Sunday, June 23, 2019

What Kenny's Listening To with Cards from Torren' Up Cards, Part I

When it comes to music or information in general, I tend to be very omnivorous. I read a ton, whether that includes reading for work or for pleasure. I watch tons of documentaries on Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime on my Roku as well as trying to find ones being shown on PBS or elsewhere that sound interesting. I also listen to about any music under the sun that comes my way at least once to see if I like it.

Of course, this love of knowledge tends to get in the way of my blogging, because I'm more likely to say, "that documentary about Oasis on Netflix sounds interesting" and start watching that instead of sitting down and blogging.

So, it's been a couple of weeks since the ever awesome Kenny a/k/a Zippy Zappy sent me a zippy zapping accompanied by his massive "What I've Been Listening To" post. Kenny is a 20-something whose tastes in music are all over the place, and I think he likes trying to find stuff for me to consider that might either offend or otherwise fall outside the realm of my tastes as a Gen-X'er.

Because Kenny posted 14 songs, I'm going to break this into two posts. It's just a lot to type and listen to all at once!

As always, to highlight the great cards Kenny sent and the (we'll see what an appropriate adjective is) music Kenny is listening to, here's my response post. Music first, followed by the card.

Now, Now: "SGL"

Kenny's post said this song is his favorite of the 14 songs that he posted, and after listening to this song twice *and* looking up the lyrics, I can see why. As Kenny noted, the band Now, Now is a two-person indie band from Minneapolis comprised of Cacie (or KC) Dalager and Bradley Hale. They met in high school in marching band -- something I can relate to, having been a marching band geek myself all the way through college.

This song is a really catchy poppy indie rock song. NPR featured it in November 2017 as one of the "Songs We Love." "SGL" stands for "shotgun lover," which in this context seems to be simply that she is a quick hookup for her lover. The rest of the lyrics of the song seem to provide feelings of unhappiness about that arrangement. 

But I'll leave all the interpretation to you. YMMV.

Since we're going with favorites up front, I will go with a card of Christian Yelich from Series 1 Topps. There's nothing more I can say about Yelich that hasn't already been said, really. 

Okay, one thing. If Yelich gets one homer between now and the All-Star break, he will set a Brewers record for most homers before the All-Star break. Yelich currently has 29 Homers in 70 games; Prince Fielder set the record in 2007 when he had 29 Homers in 87 games. Fielder finished 2007 with 50 homers. 

Lit, "My Own Worst Enemy"

I didn't need to listen to this song specifically for this post because this has been a personal favorite song since its release in 1999. It was kind of a joke between me and one of my friends that this song was sort of my theme song because I enjoyed going out, smoked cigarettes like a chimney when I drank, and generally I had a tendency to undermine myself at that point in my career. 

So that's why it was kind of a joke and kind of just sad, really. 

Even sadder is the fact that this song is now 20 years old. Which means Kenny was like 4 when it was released. 

1989 Bowman pairs well with a 1999 song. Indeed, Dale Sveum pairs well with a song about being one's own worst enemy too. 

Sveum's baseball career was essentially derailed in 1988 when, while playing shortstop, he went back into left field to chase a blooper. Left fielder Darryl Hamilton was charging in hard for the ball. A terrible collision resulted, and Sveum's left tibia and fibula were snapped. It was ugly. Even worse, the bone did not heal properly and a second surgery to re-break the bones to allow them to heal correctly resulted in 1989. 

He missed the entire 1989 season, and the promise that he showed during his 25-homer season in 1987 was gone. His missing 1989 led the Brewers to calling up a petulant youngster named Gary Sheffield even earlier than Sheffield's abilities and maturity should have allowed.

Sveum also made the mistake of going hunting with Robin Yount, leading to Sveum getting bird shot going through his right ear. 

Drowning the Light, "The Spear of Longinus"

You can read Kenny's intro and discussion on how he was introduced to this song by the Metal Attorney, the Red Sox Fan in Nebraska.

I am not terribly impressed by this song, in large part because it is really repetitive and to my ears, quite boring. I used to use black metal/death metal/speed metal to fall asleep on international flights because it was like active white noise. More than once, I would set up a playlist of nothing but the song "Master of Puppets" played 4 times in a row to help me fall asleep. And it worked too.

One of the things that Kenny sent me was this Clay Matthews sticker from Panini. My Packers fandom has been waning over the past eight years -- since the Super Bowl win, really. This entirely coincides with my no longer playing fantasy football. 

I will admit that I don't miss the NFL at all. My football watching is all on Saturdays these days -- watching Georgia play along with paying attention to the other SEC games is usually enough for me. 

Gypsy and the Cat, "Sorry"

A generally innocuous indie rock song. It's something that I would listen to again if it came on, but I'm not sure I'd actively seek it out. 

