Monday, February 13, 2017

Card Show, Post 2: Atypical

When I asked for musical recommendations on Saturday, the very first responses I got came from Crackin' Wax and Zippy Zappy. Crackin' Wax a/k/a Chris f/k/a Topher jumped in immediately with his personal favorite band from 10 years ago, and Zippy Zappy chimed in with his favorite music from 1000 years ago.  Huh?

Yeah, really. 

ZZ is rocking the medieval, while Crackin' Wax is all over Mutemath. Considering that this post is really just a way to show off the rest of my non-Topps Brewers purchases from a card show six weeks ago, all the retro feels appropriate. 

Starting things off: Vox Vulgaris - Cantiga 166

Be sure to listen to at least the 3:30 mark, where there's a drum solo that would make Dave Grohl jealous. No, seriously, there's actually a pretty decent drum break in the middle of the song. To be fair, this song is a good representation of medieval music in many respects. There are a lot of folks who really dig this music. 

To me, well, I have to admit: it's a bit of a yawner. Granted, I didn't expect to start dancing in my chair as if it were a medieval version of Lil Jon or something, but this one was quite subdued.

Subdued is an appropriate way to feel when the Donruss reboot brand shows up. If only Panini could figure out the fact that the damn D doesn't need to take up a quarter of the card, they might have a decent design. Panini is just so frustrating. Maybe if they had logos. Maybe if they had a better designer. Maybe if they stopped making baseball cards.

ZZ must have been in a very quiet, pensive mood when I caught him on Saturday. This medieval waltz is slightly more upbeat, but man...

Medieval music is less engaging to modern ears not because it is medieval. It is because of technology and musical evolution. Musicians did not start using polyphony -- playing intervals of the same chord rather than playing in unison -- until the last half of the ninth century. It took quite some time for that to spread. 

Further, written music did not evolve until later in the Middle Ages. Church music was learned by singing along with the group and listening to match pitch -- no one read music, and harmonizing just did not happen in the Church until the 10th or 11th century.

Finally, the instruments of the Middle Ages tended not to have great range in dynamics -- in how loudly and softly they could play. For instance, the harpsichord was probably invented in the Middle Ages, and it could only play either loud or soft -- not in between. 

While there are certainly going to be outliers from these general points, I'm going out on a limb and saying that orchestral music today is better now than it was in 1400.

There was a rich vein of Diamond King cards in the dime boxes I was going through. I have to admit that I really liked the cards too -- in hand, they feel special...almost like canvas. Perhaps Panini should use that to their advantage and make the set more about forgotten players of the 1910s through the 1950s more than about current players. 

Give me a card of George "High Pockets" Kelly (a Hall of Famer, by the way, and perhaps one of the worst decisions of the Veterans Committee of the 1970s, but still...) or Dolf Luque or Carl Furillo rather than yet another card for Babe Ruth. I know -- could be more difficult to get permission and all -- but wouldn't a unique set be worth it?

Okay, time to switch gears.

MuteMath came out of the New Orleans music scene in the early part of the 2000s. I recall this song best from them -- it's one that would get stuck in my head constantly about 10 years ago. 

Excitingly, MuteMath will be coming to Atlanta to play the Shaky Beats Festival in early May. Joining them on the bill are The Chainsmokers, Kaskade, Griz, and one of Dayf's recommendations -- Bonobo. 

You know, I miss going to shows sometimes. I haven't been to one in quite a while, but I find that the music I like tends not to draw 45-year-old men. I look a bit out of place, to say the least.

Speaking of "out of place," finding these Score Dugout Collection cards from 1996 in a dime box was a bit out of place to me. I don't believe I have ever seen these before, so finding what appeared to be a complete set threw me off. I knew immediately that I did not have these, so into my stack they went.

When Chris recommended MuteMath to me, he thought initially that the band was from Atlanta. We quickly figured out that was wrong and that they are New Orleanians. Whenever I think of New Orleans bands, there are a number of bands I think of, but the one of recent vintage that really grabbed me was Cowboy Mouth. 

Cowboy Mouth was really big around here about 20 or so years ago. They had a really big hit with "Jenny Says" in 1997. Okay, "really big" is relative -- the song hit number 26 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and Number 33 on the Modern Rock chart. It was huge here. The lead singer, Fred LeBlanc, is also their drummer, and he played in a band called Dash Rip Rock for a while in the late 1980s as well.

Rally caps might be some of the dumbest things I have ever seen on a baseball card. Even dumber than Jay Johnstone with the Budweiser umbrella hat. That's just ghastly.

On the other hand, the Ben Oglivie card in the Ted Williams set is downright beautiful. Benji was always a favorite thanks to his flailing swings at the plate, his high-energy warm-up cuts between pitches, and his real love for the game that always showed itself when he played. He is also a very smart man, too.

Okay, can't quit that soon -- so let's hear that "big hit" by Cowboy Mouth:

Thanks for stopping by tonight. 


  1. Nice selection of cards and music. My go-to orchestral music is Beethoven followed by Mozart's Requiem which I'm overdue to listen to (it can be a little slow). In order: Beethoven's 9th Symphony, then 5th (particularly the second movement), 7th, 3rd, 6th, and then 1st. The 2nd and 8th I don't much remember which is sad. It's amazing to me how any musician, modern or historical, is able to make something like they do. I guess it's like that for any "artist". Contemporary orchestral music doesn't much do it for me.

    Who do you think could pull off the electric harpsichord?

  2. I sent all of those songs (including the ones you didn't post) because I wanted to throw you a curveball, slider and a knuckle-curve. Looks like some were hit and miss (mostly miss). There'll be more coming. You know I'm a sucker for music in languages not even I understand ;).

  3. My wife is a big classical music fan. When my daughter spent all that time in the hospital after she was born we would often play classical music for her. It was said to be calming for the babies.

    The other day my wife was playing some classical music while she was doing stuff around the house. I put on some Slipknot Wait and Bleed to change things up...she wasn't amused.

    Diamond Kings is my guilty pleasure set. I buy at least one box every year. In the breaks I do with Card Papoy and HSCA DK produced 2 of our better hits of all time.