Friday, April 30, 2010

Ah, birthdays -- those approaching supernovas of F-U-N!

It's not often ROUTE 1 HQ buzzes with the approach of a Monday morning.
However, this coming Monday is different than most -- it's THE ERIK HOGSTROM BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZAPALOOZA®!

With that very much in mind, we briefly turn away from the shining light that is our approaching supernova of fun (previous edition pictured) to consider the subject of birthdays, thanks to answers from the following FRIDAY QUESTION:

"What do you like to do on your birthday?"

SASKIA M. -- We get breakfast, home-baked cake and gifts in bed in the morning and go out for fancy lunch or dinner.

ELLEN B. -- Dinner & drinks with family and friends!

MIKE M. -- Sulk and glower.

BEKAH P. -- On my ideal birthday celebration, I would take off work, sleep in late, go out for brunch, go shopping, pick out and then purchase something expensive, go to a spa and then go to an amazing dinner out with friends. That's how it would be --- ideally. Mind you, this birthday has NOT occurred in my lifetime!

KERSTIN H. -- Hang around and do nothing at all.

RICK T. -- My birthday AND my wife's birthday is the same day, Aug. 25. Love to go out and have a nice supper someplace.

ANNIKA H. -- Sleep but I can't -- sniff, sniff -- sadly.

KERI M. -- Spend time with my special people.

ERIK H. -- I love being surprised by gifts and birthday celebrants in our house may choose the dinner of their choice. This year, I am choosing steaks cooked on our new grill. I might listen to a Giants game on the radio, too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A healthy dose of Led Zep

I have been in a LED ZEPPELIN mood lately.
"PHYSICAL GRAFFITI" played on my car stereo throughout yesterday, as I drove to various assignments with the sunroof opened on the car.

The opening six songs are among my favorite Zep tunes -- "Custard Pie," "The Rover," "In My Time of Dying," "Houses of the Holy," "Trampled Underfoot" and "Kashmir."

After dinner, I plugged in the portable DVD player (while the girls watched "American Idol") and I watched about an hour of the LED ZEPPELIN TWO-DISC DVD -- including the 1973 Madison Square Garden footage.

That gig is represented on the DVD by "Black Dog," "Misty Mountain Hop," "Since I've Been Loving You" and the Beastie Boys-sampled "The Ocean."

It was a healthy dose of Led Zep, all things considered.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm with Toby Keith on this one: I SHOULD have been a cowboy

My gunslingin' ways: Stick 'em up!

Mimi and Papa, I'm wearin' the black hat, that means I'm drivin' this here stagecoach.

My big hat is too big for me, y'all.

Protectin' my mom in the wilds of Helena, Mont.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A morning for musical relics

I spent the early morning -- before waking Jill and the girls -- listening to 17 musical relics.
"SOUTHERN FOLK HERITAGE: SOUNDS OF THE SOUTH" was a set of field recordings ALAN LOMAX made in the summer of 1959. It was originally released by Atlantic Records in 1960.

There's some great folk, blues, gospel and old-time fiddlin' country music on this disc -- there's even a "baptizing scene" featuring the Rev. W.A. Donaldson). Powerful stuff spread across these 17 tracks.

Modern listeners would recognize one tune.

"TROUBLE SO HARD" by VERA HALL was sampled extensively to become the basis of Moby's single "Natural Blues."

The song sounds raw in its original form -- vibrant and raw.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The unheard portion of the Tom Petty playlist

What kind of day did I have?
I lent my library card to the girls so they could walk to the LIBRARY this afternoon.

They promptly lost the card, so I scoured the house before driving back to the library to retrieve the girls.

That meant my planned workout at the DUBUQUE COMMUNITY Y occurred approximately 40 minutes later than I had planned.

Of course, I was so flustered by the time I reached the Y, I forgot my IPOD plugged into the car stereo. What's more, the iPod kept playing.

It was a rather "sultry day," as we used to say in California, so I decided to listen to a 40-song playlist of singles and charting album tracks by TOM PETTY (with and without THE HEARTBREAKERS).

