Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Sign Of Devotion

I hadn't heard that last night's game in Atlanta had been rained out until well after the fact. I was at my place of employment, doing my due diligence and taking in a show, although I suppose I would have preferred to be out having a drink and watching the game. In the end, it worked out, with the game non-existent, scheduled instead as one of my favorites—the Weeknight Day-Night Doubleheader. Such a pure Baseball occurrence.

With no game to talk about, instead I can talk about how I was inspired by yesterday's Flashback Friday post from Greg at Faith and Fear, in which he discusses what is for me a major hot-button issue: The Pregame Playlist.

It might make sense that I, being heavily involved in Theater, might listen to a good deal of musical scores and soundtracks. Not so. In reality, I can't stand most musicals. The closest you would find to a Musical on my iPod would be The Who's Tommy, which is atypical of most musicals in and of itself.

Unlike Greg, I was an early member of the iPod revolution, acquiring my first in early 2003, and replacing it (and the early iPods are like a truck compared to the newer ones) with a sleeker model late last Summer. I live and die by it; my 90-minute work commute would not be the same without one.

I keep in the neighborhood of 4,700 songs on my iPod, far more than I would ever listen to, well, ever. I have a standard playlist of a much more manageable 400 songs, although even those don't get played on a regular basis, unless it happens to be stuck in my head for a particularly long period of time (Damn you, Feist!)

At any rate, Greg's post yesterday got me thinking about the songs I most associate with the Mets, either on my way to a game, coming back from a game, or watching a game on TV, or whenever. I don't always listen to music on my way to games. For several years, the Former El Guapo and I have usually met in Union Square before heading to Shea, although music has often been a frequent topic of conversation. If I am traveling alone, I do have the iPod on. And, generally, I do have a list of songs that I prefer to listen to for one reason or another. I'd consider that to be the Official Ballclub Pregame Playlist, although there are always variations, additions and honorable mentions.

I offer the following:

Elastica - Never Here
This has nothing to do with sports, and if you listen to the lyrics, it's not even a very upbeat song. But for some reason, it's always fired me up. It's become a tradition for me. I listened to this song before the first game of the NLDS in 1999, the first game of the NLDS in 2000, the first game of the NLDS and NLCS in 2006, and before each of the previous 5 Opening Day games (Home openers only).

Van Halen - Right Now
Before Game 1 of the NLCS in 2006, they played this song during the interminable TV delay at an ungodly high decibel level while a giant Mets logo rotated on the scoreboard.

Radiohead - Airbag
I've always said that if I were a Major Leaguer, this would be my At-Bat music.

Other songs that generally get me in the right mood for a ballgame:
Nirvana - Come As You Are
The Flaming Lips - Fight Test
The Who - Go To The Mirror!
Blur - Colin Zeal
Beastie Boys - Sabotage
Yo La Tengo - Tom Courtenay
Elvis Costello - Oliver's Army (only for Oliver Perez starts)
Nine Inch Nails - Just Like You Imagined
Oasis - Supersonic
Rush - Limelight
N-Trance - Stayin' Alive
Radiohead - I Might Be Wrong
Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine (Cancelled due to usage by Tom Glavine)

Songs for Victories
Nirvana - On A Plain
Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days

Songs for Losses
Liz Phair - Shane
Counting Crows - A Long December
The Killers - Smile Like You Mean It
Radiohead - How To Disappear Completely

The list tends not to change much; even following last season, I'm sure I'll be listening to many of the same songs as I make my inaugural ride into Queens on the 7 train Tuesday morning. Maybe I'll mix in some newer music. Maybe some of you have some suggestions for me (other than an emergency iPod transfusion). It remains to be seen.

A recycled comment: Maine today, in a most important and anticipated start.

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