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My Favorite Songs of 2016 December 29, 2016

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, links, Music, video, WXPN, YouTube.
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Well, 2016 sucked…there’s no way to sugarcoat it. I mean, even this list of my favorite songs of 2016 kicks off with two icons – David Bowie and Leonard Cohen – we lost this past year. But both gave us such wonderful musical parting gifts in Blackstar and You Want It Darker, respectively. And there was PLENTY of great music in 2016 – one of the bright spots of such an awful, awful year.

You’ll see/hear a lot of Field Music, Young Gun Silver Fox, Margo Price, Kishi Bashi and Sing Street – a band that only exists in the grossly under-watched 2016 film of the same name (it’s on Netflix…watch it!). This is because Field Music’s Commontime, Young Gun Silver Fox’s West End Coast, Margo Price’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter (in my opinion, one of the most egregious Grammy nomination snubs), Kishi Bashi’s Sonderlust and the Sing Street soundtrack were among the albums I kept going back to in 2016. Many of the other songs here were staples of my favorite radio station, Philadelphia’s WXPN, over the course of the year and stuck with me. And this playlist is by no means complete…it just represents the songs I listened to a lot, whether that was stuff I own or heard played on WXPN.

The playlist above (see track list below) is presented in no particular order…I just hope it takes you on a journey as you experience the music I was listening to in 2016.

  1. “Lazarus” – David Bowie (6:23)
  2. “You Want It Darker” – Leonard Cohen (4:47)
  3. “Hands of Time” – Margo Price (6:10)
  4. “Disappointed” – Field Music (3:06)
  5. “m’lover” – Kishi Bashi (3:50)
  6. “You Can Feel It” – Young Gun Silver Fox (3:16)
  7. “Up” – Sing Street (2:44) – from the motion picture “Sing Street”
  8. “1979 (Smashing Pumpkins cover)” – Darlingside (4:06)
  9. “Call Off Your Dogs” – Lake Street Dive (3:30)
  10. “White Flag” – Joseph (3:20)
  11. “No Matter Where We Go” – Whitney (2:42)
  12. “Emilia” – Young Gun Silver Fox (4:07)
  13. “Nothing More to Say” – The Frightnrs (4:13)
  14. “Love & Hate” – Michael Kiwanuka (8:01)
  15. “Let Me Be Me” – Night-Funk (4:34)
  16. “Drive It Like You Stole It” – Sing Street (4:00) – from the motion picture “Sing Street”
  17. “Say Yeah” – Kishi Bashi (4:41)
  18. “Better” – Young Gun Silver Fox (4:03)
  19. “It’s a Good Thing” – Field Music (4:27)
  20. “I Can’t Give Everything Away” – David Bowie (5:48)
  21. “Traveling Light” – Leonard Cohen (4:25)
  22. “One More Night” – Michael Kiwanuka (3:55)
  23. “About to Find Out” – Margo Price (3:13)
  24. “A Beautiful Sea” – Sing Street (3:04) – from the motion picture “Sing Street”
  25. “So Bad” – Young Gun Silver Fox (4:03)
  26. “SOS (Overboard)” – Joseph (3:00)
  27. “Honeybody” – Kishi Bashi (4:27)
  28. “Black Man In A White World” – Michael Kiwanuka (3:34)
  29. “Four Years of Chances” – Margo Price (4:34)
  30. “See Me Slumber” – Young Gun Silver Fox (3:20)
  31. “The Noisy Days Are Over” – Field Music (6:25)
  32. “Can’t Let Go, Juno” – Kishi Bashi (4:23)
  33. “Fallin’ Rain (Link Wray cover)” – Karl Blau (10:04)


A song for these times December 19, 2016

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, Music, NJ, SoundCloud.
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Don't want to be a pest...but I still need your vote!I wrote “Get Back Into Line” in 2013 and quickly recorded a demo-grade version of it in GarageBand on my MacBook. I hadn’t written anything politically or socially charged in ages, but I was angry about what was going on with Congress at the time and this came together fairly quickly (and includes a couple of choice “adult” words). Musically, it was inspired by Midge Ure (of Ultravox and Band Aid fame), who I had seen live in Philly in January 2013. The sparse intro was influenced by the Ultravox classic “Vienna,” as is the buildup toward the middle of the song. There’s also some art/prog-rock touches thrown in.

Anyway…here, now, at the end of 2016, not only has a certain group of people not found the passion to care for all of its constituents and the world in general, but they have found a new leader who amplifies, endorses and empowers all the worst elements of this nation.

As the Electoral College casts its votes today to send this nation into a very dark chapter, I felt it was appropriate to share this song again. I recently started to reimagine it a bit, focusing more on the piano, so maybe I’ll record a new version of this soon.

