Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Watching for that "0"

The PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS take the court tonight against the LOS ANGELES LAKERS to open their NBA season with an OAKLAND-born rookie expected to help lead the team.
Point guard DAMIAN LILLARD will wear "0" in honor of the state of his pro hoops team (Oregon), the town of his college (Odgen, Utah, the home of Weber State) and Oakland.
As an Oakland-born guy myself, I'll be following Lillard's progress closely.
Lillard led Portland in scoring (16.2 points per game) in the preseason and will be counted upon to add spark to a team in transition.
I'm looking forward to seeing what this kid can do.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nightmarish scenes left in Sandy's wake

The reports on NEW YORK'S WCBS 880 RADIO are chilling in their detail and nightmarish in their scope in the wake of HURRICANE SANDY.
Flooded areas have been called "war zones," with double-digit deaths, thousands of trees toppled onto structures and cars, fires burning out of control and out of reach of firefighters, travel paralyzed and millions without power.

I just pray survivors are comforted, and that recovery is swift.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Don't count out the Giants

So many people seemed to write off my favorite team, the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, after they stormed back to beat the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS and earn a WORLD SERIES berth against the DETROIT TIGERS.
"The SF Giants' glorious wine-and-cheese party, with Tony Bennett crooning in the background, is over," wrote national baseball columnist Bob Nightengale.
It only seemed like Bay Area fans and scribes gave the Giants much of a chance in the Fall Classic.
I guess that's why my feeling today -- following the Giants' four-game sweep of the Tigers -- is as much satisfaction and redemption as it is elation.
I was truly elated when the Giants won their first World Series in 2010.
This year, I felt vindication for my team.
Nothin' stops the "wine-and-cheese party," nothin'.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Suspiria" provides big slice of scary film fun

"Look out for that razor wire!"
I didn't exactly say it, but I certainly thought that directive last night, as I introduced the girls to the DARIO ARGENTO horror classic, "SUSPIRIA," during a "movie night" of a couple of scary films.
I don't want to ruin the surprise for future viewers, but one of the film's most memorable scenes involves a room full of hoops of razor-sharp wire. Something you just wouldn't want to fall into.
"Suspiria" is about a newly arrived American girl at a German dance academy/boarding school who begins to suspect the institution is controled by a coven of witches.
I have long admired "Suspiria" for Argento's dreamlike use of color and music -- rooms bathed in red and a weird musical score that seems to use the whispered word "witches" as an additional instrument in the orchestra.
I'm a fan of ALIDA VALLI, too. The late Italian actress plays a demanding dance instructor in the film, continuing a series of villainous roles that included the doctor's assistant in Georges Franju's masterpiece "Les Yeux Sans Visage (Eyes Without a Face)."
"Suspiria" is not for the squeamish, and our youngest daughter ANNIKA wisely went to bed before Argento had ratcheted up his nightmarish horror too far.
KERSTIN rightly criticsized some of the wooden acting, but made sure I locked the front door at the film's conclusion.
That alone proves Argento made his mark with her.
Oh yeah, and make sure you avoid that razor wire, eh?

Friday, October 26, 2012

This week's most memorable moments

Here at ROUTE 1, we can't remember what we had for dinner two nights ago but we can remember the look on Detroit Tigers' third baseman Miguel Cabrera's face when a ball hit the bag in front of him and skipped away from his glove and into left field.
That's human nature. It's also a reflection on the lack of creativity in our recent nightly menus, but that's a different FRIDAY QUESTION.
This week's query is the following:
"What was the most memorable thing to happen to you this week?"
KERI M. -- Having a date night with my husband.
BRIAN M. -- Between the San Francisco Giants advancing for the World Series and then winning Game 1, making the decision to (partially) renew my season ticket to the Portland Timbers, it was finding out the feature story I spend most of the last week working on for this week's edition of my weekly paper (and cutting down to half its original size) didn't get in.
RICK T. -- I was able to crank up the bonfire, sit with some friends and enjoy the beautiful evening.
JEFF T. -- Lost a job, but dodged the stomach flu.
LAURA C. -- I'd tell you... but then I'd have to kill you.
ERIK H. -- OK, mine is baseball-related. Gimme a break! Game 1 of the World Series was like a surreal dream. One player hit three home runs, another made two diving catches, a previously poor pitcher became great and that aforementioned ball hit that aforementioned bag. Oh! And I just remembered: We had hot dogs that night.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Whatever you do, don't pinch me