I could have left the Y, gone out to my car and retrieved the iPod, but I thought I would listen to an Internet radio station on my smartphone instead. The radio station caused the phone to crash, though, so I exercised in relative silence.

As I mentioned, the iPod kept playing in the car while I went from the elliptical machine to the stationary bike.

Some of the songs I missed included:

"The Best of Everything"
"Needles and Pins (live)"
"So You Want to be a Rock 'n' Roll Star (live)"
"Jammin' Me"
"Runaway Trains"
"It'll All Work Out"
"Love is a Long Road"

The list continues.
I hopped in the car after my workout and dialed the iPod back to "The Best of Everything," and listened to some of the tunes I missed as I drove home.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Go ahead and stay grey -- I've got Madness and memories

Grey, gloomy skies make it easy to stay inside.
I am scanning old photos onto the computer this afternoon while listening to the first two albums by MADNESS -- "ONE STEP BEYOND" and "ABSOLUTELY."

It's fun music to hear, even when skies are grey.
I love songs such as "My Girl," "Believe Me" and "Bed and Breakfast Man."

Scanning the old photos has been fun, too.
Seeing them cue a flood of memories.

It's the sort of endeavor that makes you wish the day would never end, since there is so much you could accomplish.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

No, Shrimpers, *you're* the ones going down

The taunts of the SOUTHEND UNITED supporters are still ringing in my ears.

Visiting Southend had just scored the second goal in a 2-1 victory over LEYTON ORIENT at Brisbane Road and my sister INGER and I were sitting in the stands, suffering with the other Orient fans.

Orient's position in the LEAGUE ONE table is marginally better than that day in late December (at least their relegation fears have eased).

In an example of the karmic properties of football, Southend's position is much worse.

Visiting Southend's 2-2 draw at OLDHAM today doomed the Shrimpers to relegation to LEAGUE TWO.

I couldn't help myself: Sitting in my living room watching soccer on TV and following the remainder of today's matches on the computer, I started singing the taunting song the Shrimper supporters had sang to me.

No, Shrimpers, that's why *you're* going down. Southend has won only once in the past 20 games -- a 3-0 victory over Walsall. The Shrimpers' victory before that win was back on Dec. 28 -- yep, the match Inger and I attended at Brisbane Road.
"That's why you're going down, that's why you're going down!"

I know it's childish to taunt like that (especially thousands of miles away from the scene), but it felt good.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cover your ears for these cover tunes

ROUTE 1 strives to promote the importance of originality, but we realize some imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (which reminds us: Why hasn't any wannabe created a "Route 2" blog yet?)
Of course, some imitation is the sincerest form of astonishing unoriginality, which leads us to this week's FRIDAY QUESTION:

"Are there any cover versions of songs that should not have been made?"

MARY N.-P. -- Well just about everything that Pat Boone covered, especially bluesy, R&B songs which he somehow managed to suck all the life out of and croon them to death...

JOHN S. -- Anything that an American Idol contestant tries to slow down and do acoustically!!!

DAVE B. -- Carrie Underwood mutilating Motley Crews - Home Sweet Home. I didn't know Vince Neil was in need of partying money for the week. That is the only reason I can think of why he would let Carrie Underwood sing that song.

JIM S. -- I searched to find these, but they're so awful, it is worth publishing on Route 1: "You Shook Me All Night Long," by Celine Dion & Anastasia; "American Pie," by Madonna; "Satisfaction," by Britney Spears; and "Dock of the Bay," by Michael Bolton (perhaps my least favorite singer of all time). Here's one that many would say shouldn't have been made in the first place, but I liked the original a lot: "I Think I Love You," by the Partridge Family was covered by Andy Williams ... ouch!

STACEY B. -- Faith Hill should have NEVER covered Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," which was originally recorded by Emma Franklin.

