This may be the first rational day off I've taken in the last year. I don't feel guilty and I am completely at ease listening to music and icing my knee. I am getting nowhere with rushing training and progress. The point is, progress is only such if I keep getting better and fitter, neither of which are happening. Yesterday was really enjoyable and made me realize that training makes me happy and if I can't train everything goes a little pear shaped. More days off and slow progress is better than lots of days off and no progress.

Last night I went to Abes for a few pints by myself. It was awesome and it so happened that 3 other neighborhood blokes had the same idea that I did. So there we were, 4 blokes, myself, a dude covered in full sleeve tattoos, a medical Doctor, and a retired school teacher turned environmental/local activist (I'm awful at remembering names). Neither of us knew each other but we spent 2 hours chatting about anything and everything. It made me realize that P-town has a very cool vibe, without pretense and sans attitude. At least a place like Abes does. Could have stayed all night but just a couple of scoops was all I promised myself. I grabbed some thai food at Sawadee and drove home thinking that I'd take a day off tomorrow and that I'm going to do more of the things that make me happy.

Off to Colorado in the morning and then onto Salt Lake City for a bit of work that really doubles as vacation. I'll be seeing my friends in Boulder and hitting the Toad for a scoop. Then next week its off to Geneva to see my lady friend which was a last minute decision and now has me super excited. Very solid weekend.

Love Kel

Been thoroughly enjoying this track from the British Electropop Duo, The Diogenes Club. Check it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And Nothing

AM: 60 Minutes Trainer Ride, Core Work

Got on the bike for the first time in three days this morning. My knee felt a little better and the swelling really subsided with the ice and Advil. I didn't push it at all opting to ride high cadence without huge resistance. I am happy with how my knee responded and I am excited about going to Providence Bike tomorrow morning for the first group trainer ride of the season. Basically anywhere between 6 and 12 people set up their trainers in the store and we do a session while watching old stages of various tours or one day classics. Its really cool and having so many people around working hard is inspiring. I am super motivated for the season to start. Ironically, tomorrow will be the warmest day of the last 30 so we should really go outside! There is still a lot of ice on the streets, especially the country roads so I suppose staying inside is the right thing to do.

I grabbed the new Album Leaf album today. Its called A Chorus Of Storytellers and it is fantastic.
Jimmy LaValle has been putting out beautiful music under his Album Leaf moniker for over ten years and this is his fifth studio album. Produced by Jon Birgisson of Sigur Ros fame the record is full of diverse and inspiring sounds. This time the album utilizes a full band and you can really hear the depth of the music in the tracks. I listened through twice and I imagine it will get the play through several more times through the weekend. Below is an initial favorite.

Peace and Love


Friday, January 15, 2010

I Know What I Am

I had a lovely time in Boston tonight with Tommy Mac. The discussion ranged from hilarious stories to very grown up but I love love Tom's enthusiasm so its all good and a sign of the times is that we spoke very little about running! We drank a few scoops at an extremely packed "Public House" in Brookline. Lovely swill mind you. I think I want to live back in Boston at some point. With that being said, living is not exactly one part of my life's high point with Frankie being kicked out of her apartment in Geneva by an overweight, money hungry landlord. It should be fine but in the short term it still sucks.

I have had three days off the old training cycle to let my knee settle down. I really did some damage to it with the biking and excessive walking around. It is feeling better and this weekend I am going to stick to some single days of training. We are back in Providence Bike for Sunday morning trainer rides. I am pretty excited about this although I'd be even more happy if my knee didn't feel like it could crumble at any minute.

I offered up a fantastic Memoryhouse track the other day and this morning I came across a Millionyoung remix that is really infectious. Take a listen and download the work. These guys are awesome.