OK, now I get it!
I'm about to wake up sometime in August, with the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS stalled behind the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in the National League West.
These past few weeks, they've been nothing but a dream -- and one of those "eat-spicy-foods-right-before-bed" kind of dreams at that!
That's the only way I can explain what happened in the past two National League series against the Reds (winning three elimination games on the road) and Cardinals (again winning three consecutive elimination games, this time against a team famous for winning such contests).
That's also the only way I could possibly explain last night, an 8-3 victory against the DETROIT TIGERS in Game 1 of the WORLD SERIES.
Pablo Sandoval homered three times? Like Babe Ruth?! Nah... I'm dreaming.
The G-men chased an ineffective Justin Verlander, hyped as the sport's best current pitcher and, oh by the way, the American League's reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner? Nah... I'm dreaming.
Barry Zito not only won his World Series debut, not only singled in a run, but had a rapturous crowd chanting his name? Nah... I'm dreaming.
I'm not sure how the rest of this dream plays out and I don't care. This postseason has been a surreal blast of unexpected fun.
I'm just sure of one thing. I don't want anybody pinching me to wake me up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Grandmaster Flash helps me prep for World Series

Joseph Saddler and Melvin Glover are helping me prepare for tonight's first game of the WORLD SERIES between my SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS and the DETROIT TIGERS.
Well, those are some "old school" baseball teams with never-changing cap logos, so I thought I'd listen to some "old-school" rap to prepare myself.
Saddler is better known as the pioneering hip-hop DJ GRANDMASTER FLASH and Glover is better known as MELLE MEL, the principal rapper among the FURIOUS FIVE.
Their creations such as "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel," "The Message," "New York, New York" and "Scorpio" helped set the template for modern hip hop, provided a treasure trove of future samples and convinced record-company executives that rap music could be a viable commercial offering.
The songs also sound good thumping out of my car speakers on an unusually warm autumn day -- as I begin to nervously anticipate a World Series appearance by my favorite team.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sleepless and loving it

Yeah, it took me longer than usual to get to sleep last night.
I buzzed with happiness and excitement after the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS defeated the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, 9-0, to win their 22nd NATIONAL LEAGUE PENNANT and fourth in my lifetime.
It has been a magical postseason for my lifelong, favorite baseball team. Six times the Giants faced elimination with a loss, and all six times San Francisco won to play another day.
Last night was no different.
The Giants stood tall against a rapidly withering Cardinals team, scoring runs off St. Louis' starting pitching, fielding well and pitching to perfection.
It worked. San Francisco outscored St. Louis, 20-1, during the final three games of the National League Championship Series.
San Francisco's dominance seemed complete. As Bernie Miklasz wrote in today's ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH:
"All you need to know is this: In the final three games, Giants starting pitchers Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain combined to drive in three runs. That’s right; in winning the last three the Giants got three RBIs from their pitchers. The Cardinals’ ENTIRE TEAM had one RBI in the last three games. Mortifying."
It wasn't mortifying for this Giants fan. Except when I realized it would take ages for sleep to come!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Giants have certainly made this postseason memorable

We've had #RallyZito and now #RallyEnchiladas.
We've had four, improbable elimination-game victories on the road and now the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS have delivered to us a GAME 7 against the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS in the NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES. The winner claims the pennant and home-field advantage against the DETROIT TIGERS in the WORLD SERIES.
We've had "Vogey" trending worldwide on Twitter and people photoshopping pitcher Matt Cain's head onto the body of horses. We've had trolls sitting behind the dugout (pictured) and people sporting giant panda heads in the stands.
It's been a remarkable postseason for Giants fans like myself.
We've lost hard and won big, all of it memorable. 
Who knows what tonight will bring?
I can only predict we'll be presented something we will long remember.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Returning to the scene of the crime book

