Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cards from Robért of $30 a Week Habit

Out of the blue last week, an envelope from Robért of $30 A Week Habit arrived at my house carrying a multitude of great cards. If you know something about Robért, you know about his Serial Insanity Frankenset. As best I can tell, he is still four cards away, maybe three (there's some cognitive dissonance going on there) from completing that set.

His love of counting and numbers and such gave the inspiration for me to go for a numerically themed music post. That's right -- these songs all have numbers in their title to honor Robért's insanity.

"Song 2" -- Blur

Woo-hoo, indeed. This song comes straight from the "Creep" by Radiohead book of songs that sound nearly nothing like most of the rest of the band's catalog. I wonder if it came about in the same way as "Creep" -- that is, that someone heard a guitar lick and created a song around it. 

Of course, "Song 2" got sampled and played at nearly every NBA game from 1999 through about 2012 to destroy the hearing of every patron in the building, all in an effort to create fake excitement midway through the third quarter of a game between the 2006 Bucks and the 2016 76ers.

NBA Fever: Catch It!

Of course, I like "Song 2" and only wish it hadn't turned into a stadium cheer. I like these Triple Threads base cards too. I just wish Topps would give up on the charade of base cards mattering in a set like Triple Threads and just go to the Dynasty plan of all relics all the time. That way, I could ignore it.

This way, though, I have to try to pick up two of each of these cards (still need one more Braun!) to satisfy my player collection and my team collection.

"Four Horsemen" -- The Clash

I've liked The Clash since 1982 when, as a 10-year-old, I fell in love with the song "Rock the Casbah" off Combat Rock. I sort of forgot about them during the rest of the 1980s as I noodled through any number of different genres of music -- everything from Oingo Boingo to the Psychedelic Furs to Soul II Soul and Metallica and Anthrax. 

I got to college in 1990, and a guy who lived in my dorm whom I hung out with a fair amount got me back into The Clash. I gave him a tape, and he dubbed London Calling onto it for me. I wore that tape nearly out. The guy ended up being my roommate my senior year and, later, through his wife, I got my start in construction law through him. 

So, in a way, The Clash made me what I am today.

I guess, in many ways, the same can be said about 1982 and the Milwaukee Brewers. I was a fan before 1982 -- definitely. We watched games on TV when we could get them; that meant usually about 15 to 20 away games a year on a UHF station in those days. I never went to a Brewers game that I can remember, though, until baseball cards led me there in 1982. 

Thanks to Brewers Police Card day in May of 1982, my love for the Brewers and baseball cards was cemented. That wild ride through that magical season -- and getting to see the Brewers' last home game in 1982 in Game 5 of the World Series -- was spearheaded by the MVP and Molly.

"Three Little Birds" -- Bob Marley and The Wailers

While many people hear "The Clash" and think "punk," the reality is that Joe Strummer (in particular) and the rest of the band were influenced a great deal by reggae. That's particularly obvious on The Clash's first self-titled album in their cover of "Police and Thieves."

So, following The Clash with Bob Marley makes complete sense.

In fact, those two together make much more sense than some of the tribute sets that have come out over the years. Did we need a clear Pinnacle insert? Probably not, though they look pretty good. Did we need short-printed Goudey photos in 2008? Almost certainly not. Did we need blue-bordered Heritage in 2014? No, but for the Brewers I'd argue that the blue-border is a definite improvement on the original.

"Six Underground" -- Sneaker Pimps

I've always been a sucker for British bands. I've always been a sucker for bands with female lead singers whose voices are strangely sweet sounding, like Kelli Ali of Sneaker Pimps in this song. It's sort of like Mazzy Star, though Mazzy Star was more like "hey let's get high and put on a CD and listen to the whole thing on repeat and 7 hours will pass and we won't even notice because every single song sounds nearly the same and the music is just ethereal and where the hell are we now?"

You know? I don't, but Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star was pretty hot in that video 22 years ago when she was 28 and I was 22.

I'm now officially rambling.

Minis from Gypsy Queen kind of strike me as being a good idea in a Mazzy Star sort of way rather than in a trip-hop Sneaker Pimps sort of way. Sure, I needed the Lucroy for my player collection and all, and the Jungmann -- well, there's no need to feel down, Taylor. But they just seem like they would have been a better idea when I was 22.

"One Hundred Punks" -- Generation X

This song came out in 1978 from a band named for a sociology book from 1965. If that lead singer's voice sounds familiar, well, it should -- it's Billy Idol. I first heard that song on a compilation album of punk songs called Punk You! Songs for the Discerning Slacker Punk that also featured such awesome songs as "Oh Bondage (Up Yours)" by X-Ray Spex and "Alternative Ulster" by Stiff Little Fingers. If you like punk music at all and haven't heard of those songs, you need to check them out.

I could have sworn that I had this Eddie Mathews already. It's a Gypsy Queen insert this year, I think, but it marks approximately the 79th straight year that Topps has used this same photo on one of its cards for Mathews. 

Okay, that's an exaggeration. But, it's got to be close to at least 15 years running that that photo has appeared on a Mathews card. Heck, it even appeared on a TCMA card in the mid-1980s. Maybe instead of a rainbow, I should do a "Mathbow" of as many cards as possible with that photo. 

Naw. I'd go broke.

The other Braun insert looks suspiciously like a mugshot. Maybe that is what some unlicensed card issuer should do -- issue a set of baseball mugshots. 

But, then again, Braun was never convicted of a crime. Just of steroid use.

Thanks for the great cards, Robért!


  1. Mazzy Star - Yes. I know exactly what you mean. Wonderful post & songs.

  2. if you do a Mathbow I'll do a Knucksiebow with that shot of Phil doing a Count Floyd 3D with his knuckleball grip

  3. I like the mugshot idea. A baseball villain insert set!

  4. Some great tunes! Your commentary on Song 2 and the NBA is hilarious.