Saturday, December 6, 2008
The Baseball Project, Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails (Yep Roc)
Aw, c’mon, was there more of a sure thing for my list in 2008? A jangly power-pop record made by Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck (as well as Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon) and devoted to baseball? Not fair. There are no more sure ways to bypass my critical sensibilities. What’s fantastic about this collection of diamond-themed songs is that they aren’t mere wistful odes to a bullshit bucolic pipedream of innocence and father-son catch sessions. No, they’re genuine nods of appreciation to the real people who’ve played the game. In that sense, Frozen Ropes… is less Field of Dreams, more Bull Durham, and that’s alright by me. Characters are what make these songs fly, lyrically – be it Curt Flood, Satchel Paige, Fernando Valenzuela, Harvey Haddix, Black Jack McDowell, or “Ted Fucking Williams.” Musically, the record rides the strengths of the amassed musicians, each of whom possess a heady power-pop CV. The titles suggests a second volume is forthcoming; if so, sign me up now.
Hey, how about that? I got through that whole blurb without resorting to the use of a baseball pun. Homerun!