After visiting BALTIMORE and watching the first season of "THE WIRE," I thought it would be fun to re-read the book that started television's fascination with Charm City crime -- "HOMICIDE: A YEAR ON THE KILLING STREETS" by DAVID SIMON.
The future creator of "The Wire" and other shows, Simon was a Baltimore Sun reporter who spent a year with homicide detectives from the Baltimore Police Department.
The result was this 1991 book, which would become a benchmark for crime non-fiction works.
Readers learn about the frustrations of disturbed crime scenes, witnesses who won't talk and murders that stubbornly remain unsolved.
One of the major cases detailed in the book is the sexual assault and murder of a girl named Latonya Kim Wallace, in Baltimore's Reservoir Hill neighborhood.
Jill and I unwittingly passed within a couple blocks of where her body was found. We were exiting a freeway and turning a corner. Two blocks to the west is where detectives were scouring for clues during the course of the book's narrative.
I first read Simon's book back in the 1990s and it shows -- I've had to tape the book's cover back together to hold it without the pages scattering.
Re-reading it after so long also allows for the occasional surprise, as I had remembered few details.
If you have never read "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," I recommend it. Just get yourself a new copy.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The magic of #RallyZito

All last evening, the #RALLYZITO hashtag trended worldwide, as the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS sought the victory over the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS would send the NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES back to California.
The object of the hashtag, oft-maligned Giants pitcher BARRY ZITO, certainly did his part: 7 1/3 IP 6 H 0 R 1 BB (it was intentional and led to a double play) and 6 Ks. Oh yeah, and he bunted for an RBI single in San Francisco's 5-0 victory.
Maybe #RallyZito really is magic? Perhaps.
If nothing else, as someone commented, San Francisco Giants fans might be the world's best fans at using computers. Since many probably work at Adobe Systems, Apple Inc., Cisco Systems, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nvidia, Oracle, Symantec, Twitter and Yahoo, that hypothesis might not be far off.
Me, I think it was actually magic.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A "Black Celebration" with Edward Gorey

Who knew the macabre work of EDWARD GOREY went so well with the dark synth-pop of "BLACK CELEBRATION"-era DEPECHE MODE?
Well, I do, now.
I am reading some Gorey tales while listening to Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and the gang on my day off today.
I already knew Gorey's twisted, dark tales played very well on gloomy, autumnal days.
I suppose it should have made sense that Depeche Mode's 1986 album, "Black Celebration," would also fit that mood perfectly.
"Fly on the Windscreen," "World Full of Nothing" and "New Dress" are catchy laments by the synth-pop pioneers, and sound best when skies are a deep, dark grey.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sportsmaggedon has arrived

It's a night of sports so big I gave it a stupid nickname.
SPORTSMAGGEDON is the name I have applied to tonight, Oct. 18, 2012, when ALL THREE OF MY FAVORITE SPORTS TEAMS appear on television at essentially the same time. ("Carmaggedon" is what they call a major freeway closing with traffic gridlock in Southern California. Tonight is like that, only with sports).
It's a rare occurrence, unprecedented as far as I can recall for my teams.
Here is a look at Sportsmaggedon (all times Central):
7 p.m. -- The SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS play the St. Louis Cardinals in baseball's National League Championship Series.
7:20 p.m. -- The SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS play the Seattle Seahawks in a National Football League game.
8 p.m. -- MY BELOVED OREGON DUCKS play the Arizona State Sun Devils in college football.
I don't have enough TVs!
So what will I do? Here is my plan: I will listen to the Giants on the radio. I prefer the Giants' announcers anyway.
With the sound muted on the TV, I will then flip back and forth between the two football games.
It's not a perfect plan, but faced with the unprecedented challenge of Sportsmaggedon, it's probably the best that I could do*.

