So.  Music.
It can be a touchy subject in a group the size of ours.  We all come from different, diverse backgrounds, and all love different things to listen to while we’re training.  And then what some people like to listen to for erging, some people prefer for lifting, or running, or vice versa.  There’s so much content out there and it’s all so readily available to us at the touch of a button that we each have our own massive (and growing) collection of workout jams that we bring with us almost every day to practice and which inevitably spark some controversy from time to time.
Things have gotten ugly more than once at practice with differences of opinion that come up between team members, or, more frequently, between the men’s and women’s teams.  But for the most part, there is a certain musical etiquette that is followed pretty closely at the boathouse:

[ 1 ] no “Mambo #5”, no Chumbawamba, no “Who Let the Dogs Out” no “Call on Me” no show tunes and highly selective judgment for tracks pre-1997.

[ 2 ] no songs that have more than 20-25 occurrences of the F-word or discuss in detail adult acts that are inappropriate for those under the age of 18.

[ 3 ] play country music at your own risk.

[ 4 ] under no circumstances does an iPod get taken off of the stereo–even if it’s really really bad–without the owner’s permission and/or submission to teammate heckling.  The only exception is if there is a direct violation of rules 1 & 2 in which case the owner forfeits all stereo rights (generally we are good sports about this but the men’s team has a history of bad manners on this rule).

So, typically team members who volunteer to share their music on the stereo with the group know what the workout for the day is going to be like, and come to practice prepared with an appropriate playlist (up-tempo for racing, mellower tracks allowed for steady state).  There are others who decline to put their music on the stereo because they don’t want to face the consequences of the 39-person musical jury erging around them.  It’s a tough crowd, but we find a way to manage by keeping it simple and recognizable, and by bringing headphones and iPods with us as a backup plan if things don’t go well or if we’re just not feeilng the Lil’ Wayne that day. The short list of those brave enough for the stereo is typically:  Kady Glessner, Kelsie Chaudoin, Susan Francia, Erin Cafaro, Esther Lofgren, Jen Kaido, or myself.

I had an email last week from Liz England out at Washington State about the tunes that we bump at the boathouse while training.  The playlist post has been done before, but here’s my stab at it, with contributions from a LOT of the USTC group and some special bonus tracks!  Thank you to all of my teammates who participated! I hope you enjoy (and please download responsibly).  Somehow it got to be 2 hours and 20 minutes long–enough to get you through a warm up and then 100′ on the erg.  PERFECT.

Download (.PDF only) 2011 USA Women’s Rowing Playlist

Slideshow: of USTC athletes with clips of their selected songs.

BONUS TRACKS: submitted by USRowing assistant coaches and former National/Olympic Team Members, Laurel Korholz and Annie Kakela (plus some help from Amy Fuller):

Annie Kakela
Laurel Korholz

Here Comes the Hotstepper
– Ini Kamoze
You Can Do it (Put Your Back in to it) – Ice Cube
Crazy – Seal
Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
Lightning Crashes – Live




All photos are courtesy of USRowing.  We’ll see if I have any friends left after posting all these super-flattering headshots in everyone’s favorite BOATHOUSE polos.  Hooray…!

Long Live the Dream,


10 thoughts on “2011 US Women’s Playlist

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  2. Great idea!

    Now, can you publish those playlists on itunes so I can download them. I am not on the water now, and erging way too much every day, by myself unfortunately.

    I need some inspiration PLEASE!!

    1. R,
      I can definitely sympathize! But there are two problems with publishing on iTunes:
      1) iTunes does not have all of the playlist tracks in the Music Store
      2) When publishing a playlist, they only allow you to choose 30 songs

      …I looked in to it. But the good news is that the songs are listed in the .pdf and the tracks in the iTunes store are easy to find! Good luck!

  3. Awesome playlist. I’m recommending it to my sister up at URI, and putting some of the tunes in my rotation as well.

    This probably wouldn’t work at the boathouse, because some tracks violate rule #2, but if you ever want something upbeat and nostalgic to keep you going check out this collection of mashups by the Super Mash Bros. (I like this album when I run. It keeps me from getting bored, especially since there’s nothing to look at on my runs.)

  4. Any playlist that gives Ice Cube, Beanie Siegel, Jay-Z, U2 and Franz Ferdinand credit is exceptional. I highly recommend “Bittersweet Dirt Off Your Shoulder”, a mash-up of Bittersweet Symphony and Dirt Off Your Shoulder.

    1. Al, if you read the playlist or check out the slideshow, you’ll see that my teammates Ellen Tomek and Ali Cox both submitted country songs. However, I will say that they are in the minority on our team–not many others appreciate country music at the boathouse.

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