In honor of the Pirates’ Home Opener today, I’m going to fill this post with a few songs about baseball.
First up, a song from 70 years ago honoring one of the greatest legends and most important figures in baseball history: “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?” written by Buddy Johnson then recorded by Count Basie & his orchestra in 1949.
Let’s fast forward 36 years to a very different kind of song. I couldn’t write a post about baseball songs without including a classic like “Centerfield.” I can hear you all groan from here.
This last song really has nothing to do with baseball, but I will forever associate “Runaround Sue” with baseball because of this “Little Big League” montage. It is a completely inexplicable montage, even by kids’ baseball movie standards (and yes, that is a pre-“Gilmore Girls” Scott Patterson aka Luke Danes at 1:35 of the video).
No matter how hard I try to be just one of the guys
There’s a little something inside that won’t let me
It’s been a minute since I’ve written a Song of the Day post, so to make up for it, I’m going to post two songs today.
In honor of one my favorite rock goddesses releasing her first album in five years this past Friday, today is going to feature a double shot of Jenny Lewis.
The first song is “Wasted Youth” off of her new album, On The Line. It immediately stuck out to me when I first listened to it. This video is her performing it live on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week.
I was lucky enough to get to see to her live at Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis when she was touring for The Voyager, and was blown away by her performance. The Voyager was also one of my favorite albums of the last decade, so I had to include a song from it.
The Penguins are in Nashville tonight to take on the Predators which provided the inspiration for this song choice. In 2014, legendary rock band Foo Fighters recorded their Sonic Highways album to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Each individual song on the album was recorded at a studio in a different city.
During the making of their album, one of the stops was in Music City where they recorded the song “Congregation” at Southern Ground Studio in Nashville. The studio is owned by Zac Brown, lead singer of country music performers Zac Brown Band. Brown joins in with Foo Fighters on the track as well.
During their stop in Nashville to record “Congregation,” Foo Fighters drummer Dave Grohl played an hour long acoustic set at the famed Bluebird Cafe. His performance is documented in a special video series that was released to accompany the Sonic Highways album.
I had the opportunity to travel to Nashville in 2016 and it is one of the finest American cities I have ever been to. It’s reputation is built on music and it shows all through the heart of the city. Open air bars with live music playing all day long is one of the great joys of visiting Nashville. Country music is undoubtedly the star genre in Nashville, but you don’t have to look hard to find something that suits your tastes. If you are ever planning a trip and need a destination, I cannot recommend Nashville enough.
It’s Saint Patrick’s Day so to celebrate, our song selection to celebrate comes from America’s foremost Irish rock band, the Dropkick Murphys. Hailing from Quincy, Massachusetts, Dropkick Murphys has been blessing our ears with their music for over two decades. With their distinct Irish sound, the band has generated a cult following over the years, but one of their hits sticks out from the rest.
“I’m Shipping Up to Boston” released in 2006 off the band’s Warrior’s Code album. The song received a major boost in popularity when it was featured on the soundtrack of the Academy Award winning film The Departed, which released the same year.
So on this Saint Patrick’s Day, sit back and enjoy a pint of Guinness while jamming out to the quintessential Irish-American rock anthem courtesy the Dropkick Murphys.
Today’s song choice is easily one of my top ten favorite songs of all-time. So much so that I played at it my wedding, even though it’s definitely not a song one would expect to hear at a wedding.
Found on one of the greatest albums of all-time, London Calling, “Rudie Can’t Fail” is an underrated masterpiece. A duet of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones backed with horns with a heavy reggae influence is truly something to behold.
I first heard this song in the movie Grosse Pointe Blank, which has a killer soundtrack and a score composed by Strummer himself. The horns really caught my attention, and I made sure I got the soundtrack as one of those seven CDs for a penny deal that was always being ran back in the ’90s. (The soundtrack also features Faith No More, the Violent Femmes, and a Guns ‘n Roses cover of “Live and Let Die,” but “Rudie Can’t Fail” stood out to me more than any of the other songs in the movie.
When talking about music, I make it very clear to everyone that I can listen to any genre and find something I like. Whether it be country, rap, rock, and so on and so forth, my taste in music is pretty varied.
Growing up, much of my musical consumption consisted of hit songs from the 1970’s when my parents were coming of age. One artist who did and still does have a great influence on me is the incomparable Elton John.
My first concert was Elton John at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pennsylvania. He produced one of the most recognizable movie songs ever in The Lion King, another major part of my childhood.
His music was a constant in my life growing up and remains that way today. Almost two decades after seeing him in concert the first time, I returned to the Bryce Jordan Center in September 2018 to see him again, likely for the final time.
Being that today is Saturday, it seems only fitting to go with the Elton classic “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” off his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album released in 1973.