*Besides going to a bar with multiple TVs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Doom and Gloom" sounds like vintage Stones

"DOOM AND GLOOM" sounds just like a ROLLING STONES song.
For a band marking 50 years, that's a good thing, indeed.
"Doom and Gloom" is the lead single from "GRRR!," a 50th anniversary compilation album by the band that began back in 1962.
The Stones seem to turn back the clock on this song.
MICK JAGGER sounds as rebellious as ever, even at the (staggering) age of 69.
His 68-year-old cohort KEITH RICHARDS will always sound this good on guitar, so his riffing comes as no surprise.
The 71-year-old veteran drummer CHARLIE WATTS is another musician whose form will probably never drop.
He provides a good role model for the "baby" of the band, 65-year-old guitarist RONNIE WOOD.
Yep, this sounds like vintage Stones to me, which is comforting, considering the vintage of the Stones.
See for yourself here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Series even, so are these two teams

I'm not surprised my favorite team, the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, are even in their NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES with the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS.
The teams seem like mirror images of each other.

Each team boasts strong starting pitching that has struggled somewhat in the postseason, each can call upon a "lights-out" bullpen, each has an MVP-candidate catcher and each sports a lineup studded with "gamers," players whose somewhat pedestrian statistics belie their abilities to contribute to winning plays.
Heck, these teams are so close that Giants' shortstop Brandon Crawford and Cardinals' second baseman David Descalso were soccer teammates at the age of 5.
Ironically, the biggest difference between the two teams might be a player they have had in common.
Carlos Beltran provides a consistent corner-outfield offensive punch for the Cardinals -- a role the Giants haven't really replaced since Beltran left in the offseason (especially with the suspension of Melky Cabrera).
Based on the similar attributes of these teams, I expect this series to continue to the full seven games.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stuck between vacation and acclimatization

I worked yesterday, and I don't feel as if I had enough buffer between VACATION and the return to "normalcy."
It didn't help that my sports teams were playing uncharacteristically poorly, and it didn't help my mood when RAIN pursued me throughout the day -- including while out on assignment.
No, my psyche seemed to remain somewhere between here and BALTIMORE.
I should have taken yesterday off as well, just for acclimatization's sake.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wonderful stories told at American Visionary Art Museum

The AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM was one of the highlights of our recent trip to BALTIMORE.
I could have spent days roaming this testament to the works of untrained artists, the "outsider" art that nonetheless invites the viewer into the soul of the creator.
The museum's current, fascinating exhibit, "The Art of Storytelling," ranges from Esther Krinitz's 36 embroidery pieces which detail her experiences hiding from the Nazis as a Polish Jew in the 1940s to Vanessa German's found sculpture assemblages used to retail Black history.
All of the pieces were compelling, offering rare insights into people.
"God made man because He loves stories," was a quote by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810) emblazoned on one of the walls.
I thought that God must love the varied stories told through the marvelous works at the Visionary Art Museum.
It's a must-see if you visit Baltimore.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Identifying the samples and quotes of the Old School

I've been enjoying dipping into the OLD-SCHOOL RAP collection this week.
Not only does the music bring back memories of battered cassette tapes I played in the 80s, but I have had fun identifying the SAMPLES AND QUOTES that appeared on subsequent HIP HOP releases.
The horn riff on "Ooh Baby" by the WEST SIDE MOB is one example -- you can plainly hear it recreated on "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys.
Or that immortal line from the BUSY BEE STARSKI classic "Making Cash Money" -- "Buy two turntables and a microphone and you will never get the girls to ever leave you alone."
The sentiment, if not the specific line, has reappeared countless times whenever the B-boys make some noise.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Giants need something of a miracle

The GIANTS need something of a miracle now, I'm afraid, to continue in the playoffs.
Hats off to the REDS, though. They're reminiscent of S.F. in 2010, with timely hitting and lights-out pitching.
San Francisco's pitching has seemed more cobbled together this season, with only Barry Zito apparently immune to setbacks -- temporary or prolonged.
Well, all the Giants can do is play to win Tuesday. I'll listen en route to Des Moines and the first leg of our trip to BALTIMORE.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Chillin' in both senses of the word