Back in Training: 2016 Trenton Half Marathon recap October 30, 2016

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Brian Kelley

img_4247I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a training update as I prepare for my first-ever marathon, the New Jersey Marathon in April, but I felt my finishing yesterday’s Trenton Half Marathon was reason enough for a quick update.

This marked my third straight year running the Trenton Half Marathon, after running in the event’s companion 10K race in 2013. I spent much of 2014 training for the Broad Street Run, a sprint triathlon and an international triathlon, and finished that year’s Trenton Half in 2:07:12. Last year, with minimal training going in, I completed the Trenton Half in 2:15:43.

However, I’ve been doing a lot of running this year. And while I haven’t been able to do much in the way of longer-distance training, I’ve managed to knock nearly a full minute off my “cruising” pace, from closer to 10:00/mile to around 9:00/mile, during the course of the year. Going…

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Back in Training: Worldwide WordPress 5k Edition September 23, 2016

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Brian Kelley

Automattic’s Worldwide WordPress 5k is taking place this week (it started Monday, Sept. 19, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 25), and it allows everyone to participate. All you have to do is do a 5k (approx. 3.1 miles) walk or run, and then share a post about it using the “WWWP5k” tag.

Since I’m currently training for the 2017 New Jersey Marathon, I planned on devoting one of my pre-work training runs this week to the WWWP5k…but I went on a 13.1-mile training run last Sunday morning and I needed a day or two to recover. And I caught a late train into work on Wednesday and didn’t get a chance to go for a run at lunch.

So that brought me to Thursday—and I had already written off going for a run today (Friday, Sept. 23) due to a whole bunch of things going on at work. It had to be Thursday morning…

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Back in Training: Hightstown Triathlon edition September 12, 2016

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A recap of Sunday’s #HightstownTriathlon and @NJMarathon training update…

Brian Kelley

14225506_10100622296400064_976653149545279483_nIn my last post, I mentioned that I was training for my first marathon, the New Jersey Marathon next April.

I had planned to solely focus on running and putting any triathlons on hold. Well, just a few days before the Hightstown (NJ) Triathlon (sprint distance: 500-yd swim, 11.2-mi bike, 5K run), I decided to enter it for a third straight year — without any triathlon training since over a year ago.

In the weeks prior to last year’s triathlon, I broke my left hand, severely limiting my training time. In addition, I woke up the morning of the race with a severe stomach virus. I threw up twice before I left the house at 5:30 a.m. and threw up several times after I got home. During the triathlon? It was a near-constant nausea that I fought off, but I was really feeling it on the run and had to walk…

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Back in Training: 2017 New Jersey Marathon August 18, 2016

Posted by Brian in Back In Training, Brian Kelley, New Jersey, NJ, running, training, weight loss.
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Running in the 2015 Trenton Half Marathon

Running in the 2015 Trenton Half Marathon

Hi there…I know it’s been awhile. Although I haven’t posted here much lately and haven’t published a series of “back in training” posts in quite some time, I have very much been in training for a few weeks now — most of which is chronicled on my Instagram account.

What am I training for, you ask? Well, once again, I will be running in this year’s Trenton Half Marathon and a few smaller races before that. However, a couple of months ago, I decided that I was going to target 2017 as the year I run in my first full marathon. And I recently decided which marathon I will make my first…

It’s the 2017 New Jersey Marathon on Sunday, April 30, 2017!

Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon

Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon

I grew up at the Jersey Shore and it seems the logical place to do something I never dreamed of doing until the the last two or three years. And this way, I hope family and friends and can see me accomplish this.

My primary goal is to, of course, finish. My secondary goal is a bit ambitious…I want to complete the marathon with a sub-4 hour time. To do that, I need to run at about a 9:10-per-mile pace. My training times have been kind of all over the place recently, but when the weather is just right and I’m feeling good, I’m right around that pace—or better. In a chilly rain back in early May, I completed Philadelphia’s 10-mile Broad Street Run with a 9:11-per-mile pace. Granted, that’s 16.2 miles short of a marathon, but I’m fairly certain I could have run another five miles, at least, at that pace on that day. I don’t know if the crappy weather inspired me to run faster than usual, but I felt extraordinarily good running that race.

Currently, I am carrying a few extra pounds (15 lbs. or so, to be precise) that I’m hoping to shed by April 2017. Obviously, it would help if I could reduce the load my legs are carrying for a 26.2-mile run.

Of course, I’ll see how I do in the Trenton Half Marathon in late October and adjust my marathon goals accordingly. With very little training last year, I finished the race in 2:15:43 (10:21/mile pace). In 2014, when I was doing much more training, I finished the Trenton Half Marathon in 2:07:12 (9:42/mile pace). I’m looking to finish this year’s Trenton Half in 2 hours or less and, based on my 9:11/mile pace in the 10-mile Broad Street Run earlier this year and my more regular training/conditioning runs, I strongly believe this is possible.