ERIK H. -- I had the grand misfortune of hearing The Saturdays' cover of the Depeche Mode classic, "Just Can't Get Enough" the other day. I realize the song was released as a charity single, so some good presumably did come from it. Artistically, though, the all-girl group did nothing to contribute to the song's legacy. They all look hot in the music video, mind you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Aussies rocked by scandal

It's not all sunny and nice in AUSTRALIA this morning: A rugby scandal has rocked the sports-mad nation.
Top NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE club MELBOURNE STORM have been stripped of two past championships, ruled ineligible for this season's title and fined after admitting that they'd been running two sets of books to conceal that they've been paying players more than allowed, circumventing salary cap rules meant to prohibit rich clubs from simply buying titles.

Paying illegally high wages -- more than $1 million over the past five years -- enabled the Storm to recruit and retain some of the game's best players, including Greg Inglis and Cameron Smith.

"STORM STRIPPED OF TITLES," reads the headline in Melbourne's Age newspaper.

"STORM SCANDAL ROCKS NRL," reads the headline on The Australian newspaper's Web site (owned by the same parent company as the Storm, incidentally).

"CHEATING STORM," reads the headline in The Sydney Morning Herald, which calls the scandal "the biggest story in rugby league history."

Keep an eye on Australia -- sports fans are reeling today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

L'Trimm would just love our street

L'TRIMM would love our street this time of the year.
Lady Tigra (Rachel de Rougemont) and Bunny D. (Elana Cager) famously sang about cars with "50-inch woofers all along the back" in the Top-40 hit "CARS THAT GO BOOM."

The time of the year when we open our windows coincides with the arrival of those booming, treble-deficient cars (as well as motorcyclists with no regard for municipal noise ordinances).

L'Trimm would love it. Unless they were sitting in our living room attempting to watch television.

Just when the main character is about to speak a key line of dialogue -- BOOOOOM BOOOM BOOOOOM -- what did he just say?

I hate the cars that go "boom."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Playing great music/Wonder why the bangers couldn't use it"

I was sorry to hear today about the death of GURU.
The Boston rapper (born Keith Elam) died this week age 43 after a battle with cancer.

He and DJ PREMIER (Christopher Edward Martin) made up the pioneering jazz-hip hop duo GANG STARR.

One of my favorite hip-hop tracks is "Words I Manifest."

Although named Gang Starr, there was nothing "gangsta" about the group. You were much more likely to hear a Billie Holiday sample than bullets on Gang Starr's songs.

The duo betrayed their musical roots on the track "Jazz Thing," which incorporated numerous jazz influences into the mix.

Guru was a true musical pioneer, and I am sad to hear of his passing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sick as a Hammer

HEAD ACHING AND PUKING is no way to start your day, but that's just what happened to me this morning.
I was already wearing my shirt and tie when I decided to call in SICK.

I am glad I did. I went right back to bed and spent the bulk of the time feverishly sleeping.
JILL said I probably had a bug. I don't know what it was that caused my head to feel like bursting despite taking Advil.
I finally began to come back this afternoon. I ate my first meal of the day -- some LUCKY CHARMS cereal -- and watched LIVERPOOL defeat WEST HAM UNITED live on television.

Goals by Yossi Benayoun, David Ngog and a Robert Green own goal lifted the hosts to a 3-0 victory that sent Liverpool back to sixth place while keeping the Hammers teetering, one place above the relegation zone.

I know how West Ham feels.

By the 82nd minute of the match, my eye lids were flickering, and at the final whistle I had fallen back to sleep.

I hate being sick. Even soccer couldn't bring me back to health today.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Kick-Ass" leavens its violence with lots of laughs

There were times while watching Matthew Vaughn's "KICK-ASS" last night -- particularly the action scenes featuring Chloë Grace Moretz as Hit Girl -- when I couldn't help but see an homage to such films as "DAI-BOSATSU TÔGE (SWORD OF DOOM)."
Flashing swords and spurting blood these films have in common; the difference is laughter.

Kihachi Okamoto's 1966 samurai epic features a nihilistic Tatsuya Nakadai character sowing annihilation with his sword.

Moretz brings down the bad guys with a wide array of weapons and some classic one liners.

Much has been made of the violence in "Kick-Ass," but that aspect is only a facet of the film (and shouldn't come as too big a surprise, if you have ever seen the blood-drenched comic from whence it came).

