The Baseball Project, Philadelphia, June 6, 2011

Posted: June 20, 2011 in My Seattle-Related Concert Experiences

Last night I was fortunate to catch the Baseball Project at North Star bar in Philly.  The band writes songs about America’s past time and consists of Steve Wynn, guitar (the Dream Syndicate, the Miracle 3); Mike Mills, bass (R.E.M.), filling in for band-mate Peter Buck; Scott McCaughey, guitar (the Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M., and a bunch of other projects), and Linda Pitmon (Miracle 3) on drums.

Since I like all the players’ “main bands,” it was pretty cool to watch them gig together from about ten feet away.  Further, I have a connection with Scott since I interviewed him about the Fellows. (Note to the un-knowing: the Young Fresh Fellows are the world’s greatest rock n roll band.)

Before the BBP performed, they graced Citizens Bank Park by singing “Take Me Out to the Ball game” during the seventh inning stretch of a Phillies game.  Then, they traveled over to play for us.

In the meantime, we enjoyed a strong opening act (the Bigger Lovers), whose keyboard player apparently plays at Fenway for the Red Sox.  We learned this after he later joined the headliners on stage.

During the opening act, I stood at the bar and I started talking to a random gentleman, who mentioned he had a CD coming out…and that it was his first recording after 40 years of DJing.  Then I found out I was speaking with Michael Tearson.  For those who don’t know, Tearson was a pioneering Philly WMMR-FM jock during the 1970s, spinning a free-form playlist. (He has a show on WMGK-FM now).  Sometimes his song lists would be based on themes—like songs about horses or whatever.  He wouldn’t tell the listeners what theme he might be using.  You had to figure it out…nobody does that anymore.

The Bigger Lovers finished up, and the BBP took the stage.  Wonderful.  Scott was his usual witty self.  During one song he began jumping while playing.  Afterwards Linda mocked him for not leaping in time with the beat.  After Scott put up a faux protest, Linda said he was on beat in his own mind.  We of course laughed. (btw, Linda is a fucking kick ass drummer!)

Mike, despite his “celebrity” status, got booed by the Philly faithful when he mentioned the Atlanta Braves.  He more than made up for it by playing R.E.M.’s ”(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville”  later.

Steve, meanwhile, offered up the Dream Syndicate’s “That’s What You Always Say,” which made me come close to actually banging my head.  Then, he mentioned Roy Halladay during a BBP song, and all was right with the world.

All in all, it was a fun night.  Oh yeah, and Michael Tearson will be coming to speak to my class at Del Val in the fall.  I can’t wait.

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