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The Friday Ramble: Baseball and good music

You’d think the world was ending ‘cause we couldn’t beat Canada (if you’re a baseball fan)
The boys of summer representing the United States got a reprieve from elimination in the World Baseball Classic yesterday thanks to the Mexican national team in yesterday’s 9-1 shellacking of the Canadian national team. There are a lot of people asking why the United States is not dominating this tournament. There are two answers that I would present to them:

1) Take a look at where some of our game’s biggest stars are from. Now tell me what team they’re playing for during the tournament. Where do they identify with the most?

2) Don’t forget that this is America’s favorite pastime. The rest of the Americas may finally be feeling like living up to their end of the deal as well.

Today will be a good one, as it could very well be Roger Clemens’ last start if he chooses to retire after pitching against South Africa this afternoon in Scottsdale, AZ. Game starts at 2 p.m. local time.

Turn on some music… (No, really; some regional acts or undiscovered souls maybe)
This coming Wednesday, Moonlight Music Café owner Keith Harrelson has called a “Birmingham Radio Forum” (scroll down if necessary) to “examine” the state of local radio in the Magic City. While our local hero in providing new and refreshing music to the region, Scott Register (a.k.a. Reg of Reg’s Coffeehouse) will not be there, it will provide either the beginning of a new movement in town or show once again that while we may think that something is wrong, very few of us are willing to go out there on that limb and make the necessary requests for changes. This Birmingham Weekly article lays out the situation in greater detail.

The world of digital radio exists for few people in comparison to those that are still stuck listening to whatever the computer tells them is hot and trendy for the moment via the airwaves. The ability to be exposed to new music, something that you think would be easier nowadays due to changes in technology, has become harder than ever due in part to that same digital divide that has been discussed by several people in recent years.

Music also used to be able to tell the story of a region; people pulled into town and immediately searched for those stations that typified the genres popular among the locals. There are few exceptions as we enter the 21st century, as individuals switch on their XM radios in their cars devoid of noticing local flavor or listen to whatever the local version of the national companies say is hot now.

I actually sit bopping my head to the sounds of WMVY from Martha’s Vineyard whenever I’m behind the desk in the office or working on a project over the weekend (unless, of course, it’s time for Reg’s). The Massachusetts station reminds me of my time living near the coast. It’s something that I can identify with. It’s hard to identify with a local station nowadays when the talent is piped in from all over the place. Hopefully Keith will be lucky and get a diverse crowd out there to begin the process of identifying the local sounds in town or a better sense of our identity for the masses.


Published inbaseballThe Rambles