The real secret to the success of "Kick-Ass" (a five-star review from the GUARDIAN here and a man-falling-out-chair review from the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE here) is the comedy.

"Kick-Ass" is a really funny movie. I love "Sword of Doom," but it checks its chuckles at the door.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stoppage time makes early wake up call worth it

The 142nd league meeting between MANCHESTER rivals CITY and UNITED was a match that only really came alive in stoppage time.
For 90 minutes, I wondered why I had even bothered to wake up early to watch the match live on TV. Crosses were off the mark and shots were wide of their targets. It seemed like a draw would be the only outcome.
Football's a funny old game, though, so it should come as little surprise that the deciding moment should come off the head of one of the oldest players on the pitch.
Patrice Evra's first-time cross was met by Paul Scholes. The 35-year-old veteran's header crept inside the post and United had beaten their neighbors, 1-0, to keep the PREMIER LEAGUE title race alive.
I suppose I am glad I woke up early after all.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The perfect day off with the FRIDAY QUESTION

ROUTE 1 just had to use a multi-surface spray cleaner to scrub some dog excrement off our kitchen floor this morning.
That's no way to start a DAY OFF!

Readers point the way toward a truly classic day away from the workplace by answering the following FRIDAY QUESTION:

"What is a great way to spend a day off?"

RICK T. -- TV, lots of TV!

KERSTIN H. -- In the summer, on a boat tubing; in the winter, inside wishing it was summer so I could be on a boat tubing.

BEKAH P. -- 1. Sleeping. 2. Watching a "Friends" marathon. 3. Shopping. 4. Pairing it with other days off and taking a nice, long vacation...

MIKE M. -- What is this strange thing you call a "day off?"

JOHN S. -- I am at Wrigley Field for the home opener today...on my day off. How's that?

MIKE D. -- Ideally, fishing. But in the real world, I usually end up tackling a long "honey do" list.

STEVE M. -- Doing a walk through the city, or through a forest. Then maybe playing some B-sides.

KERI M. -- Sleeping in. Made breakfast. Lunch out. Spend the afternoon in the warm weather.

JIM S. -- In the spring, taking a long, leisurely run or walk on Heritage Trail and, after a break, doing a little spring cleaning. On a hot summer day off, sleeping in, catching a matinee movie in an air-conditioned theater and reading a good book in the evening. In the fall, doing some raking in the morning and taking a short trip that day to Galena or Guttenberg. And, on a cold winter day off, hibernating with some videos, hot chocolate and loved ones.

ERIK H. -- On a nice day, watching a British football match on the television (in the morning, because of the time difference). On a nice afternoon, taking a walk and then reading in the back yard. In the evening, listening to a baseball game on the radio.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Salute to Cavan on Jill's birthday!

Here is an Irish-themed post in honor of JILL'S BIRTHDAY.
I have just been reading about County CAVAN in my ROUGH GUIDE TO IRELAND book.

There is a mention of one of the county's greatest sporting moments -- the 1947 ALL-IRELAND GAELIC FOOTBALL FINAL, held at the POLO GROUNDS in NEW YORK CITY.

KERRY were favorites in the match, held in America to bring the sport to the thousands of first, second and third-generation Gaels living in the States.
Peter Donohue scored eight points from free kicks as Cavan won, 2-11 to 2-7, to earn their third All-Ireland title ("The Breffni Men" have won the title just twice more, in 1948 and 1952).
The New York football final was transmitted live back to Ireland by RADIO ÉIREANN and marks the only time since 1913 that the final has been played anywhere but CROKE PARK, DUBLIN.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yo Mr. Munk, thanks for cheering me up!

The DOG had me up at 4:45 a.m., when I discovered she had been sick overnight and had numerous accidents in the kitchen.
My morning actually went downhill from there, so I was thankful later when I rejuvenated myself by listening to a recent British single the Digital Spy Web site characterized as "perky as a pony."
"LOOK FOR ME" is a catchy as hell track by CHIPMUNK, the north London hip-hop artist otherwise known as Jahmaal Noel Fyffe.
Featuring a singer named Talay Riley, "Look for Me" was released in late December and eventually reached No. 7 in the U.K. charts.
Check out the video by clicking here.