Love Kel

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Open Pick

I got in some training yesterday morning on the trainer before I jumped a train to New York. Today was a wash and walking around the city visiting accounts has successfully inflamed my knee. Its really sore tonight, probably the worst its been since before surgery. I am a little concerned that I might have done something to irritate it but I'll give it a night of sleep and ice to reduce the burn and tomorrow morning I'll make the call whether or not I need some rest days. Felt like I was turning a corner and now I feel like I've gone down another dead end street. At least I found some Memoryhouse to listen to. They are a duo from Ontario, Canada comprised of a fantastic female vocalist and another dude who is on instruments and production duties. Go to their myspace and you can download their ep for free. Beautiful music that will take your mind to a different, better place.

Love Kel

Monday, January 11, 2010

Its True, I'm Racing Time

AM: 45 Min Trainer Ride, Core
PM: 45 Min Trainer Ride

Kings of Leon have a line of clothing. Its extremely overpriced and looks like the clobber you find in every Urban Outfitters. Whats the buzz with that. Liam Gallagher has threads out too called Pretty Green. I am just sayin because I got an email from Kings Of Leon (yes it was right from the band) talking about their new fashion. Stick to the tunes lads.

Two very easy and positive sessions today. Knee felt good, no more stabbing pain, and I stuck to the plan which is very important. Both sessions offered up the usual temptation to do more but the new mature Kelrock stopped when I said I would. Feel fantastic right now.

Portishead have released a new track, "Chase The Tear", for Amnesty international. Simple analogue sounding drums and baseline. Beth Gibbons vocals are outstanding as they always are. The track is Joy Division meets Fever Ray. The drum sequence sounds like old techno from the very early 90's or late 80's. I didn't love it at first but while reading about all the tremendous work Radiohead are doing right now I found myself listening to the track several times in a row. It certainly grows after repeat listens. Off to New York tomorrow.

Peace and Love,


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ageless Beauty

AM: 80 Minutes Trainer Ride, Core Work

There was a marked improvement in my knee today. Obviously a few days off helped and maybe it was just what I needed. My intention was to ride for 40 minutes which turned into 45 and so on until I hit 80 minutes. At that point, still feeling fantastic, I realized what I was doing was completely irrational, albeit typical behavior. I wanted to do more but pulled the plug and took the energy into a core routine. I despise core work, mainly due to the fact that I've done so much of it and yet continue to get injured. All my injuries are based on abnormalities in my structure and they are unavoidable if I train hard. The core work does help but all it really serves to do is make me feel strong which means I train harder and get injured sooner than I would normally. However, I'm still told I have significant muscle imbalance so I do the exercises. At this point I've nothing to loose.

The music scene isn't serving up much these days. I am listening to a lot of dreamwave tracks and even though most of it is poppy and even cheesy I thoroughly enjoy it. I finally got my Editors tickets in the mail. Really looking forward to this show at The House Of Blues. The former venue, Avalon, was home to some amazing nights between 1998 and 2004. Prior to the progressive house sound blowing up in the USA the likes of John Digweed and Sasha would play Axis and Avalon to crowds that were there for the music only. We used to go up all the time and it was awesome. It went downhill when the music policy changed and Trance dj's filled the slots every week. Axis hung on with cool sounds for a little while longer before the crowds disappeared and the venue closed. Now Avalon is gone and Lansdowne Street will never be the same. A decent concert venue was needed mind you, so its not all bad. Really excited about seeing Editors for the first time.

Also, if you have 6 minutes to spare and are interested, Ed O'Brien of Radiohead was interviewed about the process of releasing In Rainbows and the "Pay What You Want" model. He makes some great points. Check it out here.

Peace and Love,


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fear Of Tigers

Big day of listening to dreamwave tunes while drinking coffee at the Exchange. Last day off. Riding tomorrow no matter how my knee feels.

Listened to the below track a lot today for some reason.

Love Kel

Friday, January 8, 2010

I am Jack's Medulla Oblongata

Another Day Off. My knee is still swollen and sore. I got on the bike for a minute or so but I had to get off because every pedal stroke felt like I was being stabbed in the back of my knee. I am listening to Everything Everything, a very joyful up and coming British band to ease the pain. Its really not that bad, I'm just feeling sorry for myself.

