Over the past few years, Stu Sternberg and the Rays brass have used gallons of Goof Off to buff up Tropicana Field. And as a result, the ol' ballpark looks better, smells better. Heck, it even sounds better. For this season's Summer Concert Series, current chart-toppers Train, Adam Lambert and Dierks Bentley will join classic acts John Fogerty, ZZ Top and more in tizzying the postgame throngs. But the musical overhaul shouldn't stop there. This is the iPod Era after all, and eclecticism is at an all-time high. So here's my idea: Jettison the usual in-game anthems pumped over the PA — see Glitter, Gary or Joe, Cotton Eye — and hipsterize the stadium playlist. No offense to Queen, but I'm so over We Will Rock You. The new tunes will get people juiced, loose and, most important, running to the record store saying, I heard this killer tune at the Trop the other night . . . So herewith, baseball fans, Songs That SHOULD Be Played at the Trop:
For every Evan Longoria homer: Jerk It Out, the Caesars
For every Carlos Peña homer: Tick Tick Boom, the Hives
For every time B.J. Upton is simply being B.J. Upton: Devil in Me, the 22-20s
For every Carl Crawford stolen base: Superhero, Jane's Addiction
For every time Joe Maddon pulls a good pitcher (say, Matt Garza) and replaces him with someone who makes me throw things in disgust (say, Dan Wheeler): Roll of the Dice, Bruce Springsteen
For every heroic feat from gladiatorial newbie Kelly Shoppach, who wears No. 10: 10, M.I.A.
For every pretty girl in the stands: Shake It, Metro Station
For every time tiny Sean Rodriguez makes me look brilliant at fantasy baseball: All the Small Things, Blink-182
For every time terrible Pat Burrell makes me look bad at fantasy baseball: Desolation Row, My Chemical Romance
For every Ben Zobrist homer (we need to dirty this dude up a bit): Bring Tha Noize, Public Enemy & Anthrax
For every 7th-inning stretch (this is sexy stuff, so be sure to stretch responsibly): Baby Workout, Jackie Wilson
For every Rays win (this is the happiest song of all time): 4th of July, Shooter Jennings
For every Rays win against the Yankees (kids, cover your ears): Get the %!#@! Out, Skid Row
Song of the Week
Song: Shut Up & Kiss Me
On iTunes: Now
Tapping out: Wee blond guitar whiz Orianthi Panagaris first snapped necks when the Aussie prodigy was featured in Michael Jackson's ill-fated This Is It backing band. Her fastest-fingers "tapping" style was ideal for Beat It seeing as how her hero, Eddie Van Halen, rocket-launched the original riff. Orianthi was tough and cool behind the King of Pop, but the 25-year-old has since emerged as a newfangled breed of Miley Cyrus, shouting hyper girl-power pop ("Everyday's a roller coaster / But I'm a bump you never get over") that comes with a robust twist. Shut Up & Kiss Me, just like previous single According to You, is pedestrian bubblegum until Orianthi, already a fave with heroes Steve Vai and Prince, straps on her PRS custom-made and unleashes a muscular, quick-building fury. It's pretty addictive. It's goofy fun, too. And you can't beat the giddy visual of inspired 12-year-olds firing off air-guitar solos in the back of Mom's minivan.
Reminds us of: As part of the Rays Summer Concert Series, Orianthi opens for Adam Lambert at Tropicana Field on Sept. 18.
Go put your records on
Saturday is Record Store Day, a national celebration of all the indie music merchants you pass by on the way to Target and Best Buy. Oh, I'm not scolding: As a critic, I get most of my tunes for free, so I have no room to be magnanimous.
However . . . when I do shell out for a new album, I bust it old school and give my cash to a local shop with genuine bespectacled nerds behind the counter. I tend to buy vinyl these days. The way I see it, as we become almost entirely dependent on digital music, the "physical" item of choice (a luxury item to be sure) will once again be vinyl LPs. Think of it this way: If you're going to have something to hold in your hands, it might as well offer the full visceral, artistic experience: the flip of the platter, the beauty of the art, liner notes that don't cause blindness.
But back to April 17, Record Store Day, where all forms of music, music players and music aficionados will be huzzahed. Several area stores are taking part in the hi-fi festivities, including St. Petersburg's Daddy Kool (666 Central Ave.; (727) 822-5665) and Bananas Music (2226 16th Ave. N; toll-free 1-800-823-4113), and Tampa's Vinyl Fever (4110
Henderson Blvd.; (813) 289-8399)
and Mojo Books & Music (2558
E Fowler Ave.; (813) 971-9717).
Stores will offer special deals, live music, snacks. Heck, Vinyl Fever is even giving out free Pabst Blue Ribbon (uh, while supplies last). Major record labels and major superstars (Gorillaz, MGMT, the Rolling Stones, Wilco to name a few) are getting involved, too, issuing music exclusively for the big day. You can go to recordstoreday.com for the full rundown. My favorite exclusive is the John Lennon Singles Bag, which includes three 45s (Imagine, Mother, Watching the Wheels), three postcards, a poster of John and Yoko famously in bed and a custom plastic adaptor hub embossed with Record Store Day. Even if you don't have a phonograph, the Lennon Bag makes for a swell conversation piece. Now get out there and support your indie music stores!