As if openers J Roddy Watson & The Business wasn’t good enough to be on this year-end shortlist, The Baseball Project ambled on stage and ‘hit it out of the park’! As I previously stated, during the show, I was really surprised to be enjoying it as much as I was. This band has always been the antithesis of rock stars poseurs. They are funny, relaxed and always as down-to-earth as you can get. Maybe that’s part of why I appreciate them so much. Personality goes a long way. They played for a little over 70 minutes and if they were in a club, they probably would have played another hour and a half. Go see this band, even if you aren’t a baseball fan, like myself. Steve and Scott were so cool to participate in this edition of First/Last.
- The first album you ever bought?
- Scott McCaughey: It was HELP! by the Beatles. I had to save up for weeks to come up with the $3.50. It was more expensive because it was a soundtrack album.
- Steve Wynn: ‘WIllie and The Poorboys’–Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- Your last album bought?
- Scott: I prefer to think there will never be a “last album”, but I think the most recent one I picked up might be Lisa Hannigan’s new one, which I purchased at her phenomenal show at the Doug Fir in Portland. And maybe the “Psychsploitation” LP by Satan’s Pilgrims, which I also bought at their show. I know I nabbed a few things at Music Millennium recently, but I can’t remember what they were! Oh, yeah, one was a Reigning Sound album… They rule.
- Steve: ‘Strange Change’–Grip Weeds.
- Favorite album of all time?
- Scott: Ah, hell. Let’s just say THE BEATLES (the White Album) by the Beatles. It’s my default setting. And it’s long. (Long long long in fact.)
- Steve: ‘Marquee Moon’—Television.
- Least favorite/most disappointing album?
- Scott: I don’t like to be disappointed so I just avoid the crap ones.
- Steve: What did Miles Davis say? There’s only good music and bad music? All bad music is equally tied for least favorite and most disappointing in my book. No need to distinguish any one of them.
- First concert attended?
- Scott: It was one day of the San Jose Folk/Rock Festival in 1969. The line-up
was: San Paku, Pulse, Santana, Chuck Berry, The Blues Magoos, Spirit, and Jefferson Airplane.
Steve: Delaney and Bonnie and Friends–Royce Hall, UCLA.
- Last concert?
- Scott: I’m going to see the great Richmond Fontaine on Wednesday… If I croak on Thursday that will be my last one!
- Steve: By the time you run this? Ryan Adams at Carnegie Hall. As of now? My own show last Friday with the Miracle 3 at Bowery Electric.
- Favorite concert ever?
- Scott: That’s pretty impossible to say. I will say, that in 1976 it was probably Wings at the Cow Palace in SF. But now — there’s just way too many transcendent moments to choose from. Wilco, Wilco, Wilco. Guided By Voices at the Crocodile in Seattle in 1994 would be right up there. And about ten different NRBQ shows could easily be ranked #1 all time for me. Just saw Nick Lowe twice on his recent tour — absolutely stellar, breath-taking, and inspiring in every way.
- Steve: The Clash at the Fox Warfield, SF, 1979.
- Least favorite concert?
- Scott: I’d hate to say, if I even knew…
- Steve: See above.
- Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
- Scott: I love Pittsburgh.
- My best friend as a kid moved there in 1968 — I went and visited him for two weeks in 1972, so I got to know the city pretty well when I was still a teenager. We saw Humble Pie and Alice Cooper at Three Rivers Stadium (and of course a Pirates game too, not on the same night), and Fairport Convention at some movie theater, and The Faces and Badfinger at the hockey arena. And the Eagles at Syria Mosque. What a great time! I’ve always loved going there since, with the Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5, John Wesley Harding, R.E.M., etc. etc. Have had some awesome shows at the Club Cafe. Became friends with great Pittsburgh bands like The Cynics and The Frampton Brothers/Break Up Society. I have actually always harbored a fondness for the Pirates, despite them knocking out the Giants in 71. I am rooting for them to turn it around and bring a new dynasty to that amazing ball park.
- Steve: Wish I could have stayed more than 2 1/2 innings at PNC Park before our gig, had a sandwich at
- Manny Sanguillen’s stand and have ended up at Chief’s Bar. That, along with our really fun show, would have made a perfect night.
Thanks a lot guys. It’s amazing how music can affect someone long after it’s over. Your show did just that to me and I am so grateful to you for that. Hope to see you again soon.
So far this year, I have seen (amazingly to me) around 100 bands play. This show is in hardcore contention to be my favorite of all of them. With a killer opening act to boot, I wasn’t expecting too much from a band that almost exclusively plays songs about baseball. I have zero interest in the sport but the band’s love for the game is infectious and the tunes are fun, catchy and great, regardless of the subject. I had a shit-eating grin the whole set. R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills was pinch-hitting for an absent Peter Buck and I have to say, the band may have been better for it. He actually can sing where Buck cannot and to have them play the Mills’ penned ‘Rockville’ sealed the deal. Just an awesome time. Another review here. More photos here.