Archive for Music and Musicians

Lenny Randle is a Ballplayer

It pains me to confess that as a member of the hallowed NotGraphs brand, I find the straight curation of baseball ephemera somewhat distasteful. Despite the fact that I am a spiritual vulture, picking off the scraps of other people’s lives and accomplishments for my own (extremely) limited fame, I find it difficult to subsume my ego and present, without illustration, something that I cannot in some way be lauded for. It’s a perpetual conflict.

Then, from nowhere, Lenny Randle emerges, and sweeps the I out of the I and Thou.

Lenny Randle once punched his manager in the face for calling him a punk. He tried to blow a ball foul. He went to Italy and hit .477 one season. He came back to America and attempted a comeback among the strikebreakers in 1995, at the age of 46. He created a sports academy and mentorship program.

All of these facets of Lenny Randle, past and future, are combined in a single glorious three minutes of what can only, by the necessary reduction of the English language, be described as music. It is music in the sense that the bloodstream is music. It is driving over traffic cones. It is a protest against death. It is the 1982 B-side, “I’m a Ballplayer”.

Read the rest of this entry »

They Might Also Approve “Emotion”

Good news! MLB owners, umpires and the MLBPA have issued their formal approval of what you, the discriminating fan, have approved all along.

That’s right: They approve Instant Replay.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Thought Exercise Involving Tuffy Rhodes

1. Stop working for a couple of minutes. Consider the American expatriate and repatriate, Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes.

2. Take as much of him into your mind as possible. Capture the three home runs on Opening Day against Dwight Gooden, his subsequent disgrace and exile. Imagine his travels along the Narrow Road to the Deep North, spiritually speaking. Add his redemption, his mastery over himself and his adopted homeland, finally shedding his gaijin status, throwing himself into the river, and once more becoming Karl Rhodes. Or read his wikipedia article.

3. Convert these impressions into musical form. If possible, write them down, upload them and link to them in the comments. Otherwise, don’t. But take the time to imagine what a song about Tuffy Rhodes would sound like. Select whichever medium, style and genre seems natural to you.

4. Click on the following link, which contains a real song not only involving Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes but actually about Tuffy Rhodes. Listen to the song.

5. Try to recall your Tuffy Rhodes, the Tuffy Rhodes of five minutes ago.

6. Consider the power of the artist to imprint him or herself upon your own feelings. Abandon your own creative vision of Tuffy Rhodes, forever lost. Curse Aristophanes once more for the death of Socrates. Eat a bagel, forgive yourself. Go back to work.

A Pitchfork-Style Review of Trevor Bauer’s Music

To think about a piece of music critically is to wonder about where it came from, to an extent. Not only how does it make you feel, but how did the artist feel when making their art? In other words, why? Why did they do this thing. And to consider the why leads eventually to the should — should this person have made this music? If your answers to these two questions are interesting and affirmative, respectively, you probably have yourself a song worth listening to. You could really say the same of most types of art, and eventually you might consider the criticism itself with those same questions.

I have no idea why Trevor Bauer made this music as part of the duo consummate4sight, and I don’t think he should have. And yet, only bad things will come of my critique of his art, and so therefore I’ve joined this conundrum that he created. Or maybe it’s my fault.

Read the rest of this entry »