Love Kel

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chord Memory

Day Off

Woke up at 1 am and needed to ice my knee. It became all swollen last night. Obviously I rode too hard in my 45 minute evening session. Its really pathetic. A mere 45 minutes should only be a warm up on the bike. Clearly getting ahead of myself. A rest day is alright I suppose. I feel a cold coming on so loading up on various pills and good food to nip it in the bud. Spending this evening listening to old techno and post rock. Back on the saddle tomorrow.

More fantastic electropop from Australia. So many great young bands making this kind of music. Easy to listen to many times over. Puts a smile on my face every time. Even when I'm in doom and gloom mood like I am right now!

Love Kel

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Coloring Of Pigeons

AM: 40 Minutes Ride, Core Work
PM: 45 Minutes Steady/Hard Ride

Decided to workout twice today in an effort to see how my knee would respond to the additional workload. I have always felt that 2 short sessions is easier than one long session and rather than ramp up to 80 or 90 minutes I figured a couple of shorter sessions that were up tempo might be the right option at this point in time. Felt fantastic during both rides and would love to have done more. A good feeling.

In more important news, The Knife have allowed fans the opportunity to download one of the tracks off their forthcoming album Tomorrow, In A Year. The deal is, The Knife, along with collaborators Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, were commissioned by the a Danish Operatic group to write the music for their new Opera based on Charles Darwin's "On The Origin Of The Species". This is the only track I've heard and by signing up for The Knife's newsletter you get a free download. The music is as beautiful and bizarre as I would expect. Wonderful.

Love Kel

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Get The Eggs, Get The Flan In The Face.

PM: 60 Minutes Trainer, Core Work

Another hour steady on the bike followed by core work after a long day at work. Need to start getting up in the morning because sitting down to dinner at 9 bells and then watching soccer until 11 is not conducive to good work and fitness. Basically I'm aimless right now because of my recovery so its not exciting. I need a goal or something. Sounds amateur but thats where I'm at. I hate training for the sake of training, I love competing. Anyway, its all irrelevant right now because its my first week back exercising after my surgery and with tender joints comes conservative training. Off to bed to listen to Memory Tapes,

Love Kel

Monday, January 4, 2010

Singing I Miss You

PM: 60 Minutes Trainer, Core Work

The training is kind of boring and flat right now. I am still nursing this knee after surgery so I can't really push it. However I think I got over the first hump today. Over the last 4 rides I still felt a little tweak here and there but today there was nothing. The joint felt fluid and right now I have a big ice pack wrapped around it. I might be able to increase the volume on the bike with some double days before I kick into the 90+ minute trainer sessions. Putting all thoughts about running out of my mind for the next few weeks.

Haven't listened to any new music today. Work was long and I literally feel hammered. Going to play some Album Leaf and read some Irvine Welsh. The hype is all about the new Vampire Weekend but I can't really be bothered. The first album in my opinion was the most over rated, over hyped, uninteresting record of 2008. I'll admit, after a few listens I never gave it another go but when I hear the songs they still don't do it for me. I will listen to the new album but I'll wait until next week when its officially released.

Love Kel

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In A Big Country

AM: 70 Minutes Trainer Ride, Core Work

I finally figured out a way to do sessions on the bike without temptation to do intervals. Its quite simple really, watch TV. I set up my TV and DVD player in the basement and started watching movies. Listening to music is what gets me all fired up so for easy days, especially these current days on my comeback, I will only watch the box. The ride was easy and my knee is getting stronger after only 4 bike efforts. I will up the load since I think I can handle more and will continue to do the core work that the Dr. suggested. Its going to be a long road back to fitness and I can't help but feel a little frustrated because I need to stay very motivated knowing that my left knee may not be able to take on a training load and that I may never get back to racing again. However, one closed door opens up new doors and I am thoroughly enjoying the bike riding so maybe a break from racing on two legs to racing on two wheels is just what I need.

