XXI. Baseball “Humm Rhyme Derby” songwriter project for CA/TX

flat screen lyle

v/o A LA Scooter Rizzuto on the Mealoaf album:

Batting first, for the visiting Texas Songwriters, an independent artist, from Texas, by way of Monterey County, California, Matt “The Electrician”, “Baseball Song”

VO, continues

And in response, batting first for the home town WORLD CHAMPION Giants of NorCal song, Conspiracy of Beards singing the Leonard Cohen classic, and befitting the first pennant in five decades “Hallelujah”

Working title: “Humm Rhyme Derby”

One of my reactions to watching the World Series was dreaming of a songwriter project that would honor the cultural contributions of both the San Francisco music scene and the Austin, Texas music scenes. While watching Game Three I could not resist group-texting some people to announce such a proposed project. Working title “Humm Rhyme Derby” playing on “Home Run Derby” also “hums” as a colloquial term for songs and rhyme as a common but not necessary element of song lyrics. I spoke so far with two artists about this and an agent.  I also thought of Chris Kiefer’s “Presidents” project. Not sure what the window is to work on this, but my goal is, if I cannot solicit 18 new songs about or around baseball (i.e. nine batting for SF, nine batting for Texas; proceeds to Austin Soup Kitchen “soupstock” series or Glide), then I will hopefully at least have 18 conversations on the project, its strengths and weaknesses, creativity, where songs actually come from, and the like. Venerable music agent Laura Thomas suggests that merely licensing existing baseball songs would fit the bill.

Maybe I can license Conspiracy of Beards version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”




Barbara Manning and the SF Seals (itself a baseball reference, to the PCL team that played in the Mission) were part of the Cubberley Sessions so maybe I should ask her about including her Doc Ellis song in this proposed set.

To reiterate: if you are a singer-songwriter and like baseball and were moved in certain ways watching SF and Texas, maybe you’d like to pen something new for this proposed project. Even if you HATE baseball, maybe you can write a song about that.

Edit to add, May 20, 2011: this project is in the doldrums, but I was encouraged when I saw that there is something called The Baseball Project in which members of Minus Five and Peter Buck tour performing songs about Our National Passtime, and record for Yep Roc.

Also, when “Giant” played at Stanford Theater, and I saw SF Giants ads on back of buses, with slogan “Together we are Giant” it made me want to rename project that TOGETHER WE ARE GIANT  and have the Texas and SF songwriters fete both the World Series and the classic film, which takes place in Texas.

Willie Mays just turned 80, and Harmon Killebrew passed, so it seems appropriate to add here this classic glimpse at their primes via “Home Run Derby” show, circa 1968:


edit to add, July 27, 2011: when jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter played at Stanford Jazz series last week he noted from the stage that his 10 year old son was at the Giants’ game; makes me want to invite Charlie into this project. I recall his music (in duo with Leon Parker) appeared in a Ken Burns baseball documentary, as did the phrase “Can he hit Uncle Charlie?” referring to a curveball.

edit to add, January, 17, 2012: this project is dead in the water, but I thought about it today while visiting San Francisco when I stumbled across a hole-in-the-wall called HRD which the partner Greg Lew said stands for “Human Resources Department” but owing to it’s baseball themed decorations I wonder about approaching them to sponsor a Texas versus NorCal songwriter contest with baseball overtones. I had barbecued pork and scrambled eggs over rice, which rocked but was enthralled by either the kimchi burritto or pineapple chicken tacos. If it’s fusion, why not fuse some beisbol into the mix?

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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5 Responses to XXI. Baseball “Humm Rhyme Derby” songwriter project for CA/TX

  1. markweiss86 says:

    they link to the Chron, but not to Leah Garchik mention.

    One of my favorite sights recently was a man walking briskly towards the baseball park around game time for World Series Game One wearing a Giants-orange dastar (turban, for Sikhs, for his joora, I believe, his hair-knot) and a “Fear the Beard” Giants t-shirt. Proof there is a God, and George Carlin is in his bullpen.

  2. Mark Weiss says:

    Off topic but here is link to Christian Kiefer’s songwriter project, 43 songs about the 43 U.S. presidents:

  3. Mark Weiss says:

    This is further off topic but I was thrilled to see this collection of portraits of Conspiracy of Beards (Leonard Cohen tribute chorus) by Christine Shields. She made a cool poster for Oxbow/IBOPA at Cubberley back in the day.

  4. Mark Weiss says:

    It is being reported that World Series MVP Edgar Renteria wants to raise consciousness and money for relief in Colombia, his homeland, where people have been suffering from recent earthquake and flooding. Article does not say how to help:

    I did by cell phone do the least for Haiti by texting a donation via Wyclef’s Yele organization — wonder what can be done here?

  5. Da funky markweissican says:

    Here is a video on youtube of Lyle Lovett and cellist John Hagen doing the “Star Spangled Banner”, thanks to dafunkymex for the video.

    also calls to mind that apparently in Ralph Nader’s novel ” “only the super-rich can save us” there is a movement to change the U.S. “national anthem” to “this land is your land” which I would dig, but I digress.

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