Hot Routes: Week Three

14 Sep

Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.

Week Three

Last week was a rough week for Hot Routes advice, as the danger of early-season prediction-making reared its head.  We dug a little hole for ourselves in the season win-loss column, but the long climb back to respectability begins anew in Week Three.


Florida (2-0) @ Tennessee (2-0)

The pick:  Tennessee (-3)

The track:  Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!! by Minus the Bear

Tennessee has been playing solidly this season and look like they may be on a positive trend in the SEC behind some offensive playmakers.  They’ve got a good chance to continue impressing at home against a Florida team that has been underwhelming.

Talk around DS about Minus the Bear this week has led to yet another trip through the old school MtB music catalogues.  There’s a lot to like there, but first up is the punctuation-heavy “Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!!” with its Seattle-friendly chorus about driving recklessly around a lake at night, with a romantic interest and a bottle of wine nearby.


USC (2-0) at Stanford (2-0)

The pick:  USC (-9)

The track:  Fine + 2 PTS by Minus the Bear

USC has been getting faded a bit lately by the national sports media for their recent play, which has admittedly been a bit uneven against some weak competition.  The Trojans will be considerably more motivated this week against Stanford however – Matt Barkley has yet to beat the Cardinal in his collegiate career, and he’s got a score to settle.  Lane Kiffin will oblige him.

The next old school Minus the Bear cut is “Fine + 2 PTS,” in which the seductive and charged instrumentation is mirrored and accentuated by lines that may have originated as bar napkin scribbles – “Dark eyes, dark hair / And looks that needed a song” – and everything builds to a furious climax.


Alabama (2-0) at Arkansas (1-1)

The pick:  Alabama (-20)

The track:  Tides by The xx

Arkansas has been reeling of late, if you haven’t noticed.  They lost their head coach in the offseason, their current coach just declared bankruptcy, and they just lost their starting QB.  Not an ideal time to take Bama’s gut shots.

The xx released their new album Coexist this week, and “Tides” is a choice cut.  Like a lot of xx songs, it packs an irresistibly sexy beat below its breathy exterior, and it gives listeners just enough of a taste before taking it away again – there’s no choice at that point but to play it again.


Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

The pick:  Vikings (-2.5)

The track:  Houseboat Babies (Chrome Sparks remix) by Reptar

The Vikings aren’t a great team, but they’re not a bad team by any means – especially when they’ve got a decently healthy Adrian Peterson.  Even though they’re at home, 2.5 points is too much respect for a young Indy team missing Dwight Freeney.

I don’t know what ‘houseboat babies’ are, but I do remember that the Vikings love their houseboat parties.  So perhaps they would know how to properly enjoy this funked-up remix from Chrome Sparks.


Oakland Raiders (0-1) at Miami Dolphins (0-1)

The pick:  Raiders (-2.5)

The track:  Ball and Biscuit by The White Stripes

This is another example of a bad team getting too many points in their favor at home, against a decent opponent.  Miami is worse than Indy, and they may very well be the worst team in the league.  Oakland should be giving at least 3 points.

I’ve been dipping back into old White Stripes albums lately, and “Ball and Biscuit” may be in the running for Top 1-3 Stripes songs.  It’s got the basic blues structure that Jack White throttles and makes his own, squeezing sexual heat of his guitar with every furious mini-solo.  When he says ‘Now you understand’ before ripping off another solo – we definitely do.


Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

The pick:  Ravens (-2)

The track:  Take This Up by Star Slinger

There’s the danger of an overreaction here – to Baltimore’s Stringer Bell-esque beatdown and to Philly’s Sweet Dee-esque shitshow in Week 1.  But Baltimore looks pretty legit this year, and I like them by at least 3 points.

Star Slinger’s newest track “Take This Up” features many elements seen before from the producer – sped up samples, a bouncing, party-friendly tempo.  This particular track seems to bump a little harder than their previous stuff, and it works well to flesh out the rest of the sound.  This is one that doesn’t need any remixing to be dance floor worthy.


Last Week’s Record:  1 – 5

Overall Record:  3 – 7


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