Saturday, July 16, 2016

Well, THAT Was Random

Here in Atlanta, we used to have one incredible Alternative Rock station called 99X -- 99.7 FM on the radio dial. 99X was renown for its music director, Leslie Fram, who was one of a threesome (along with actor/DJ Steve Barnes and actor/DJ Jimmy Baron) who hosted the morning show called "The Morning X." As this story from Atlanta Magazine points out, the three were incredibly influential in Atlanta and nationally in music -- breaking acts like Shawn Mullins, Marvelous 3, and John Mayer.

These days, we actually have three alt-rock stations, but two of them are nearly impossible to hear outside of a streaming format. The one that can be heard is a Clear Channel abomination, er, station called Radio 105.7. The company that owned 99X got rid of it a few years ago, brought it back at 98.9, axed it again, then brought it back again. Its signal is not strong. The weakest of the three signals is an HD2 station for a 70s & 80s rock station called The River (think Eagles, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin). The HD2 station is called The Other Side of the RIver, and it is programmed by Leslie Fram's co-music director Steve Craig. 

The Other Side of the RIver has two things going for it. First, they are the radio partner/broadcaster for the Gwinnett Braves Triple-A team (they also broadcast the Atlanta Gladiators minor league hockey, but...well, it's hockey). Second, they play about 40 years of alternative rock -- from the Sex Pistols to Fitz and The Tantrums and Cage The Elephant. If you're interested in that (and not having commercials), take a listen here.

That's a long way to get where I'm going with this post. Oftentimes, I listen to The Other Side of the River on my Sonos system in my office. I thought today that I'd just let the music play and see what gets played -- and incorporate that into my post. So, let's see where this takes me.

1.  Boomtown Rats -- "I Don't Like Mondays"

Bob Geldof rose to prominence in the mid-1980s to everyone who didn't know his music when he put together two massive aid projects to provide relief for the famine in Ethiopia at that time. The first was Band-AId -- the incredibly successful supergroup -- and its song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" The second was the summer festival that took place both in Wembley and in Philadelphia called "Live Aid."

This song has always been a favorite, and it reminds me of the year I worked between college and law school in Milwaukee. The place I worked bought a keg of beer at a nearby karaoke bar, and we had a party. It was great fun, mainly because I'm a ham and will sing (probably badly) at the drop of a hat. A buddy of mine, though, sang this song incredibly well and led off the festivities that way. 22 years later, I still associate this song with that night at the Brass Ring Pub.

Going appropriately old school, I picked up these four items from early Brewer Oddball days from my pal Frank Moiger, the proprietor of my local show. He had bought a bunch of old oddballs like the 1971 Topps Coins and the 1973 and 1975 Kellogg's cards recently, so I swiped the Brewers I could find that I needed. 

Thanks to how bad the early Brewers were, picking up the Ellie Rodriguez from the 1973 Kellogg's set means that it is now complete for me, and the same goes with that Briggs from the 1975 set (though, of course, if someone wants to send me a pristine, uncracked version I'd take it). I still need one more coin, though -- Danny Walton.

2. The Killers -- "Mr. Brightside"

I really liked The Killers a lot when I heard their first album. There were a lot of Britpop sensibilities in their music -- soaring, jangly guitars in places, synthpop in others -- that drew me in immediately. Then, I heard about lead singer Brandon Flowers and his massive ego and it was off-putting. 

Still, I enjoy their first two albums a lot. It's good, catchy, pop music. And, in particular, this song is made better when it's used as a tribute in Killorglin, County Kerry, Ireland, to one of their great friends, Ger Foley:

What could possibly follow that?

Only Molitor and Yount could. The Molitor Immaculate Collection -- serial numbered 90 out of 99 -- cost me just $3, and the Yount/Ozzie dual relic from 2002 set me back about the same. Seriously, just crazy deals right there. The other two cards were similarly inexpensive -- the Molitor Diamond King was a quarter, and the Yount was a dime. 

I can't even complain about Panini's lack of logos at that price.

3. Andrew McMahon in the WIlderness -- "Cecilia and the Satellite"

Andrew McMahon's song about becoming a father to a daughter named Cecilia -- and yes, that is impetus for the song -- is just awesome when put into that context. 

Now, don't get me wrong, the woman in the nearly sheer white dress is a great attraction in this video, but this is the first time I've seen the video, though, so that had nothing to do with me liking this song. I'm a lyrics guy. When you listen to the lyrics and know it is about his daughter -- and with the video of him with his daughter in his lap mixed in -- it's tough for me not to be emotional about the song.

Then again, perhaps I'm just in a very emotional mood this morning. Let's cure that.

There we go. A bunch of random cards from a bunch of different companies draws me back to reality. The Weeks relic and the Spivey relic both cost $2, I think. The Trent Clark was 15 cents, if I recall correctly. The D'Amico came from a nickel box, as did Aoki, Hoffman, and the Weeks SPx. So, for a quarter, I got 5 cards I actually needed for my collection. 


5. Iggy Pop featuring Kate Pierson -- "Candy"

Iggy Pop seemed old to me when that song came out in 1990. At the time, he was 43, or a year younger than I am now. Along with his band The Stooges, he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Every so often, one of his songs jumps into my head -- either this one or one on which he sang for Swedish band Teddybears called "Punkrocker" which appeared in a Cadillac commercial:

The man is a legend -- about that there is no question. The last of the Brewers I got at my card show had hopes -- or still have hopes -- being legends themselves:

All autographs, all the time here folks. None of these cost me more than $2, and some of them were in quarter boxes. I made an exception in picking up the Josh Hader autograph, in that he is pictured as a member of the Astros. He was, of course, a part of the Carlos Gomez trade. He quickly showed himself to be the best pitcher in that deal. Though he's struggled a bit in Triple-A -- and pitching in Colorado Springs will do that to a pitcher -- he appeared in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend.

The thing scouts point to with Hader going forward are his mechanics are a bit wonky and look like they put some stress on his arm. Here's a game from last August in which he struck out ten batters.

I've seen other videos where Hader's mechanics are even a bit weird. Still, results are not lying for him. He's still young, but I have hopes that he'll become an integral part of the next good Brewers team.

Of course, I hope that for Nathan Kirby as well. Tyler Wagner is now a D-Back (going with Jean Segura). Daryl Clark was a never was in the early 2000s. And, Luis Sardinas was sent to the Mariners in the offseason for outfielder Ramon Flores, a former Yankees prospect, in hopes that Flores might develop into something more. He's not hitting for power this year -- .224/.304/.274 is not good, nor is an OPS+ of 56 where 100 is league average. He's still young, but not good is still not good. 

However, this card show was very, very good to me. Thanks for reading today, and watch for the Milwaukee Braves haul tomorrow!


  1. "Second, they play about 40 years of alternative rock -- from the Sex Pistols to Fitz and The Tantrums and Cage The Elephant."

    That's what I desperately want to hear out here, but alt-rock is almost ignored in the Chicago market. In fact, that's the format I changed our college radio station to during my school years; however, almost as soon as I graduated, they flipped it to coffehouse-like indie music. Harumph.

    1. You should check it out for yourself. It's on TuneIn radio (that's the link I posted for it), whether through the free app or if you pay extra for some extra content like MLB games.

  2. Replies
    1. One and the same. Funny thing -- the guy now is a real estate agent here in Atlanta because, near the end of the station's run, he got married and settled down finally.

    2. I read the words WCW Road Report and picture Lee Marshall..

  3. I really liked The Killers and Mr. Brightside. Still listen to it from time to time when it comes on my classroom playlist.

  4. Big Fan of Iggy and the Stooges