I don't think when EPMD coined the term "YOU GOTS TO CHILL" they had this weather in mind, but I could be wrong.
This weekend we've been shivering -- yesterday's 42-degree daytime temperature in DUBUQUE was a record "low high" for the date and a whopping 22 degrees below a normal daytime high temperature for this time of the year.
I have been dressing in layers and listening to the OLD SCHOOL RAP of "THE SUGAR HILL RECORDS STORY" box set.
The five dics collect all of the seminal hip-hop label's A sides.
"Rapper's Delight" by THE SUGAR HILL GANG is on here, as are the much-sampled "That's the Joint" by the FUNKY FOUR PLUS ONE, "The Message" by GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE and "Making Cash Money" by BUSY BEE STARSKI.
In other words, it is packed with the classic songs that provided the foundation for HIP HOP -- a treasure trove of tunes.
I've been thoroughly enjoying it, fulfilling the directive to chill in its intended form, as well as the teeth-chattering kind.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Sugar Hill jams and corn bread

You can't see me, but I'm twirling around the kitchen, making CORN BREAD and losing myself in some classic SUGAR HILL RECORDS HIP HOP on iTunes.
The cloudy skies and cold weather have me wrapping myself in layers of clothing and OLD SCHOOL JOINTS.
"Joints" meaning rap songs, y'all.
Hearing GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE, THE TREACHEROUS THREE (pictured), SPOONIE GEE, THE SUGAR HILL GANG and others reminds me of the battered rap cassette tapes I played in my car back in the day.
"Jump on it! Kemosabe, jump on it, jump on it! Apache, jump on it, jump on it!"
Those were the days.
Actually, those were the days when I was an anomaly -- a white kid in suburban California listening to what was still only an emerging subcultural type of music.
Now, given hip-hop's hegemony in American popular culture, it's hard to imagine it's dim past.
Until I listen to these old tunes and remember those battered tapes.
Marcus Reeves described Sugar Hill's pioneering legacy in a 2007 issue of The Crisis magazine:
"By the early 80s, the black-owned independent record label Sugar Hill Records, which released (the first commercial rap record) 'Rapper's Delight,' had become the powerhouse behind the commercialization of hip-hop music. With its artist roster filled with New York's hip-hop pioneers -- Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five, Funky Four Plus One, the Treacherous Three and others -- Sugar Hill was the primary source for turning hip-hop music into the new sound (and social message) of Black America."
It was a thrilling new sound for me, and I'm enjoying the thrill again today, twirling around the kitchen making corn bread.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Our favorite cities to visit

Next week, this OAKLAND, CALIF.-born, occasional CHICAGO visitor travels to BALTIMORE.
But enough about destination travel to America's MURDER CAPITALS, let's hear where ROUTE 1 readers like to go by revealing the answers to the following FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What is your favorite city to visit?"
MIKE D. -- This past weekend, it was Guttenberg, Iowa.
KERI M. -- I haven't really travelled a lot so I will say coming back to my town from the lake.
JIM S. -- As usual, I can't limit it to one. So here's my Top 5: San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Miami and Indianapolis.
KERSTIN H. -- San Francisco because it has so much to offer and it seems to be the city that best fits me.
JOHN S. -- Boston.
RICK T. -- Oh so many! I love California so there's two places, Truckee (Donner Pass) and beautiful San Francisco.
INGER H. -- London, without a doubt. There never ceases to be new interesting places to see and things to discover. It's also very easy to visit, the public transportation is easy and there are a lot of free museums and places to get cheap eats. And of course there is the old saying: When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
BRIAN M. -- I'm kind of limited, but yet, I'm torn. Seattle is much more familiar to me, but it never feels old to. Rising up from the BART terminal in downtown San Francisco, you immediately feel its electricity. 
ERIK H. -- Going to San Francisco always seems more like returning to my roots than visiting, so I'll say London. I've been an insufferable anglophile all my life, so London is the only place where I really fit in.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Beatles song that started it all

Someone once calculated that THE BEATLES used the word "LOVE" 613 times in the lyrics to their songs.
It's an appropriate statistic to ponder, as this week marks 50 years since the release of the band's first single, "LOVE ME DO."
It was Oct. 5, 1962 when this initial single offering hit the stores in the United Kingdom (U.S. fans would have to wait another two years for this song).
The simple song -- just a few chords and a harmonica riff -- was backed by "P.S. I Love You."
Ironically, given the impending global popularity awaiting the Fab Four, "Love Me Do" only performed moderately well in the U.K. pop chart, peaking at No. 17.
It's place in history is assured, however, because "Love Me Do" is the song that started it all.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Recognizing "The Wire" and its revolutionary approach

