Sunday, August 17, 2008

Do As I Say Anything, Not As I Do Nothing

Recently, Max Bemis, leader of hipster group Say Anything, announced to his fans that he would write songs. Not settled for this great achievement, Bemis promised he would let fans have input on the songs he wrote for a low, low price of $150 a pop. When this scheme opportunity was announced on Punknews, the usual comments followed: some humorous, some supportive, some ad hominem, and some legitimate criticism.
Rather than allow the rather innocuous new item and the comments pass, as most artists do, Mr. Bemis chose to issue a "clarifying" statement to punk site In this statement, Bemis stated that the Punknews commenters were "strange, slow, old people" and that they should "keep listening exclusively to hot water music and shut up." See what he did there? He took the if-you're-not-my-friend-you're-my-enemy approach. That always works. But whatever your thoughts on this songwriter-for-hire program that he has set up, keep the following information in mind.
Say Anything's debut album is titled Baseball (now it comes full circle). It was released in 2001 and there may be as few as 200 copies of this album ever printed. Even the most committed Say Anything fans may have never heard the band play a song off this album live. Why not? Bemis refuses to play those songs and even refuses to reprint the album. So Bemis has an album full of original songs that he could play and his most loyal fans would love; however, he chooses to have his fans contribute inspiration for a price. With all this revealed about the frontman, I'm not sure how anyone can support a person who won't play Baseball.

Image via Colin Smith at distorted perspective. Check out his stuff. It's great

Bemis let's us know where the hurt is and Dr. Ragan provides the remedy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

At-Bat Songs and the Totalimmortal Curse

My most loyal commenter, Alex Canteen, mentioned that new New York Met Daniel Murphy uses AFI's "TotalImmortal" as his at-bat song. Using an AFI song is infinitely cooler than how some Met fans pay tribute to the kid. I haven't seen a Mets game since the rookie was called up, so I haven't had a chance to hear it myself. While the song is indeed an AFI creation, found on their All Hallows EP, the more popular version is the Offspring cover, found on the Me, Myself & Irene soundtrack and Alternative radio stations 8 years ago. The song is good, but serves as a mark of where both bands start embarrassing themselves.


AFI via 1992 or so. Nice clean kids.


Seriously, what the hell happened? Don't be surprised if Daniel Murphy starts looking like this in the next couple weeks. Damn you, "Totalimmortal!"

Moving on, MLB has been chronicling at bat songs of some players around the league in the MLB Entertainment blog. Silly me, I thought baseball itself was entertaining but MLB thinks they need to appeal to every last soul on the planet. (Coming soon: MLB feminine hygiene products. Get a tampon emblazoned with you favorite (or least favorite) baseball team. Giambi-approved!) So far, the team with the "best" overall music taste is the Cleveland Indians but really no one wins here. They only feature a couple players from each team and even fewer songs. ("What this team needs is WAY MORE METALLICA!") I was hoping they'd have C.J. Wilson's musical picks but, alas, no such luck. His taste doesn't even rub off on his teammates, but I have a feeling his cohorts don't want to hear him. What with C.J. saying his teammates are ignorant and selfish and Manager Ron Washington demanding R-E-S-P-E-C-T:

We still love you C.J. even if you won't be a Ranger next year. Especially if you won't be a Ranger next year.

Here's the two versions of Totalimmortal. PunkOnDeck takes no responsibility in the listener of these songs wanting to crank up Conspiracy of One. (You forgot that album, didn't you? We all did.)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stuck Between Station to Station

While the infallible Wikipedia says The Hold Steady are "Brooklyn-based," it's no secret that the band exudes Minneapolis pride. That is no more evident than in their professed love for the Twins. While I am not as versed in The Hold Steady as I perhaps should be, they supposedly reference the Twinkies in a number of their songs. At live shows, they give history lessons on the team and they were recently asked to record a rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" (see below), which is played at the Metrodome.

First, check out this interview with singer Craig Finn by Ezra Ace Caraeff of the Portland Mercury from May 2007. Excerpt:

I went down to Fort Meyers, Florida, for two games, and had a lot of fun. I was talking to this guy Jim Walsh, who is doing the Replacements oral history and he told me Paul would be down there. I kind of had my eye out looking for him, and sure enough, he was there with his son. I've never met him before, so it didn't seem like the right time to go bother him. It's funny because even before we did "Take Me out to the Ball Game" for the Twins, I was at the Metrodome last year and noticed how great the music was during the games. They played a lot of the Replacements.

Next, if you have patience with buffering, check out this video with Finn and guitarist Tad Kubler talking about the Twins and baseball in general.

The Hold Steady on Baseball!

And finally some tunes, of course:

Photo courtesy of Blue Collar Distro.