This weekend sees two very different fitness events: Sunday's Rock 'N' Roll Marathon (with performances from a variety of bands, including The B-52s) and one day earlier at Mesa Proving Grounds, the Tough Mudder, described on the event's official website as "a hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie."
Our own Zachary Fowle described the event in this week's issue of New Times: "...a pit of mud covered by barbed wire, a field of rolling hay bales, several sheer walls, and a web of hanging wires that deliver an electric shock."
Which is to say, kind of a different vibe than the R&R Marathon. And while tough mudders will be greeted by a beer and band at the completion of the course, it doesn't seem fair that the R&R Marathon has a monopoly on the musical encouragement.
So here you go, mudders -- some "tough jams" to get you through the pain. But, um, don't take things to seriously if these tunes suggest less than ultimate bad-assery. We'd hate for you to get mad at us and do something mudderous.
Ramones, "Too Tough to Die"
Bassist Dee Dee Ramone, the bad-dude who sang about "taking out his razor blade" in "53rd and 3rd" wrote a good chunk of this 1985 album, including the anthemic title track.
The Fabulous Thunderbird, "Tough Enuff"
Though more of a cult act -- sort of "musician's musicians" -- through the '70s, the Fab T-Birds broke through with this tune and accompanying album in 1986.
New Kids on the Block, "Hanging Tough"
Okay -- here's where things get dicey, but think about it: last year New Kids on the Block teamed with Backstreet Boys for the NKOTBSB collaboration. Why? Who knows, but you've got to respect the endurance of guys giving it their all so long after their prime.
Bobby Rush, "Tough Titty"
What more needs to be said?
The Unicorns, "Tuff Ghost"
Reading Refused and At the Drive In on Coachella's 2012 lineup, I was kind of expecting to see The Unicorns somewhere on the list. But no -- they are still hanging tough, post-breakup style.