Archive for The Baseball Project

Play Ball!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2009 by 30daysout

At the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown NY

Starting pro baseball season in the middle of this big economic losing streak might be a good idea, or it might be a bad one.  Good idea – the simplicity and fun of America’s pastime might get our minds off our money woes.  Bad idea – we can’t afford a friggin’ ticket!

But we really have no choice: baseball has its own time, like the seasons.  It arrives, whether we are ready for it or not.  We will soon be wondering about lineups, starting pitchers, Manny, the damned Red Sox and lots more.

They should add a line to every player’s baseball card saying whether or not he took steroids.  They should have Bruce Springsteen play after one game in every ballpark in America.  And they should bring back Lee Elia.  Time to play ball.

MP3: “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” by the Hold Steady

MP3: “Who’s On First?” by Abbott & Costello

MP3: “Catfish” by Kinky Friedman

MP3: “Yankee Stadium” by Nils Lofgren

MP3: “Narragansett Beer” by Curt Gowdy

MP3: “Past Time” by the Baseball Project

MP3: “Go, Cubs, Go!” by Steve Goodman

MP3: “Hank Aaron’s 715th Home Run” by Milo Hamilton

MP3: “Baseball, Baseball” by Jane Morgan

MP3: “Baseball Bat” by Courtney Love

MP3: “Real Men of Genius: Mr. Designated Hitter” Bud Light commercial

MP3: “Centerfield” (live) by John Fogerty w/Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Clarence Clemons

MP3: “Get The F***ing Job Done” by Lee Elia

YouTube: “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request” by Steve Goodman (Thanks Ken Shane, for the suggestion!)

Review: “Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails,” The Baseball Project

Posted in Review with tags , , , on August 5, 2008 by 30daysout

Just like Roger Kahn’s book The Boys Of Summer kicked the art of baseball writing into a whole new league, the new album Volume 1: Frozen Ropes And Dying Quails redefines the baseball song.  Credited to the group The Baseball Project, the album is actually the work of an alt-rock all-star team led by Scott McCaughey (Minus 5, R.E.M.) and Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) with help from guitarist Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and drummer Linda Pitmon.

And like the Kahn masterpiece, the songs throw a spotlight on baseball heroes both celebrated and forgotten: “Ted Fucking Williams” is the Splendid Splinter’s own egocentric description of himself; “Broken Man” examines Mark McGwire’s transition into tainted hero; while “Satchel Paige Said,” “Jackie’s Lament” and “Gratitude (For Curt Flood)” pay tribute to some of the game’s pioneers.  “Harvey Haddix” tells the story of the Pirates pitcher who tossed a 12-inning perfect game only to lose in the 13th; and “Fernando,”  told in Spanish, contrasts the exploits of L.A. hero Valenzuela with the repression of his culture.

Don’t worry, this is superb rock and roll: brawny and jangly, “Past Time” is about as close as it gets to John Fogerty’s “Centerfield” warhorse.  You won’t hear any of these played during the seventh inning stretch (although “Ted Fucking Williams” would be awesome at Fenway).  The Baseball Project takes on tough subjects and goes yard just about every time.  This is a very fun album to listen to, over and over; sort of like reading a good baseball book.  It’s very rare to come across great rock that also tells a good story and great baseball rock is even more rare – like a 12-inning perfect game.  Highly recommended, even if you are not a baseball fan.

MP3: “Ted Fucking Williams”

MP3: “Fernando”

The Baseball Project page at Yep Roc Records

Summer’s Here!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2008 by 30daysout

Today is the first day of summer.  No matter where you live, it’s always the best time of the year.  Enjoy our little summer mix – some of these have nothing to do with the season, they’re just good summer singles.  And have a good weekend.

MP3: “Holiday Road” (live) by Lindsey Buckingham

MP3: “Always A Friend” by Alejandro Escovedo

MP3: “Summer Turns To High” by R.E.M.

MP3: “Summer Is Here” by the Outsiders

MP3: “Surf Wax America” by Weezer

MP3: “Ted F–king Williams” by The Baseball Project

MP3: “Little Pad” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Watermelon Time” by Marcia Ball

MP3: “Girls In Their Summer Clothes” (winter mix) by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

MP3: “All Summer Long” by Chris Rea

MP3: “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay

MP3: “Wildest Dream” by Journey (w/Arnel Pineda)

MP3: “She Loves The Sunset” by the Old 97s