Sunday, June 21, 2015

An Envelope from Baseball Card Breakdown

Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown and I tend to swap envelopes of cards on an irregular but reasonably frequent basis.  I wish I could tell you that I knew how many times we've sent each other cards, or how frequently, or what each of us got, but I'm not organized that way. This time, Gavin fed my Harvey Kuenn collection and threw in three other Brewers cards for good measure.

You guys and gals who read this blog know I like my theme posts to be musically inclined. And, if you read Gavin's blog, you know that Gavin has a musical bent as well -- one he feeds with his band called Fiberoctopus

Gavin's music seems influenced by a number of different sources. I hate "guessing" at some of the influences, in part because I'd hate to offend Gavin by guessing complete wrong. Music often is like tasting wine -- different people get different flavors and different "notes" inside the same bottle or song.  With Fiberoctopus, I get tastes of Radiohead (the "Marquis Grissom 1990 Upper Deck The Song" gives me that in particular) with heavy Sonic Youth influences.  Actually, there's a lot of Sonic Youth in there -- at least in a couple of the songs I have listened too ("Ain't Gonna Sit This One Out" specifically) -- and especially if you throw in some trance with it.

Against, I hope Gavin doesn't hate Sonic Youth and Radiohead.  And, boy, this is why I'm not a music critic.  The more I listen, the more different directions my brain goes.  Perhaps that's appropriate, since this photo is what the band says shows their musical influences:

(C) DefGav. I borrowed this from his Photobucket account. Don't sue me. Thanks.
That's a long introduction to say that I'm going to use Fiberoptic song titles to introduce the cards Gavin sent to me.

1. The Night We Went to Heaven And Returned Before Dawn

From the 2010 'album' (for an explanation of that, go here) "Midnight Sea," this song is a synth-filled song with a 3-minute introduction -- like my blog posts... 

For whatever reason, that song reminds me of Prince Fielder. I guess it's because he left Milwaukee as a free agent and it felt like he left too soon and too late all in once. Because I pay so little attention to the AL West at this point, it's almost like he's retired despite his comeback year this year.

2.  Miranda and the Omahotties Put on a Play

This is one of the songs that is described as a Fiberoctopus greatest hit or, as the website puts it, songs people seem to like most.  I like this song -- I listened to it twice while drafting this blog post -- because I really dig the interesting chord progressions.  

I chose this song for Jayson Durocher because I feel like Durocher probably spent much more time in towns like Omaha than he did in the major leagues...and him having spent parts of twelve seasons in the minor leagues (and just two seasons with 45 appearances in the major leagues) proves me right.

3.  Boys Don't Cry

A cover of a classic Cure song, done somberly and at about two-thirds of the original tempo of the song, is the perfect introduction to the baseball card version of a cover tune -- the original Topps Archives from 2001.

This one is Harvey Kuenn from 1966 Topps, when Harvey suited up for the Cubs.

4. Belly Rubs for Annie

A song this upbeat and happy sounding has to be mimicking the fun that Gavin has hanging out with his dog.  Right? Right?  God, I hope Annie isn't his wife.  Then I look like a complete schmuck.

Anyway, back to happy.  Happy is seeing this Upper Deck Classics card and realizing that Harvey Kuenn the player wasn't forgotten completely after his far-too-early passing.

5.  Safety Dance

I liked the Men Without Hats original of this song in the 1980s, but it really is a completely 1980s song.  The Fiberoctopus cover is a fantastic update of the song. It's as if Nine Inch Nails decided to cover the song, but adding in the pop sensibilities of the first album from The Killers, perhaps...

See, again, I'm concerned that Gavin hates The Killers (because I see NIN above in that photo).  There's a lot to hate about Brandon Flowers...he is an annoying, obnoxious, self-involved twit who happens to make very catchy music.

But, as you can tell, I like this update.  I also like this card from the 1986 TCMA "All-Time Brewers" team. I still love those powder blue away uniforms.

6.  Ain't Gonna Sit This One Out

I really like this song. I think it is that Sonic Youth influence that I mentioned before. To be fair, I have to take Sonic Youth in small doses.  This song is a perfect length -- not too long, not too short, and not so dissonant that it gets annoying.  Dissonance can be a good thing so long as it's not overdone.

I'll relate that to the cognitive dissonance I get in seeing cards without logos. That dissonance is not such a good thing, and the recolorization of the uniforms which I'm sure is a licensing thing that they are being careful not to cross, just gets overdone and bugs me.

At least that color looks like it is the Brewers uniforms.

Gavin, thanks for the great music and the great cards -- and congratulations again on your one-year wedding anniversary.


  1. Hee hee. I have that "What's Up Matador?"

  2. Oh man, thanks for this, Tony! Love those rare occasions when my little underground recordings get a moment in the sun.
    Yes, I'm a fan of Sonic Youth and Radiohead. Not a huge Killers fan, but wouldn't go as far as to say I hate them. Oh, and yes, Annie is my pooch!
    Glad you like the cards!

  3. Gavin - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE rerecord your Cure cover and pump up the vocals. Cuz holy shit, that is one amazing cover with it slowed down. Totally different vibe.