Major League Music – #21 San Diego Padres

San Diego Serenade – Tom Waits (1974, Asylum Records)

The San Diego Padres should have won the Covid hit 2020 World Series, they pretty much swept allcomers aside in the league.  They were high scoring free running marvels.  They hit Grand Slams in four consecutive games (A grand slam in baseball is where during an innings the batting side have loaded the bases, and the batter at the mound then hits a Home Run, which gives the team four points) which is unheard of, and they looked a shoe in for the title. 

For the rest of the 2020 season the Padres were known as the Slam Diego Padres.  Which is brilliant word play.  Until of course they lost in quarter finals to the Los Angeles Dodgers and everyone forgot about them.  This was the closest that the Padres had come to winning the World Series in a long time.  Forty one years in fact (if we ignore the fact that they lost in the 1998 final to the Yankees).

In 1978, 10 year old child actor Gary Coleman was starring in the hilarious American sitcom Diff’rent Strokes playing cheeky Arnold Jackson.  Coleman was also making about three million dollars an hour for idly repeating his catchphrase “What you talkin’ about Willis?” to an audience who would generally fall about laughing.  He was a huge star.  

In 1979, aged 11, he managed the San Diego Padres, to the World Series Championship.  This remains the only time that the San Diego Padres have won the World Series.  Well kind of.  It was a telly programme in which Coleman played a wise cracking kid who manages (a fictional version of) the Padres to glory.  But sadly, it still remains the only time that they have won the World Series though.

In reality the Padres remain the only Californian team that hasn’t won the World Series.  Something which if they play as well as they have for most of this season could change (although it’s unlikely because the Dodgers are going to win the World Series at a canter).

Musically, there are three bands from San Diego that feature heavily in my music library.   They are listed in order of the numbers songs I own by them

The Soft Pack who were formed from the ashes of a band called The Plot to Blow up the Eiffel Tower (who also featured members of Crocodiles).  The Soft Pack started out in life as The Muslims and eventually changed their names due to iignorant and racist comments apparently.  That and it’s a really stupid band name.  Their eponymous first album is still in regular rotation in my house.

Flammable – The Soft Pack (2010, Kemado Records)

Next up are Crocodiles, a kind of surf rock band that appear heavily influenced by the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Beachboys. 

Sunday (Psychic Conversation – #9) – Crocodiles (2011, French Kiss Records)

Which brings us nicely to surf punkers Rocket from the Crypt who in 1995 following much hyping from the NME managed to sail into the UK Top 20 which the marvellous ‘On A Rope’

On A Rope – Rocket from the Crypt (1995, Interscope Records)

Finally we move onto this weeks previously unheard of band, who have been found languishing and covered in cobwebs underneath a ladder at the back of shed.  They have been dusted off, hosed down and placed back on the hook on the back of the door, ready to be used when needed.  Ladies and Gents welcome to the sound of Lords of the Satellite, who might just be the most bland thing I’ve ever posted – but they are San Diego’s Best New Band apparently.

Ever Higher – Lords of the Satellite (2022, Self Released)

Kids, Eh – #2

Welcome to the second instalment of the series in which I let my daughter review some records.  I say review, what she normally does is critique an entire bands career more accurately in a sentence lasting about six words than I can in several hundred.   I took my own advice and created a small playlist of songs that I really like and suspect that she might not care for so much.  Before we start we write down three questions which we have to fill in as the songs plays they are: –

1) Do You Like the Song?

2) What Mark do you give it out of Ten?

3) Anything Else you want to say about it.

So without further ado, lets start here.

Classic Self Doubt – OhBoy! (2015, Alcopop Records)

OhBoy! who were an indie pop band from Northamptonshire who released a series of decent records between 2013 and 2017.  They split up in 2017 because they couldn’t finish an album.  I tell my daughter my answer to question one, which is, that I think ‘Classic Self Doubt’ is an excellent four minutes of indie pop. 

My daughter is less impressed and screws her nose up and tells me that “I don’t like his voice”, apparently “Its too whiny and shouty.  I do like the drumming though”. She gives it 5 out of ten, (just for the drumming) which makes it for the time being at least the joint highest scoring song ever on Kids, Eh.  She quickly adds that she doesn’t know why “he is singing about tomatoes”. 

I look at her and say I didn’t hear anything about tomatoes.  This is because I apparently ‘am not listening properly’

Next Up

How Did This Happen? – Bodega (2018, What’s Your Rupture Records)

Bodega are, it says here, an American punk band from New York.  I don’t think they are a punk band, more a post punk art rock band.  I try to explain to my daughter what that means exactly, but I’m not sure I understand it myself.  Anyway, she likes this because she asked if we can play it again when it finished. 

I peak over her shoulder and she has written 7 on the piece of paper, which is crossed out and replaced with an ‘8’, a score that is unheard of on Kids, Eh!.  “This is really good, its very bouncy and I like that it has more than one person singing on it, because the man is a bit rubbish, also its good because it mentions toucans and I wrote a poem about them the other day at school, we also never found out what did happen”.  I’m not sure it does mention toucans I say and then she sings the chorus.

Toucan on one shoulder…” long pause…”….Cheese Burger Sauce on the other….” And then she descends into giggles.

Turns out she is right about me not listening properly.

Finally

Sleep Forever – Crocodiles (2010, Fat Possum Records)

“Why would they want to sleep forever, they’ll miss the new series of Mallory Towers?” Is the question that meets this introduction of this song.  I nod my head and agree, it would be a bit daft, I say.  Crocodiles are a Jesus and Mary Chain obsessed shoegaze band from San Diego (“Like Carmen” my daughter chips in homage to the baddie bashing superhero Carmen SanDiego) who make droney space rock in the desert. ‘Sleep Forever’ was the first single from their second album, which is also called ‘Sleep Forever’, to which my daughter asks “Did they run out of names?”.  This is not going well for Crocodiles.

“Its too moany and I can’t hear what he is singing” she grumbles crossly.  “Is he being all lovey dovey, she’ll never fall in love with him if he just whispers all the time” she reasons rather more sensibly than other more experienced agony aunts would.  She writes a four next to the song in her pad and tells me to write that a band called Crocodiles, should at least sing about crocodiles.

All of which perfect sense making means that Bodega are this weeks champions.