The Baseball Project returns with Volume 2: High and Inside, its second album of baseball-themed rock n’ roll on March 1st via Yep Roc.
Following the success of the outfit’s first album Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes & Dying Quails — the band performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, was featured in the official World Series Program and Sports Illustrated among others — baseball’s sardonic rock chroniclers are back with an even more detailed look at the stories behind the stories of America’s Favorite Pastime.
Baseball fans may have already heard select tracks from the album during the 2010 playoffs. “Don’t Call Them Twinkies,” with lyrics & vocals by Craig Finn of The Hold Steady and music by Steve Wynn, made the internet rounds and rocked Target Field during the Twins’ ill-fated run, becoming the unofficial battle cry of the team’s playoff hopes. The McCaughey-penned “Panda & the Freak” accompanied the S.F. Giants’ more successful bid, following the team all the way to its World Series win. But Craig Finn isn’t the only rock royal (and baseball geek) to grace the tapes of Volume 2. The album also features guest appearances by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan, Chris Funk and John Moen of The Decemberists as well as longtime friend and musical collaborator Robert Lloyd.
While legends of the game like Pete Rose, Reggie Jackson (“The Straw That Stirs The Drink”) and Roger Clemens (“Twilight of My Career”) certainly get their due,Volume 2 finds band members Steve Wynn (Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3, The Dream Syndicate, Gutterball, Danny & Dusty), Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M.), Linda Pitmon (The Miracle 3, Golden Smog) and Peter Buck (R.E.M.) drilling down even deeper into the Byzantine, lore-laden annals of baseball history. On their sophomore effort the band examines growing older via fallen phenom Mark Fidrych (“1976”), details a tragedy of near-Greek proportion (“Tony”) and exposes the real story behind an infamous play (“Buckner’s Bolero”) — all while laying down riffs that stand alongside anything they’ve done in their myriad other projects.
The Baseball Project will devote much of 2011 to touring in support of this new release, beginning with a run of Cactus League appearances in Arizona during Spring Training and multiple shows during this year’s SxSW Music Conference in March. Check www.yeproc.com for dates.
Volume 2: High and Inside tracklist:
2. Panda and The Freak
3. Fair Weather Fans
4. Don’t Call Them Twinkies
5. Chin Music
6. Buckner’s Bolero
7. Tony (Boston’s Chosen Son)
8. Ichiro Goes to the Moon
9. The Straw that Stirs the Drink
10. Look Out Mom
11. Pete Rose Way
12. Twilight of My Career
13. Here Lies Carl Mays