I joke with JILL that watching the first season of "THE WIRE" on DVD before our upcoming trip to BALTIMORE serves an important purpose:
It shows us the areas to avoid.
Seriously, though, watching the landmark crime drama set in Charm City is both fueling my anticipation for next week's trip as well as increasing my appreciation for what the show's producers were able to accomplish.
As Gary Edgerton and Jeffrey Jones wrote in "The Essential HBO Reader," the series:
"... was a direct assault against that most venerable of TV genres, the cop show, with the goal quite literally to explode the creaky, hidebound world of prime-time crime and law enforcement from within. Gone would be the stalwart cop, able to thwart, sometimes single-handedly, the continuous eruptions of violence and illegal activity from the bowels of the city. Banished also would be the one-hour solutions and easy, triumph-of-justice explanations carted out at the end of each episode to mollify viewers with the reassurance that their world was not spinning wildly out of control."
I never watched "The Wire" during its original run -- I never paid that much attention to HBO.
I am loving my introduction to the show this week.
I appreciate that the show focuses an almost equal amount of attention to the lawbreakers -- the members of the Barksdale drug-dealing crew. The effect fleshes out a group of characters typically portrayed as one-dimensional villains in other crime dramas.
The politically motivated, often brutal police get a new look, too, thanks to "The Wire."
Here's another production detail I love about "The Wire:"
The music is also diegetic, meaning the only music we hear is the music heard by the characters as well.
It's the type of filmmaking approach that emphasizes realism -- of which there seems to be plenty in "The Wire."

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Introducing the inspiring John Gilmore

Of course, I had heard JOHN COLTRANE, but it wasn't until I really listened -- really concentrated on the frenetic flurry of notes pouring forth from his tenor saxophone -- that I could appreciate his genius.
I remembered feeling exhilaration.
I'm experiencing similar feelings this week, as I listen carefully to one of Trane's influences, the Chicago tenor saxophonist JOHN GILMORE.
Gilmore was among the boundary pushing sidemen of SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA. Gilmore also recorded his own dates occasionally, such as the 1957 Blue Note disc "BLOWING IN FROM CHICAGO," with fellow tenorman CLIFF JORDAN.
The disparity between the two sax players is audibly clear, or as Joe Segal wrote in the liner notes:
"(Clifford's) mellower tone is readily distinguishable from Gilmore's harder, more punching sound."
Gilmore's playing sounds like a revelation, and music writer John Szwed explains why:
"(John) Gilmore, like a handful of other younger saxophonists, had been pushing the horn to new limits. The saxophone was invented relatively late in the history of musical instruments, and though its capacities were still being discovered, it had already moved well beyond what most other horns were capable of playing in jazz. The saxophone offered the potential for playing an enormous variety of tones, many of which lay well outside the Western aesthetic. It was possible to play it with intense vocalized articulation, new extremes of vibrato, alternate ways of producing the same tone, overblowing, and the so-called false upper register developed among stomping, bar-walking rhythm and blues saxophonists. Tenor saxophones, especially, were able to honk, howl, scream, cry, pop, growl, and tongue-slap tones, and Gilmore had taken the horn further in this direction than anyone else at the time."
I think I love music so much because it continues to inspire and excite me.
Gilmore's saxophone playing is no exception.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Building a Baltimore playlist

What do Cab Calloway, The Orioles, Ravyns, Kix, Mullyman and DJ Technics have in common?
OK, doo-woppers The Orioles gave it away, didn't they?
ROUTE 1 travels to BALTIMORE next week, so we're putting together a playlist of music associated with "Charm City," ranging from the big band sounds of Calloway, through doo wop, rock, hip hop and the "Baltimore Club" dance scene.
"Raised on the Radio" is here. So is "Mission Accomplished" by Minlus and McCracken.

It's a crazy mix, but heard chronologically, it does trace the musical heritage of Bawlmer, which is exactly what I required.