My friend Vinny Mulvey is also coming back from an injury of his own and has just joined up with a new coach, John Downes. You can follow Vinnys progress on his website, While there you can also read some of his articles on all things fitness. Should be a nice journey to be part of.

The song I've listened to more than any other in 2010 is Green Knight by Memory Tapes. This album really should have been in my top 10 of the year. I really love it and when I was supping Coffee at the Exchange on Saturday I realized this fact. This is perhaps my favorite song on the album excluding the fantastic 22 minute closing instrumental which is a whole mix in itself. Check it.

We are right into the new year and tomorrow is back to work both at Reebok and with getting fitter, happier, more productive.

Peace and Love,


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best Albums Of The Decade

I alluded to the fact that I don't put too much stock into a new year but it's remarkable to me that the first decade of the new Millennium has passed. A better case to start a process of reflection. I brought in the Noughties at a house party, DJ'ing hard techno to many friends and amid a cloud of smoke and weird energy. Wouldn't exactly say it was memorable and as the night progressed and the techno got harder and faster I made an exit, wishing I was with Frankie, Podge, Tubs, and Ed who were hanging out in Francine's house in Canada. The turn of the Millennium kind of forecast the years to follow. The reason we ended up at a house party was because every establishment in town decided to milk the regulars and force them to stay at home. But from an athletic view point and a musical view point the months that followed were remarkable. I returned to the States from that winter break completely out of shape and it was in the months that followed that I decided to actually take running seriously. 2000/01 was my favorite time in America. Not only did my running go to a whole new level but it was the only year I had no injuries, no cares, success, and constant fun times. The lads on the team all ran well and we fed off each others energy. The girls team were running great too and I don't really remember any negative vibes from June 2000 - October 2001. From a running stand point everything went downhill after October 2001 but the rest of the decade had a lot of high points. Since this blog is about Running and Music I don't need to go into politics or any of that. It was obviously a very significant period for the entire globe. We saw the best and the worst of human behavior.

I have spoke to a lot of people about whether or not the 90's edged the 00's out as far as music goes. Almost all of my friends agree that the 90's had it. It is significant to note that we (me and my mates) lived through very inspiring culture shifts in music. A shift that we didn't see in the 00's. In fact there were two major musical movements that I personally experienced. Rave Culture and Brit-Pop. In the USA there was the grunge thing (which was also massive in Ireland) but I never got into that and still don't really like the sound. But Rave and Brit-Pop were amazing. I remember back in 1992 and 1993 making the almost religious weekly trip to Luci's with the rest of the town. Every Friday and Saturday night the lines outside were ridiculous. Rave had gripped everyone and unfortunately so did a little white pill called Ecstasy. Not that everyone was doing it or anything but it was certainly a major reason why the clubs were packed to the rafters every week. I like to think the music had a lot to do with it but thats just my buzz and always has been. I bought my Decks and wanted to be a DJ.

Right at the same time a band from Manchester called Oasis hit the scene and Brit-Pop was born. Blur, Elastica, Pulp, Supergrass, Suede, there were so many. The energy was a real wake up to youth to bring back the good times and the fun. It was a backlash against some of the self loathing of grunge and the introverted shoegazing sounds. It was about "Cigarettes and Alcohol". Looking back it is amazing to think how big Oasis were. Even though I was more of a Blur fan I saw Oasis 4 times in concert and so did the rest of the country. It was nuts and really memorable.

With that being said I don't necessarily think the decade had better records than the 00's, even though my favorite album of all time, OK Computer came out in 1997. I am somewhat on the fence. I think the 90's were more significant in that the social change that music evoked was massive in scale and shaped and changed so many people growing up and experiencing their first concerts and nights out. But as far as the actual music goes, I think if I had to do an all time favorite albums list more albums from the 00's and maybe even the 80's would place more regularly. This decade it seemed that bands broke the mold with each album. While in the 90's we didn't want our bands to change and evolve the opposite was true of the 00's. So many new genres emerged and the revival of sounds from the 80's fused with modern music technology created lots of new groups and types of music. The series of "post" rave, rock, punk etc all presented fantastic albums. No one sound dominated. However, with that being said, the lowest common denominator of music took off in the 00's and that is the world of Pop/American Idol and X-Factor. But we won't talk any more about that here.