As I continue taking my turn for our Song of the Day content, more and more Elton will leak into my rotation. His work has made an indelible impact on my life and he remains one of my all time favorite musicians. I look forward to sharing more of his work with everyone in future, and discussing why his work means so much to me.
I first heard Curtis Harding in the summer of 2014. His album first solo album, Soul Power, had found its way into my listening rotation. I enjoyed the mix of soul and R&B present on the album.
In fall of 2017, Harding released his second solo album, Face Your Fear. When I first heard it, I was blown away. His combination of classic soul, Motown, and some psychedelic elements worked, and worked well. I listened to the album from start to finish countless times. It is one of my favorite albums in recent years.
When I heard Harding was coming to Pittsburgh, I immediately got tickets for his show on Easter night in 2018. The crowd at the Rex Theater was on the smaller side, which only made me feel bad for all the people missing out on such a talented artist. Curtis took the stage and announced that he had become ill with laryngitis, and his manager had wanted to cancel the show. “I said, ‘fuck that,'” he announced to applause. He said some songs would sound a little different and he’d have to cut some entirely, but the crowd was appreciative he was going to perform, period.
Even with laryngitis, he did not disappoint.
Occasionally, he would turn his face away from the microphone and cough. While he had to sing songs a little differently than they were performed on the album, he still managed to sound great. What he lacked in vocal range that evening, he made up for with the sheer energy of his performance as he alternated playing electric and acoustic guitars and picked up a tambourine on quite a few tunes. His backing band was incredible, too.
Curtis Harding is a true talent and I doubt this will be the last time he’ll be featured in one of my Song of the Day posts. Today’s selection is the song that marks the midpoint of Face Your Fear, “Need Your Love.” I never listen to this song just once when it comes on; I listen to it at least three or four times in a row. It’s so infectious and upbeat, I can’t help but put it on repeat. Over the course of writing this post, I’ve listened to it five times.
The video features shots of Curtis singing intermittently between scenes of real people (meaning, not models or actors) dancing to the song–people of every age, shape, size, color, and sexual orientation just enjoying the music (the kid dancing at 2:15 of the video is particularly awesome). It’s impossible to watch the video and not find yourself smiling; it’s so refreshing to watch people being happy and enjoying life.
(All photos in this post by Amanda Filipcic-Godsey)
Here at “The Bat Flip” we have three major themes that make up our website: sports, video games, and pop culture. If you have been following our work over the past 18 months then you already know we have produced plenty of content on the sports and video games side. Where we have sorely been lacking is the arena pop culture, but I plan to change that starting today.
Unless you have lived under a rock for the past decade then you are surely already familiar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Regardless of whether you have seen the movies or not, you are at least aware of their existence. Over the past 10 years, Marvel Studios and Disney have produced 20 movies under the Marvel banner, brining to the big screen many of comics foremost superheroes.
This weekend, the latest installment of the MCU is set to debut when Captain Marvel soars into theaters around the world. As the 21st installment in the MCU franchise, Captain Marvel plays a vital role in the universe for many reasons.
Firstly, Captain America will serve as a lead into Avengers: Endgame set to release in late April. If you are familiar with the story of Avengers: Infinity War that released last year, you know roughly what will happen in Endgame. If Earth’s remaining heroes are to reverse the actions of Thanos in Infinity War, Captain America will likely play a vital role.
Perhaps even more importantly, Endgame will wrap up this generation of MCU and usher in a new era with new faces leading the way. One of those new faces will be Captain Marvel, played by Academy Award winner Brie Larson.
This is a massive moment for Marvel Studios, as Captain Marvel will be their first female-lead movie in the MCU. Other female stars have featured prominently in the MCU, but Brie Larson will be the first to lead a solo film on her own. One could even say Larson is smashing the glass ceiling of the MCU as she bring Captain Marvel to life on the big screen.
That all brings us back to the original point of this post, today’s “Song of Day.” Captain Marvel will jump back in time, taking place in 1995. If you grew up during the 90’s, you know what a glorious time it was for the music industry. It’s only fitting we throw today’s song back to that time as well.
Without further ado, to honor Brie Larson shattering the glass ceiling and taking on the role as Captain Marvel in the first solo female-lead in the MCU, I present “Walking on Broken Glass” by Annie Lennox. Special guest appearances by John Malkovich and Hugh Laurie.
Over the last week or so, I watched Season 3 of True Detective (and yes, it lived up to the hype). I quickly recognized the theme song was a cover of Son House’s “Death Letter” performed by Cassandra Wilson. “Death Letter” is one of my favorite songs of all-time–and Son House is one of my favorite musicians of all-time–so I was thrilled to hear another version of such a great song.
First, by the man himself, Son House:
Live version from The White Stripes:
The cover and artist that inspired this post, Cassandra Wilson: