Yeasayer Goes All Radiohead

Merry Christmas Yeasayer fans! The Brooklyn band, who landed on A&A's Top 10 Albums of 2010 list, have posted a full length live album from an October show in Brussels on their website. You can name your own price for the download or swipe it for the low, low price of on the house. I don't know why more indie bands don't go the In Rainbows route with live recordings. They've got the material that otherwise goes unheard, and indie fans are the type of people who still actually pay for music. Seems like a natural way to spread the gospel of a band's live performance prowess while picking up some ancillary cash. I'm especially a fan of "Tightrope" on this recording, which up until now was only available on the Dark Was The Night compilation. 

Head to their site for the download.


Top 10 Records of 2010

(Originally posted on the Facebooks on 12.3.10, now with commentary!)

10. Gorillaz- Plastic Beach


One of the most underrated albums of 2010, in my humblest of opinions. Gorillaz are one of those bands that most people know, yet few really get deep into their records. On Plastic Beach, Damon Albarn and his animated crew make sadness and detachment sound like a futuristic vacation. Of course, great collaborations abound and keep things interesting (See Little Dragon’s contributions, a surprising turn from Lou Reed, and the always appealing Mos Def). Favorite track: “Rhinestone Eyes”

9. The Morning Benders- Big Echo

Seeing that Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest topped my best albums list in ’09, I had high hopes for this record as it drew early comparisons to GB and was co-produced by its bassist Chris Taylor. It didn’t disappoint. The standout tracks here are more accessible and hook tinged than GB’s sound, though less intricate and ambitious. Big Echo’s delicate melody carries you throughout and it will be exciting to see where these guys take their sound next. In a divergent pairing of acts they opened for The Black Keys at a one-off club gig during Lollapalooza; it was easily my choice show of the year. Favorite track: “Cold War”

8. Yeasayer- Odd Blood

It took me awhile to come around on Odd Blood. I loved 2007’s All Hour Cymbals and probably judged this one prematurely. I was initially drawn to Yeasayer’s weirdness- from their videos to the faraway sound that set them apart from other Brooklyn buzz bands. So, it took me awhile to digest the pure pop treatment of lead single “Ambling Alp” and the seemingly out of place positive vibes. But like all good records, it grew on me. It’s different than their debut; it’s not just more of the same and ultimately I see that as growth- weird and beautiful growth. Favorite track: “ONE”


Death to Jock Jams

Let’s face it, most fans show up to your games and don’t ever think about how much work your team puts into its game presentation.  Attending your game is an escape for them. They’ve already left their own jobs for the day and a night at the ballpark, arena, or stadium is their chance to let loose with family, friends or coworkers. 

Of course, we know how much planning it takes to create an exciting and memorable game experience.  It always amazes me then that so many teams take for granted such a massive part of that game experience.  From the second a fan walks through the turnstiles to the celebration of a come from behind win, there’s one constant current pumping through your venue that keeps the excitement going. It’s music.  It’s the catalyst that reminds your fans that they’re there to have a good time. It sets the tone for everything you do.  It can be the difference between a stale environment and a fresh, can’t miss atmosphere.  It’s the lifeblood of your entertainment operation.

So why then would you ever turn over such an important aspect of your presentation to an intern armed only with some Jock Jams and worn out sound effects?  Every team should have a fully developed stadium music strategy.  Obviously every market is different and every organization is operating with disparate resources, but having a music strategy in place is a simple but essential step in creating an exciting game experience.  Ask yourself, is our music well thought out or is it an afterthought? 

To Comp or Not To Comp?

As close a kinship as Major and Minor League Baseball share, there are some distinct differences in the way that each approach business. Specifically and most obviously, Minor League teams have long been the breeding ground for new and untested promotional concepts.

One of my favorite things about the Minor League model is that it allows for spontaneous creativity- hear something on the news on the drive into the office, talk it over with a few team members in the morning, and you’re implementing a top-of-mind promotion that night or later that homestand. Major League teams simply aren’t built that way. Every idea presented to the public is a risk, and in the Big Leagues, the stakes are simply much higher. Is every promotion then scrutinized to the point of possibly squashing that impulsive spark to act on a good idea?

This week, a Major League Baseball team was faced with one of those top-of-mind situations and their solution was patently Minor League. In the case of the Tampa Bay Rays though, the news story they turned into a promotion was caused by two of their star players. After Evan Longoria and David Price referred to the potential playoff-clinching crowd at Tropicana Field on Monday night as “embarrassing” and "disheartening”, the Rays front office quickly jumped to action. 

Two nights later on Wednesday, 20,000 free tickets were made available to Rays fans. Rather than sit idly by and hope the story went away, the organization moved on that spontaneous idea to turn a negative into a positive. However, their idea revolved around the cardinal sin of professional sports: the mass distribution of comp tickets.

Start Transmission.

When I set out to write, I know I'm in for a lengthy affair. I usually write notes or an outline before I start typing. I've even hand written notes before composing an email. Once I start typing, I'll retype a paragraph over and over again. First few sentences of a brand new blog? Yeah, I've rewritten this post twice already. I love to write though and I don't write nearly enough. Oddly, it's been Twitter that's spurred me to start blogging. 140 characters isn't often enough for my long winded ramblings, but I've enjoyed the freedom of sharing whatever comes to mind at a moment's notice. So, I'm going about this in a backwards fashion- from short form to long form- which I think better suits me as a writer anyway.

Now, what to write about? I've been luckily enough in my career to be in a position to give advice, often to college kids looking to break into the sports industry. Without question, the best piece of career advice I've ever received or given is to pursue your passions. As cliche as it sounds, when you do what you love, it's never actually "work." So for this blog, I'll write about the two things I love most (apologies to my future wife and amazing family). 
Music & sports. Sports & music. Repeat.

Anthems & Atleticos will be my outlet to write about the things I know and care about. Considering my earliest memories as a kid are 1) learning to work my Playskool turntable and 2) playing catch with my dad in the middle of Orizaba Ave., I've always held these two interests dear.  Now nearly a decade into my career as a sports marketer, I revel in the opportunity to combine my two passions whenever there's a chance. I'm not saying that's all I'll ever write about, but you can't go wrong with loved experiences.