Tuesday, August 24, 2010


from here

to here: http://sherriffbart.wordpress.com/

Friday, August 20, 2010

Random Album Generator #458

This, folks, is the first in hopefully many posts of this kind. I decided last night to download a random number generator app for my phone in order to play a little game, shake things up. You see, I have a number of pieces of vinyl staring out from a hefty, imposing shelf at me, begging to be played. Some days I'm good about it, I love my records. Other days, I'm ignoring them to dust-collecting and whimpering unheard desires to be played, instead relying so heavily on mp3's and the portable music fiend's lifestyle. Something had to give, because feeling so inconsistent drives me nuts. It displaces a certain sense of order that my brain craves, but that I have become accustomed to undermining this last year. Stumbling drunkenly and depressingly into my room in a pre-dawn haze of, "...oh shit, I have to set my fantasy baseball lineups before I go to bed..." leaves little room for the contemplative, sedentary practice of listening to music. Something I need and want, but find that ignoring the need can throw me out of whack. And when you arrive at the impetus to change increasingly sullen patterns, you have to get creative.
My inspiration, ironically, came from sitting at a bar watching some fellow regulars play a simple chance and dice game. They would pull out a sizable volume titled The Big Bad Ass Book of Shots and they would roll a ten-sided die a pre-ordained number of times correlating to the number of pages or entries in the book, consequently drinking the shot the numbers landed them on.
Well, seeing as that I am OCD enough to keep my record collection on an excel spreadsheet, I decided to utilize the random number generator app to select an album-a-day to listen to based on its numerical place on that list.
Today's pick, #458, is Esther Phillips Confessin' the Blues, Esther's sixth album on Atlantic Records, but first in a stretch of six years. It would be her last on Atlantic.
Her familiar, piercing Southwestern nasal smoke taking center stage on Side 1 for a batch of 'standards' like "C.C. Rider". For a 1976 release, this A-side is staunchly Jazz touched, almost flying in the face of the wave of Funk- or Soul-infused directions so many of her contemporaries were testing. The B-side, doesn't buck that trend, save for the inclusion of Fender bass and a Rhodes electric piano on some tracks (the B-side is a live recording with a different group than A-side's studio roster).
I may be decidedly influenced by the recording qualities and differences from side to side, but her voice sounds half as good on the B-side as it does the A. The mic for this live set in Los Angeles is a bit too flat and doesn't open up certain tones and qualities of her voice. The room 'appears' (through its sound) to be small and laden with thick fabrics, for there is a lack of naturally positive reverb. It also lacks the equal levels that the studio tracks on the A-side possesses. Furthermore, the version of "Bye Bye Blackbird" just feels too jumpy and up-tempo to me, which drains it of its inherent melancholy.
Overall, this album is a pleasure to re-visit for probably the first time since I bought it, but I don't feel guilty for that. Hopefully the random generator won't force me back here too often...once a year or so would be cool. Or maybe I just need a fuckin' girlfriend to play records like this for.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Wanna A New Stat

I just watched Scotty Pods here get an infield single based solely on his speed. For 98% off all baserunners, that would have been a ground out with the shortstop beating 'em by a step (or two) with a laser. So, it got me to thinking that maybe we should introduce a new, non-sabermetric stat to this statistics-rabid sport and fanbase. Ready for it?

The Stolen Hit.

Yes. The Stolen Hit (designated 'SH' on your score cards kids). This kind of infield single, which I see a ton of from my hometown icon, Ichiro Suzuki, is less like a hit (save for that it came off the bat) and more like a stolen base. It would still factor in normally to batting average, on-base% and whatnot, but not be included in the WHIP of the pitcher who just had to suffer through the ordeal of giving up a hit based solely on the speed of his opponent.

Let me know what you think folks. This could be a great new statistic!

Food For Thought: Year of the Pitcher

If the 2010 baseball season is "The Year Of The Pitcher", then why did Joe Blanton just struggle to stay under 40 pitches in the top of the first against the Dodgers? After Jamey Carroll lined an RBI double to left center with two outs, Blanton then intentionally walks Brad Ausmus. Yeah, Brad Ausmus. The guy with the career .669 OPS. The Brad Ausmus who has hit all of .207 against Phillies pitchers. Sure, it was in order to face the pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, but come on, if this really is THE YEAR OF THE PITCHER, then shouldn't the argument be made to defeat such piss poor performances as this?

Oh yeah...it's Joe Blanton.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Relaxation Doesn't Have a Heavy Metal Theme Song

Attended tonight's Mariners-A's tilt at Safeco Field with my family and saw Felix Hernandez toss a new career-high 13 strikeouts. I feel I'm connected to dominant performances by King Felix, as I was lucky enough to have seen his previous career-high of 12 punchouts, also against the A's, on Opening Day in 2008. Continuously, as I get older and more knowledgeable about baseball, I really appreciate watching paramount pitching performances. But that's not really what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to bitch about some 'problems' with the game of baseball as I see it.
First of all, I'm not trying to pick at M's new manager Daren Brown, but why in the hottest reaches of hell did he pull Hernandez in favor of that hack closer Aardsma for the 9th?!? Felix was beating the shit out of the A's. He was cruising. And that also meant we had to endure that ridiculous metal intro for Aardsma that goes on waaaay too long and is a hype engine as full of crap as most political campaign ads. The heart of my argument is this: I enjoy, love baseball and going to baseball games, but the pastoral, meditative side of the game is being ruined by all the racket and noise. Every player has 16 different songs they walked to the plate to. Every 35 seconds, some retard at a sound board pushes a button to play an annoyingly stiff and hollow rhythmic noise, because we fans need to be prompted at exact moments to cheer.
Instead of bitching, albeit creatively, in endless ways about how there is too much over-amplified noise at a baseball stadium, I'd just like to posit that maybe it's time to cut out a bunch of the audio detritus and let people return to attending baseball games in the calm, intellectual and reflective environs of old parks.
Or maybe I should just start going to more minor league games.