Holy crap. This has the potential to be the Best. Thing. Ever.
For years when I was working at Euclid Records, I’d hear The Man (Euclid Joe, the owner), Skitch, and others talk about indie rock hipster legends like Steve Wynn and Ira Kaplan and Scott McCaughey and Gerard Cosloy being absolute baseball fanatics–allegedly there is or was a hyper-competitive New York league revolving around the offices of Matador Records.
Well then. Apparently last year, Scott McC (of the Young Fresh Fellows and The Minus Five–Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco diversion) and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate, and solo work for three decades) got together at the Hall Of Fame induction ceremony and spent a drunken evening talking baseball and joking about how the history of the game would lend itself to rock and roll songs that would rise above the banal mawkishness of “Talkin’ Baseball” or anything else Terry Cashman touched.
The two guys decided to give it a shot, and enlisted Steve’s wife, drummer Linda Pitmon (who isn’t just the best female drummer in rock history, she might be the best drummer, period, in rock right now) and REM guitarist Peter Buck, also a huge baseball fan. The idea of the songs wasn’t to give baseball a free pass on pure nostalgia. Nope, the idea was, baseball is good and the history and traditions are amazing…but part of the tradition is the story of Curt Flood and Jackie Robinson, Ed Delahanty and Hal Chase, Mark McGwire and Raphael Palmiero.
So anyway, I was sort of worried about this, but check the track list:
* "Past Time” * ”Ted Fucking Williams” * ”Gratitude (For Curt Flood)” * ”Brook Man” * ”Satchel Paige Said” * ”Fernando” * ”Long Before My Time” * ”Jackie's Lament” * ”Sometimes I Dream Of Willie Mays” * ”The Death Of Big Ed Delahanty” * ”Harvey Haddix” * ”The Yankee Flipper” * ”The Closer”
I’ve actually heard “Ted Fucking Williams” and “Past Time”, and if the whole disc is that good, this thing will be epic. The album is called “Frozen Ropes And Dying Quails, Vol 1” and will be out July 8th…day of the All Star game, natch.