Inappropriate Walk Up Music: 03.23.09

santo-shea.jpgFor previous Inappropriate Walk Up Music posts, click here.

Every day until Opening Day, Scratchbomb presents three tunes that are completely, unequivocally inappropriate for use as major league walk-up

These are not necessarily bad songs–although that
certainly helps. They are merely songs that don’t evoke the fear and dread one traditionally associates with the walk-up song. In fact, they evoke the exact opposite.

Imagine yourself in the on-deck circle. Bottom of the 9th. Down by one. Man on second, two out. You hear the PA system blare, The centerfielder, number 20… The crowd roars at the sound of your name. And as you stroll to the batter’s box, you are greeted with the strains of one of these songs:

* “I Want You”, Elvis Costello
Even in a catalog full of vengeful, bitter songs (Elvis once said the only emotions he understood were anger and revenge), this tune stands as particularly harsh. Blood and Chocolate was recorded more or less live in the studio, which makes it even more visceral. As the song winds down, the mics are slowly turned down on everything but the vocals, so by the end all you hear is Elvis’ painful lyrics and an organ wailing off in the background. Brutal.

* “Don’t Touch My Bikin”, The Halobenders
When I was in high school, the only “cool” radio station whose signal I could get in my room was Vassar’s. I would tape 45-90 minute chunks every now and then so I could listen to them on my walkman later, hoping to find something new and awesome I couldn’t hear anywhere else.

Vassar played this song one night, and as I listened to it on the way to school, it took every bit of my strength to not totally lose it. I was not yet familiar with Calvin Johnson or the whole K Record phenomenon, so I was completely unprepared for his aggressive brand of silliness. This remains one of my favorite songs that no one else seems to remember.

* “Outlaw Pete”, Bruce Springsteen
Sometimes you see Bruce Springsteen do some live tunes and you think to yourself, “Man, he’s still got it!” And then you hear new songs like “Outlaw Pete” and you think to yourself, “Jesus, he is totally off his rocker.” If you can get through this 8 minute tune (8 MINUTES) in one sitting, you’re a stronger man than I.