Although catchy, I doubt it would make much chart headway over here -- Chipmunk raps in a distinctive London accent that might be a little too foreign for mainstream American ears.
That would be a shame, since it is a fun song that certainly cheered me up today.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rugby viewing after another middle-school welcome

JILL and I accompanied 11-year-old ANNIKA to MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE tonight.
I can't believe our "baby" is old enough to leave elementary school and move up to middle school this coming fall.
We all knew our way around JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL, since KERSTIN has spent the past three years there.
I was still feeling quite old when we returned home.
We arrived just in time for me to watch the final portion of tonight's ULSTER (pictured) versus OSPREYS rugby union match.
The visiting Ospreys from Swansea defeated Ulster, 38-27, sending the hosts to their fourth successive MAGNERS LEAGUE defeat.
I learned through FACEBOOK today that the first 1,000 adults in attendance at Belfast's Ravenhill Stadium would receive a free pint of Magners, the cider that gives the league its name.
We happened to have some Magners in the fridge, so I poured myself one, watched the final minutes of the match and reflected on another upcoming educational milestone for our family -- the elementary school era is nearing its close.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Today's boy band antidote: Tygers of Pan Tang

I dialed up a heavier type of music while driving to various assignments this morning.
After recently listening to scores of BOY BAND songs to help KERSTIN develop a pop playlist, I felt the need for METAL today, to counteract the soft sounds.
John Sykes' electric guitar work sounds just great driving from marina to marina, snapping photos of boat names for a lifestyle feature I will be writing for the newspaper.
There's a hint of THUNDER AND LIGHTNING in the air, too, and spring storms always make me think of heavy metal!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Travis meets "Son of Rambow"

I have been listening to the Scottish band TRAVIS lately and immensely enjoying Garth Jenning's 2008 coming-of-age comedy "SON OF RAMBOW."
Here is how the two are related.

Travis made an arresting video for the single "DRIFTWOOD" (see it by clicking here). That video was directed by Dominic Leung, who served as the editor on "Son of Rambow."

Travis band members appear as teachers in the "Driftwood" video, and reprised their roles as school teachers in a scene in "Son of Rambow."

If you haven't seen "Son of Rambow," please do so.

It tells the story of two unlikely school friends -- the school's worst-behaved boy and the schoolboy with the most conservatively religious upbringing -- coming together to make an amateur action film. (See the trailer by clicking here.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A snarl for Malcolm

Sure, there were punk bands before MALCOLM McLAREN and the SEX PISTOLS came along. It's just that very few people heard them, they were so far underground.
McLaren, who died Thursday of cancer at age 64, helped reinvigorate music with the band of Londoners he managed, and brought punk overground.

Glam rock had become far too formulaic by the mid-1970s and and prog rock's edging toward classicism was about as far from the Eddie Cochran/Gene Vincent roots as you could get.

Something had to happen to rejuvenate the music, to add spice and to re-introduce the snarl of youthful rebellion.

Rock had to upset your parents, right?

That's where McLaren came into the frame.

I have been thinking about McLaren's legacy and listening to the Pistols for the past couple days. I also recalled this January, when I asked my sister to photograph me snarling outside Vivienne Westwood's shop at 430 King's Road, Chelsea. It was here that the Sex Pistols were born.

I hope their revolution never dies.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Route 1's salad days, when the Friday Question was green in judgment

Maybe we're all wrong (it wouldn't be the first time -- or even the hundredth), but ROUTE 1 has always associated CASSEROLES with WINTER and SALADS with SUMMER. It's got something to do with fresh-out-of-the-garden goodness, or not using the oven when it's hot -- I can't remember which.
Despite this morning's 28-degree temperature, the weather authorities insist warmer times are head, which prompts us to pose the following FRIDAY QUESTION:

"What's your favorite thing to include in a salad?"

ELLEN B. -- Tomatoes!