I put my albums into 2 categories. Top 10 of the Decade in order. And the rest that I couldn't rank because I kept changing my mind and it was doing my head in! Note, I picked a live version of a song from each album which shows how amazing these groups are.

1. Radiohead - Kid A (2000)
Idioteque is my most listened to song of the last 10 years and maybe my favorite song of all time. And this album turned me from loving Radiohead to becoming fanatical about Radiohead.

2. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary (2005)
I'll believe in anything. One of my favorite songs ever. And the album that kick started my obsession with Spencer Krug and everything he does.

3. Sigur Ros - () (2002)
Suggested to me on a Radiohead message board. Apparently Thom and Jonny were listening to these guys so I went out and bought this album and have been fanatic about these guys ever since.

4. Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007)
From the way it was released to the amazing music the record contains. Beautiful. Still listen to these songs every single week.

5. Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights (2001)
Heard NYC somewhere random way back when and loved Paul's voice. Bought the album on the cheapo in Newbury Comics and played it until it was riddled with scratches and needed to be thrown out. Amazing.

6. Blur - Think Tank (2003)
I really thought Blur were done and that they had their best days. But this along with 13 in my opinion is their best album. Saw the songs performed live in the Olympia with a few devoted fans and was blown away.

7. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover (2007)
Some of my most listened to songs in the last 2 years came off this album. I could never get bored of this record. Spencer and his band at their best. So uplifting and inspiring.

8. Radiohead - Amnesiac (2001)
The very quick follow up to Kid A. Not as good but still full of amazing tunes from the best band on the planet.

9. Sigur Ros - Takk (2005)
Perhaps my best concert moment of the decade was Sigur Ros on the Takk tour stop in Bostons Opera House. Very strange feelings. Such a joyful album.

10. Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)
Jumped on the bandwagon and bought into the hype until I had about 2 or 3 listens and realized it was very real and that this album is genius.

The Rest In No Particular Order:

Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
Thom Yorke - The Eraser (2006)
Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites (2005)
Editors - The Back Room (2005)
Radiohead - Hail To The Thief (2003)
Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People (2003)
Royksopp - Melody AM (2001)
Explosions In The Sky - The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. (2003)
M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts (2003)
Morrissey - You Are The Quarry (2004)
Interpol - Antics (2004)
Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (2008)
Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place (2003)
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away (2007)
Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City (2007)
Boards Of Canada - The Campfire Headphase (2005)
Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer (2009)
LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver (2007)
The Album Leaf - Into The Blue Again (2006)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Green Knight

AM: 50 Minutes Trainer, Lots Of Core Work

Rehab is really frustrating. It places limits on how much I can do which is a big no - no. The overwhelming desire to train super hard and long today was blocked by rational. I am following Doctors orders so the training is really uneventful and boring. I rode steady with no real resistance for 50 minutes and then did a full core routine to try and salvage something out of the training. My knee has improved radically over the last week. Compared to all my other surgeries this feels amazing. I can't believe how quick the swelling disappeared and the range of motion returned. I almost feel like testing it with a sneaky run but like I said, the new year will bring some more maturity.

I received my annual "songs of the year" CD by the legendary Bob Schwelm. Knew most of the music on there but had a few surprises thrown in. One track stood out for me from a band I've never heard of, Throw Me A Statue - Noises. Throroughly enjoyed this track and will need to check out more from the rest of the band. I've also been busy compiling a few year end CD's myself and working on compiling my favorite albums of the decade. Its really tough but I think I'm done. The songs are almost impossible to compile in order. So much amazing music.

First day of 2010 and it was soild. Training done and hanging with some great friends at Abes and Cuban Revolution. Lovely.