Tuesday Guilty Pleasure: One-Hit-Wonders

Ever heard of Soft Cell? How about Pure Prairie League? a-ha? How about the Manfred Mann Earth Band? Certainly you know Right Said Fred and Sir Mix-a-Lot.

No? Well, I sure do.

They were the masterminds behind, respectively, "Tainted Love," "Aime," "Take On Me," "Blinded by the Light," "I'm Too Sexy," and "Baby Got Back."

That's right, I know those artists off the top of my head. Why? I have no freakin' clue. But somehow in my 22 years of existence, so many one-hit-wonders have gotten stuck in my head it's not even funny, many of which hat their 15 minutes before I was even born.

I have to lay a piece of the blame on my step-father, who is an encyclopedia of one-hit-wonders. His knowledge dwarfs mine, but he's had a few more years to file away meaningless bands who wrote meaningless songs, one of which got inordinately popular.

I get some sick pleasure out of sneering at my nearest friend/person-I-kinda-know and asking "Who does this?" when "Breakfast at Tiffany's" comes on. And when they can't answer, I chuckle condescendingly and say "Deep Blue Something," which inevitably leads to the conversation, "Deep Blue what?" "Deep Blue Something." "Yeah, but what's the last word?" "Something." And on and on....

There's no way anyone should know that. But I do. And it makes me feel as superior as a NYU hipster smirking and leaning against the back wall at a Morrissey concert.

It's mean, I know, but somehow slightly gratifying. Try it for yourself. Next time "Somebody's Watching Me," comes on the radio (or on that obnoxious Geico commercial), spin around to your closest buddy and yell "Who does it??" When they inevitably give you a blank stare or guess "Michael Jackson" (who, interestingly, did sing the chorus and back-up vocals), laugh in their face and say with the pride that only comes from being filled to the brim with entirely useless information: "Rockwell."

(I'm going to go ahead and use this time to inform those that don't already know about the real lyric in "Blinded by the Light." He's not saying "Wrapped up like a douche another motor in the night" or any version of that. The actual lyric is: "Revved up like a Duece, another runner in the night," referring to a car. One more fun fact: this song was actually originally written by Bruce Springsteen. See, useless information....)


It's Monday, the Arctic Monkeys are on, and I'm eating green seedless grapes.

I'm really sad that I haven't been writing as much.


It's a awful truth that when you're getting paid to write, writing for free suddenly loses appeal. Even though I haven't actually had anything published yet -- a fact that continues to befuddle friends and family alike ("What the heck have you been doing for over a month??) -- I've spent most of my days on the ground doing prep work, preparing stories for the launch, training and editing.

Needless to say, the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit in front of a computer screen. But there's such a satisfying release that comes with personal writing, as opposed to reporting and story writing.

I'm realizing this more as I read the insane collection of essays by Chuck Klosterman in "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs." This guy combines the hilarious and opinionated story-telling of David Sedaris with the clinical insanity of Hunter S. Thompson. Right up my alley.

But the point is that most of his essays are late night rants that he wrote down. If you've read this blog long enough, you know that I've had my share of opinionated rants, many of which came during the months leading up to the election. I eventually decided that it was better for my readers -- and my employability -- if I stopped being so opinionated and just presented facts and remained fairly objective.

What's the fun in that?

Reading this book has made me realize that there is inherent value in hearing/reading some guy rant about everyday life, making outrageous claims -- like that the Lakers vs. Celtics rivalry in the '70s can be used to describe everything about human life or that soccer is a sport created by and for outcasts and should be banned (two actual claims in Klosterman's book) -- and backing up with creative, though sometimes faulty logic.

Now I'm not sure I can start doing that again on my blog. I worry that my current employers won't be terribly happy about me spouting off insane hypotheses about politics, sports and the music industry.

I also don't plan on putting all these into a word file to be made into a book later so that I can become the next over-the-top and edgy social commenter. OK, maybe I will. But I'm not doing it for the money. OK, maybe I am.

Anyway, I guess what this rambling is leading up to is that I want to come back to writing for pleasure more. I keep telling myself that I don't have time to write up well thought out posts for this blog, but obviously this didn't take me very long.... So maybe I'm right.

Whatever happens, I want to at least get my favorite post series back running: Tuesday Guilty Pleasure. It's been far too long since you guys got to make fun of me for some really random crap that I've fallen in love with.

As soon as I hit "Publish Post," I'm going to craft a TGP for the four (maybe less?) people that actually check this often enough to notice my absence. It will publish tomorrow at 9 a.m., the exact time I'll be walking into my office, where my writing means a pay check.

Can you believe that people would actually pay me to write? I can't either, but I'm not going to say anything.


EuroTripping: Part II

It's been a while, I know. I'm keeping a lot more busy than I thought I would. I plan on keeping this blog, but expect the updates to be much less frequent, like they have been recently.

Anyway, I wanted to post the latest in my EuroTripping series from my trip this summer, with footage from Amsterdam and Bruges. I've spent the last three weeks wrestling YouTube to get songs on there that didn't get shut down by Warner Media Group (stupid copyright rules...). Thus, I couldn't use "Amsterdam" by Guster, which sucks and I even had to get rid of the George Harrison song I was using. That being said, I got some pretty good music on there, but you've probably never heard it before.

Without further adieu, here is "EuroTripping Part II: Amsterdam and Bruges."

Now that I've gotten back into the rhythm of editing, I hope to get the final two installments done before too long. I'll let you know when they're posted.