JOHN KRAHNERT: The Right Kind of Music to Wake Up To
The wheel. The automobile. The airplane. Post-It Notes.
All have been called mankind's greatest invention.
Bull, I say.
I say that distinction belongs to my new iPod clock radio. This unbelievable innovation allows you to plug your iPod music player into a base and wake up to whatever song you want. It can even load up an entire playlist and randomly choose a song.
I got one of these things for my birthday last October, and it has changed my life. No longer do I have to rise to the miserable bleeping sound of my old clock radio. I am now gently awakened to the sweet sounds of one of the 3,000-plus songs I have acquired over the years.
Nor am I subjected to the whims of some distant DJ who plays whatever song he wants to hear. I was talking to a buddy of mine the other day, and he was raving about the new shower radio that he got for his apartment. But he said his day is completely dictated by the song he hears in the shower every morning. That's not something I like to leave to chance. With my new radio, I have the power to choose.
But with great power, as Spiderman says, comes great responsibility.
I've learned during the three or so months I've owned this device that choosing the right song to wake up to is critical. Failure to do so can have a devastating impact on your day. I've made some good choices, but a lot of really bad ones.
Last night, I made a good choice. Boston's "More Than a Feeling" has been long recognized as one of the best morning songs ever written. I mean, the first stanza is, "I looked out this morning and the sun was gone. Turned on some music to start my day. I lost myself in a familiar song. I closed my eyes and I slipped away." What could be better than that?
This morning, I did lose myself in this familiar song. I woke up refreshed, took a nice, hot shower, enjoyed my coffee and bagel, and have remained in a good mood since. I'll be sure to utilize the "awesomeness" of that song again.
Saturday, I made a terrible choice. Don't get me wrong -- Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a great song. But I should have been more aware that such a melancholy tune could mess up my trip to the Bank of America Stadium to watch the Carolina Panthers take on the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
Sure enough, about 12 hours later I found myself $500 in the hole, watching quarterback Jake Delhomme throw five interceptions. Soon after, I was walking down rain-soaked Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte, looking for someplace to drown my sorrows.
I hold Kurt Cobain fully responsible.
A few weeks ago, Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising" was a good choice. This Grammy Award-winner about a firefighter climbing the stairs of the World Trade Center on 9/11 made me feel inspired. I had a pretty good day, as I recall.
"Even Flow" by Pearl Jam automatically put me in a bad mood. For those who don't know, this song is about a deranged homeless man. Not exactly in the same league as "The Rising." As with Nirvana, avoid grunge in the morning.
"Heart of a Champion" by rap artist Nelly: great choice. This song, set to the tune used for NBC's old NBA broadcasts, features Nelly talking about how no one can stop his determination. Released in 2004, it was our anthem my freshman year of college. Ask any of my friends.
As it stirred some great memories, I literally leapt out of bed when this came on. Not even the meanest phone call or e-mail could get me down.
"Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne? Worst. Choice. Ever.
Hearing Ozzy scream "all aboard!" followed by his satanic laughter is the last thing one should hear in the morning. In my usual half-asleep daze as the radio turned on, I thought I was on a roller-coaster ride to hell. I frantically slapped its "snooze" button in terror, only to have the episode repeat itself nine minutes later. And then again nine minutes after that.
The only thing that could possibly be worse is that piano riff from "The Exorcist." Yikes.
As with any great invention, I suppose it has to be perfected. The Wright Brothers flew for only 12 seconds the first time around, right?
I'll get the hang of it.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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