Stay tuned…

2016 Broad Street Run recap May 4, 2016

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Brian Kelley

IMG_3028Left: In my rain-free car with my 2016 Broad Street Run finisher’s medal; right: My Broad Street Run results

Just thought I’d take the time to write a recap of my Broad Street Run experience this past Sunday, May 1.

Despite a cold, soaking rain, I managed to complete the 10-mile trek down Philadelphia’s famed Broad Street in 1:31:52 — amazingly four-plus minutes better than my only other Broad Street Run in 2014 (1:36:17). I say “amazingly” because I was in much better shape in 2014 than I am now, as I was training that year for the Broad Street Run, two triathlons (one sprint, one international) and my first half-marathon (Trenton, NJ).

Then again, I’ve always suspected that I held myself back too much during that first Broad Street Run because I felt too comfortable throughout the race. I hovered around 9:40 per mile during that ’14…

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Help me run Broad Street to fight cancer March 20, 2016

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Brian Kelley

76993-1972024661-customFinishing the 2014 Broad Street Run

I enjoyed my first Broad Street Run in 2014 so much that I planned to do it on a yearly basis. I was picked in the entry lottery in 2015, but had a day-long work commitment that Sunday.

This year, that work event was moved from its usual date making the Broad Street Run a possibility again…but I didn’t get picked for entry through the lottery system.

So, this year, I’ve entered through the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNATION program, which is a good thing. Why? Because that means I have to raise funds for cancer research and treatment.

Within the past year and a half, a friend and former supervisor/colleague died a month shy of her 50th birthday after fighting breast cancer for 13 years, and a longtime neighbor of mine while growing up succumbed to brain cancer at a an all-too-young 61.

In short, cancer sucks…

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2015 Hightstown Triathlon recap September 14, 2015

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, training, triathlon.
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Well, I wasn’t expecting to do all that great in Sunday’s (9/13) Hightstown (N.J.) Triathlon. I knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to train this year and that was made even more limited when I broke my left hand July 12. In my last post, I wrote that my first open-water practice swim of the season came the day before the event. And guess what happened the next morning, on the day of the event?

I got hit with a stomach bug of some kind. After throwing up at 5:15 a.m., I convinced myself it was out of my system and managed to get to the triathlon to give it a shot. Somehow, I made it through. In fact, my 500-yard swim was a few minutes better than I had expected with such little training (although two minutes slower than my time in last year’s event). Even the 11.2-mile bike ride was faster than my two previous practice rides of the same distance.

The 5K (3.1-mile) run is where I lost it. I finished the run in 35:18, which is my slowest 5K time in years. Honestly, I had to walk decent stretches of it, as running was agitating my stomach issues.

At least I managed to finished the triathlon, but it was probably a terrible decision to go through it. I spent the rest of the day throwing up and in a near-fetal position on my bed, hoping for the pain in my stomach to go away. It pretty much sucked.

Anyway, below are my results from Sunday’s 2015 Hightstown Triathlon:

500-yd swim:  12:40
Transition 1:  4:34
11.2-mi bike:  39:29
Transition 2:  2:20
5K run:  35:18
TOTAL:  1:34:19

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Get my results from the Hightstown Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 13 September 12, 2015

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, Hightstown, NJ, training, triathlon.
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Despite my summer training getting derailed by a broken left hand for most of July and August, I’m still competing in the Hightstown (N.J.) Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015…and you can follow along:

Brian Kelley’s 2015 Hightstown Triathlon Result

I did this sprint-distance tri last year as a warm-up to the Atlantic City (International) Triathlon a month later. Both were my first triathlons at those respective distances. I actually medaled at Hightstown as I finished at the No. 3 male newcomer, but I didn’t expect to medal and didn’t realize there was such a medal until two weeks after the race when I happened to read it on the event’s web site so I never received it. Thankfully, this year’s organizer allowed me to take one of last year’s medals when I explained what had happened.

Anyway, because I’m not in the greatest shape and didn’t get in as much training as I had planned, I don’t expect to do all that great. I’m thinking the 500-yard swim will be around 15-17 minutes, the 11.2-mile bike ride will be around 40-45 minutes, the 3.1-mile run about 30-32 minutes, and my two transition times about 6 minutes each. Add that all up and you get somewhere between 1 hour, 37 minutes and 1 hour, 43 minutes. I finished in 1:34:05 last year and that was with a longer bike ride (about 15 miles).

In fact, I hadn’t done an open-water swim since Atlantic City a year ago – until I covered about 500 yards in a practice swim while picking up my race packet today (9/12) in Hightstown. It was rough, but I didn’t die so I have that going for me.

OK…time to get to sleep and get ready to swim, bike and run.

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