Saturday, April 07, 2012

Baseball Matters, Part 2

CBS Sports’s "Eye on Baseball" interviewed Hold Steady front man, and Minneapolis expatriate, Craig Finn about his love of all things Twins related. It includes this exchange about the music played before games and between innings at Target Field:

EOB: I'm assuming you've been at a Twins game at least, where they've played one of your songs, but what was it like the first time you heard your own song at a baseball game?

CF: It was at the Metrodome. The music guy there got in touch with me and knew I was going to be at the game and he played eight Hold Steady songs during the Twins game. And the other music he played was Bruce Springsteen and the Replacements. So I felt like I was being serenaded by my own mix, so it was pretty amazing. I feel like my relationship with Minneapolis is strong. I sing about it a lot and we get good crowds there. There are times where I always feel like I'm really accepted by the city and that was one of them. I've heard (the Hold Steady) once in Target Field. Unfortunately they let that guy go and they used to have amazing music at the dome, they'd play smart music, stuff you don't always hear at the ballpark. I was disappointed they let him go and they got some sort of Top 40 DJ, playing Lady Gaga.

The blazingly bright ego necessary to characterize the music choices of those playing your music as “amazing and smart” is a thing to behold (steady).

EOB: That's terrible when you have a place like Minneapolis that's so rich in music history.

CF: You want the park to be connected to the city both architecturally and vibe-wise. I thought when I'd go to a game and hear the Replacements, this is what makes our city different. That we really understand what we have musically and honor that. I thought that was unfortunate that it's gone away. But whatever.

I like the Replacements, the favorite band of my college and post college years. But I also understand the limits of their appeal. Their music barely exceeded cult status in its heyday. 25 years later, it is narrowcasted nostalgia for me and those exactly like me (white, male, early 40s, Twin Cities reared, college rock appreciating, intelligent, good looking, punctual, excellent driving skills, etc.), and for a few fellow traveling hipster doofuses. Anyone outside of this slender demographic slice will not have their game experience enhanced by the presence of Replacements music. As for the playing of Hold Steady music at Twins game, the reach of their appeal is less than 1% of the reach of The Replacements. Sounds to me like they got rid of that Metrodome music coordinator for good cause. Baseball is entertainment for the masses, and it’s natural for the music to reflect that. You’ve got to play the hits. I can do without the Lady Gaga songs, as well. Maybe a steady Prince soundtrack is the happy medium for the local music mavens and the other 99.9%.

It’s just too bad we don’t have anybody here on the Fraters Libertas staff who could provide some music expertise and first hand knowledge of the local music scene for some perspective here. Maybe one of the summer interns can throw something together.