Interestingly, the band seemed to fall apart due to its own former record label, Sony, screwing them over in some respects. According to this article from April 2016, when SoundCloud became a monetized streaming service in 2016, Sony Australia locked down their artists' songs to make sure that the songs were not freely streamable -- that people had to be paying for the right to stream the songs. 

Before that time, music bloggers often embedded SoundCloud files for songs in their blogs. Blog embeds are tracked by a service called Hype Machine, and it has its own charts. Prior to the Sony lockdown, Gypsy & The Cat had a song called "Inside Your Mind" that reached number 2 on Hype Machine. The next week, after the lockdown, the song was no longer on the chart.

Frustratingly for the band, Gypsy & The Cat had not been a Sony artist for over five years at that point. Yet, Sony's actions effectively derailed their efforts on the 2016 album. One can't help but think that bullshit must have played a role in their breakup.

As a side note, band member Xavier Bacash has a new EP out under the name "Sonny". I haven't listened to it yet.

I feel like this "Top Shelf" chrome of Ryan Braun fits well here. I sometimes forget that Braun is still with the Brewers -- he's almost like a name of a bygone era at this point. He's a solid player at this point in his career. He's never been a great on-base guy -- his value is tied heavily into his batting average, which happens when you walk only 17 times in 266 plate appearances as Braun has this year through June 23 -- so he's basically a replacement-level player even with his 12 HRs and 40 RBI this year. At least that is what bWAR says -- 0.1 WAR and a 94 OPS+ is pretty much replacement level, right?

I Set My Friends On Fire, "Life Hertz"

A catchy song. I've never heard of this band before, apparently because they come from the genre of "screamo" -- where they scream everything they sing. It's a decent song, but based on what Kenny's post said, I'm not seeking out anything else by them.

A relatively interesting card visually, though the colors behind Rogers look like some sort of rainbow fingerprint. I'll take this opportunity to note that these all-white uniforms look terrible to me. In fact, pretty much all of the color rush uniforms look awful to me. 

This card is decent, but I'm not seeking out anything else from Panini here.

DECO*27 - 妄想感傷代償連盟 (Feat. 初音ミク)

That "featuring" portion reads "Hatsune Miku" in Japanese. Kenny points out that Hatsune Miku is a "vocaloid icon," which means that she is a completely fictional CGI anime girl. People go to concerts to seek Hatsune Miku sing these songs, so it's sort of like gathering to watch a TV show.

The song is pretty catchy, as you'd expect from computer-generated vocals. I wonder what the words are.

Appropriately, in the cards that Kenny sent, there is a computer-generated Taylor Jungmann to go with Hatsune Miku. Also appropriately, Jungmann has been pitching in Japan for Yomiuri Giants for the past two years.

Gucci Mane f/Migos, "I Get the Bag"

Thank you, Kenny, for giving me some music from Georgia to talk about. Gucci Mane was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and moved to Atlanta in 1989. Gucci's Wikipedia article notes that he was actually a good student in high school (he's a DeKalb County kid, having attended McNair High School), but that he also got started with dealing drugs in school too. He's been in and out of prison for gun charges and drugs. Hopefully he's gotten cleaned up. 

Migos is comprised of three guys -- Takeoff, Offset, and Quavo -- and are managed by Coach K, who used to manage Gucci Mane. The three all grew up in Gwinnett County, the county due east of DeKalb County. Parts of Gwinnett are quite urban, while other parts are very country. I like these guys because Quavo in particular is a huge Georgia Bulldogs fan.

The song is pretty good too, by the way.

Kenny sent me several of these 2011 Minor League Heritage cards, including one of Jimmy Nelson. Nelson attended high school in Florida and then went to college at the University of Alabama. 

His overcoming injury to come back and pitch this year has been a great story at the same time as it has been sad. Before his injury, he was verging on being a true #1 starter, finishing 9th in the Cy Young voting. Since his return, he has been terrible -- 3 games started, 12 innings pitched, 10 walks, an ERA of 9.75 and a WHIP of 2.167 pretty much says it all. He is being moved to the bullpen.

That's the end of Part I. Any comments from y'all as to which one of these songs is your favorite? How about the cards -- anyone like any of these cards more than the others? Why?


  1. I'll be honest, every time I do these I often think "how many of these songs are already part of Tony's world". Lit and Supertramp were some bones I threw just because they were super obvious. Your tastes may lean Gen-X-friendly, but they're just as wide as mine.

    As for your football watching, it's my understanding that you switched from football to futbal.

    1. Yeah, no doubt I watch much more futbol than football. I used to watch both a lot, back when I had DirecTV many years ago. As my UGA fandom grew, though, my NFL fandom waned.

  2. Yelich is one of my favorite players to root for right now and SGL is one of my favorite songs to listen to right now.