BEKAH P. -- Argh! There are so many things to include ~ cucumbers, green onions, red onions, mushrooms, hot peppers, etc. And, of course, the ever pervasive salad dressing itself. But if I must, in fact, choose one item and one item alone, the answer, my friends, is cilantro! Love, love, love it!

SANDYE V. -- Lettuce from my own garden is the best.I plant Buttercrunch, Salad Bowl, Ruby Red and Romaine.

ROSEANNE H. -- Something crunchy - like toasted sliced almonds and sliced avocados.
BOB H. -- Lettuce of course, as well as capers and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.
JOHN S. -- Sunflower seeds.

KERSTIN H. -- Dressing.

RICK T. -- Extra dressing!

KERI M. -- Snow peas.

STACEY B. -- The one thing I love to include in a salad is watermelon. The juices are a perfect substitute for salad dressing. Super yummy.

MIKE M. -- Black olives and feta cheese.

ERIK H. -- I like to add cottage cheese and snow peas.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I left my heart in... San FranCICso?

Not everything went right with the GIANTS' season-opening series sweep against the ASTROS.
A misspelling resulted in outfielder Eugenio Velez (pictured, center) wearing a jersey yesterday that identified his team's home city as "SAN FRANCICSO."

See what they did there?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Boyzone's tribute to Gately

The girls' boy band education delved deeper into the genre this week when we received a pair of imported BOYZONE albums on CD -- "BACK AGAIN... NO MATTER WHAT...," a greatest-hits compilation, and "BROTHER," the latest, reunion album that has become a memorial to STEPHEN GATELY following the co-lead singer's death.
The lead single from "Brother" is the Mika-penned "GAVE IT ALL AWAY." I admit: It's a really good song. Others thought so, too, it reached No. 9 in the U.K. charts.

The video (you can see it here) serves as a poignant tribute to Gately, who died of natural causes last fall.

It's touching to watch.

Lead singer RONAN KEATING told the Irish group's Web site:

"We found it really hard to make this video and the footage is incredibly raw and tough to watch at times. But we didn’t want it being too mournful all the way through. There’s a nice scene of us four brothers sat around a table at the end with Stephen’s favourite picture hanging up behind us. It’s us reminiscing about the good times and the laughter we had with our other brother."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Same old Lincecum marks arrival of spring

While spring weather raged outside, I settled in last night to listen to the GIANTS against the ASTROS on KNBR 680 (via
I know, the game was on television. I prefer listening to baseball on the radio -- it's the way I learned to appreciate the game while growing up. I could only make it to a couple Giants' games per season, so the radio provided a lifeline to my favorite team.

Last night's opener was enjoyable.
Two-time reigning Cy Young Award winner TIM LINCECUM picked up where he left off, holding Houston to four singles in seven shutout innings, walking none and striking out seven.
Visiting San Francisco beat the Astros, 5-2. Mark DeRosa homered in his San Francisco debut.

The rest of the family watched some dancing competition on television -- occasionally interrupted with news of the storm.

In my mind's eye, I was hundreds of miles away, in a ballpark.

Spring is finally here.

Monday, April 05, 2010

MGMT, Chiddy Bang and *THAT* keyboard riff

I just made a brief playlist for my iPod -- two songs at 8.2 minutes -- of a song and its sampled spawn.
1. The 2008 single "KIDS" by MGMT reached No. 16 in the U.K. (but didn't chart in the New York duo's native America).

2. CHIDDY BANG took the keyboard riff from "Kids" to construct "OPPOSITE OF ADULTS." That recently released single reached No. 12 in the U.K. (but hasn't charted yet in the Philadelphia duo's native America -- hmm... do you sense a trend here?).

The song might not be so original, but "Opposite of Adults" sports a highly original video.
Check it out by clicking here.

