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Listening In

Focus Music for Power Lifting

Gideon D'Arcangelo

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(Gideon D'Arcangelo)
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Paralympic powerlifter Mary Stack's play list gives her a competitive edge by helping her get focused on her goals. We asked you Weekend America listeners to tell us the songs you all put on when you need to get focused. Below are some of your responses:

-Astor Piazolla
I'm prone to singing along, so when I need to concentrate anything with lyrics is out of the question.
Marion Ecks
Milwaukee, WI

"Ambient 4: On Land and/or Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks"
-Brian Eno
This is the perfect 'music' for tuning out unwanted static. It is white noise for the mind and, by the very nature of the albums, doesn't add to distraction. It really allows me to tune out everything except the task at hand. Not sure if this was Eno's intention (I believe I'd read somewhere that it was), but it really is a crutch for me whether in a noisy office, or on a noisy airplane.
Richard Church
Raleigh, NC

"Chormakey Dream Coat"
-Boards of Canada
The lack of lyrics and soothing music of Boards of Canada really helped me get through graduate school. I doubt that I would have been able to do any homework without it (the homework I actually did, of course).
Tamra Thomas
Los Angeles, CA

"Jersey Girl"
-The Pale Saints
I listened to this song on an endless loop while working on my graphic novel. While Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl" is a languid, cool, street-hip anthem to urban romance, the Pale Saints' version turns it into a dirge, something dark and full of lurking danger. Just what I needed to lose myself in my story.
LilyRose Marks
Woodstock, NY

"Music For a Found Harmonium"
-Penguin Cafe Orchestra
This song is a brisk, purposeful piece with a melody that sort of says 'Yes you can get all this stuff done but you gotta get off your butt.
Jen Mau
Chicago, IL

More stories from our Listening In series


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Chris Kram

    From MN, 09/13/2008

    I am rooting for you Mary! Go USA!

    By Dawn DynaGirl Dunleavy

    From Livonia, MI, 09/09/2008

    Mary always has a beautiful smile that is contagious. Being a Michigan Mustangs fan I just wanted to say good luck Mary, but most of all have fun and enjoy the ride.
    Were all rooting for you here at home.

    By Cathy Young

    From Clawson, MI, 08/26/2008

    I first met Mary when she struggled to walk into our store. Her growth over the years, and personal determination are AMAZING! She is certainly an inspiration and a terrific woman.
    We will be cheering you on!! Go Mighty Mary!!

    By Brian Peaslee

    From Royal Oak, MI, 08/25/2008

    Mary you are an inspiration to all of us. Good luck liftinon the 14th.

    By adam krause

    From brooklyn, NY, 08/04/2008

    very wonderful story. the Metallica song that closed "so what" is actually a cover, the original is by the UK punk band Anti-Nowhere League.

    By Sharon Ray

    From Eagle Rock, CA, 08/02/2008

    Whenever I'm faced with a challenge, I put on the music Richard Wagner or Richard Strauss. I'm a German opera head. Their music makes me feel that all things are possible. Ho- Jo- To- Ho!!!!

    By Betty Wasiluk

    From Martinsburg, WV, 08/02/2008

    This segment was just mind-blowing and inspiring. I will never complain about my so-called life again. God, I hope she wins.

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