Woebot’s 100 Lost Rock Albums From the 1970s

Matthew Ingram’s fan­tas­tic Woe­bot blog was an inspi­ra­tion to me as a crit­ic. His vora­cious appetite for and catholic taste in music pushed me to expand my palate and lis­ten to music oth­ers may have dis­missed as less­er works. In short, Woe­bot had big ears and it did­n’t hurt that he could write. 

I’m final­ly read­ing his ebook, 100 Lost Rock Albums from the 1970s and it’s bring­ing back lots of mem­o­ries. This is the music I fell in love with around the time Stephen Malk­mus released Pig Lib and even name checked the Ground­hogs on tour. Some of the ground Ingram cov­ers is famil­iar, but what makes the book so reward­ing are the impos­si­ble to find albums that rekin­dle my love for crate digging. 

If you’re look­ing for a place to begin, check out this com­pan­ion playlist on Spo­ti­fy.

Let’s Talk About MLB Winter Meetings, Okay?

Noth­ing quite as excru­ci­at­ing as watch­ing your team lose a star out­field­er to a sor­ry team with­in the divi­sion — for unrea­son­ably big bucks, mind — while watch­ing them hap­less­ly pur­sue bar­gain bin replace­ments like Jeff Fran­coeur, Matt Diaz, George Sher­rill and Den­nys Reyes. Would’ve been adding insult to injury if we tried to add any of those guys even in a pla­toon. Can’t right­ly tell if it makes it hurt more to hear the Phillies bandied about as being in on Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke or if that’s just part of a push to make guys like me feel bet­ter about a team that real­ly has no choice but to stand pat this off­sea­son and hope things go a lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly in 2011.

Will say that the Nats being big spenders real­ly warms my heart. Love that the Fish are being aggres­sive, too. The NL East does­n’t get enough cred­it for being the hor­net’s nest it is.

Last­ly, Selig real­ly does need to expand the league to include the mys­tery team that gets cit­ed any time talks heat up with a free agent. Craig Cal­cater­ra has been writ­ing about this over at Hard­ball Talk for a bit. The tweets com­ing out of Orlan­do have been pos­i­tive­ly hilar­i­ous. Have to say that the rumors def­i­nite­ly keep me engaged with base­ball dur­ing what is oth­er­wise a very slow offseason.

The Dead-ball Era Philadelphia Phillies

The base­ball off­sea­son tor­ments me. While I appre­ci­ate the post­sea­son awards — con­grats to Roy Hal­la­day on his Cy Young Award — I find my thoughts turn to the likes of Ed Dela­han­ty, Sam Thomp­son, Gavvy Cra­vath and Grover Cleve­land Alexander.

For­tu­nate­ly, I have com­pa­ny. My friend and cowork­er Dan McQuade of Philadel­phia Will Do is loan­ing me an Ed Dela­han­ty biog­ra­phy! Can­not wait to read about a trou­bled ballplay­er who died at Nia­gara Falls. I’m fas­ci­nat­ed by Big Ed’s sto­ry and I love think­ing about the dead-bal­l era, when base­ball was a grind­ing game of bunts, steals and dirty pitch­es, to say noth­ing of rogue leagues and labor strife.

I also near­ly joined the Soci­ety for Amer­i­can Base­ball Research yes­ter­day. I told you it was get­ting bad!

A Must-Read Kanye West Roundtable

Were you one of the poor souls spazz­ing out over Kanye’s 10.0 from Pitch­fork? How per­fect­ly 2002 of you. If you’re look­ing for more grist for the mill, look no fur­ther than Jeff Weiss’ excel­lent My Beau­ti­ful Dark Twist­ed Fam­i­ly round­table, in which sev­er­al crit­ics offer their thoughts on what most peo­ple seem to believe is the album of the year. (I’m inclined to agree with most people.)

Not good enough? Jeff and his friends are real­ly, real­ly funny.