Thanks to this two-song playlist, I am certain to have *that keyboard riff* stuck in my head all day. That's OK.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Family, chocolate and a clutch of singles for Easter

The above photo, from a few years back, effectively demonstrates one of the prime directives of EASTER.
Eat more chocolate!
Oh, no... I mean: Hang out with family!
We hung out with some family this weekend and ate chocolate.
Now, I am listening to a clutch of recent BRITISH POP SINGLES (while sipping an ale and eating chocolate).
I quite like "Many of Horror" by Scottish band BIFFY CLYRO. I also love "Never Be Your Woman" by WILEY (featuring EMELI SANDÉ). It samples White Town's chart-topping hit, "Your Woman."
I also like the current No. 1 single in the U.K., "THIS AIN'T A LOVE SONG" by SCOUTING FOR GIRLS.
I worked yesterday, so I have had a shortened Easter weekend. Hearing these songs is a fine way to conclude it.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Soccer before headache

The lawmakers' forum I had to cover this morning has given me a HEADACHE.
Happily, I enjoyed myself before heading to work. I watched the latest BIGGEST MATCH EVER in the PREMIER LEAGUE.
Visting CHELSEA beat MANCHESTER UNITED, 2-1, to move two points clear at the top of the table.
Joe Cole and Didier Drogba scored for the visitors, who really dominated the first half against last season's champions.
Manchester United were without Wayne Rooney, who will miss a couple weeks while recovering from a mild ankle ligament injury.
Substitute Federico Macheda scored in the 88th minute for the hosts, who seemed to lack much energy during long stretches of the contest.
Now, I feel myself lacking energy after covering the lawmakers' forum.
I am looking forward to Easter as a day of rest. Of course, I'll probably watch more soccer as well.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Things that make ya *CRINGE*

We're talkin' nails-to-the-chalkboard stuff here, folks, as ROUTE 1 readers answer the following FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What music, movie or TV show makes you cringe?"

JIM S. -- "Roseanne" in any way, shape or form.

BEKAH P. -- Music -- Brittney Spears. Movie -- "Dude, Where's My Car?" TV Show -- "Hannah Montana." I'm gagging as I type...

SANDYE V. -- Most of the so-called "reality" shows, but especially the one with Donald Trump. Ick.

MARY N.-P. -- OMG - Any and all reality TV shows make me cringe so hard I can hardly straighten back out. What is the deal with watching a bunch of "normal" (and I use that term loosely) non-professional people do either every-day or exotic things? I get that daily. If I want to be entertained, I want to watch someone who is trained, schooled, focused and PAID to act/sing/live/whatever...

LAURA C. -- I could never watch "I Love Lucy" as a kid, and I have a hard time with all the current cringecore shows, from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" to "The Office" to "Parks & Recreation." Somehow "Seinfeld" had the right balance of comedy and cringe for me, but everything Larry David has done since has just been way too squidgy.

BRIAN M. -- Boy band music makes me cringe, and, even though I end up watching at least part of it every Monday night, "The Bachelor/ette" makes me cringe.

RICK T. -- "The Exorcist!" I can't watch it.

BRIAN C. -- I enjoy "The Office," but many of the things Michael Scott says and does cause me to cringe.

KERSTIN H. -- Really, any thing on Disney.

JOHN S. -- "The Partridge Family" fits all three.

SASKIA M. -- I know I'm not going to make friends with this, but... country music will make me cringe.

ERIK H. -- I was helping Kerstin create a "boy bands" playlist for her iPod, and I did quite well tolerating the music until we reached New Kids on the Block's 1988 ballad, "Please Don't Go Girl," featuring pre-puberty Joey McIntyre. His "high tenor" made me break out into a cold sweat. Also: My version of Hades would feature "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody" on endless loops on high-definition, big-screen televisions.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

No prank: It's a WU-TANG dream

This story is too goofy and/or mundane to be the setup for an APRIL FOOL'S DAY prank. Believe me, it's all true.
I dreamt last night that I was watching a documentary about the WU-TANG CLAN, the Staten Island, N.Y., hip-hop collective.

You know, Raekwon, Method Man, GZA, RZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard and the rest of the gang.

I have a bunch of the Wu on my iPod, but I haven't listened to them lately, nor have I thought about them all that recently.

Who knows why I had that dream.

I took it as a sign, though, and I just put a dozen Wu and related tracks onto a playlist so I can listen while I am driving around today.

Life imitates dream? Now that's funny.