Baseball, rock and the order of things

So, as a baseball fan and, specifically, a Red Sox fan, this has been a depressing few weeks.

The pit-in-the-stomach feeling that followed missing out on the playoffs seemed to be the bottom. But the exiling of the manager, the departure of the general manager and having to deal with idiot fans and their brethren within the Boston media clamoring for excuses and clinging to the weakest bits of “evidence” has been more than I care to tolerate.

So, I’ve tuned out. I’ve watched some of the playoffs and World Series, and the moments I’ve caught have been entertaining. But, again, one of those seasons, whichever team I seem to like — Arizona, Detroit, Milwaukee, etc. — seems to get tripped up. I’d rather see the St. Louis Cardinals take the Series over the Texas Rangers, but the Rangers are up 3 games to 2 after some weirdness in Game 5. Alas. Whine, whine.

But I have more than baseball. I have hockey, for one, which started up again this month, and I have other outlets, primarily music. New records by Wilco, Wild Flag, Ryan Adams and, released today, Tom Waits, have occupied my attention.

Particularly, two weeks ago I caught Wild Flag at the Paradise in Boston, my first small show in some time, and it rocked. Oh, it rocked, and it was one of the better nights I’ve had in a while. Baseball was far from the front of my mind that night, and it felt great. I can let annoyances fester and wallow, so when I’m able to block something out, it feels great.

Then, yesterday, I see this video for Wild Flag’s “Electric Band,” and it serves up a precious reminder: Baseball, like rock, is gloriously dumb. It’s unpredictable, it’s dumb and, at it’s core, it’s fun. Here’s a band that has dominated my listening this month, who have turned out a record that may well go down as the best of 2011. And, for one of the catchier songs on a catchy album, they threw together a fun, goofy video on a little league field, playing baseball against a team of anthropomorphic bears.

Baseball, and rock, intersecting in my life again.

There’s room for both, of course. In a couple of days, the 2011 season will be over, and gears will start turning towards the 2012 season. While all that goes on, I’ll have all the musical distractions I could possibly want. There’s more than enough room for both.


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