This is completely off the cuff, and I’m loving it!
All you Mets fans out there will be well aware that Jeff Francoeur — the topic of not a few trade rumors since the return of Carlos Beltran and the outstanding performance of Angel Pagan this season — got a spot on the starting rotation last night due to Jason Bay being out with a concussion. Well, he made the most of it…
…with a three run homer off the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright, arguably one of the best pitchers in the game right now!
Granted, it’s only one hit in the midst of a mighty slump, but it reminded me of this great song called “Joe DiMaggio Done It Again” off Wilco and Billy Bragg’s second album of Woody Guthrie-penned (lyrics, at least) songs, Mermaid Avenue Vol. II. I slipped a “Jeff” here and a “Frenchy” there, and voila!
This is my 200th Laptop Session, and I could think of no better way to celebrate it than to make it a fun one. (And, yes, at the beginning of the music video, that IS me doing my best Jeff Francoeur impression…) I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed recording it.
For Woody Guthrie, Billy Bragg, & Wilco chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!
By Chris Moore:
As promised, I’m up to the plate for the second time this evening, as I sonically celebrate New York Mets baseball opening day 2009!
For my next trick, I picked my familiar acoustic guitar up and learned a song from Mermaid Avenue, Volume II. This album is comprised of songs whose lyrics were composed by Woody Guthrie, predominantly in the 1940s. Then, in the mid to late 1990s, Billy Bragg and the boys of Wilco (Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Jay Bennett, and Ken Coomer) teamed up to write music to the words. The result was Mermaid Avenue. The first album is, in my opinion, a masterpiece. In both individual tracks and the sequence of songs as a whole, the first album is amazing. There’s something about the production quality and the combination of vocals — alternating between Bragg’s deep clarity and Tweedy’s roughness — and instrumentation is masterful.
The second collaboration is essentially a compilation of tracks left off the first release. As Bragg and Wilco had had a falling out, I can’t imagine that there was much in the way of actual collaboration on the second album. This is evident, and it perhaps accounts for why I have never really gotten into the second album as much as the first. Still, there are some standout tracks, such as “Airline to Heaven” and “Someday Some Morning Sometime.”
Admittedly, “Joe DiMaggio Done It Again” is not a song I would, under normal circumstances, choose to record for a Laptop Session. (And it’s a bit of an anomaly, as the music is written by Bragg, yet Tweedy sings it — a good decision, in my personal opinion!) That being said, I couldn’t think of a more perfect track for today. Although Joe DiMaggio was a player for the Yankees (and I’m a Mets fan!), I think DiMaggio belongs to an era of baseball history that is timeless. There are certain players — Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, and others — that fans of all teams can appreciate.
It doesn’t hurt that the Mets won 2-1 over Cincinnati, led by the strong starting pitching of Johan Santana and a home run by Daniel Murphy to name a couple. Even though I wasn’t home to watch the game, I was able to watch via live phone feed — um, I mean the internet connection to the Mets homepage on my iPhone. As Mike texted today, “We’re back to iPhone scoreboard watching!”
As a final note, today is special for another reason…
It’s fellow Laptop Sessions contributor Mike Fusco’s birthday! Here’s to the big 2-3, Fusc! His birthday seems to come at the best time of the year for him — just as the weather is starting to turn warmer (not that you could tell from today’s weather!). For those of you who don’t know, one of Mike’s favorite pastimes is going to the beach. I was there this weekend, and let me tell you… it’s just about time!
Well, that’s about enough for one post. I mean, two posts. Have a great week and don’t forget to stop back regularly this week for more all-new cover song music videos and posts; the second installment of my “Together Through Life” article is coming this weekend…