Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday 8-Track

Pitchers and catchers have reported to camp and Spring Training is officially underway. In honor of the birth of Spring, the Boys of Summer, and the impending Fall Classic, it's baseball week on the Friday 8-Track. The Nats are already looking to resemble the Indians of Major League so all we can do is hope for the best. "This guy's dead! So cross him off the list."

Randy Newman - "Burn On" - Sail Away

The lilting, sardonic gait of this song (both lyrically and musically) was the perfect theme for the opening sequence of "Major League." This dry recounting of the night the Cuyahoga caught on fire was an apt metaphor for the hopelessness of the Indians team portrayed in the film. And unfortunately will, in all likelihood, be equally appropriate for what looks to be the longest season in the history of Washington baseball. "Burn on, big river, burn on."

John Fogerty - "Centerfield" - Centerfield

I bet nobody saw this one coming. (Yeah, right.) Yes indeed it is a song about baseball, a great song about baseball, and it even references The Mudville 9. But the real charm of this tune, and why I always hum it at the ballpark, is its use for the montage in Bull Durham when the Bulls and Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh go on their big win streak. In my humble estimation, this is the definitive movie about America's Pastime capturing all of the overly-romanticized metaphors of the game and its simple joy. "I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter."

Dropkick Murphys - "Tessie" - Tessie [EP]

I wish my team had a rally song this awesome. It's got some great history behind it and the Murphys' revved up punk version definitely captures that Boston Southie spirit. Maybe Bad Brains can write something for the Nats.

Dire Straits - "Walk of Life" - Brothers in Arms

I always associate this song with ball because of the outfield bloopers that were used for the video. Plus its got a boogie beat similar to "Centerfield" so I guess I often recall the songs in tandem. What this song has over "Centerfield" is that Mark Knopfler can play rings around Fogerty. The guy has got technique out the wazoo and the tone coming off his Strat on this track is sweeeeet.

Alabama - "Cheap Seats" - Cheap Seats

This has got to be one of the cheesiest bands ever but they nicely summed up the minor league experience in this tune. Although nowadays I have been to minor league parks that put RFK (and others) to shame, there is a romance that comes with shitty beer, a shitty park, a shitty team, and shitty seats that roller coasters and between-inning gimmicks can never top.

The Allman Brothers Band - "Jessica" - Brothers and Sisters

Remember that scene in Field of Dreams when Costner is cruising down the highway in that VW bus (I think it was a VW)? "Jessica" was playing during that scene and it was then that it became one of my cruising tunes in the ol' Millennium Falcon (that would be my black '87 Chevy Celebrity) -- Sony Discman with the tape cassette adapter flopping around on the 2/3 split bench, windows down, Allmans cranking, and me thinking I was born about 20 years too late. And oh yeah, I think that movie was about baseball.

The Outfield - "Your Love" - Play Deep

I'm really reaching here; it was tough coming up with eight songs today. Anyway, it is a little interesting that this British band used baseball terms/metaphors for the names of their band and their first album. (Although they could also be cricket references.) Here's a random aside, did you know that the bridge to this this song and the bridge in "Jessie's Girl" are almost identical? So similar are they that when we rehearse the medley we do of these songs, that I constantly get dirty looks from my band mates for singing the wrong middle 8. Of course the parts are interchangeable so you would not notice unless you were really listening for it. Fun facts from the 80's!

Bruce Springsteen - "Glory Days" - Born in the USA

I think that this was the first album where The Boss dropped the and The E Street Band moniker. The ultimate song about your best days as a stud on the diamond having long passed since passed. My buddy and I joke about this song when we work out because he was a really good pitcher in high school but admittedly couldn't really "throw that speedball by you." I guess he was more of a finesse pitcher. In a few years, I wonder what my tales of Glory Days will be about. Hopefully something cool...


At 2/16/2007 11:20 AM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

I'd forgotten all about that Dire Straits song. Yes. That's a baseball song from Memorial Stadium old home of the Orioles.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

At 2/16/2007 12:36 PM, Blogger Carrie M said...

"I say fuck you, Jobu"

I love that movie.


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