Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Target Field: Holding Steady on Opening Day

The Minnesota Twins christened their new 500 million plus "al fresco" ballpark, Target Field yesterday (4/12/2010) with a 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Having tailored their team for the past 28 years to fit the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the twins now have the challenge of finding the right players for the right stadium once again.

The job of managing the players on the field belongs to manager Ron Gardenhire, however the job of entertaining the crowd with tunes belongs to Kevin Dutcher, the Music Man.

From foxsportsnorth.com, we learn about Dutcher's daily routine...

Minnesota Twins Color Auto Emblem
"The first thing I do when I get to the stadium is throw in batting practice music – the boys like to hear their tunes! We have a meeting 2 1/2 hours prior to the game to go through all of the details of the game "script", all of the between-inning segments that our department (Game Presentation) is responsible for. We talk about the various preshow elements – speakers, presentations, etc. – and I focus on the audio needs, what kind of music we need with or under each one."
When asked about entrance and rally music...Dutcher explains...
"I run the BP playlist until the doors open, when I switch to a more "family-friendly" mix. That plays until we start our pregame program, and then play songs between all of the different elements. I also underscore the PA reads and most all of presentations on the field. I play the "build-up" music as we await the team taking the field, and of course "Win Twins!" I play "rally music" when we get runs, and alternate "cheerleading" with Twins’ organist Sue Nelson (the cavalry charge, "We Will Rock You," all of those little snippets). I play music between innings, during pitching changes and any breaks in play. If you listen for it, music is constantly on in the park."
"I love all kinds of music, I have really eclectic tastes, which is helpful for the job. I like to play music from bands with area ties, from the ‘Mats to Husker Du to Prince to The Hold Steady. I’m working on getting more music from local bands into the new stadium, I think it’s an exciting possibility to incorporate more local music into the Twins experience."
Regarding input as to the music he plays, Dutcher states...
"I often get feedback about what I play, and a lot of the time it’s positive and negative about the same exact song – the great thing about music is that it’s subjective. Everybody has an opinion."
Some of those opinions have been bandied about by Twins fans and can be found recently at the Alright Hamilton Blog ... where we find some fantastic suggestions about which songs could be intergrated into the game:
  • Prince - Baby I'm a Star
  • The Hold Steady - Constructive Summer
  • The Hold Steady - Party Pit
  • Morris Day & The Time - Cool
  • The Screams of Passion by The Family

Personally, BSOD likes the suggestions of music from The Hold Steady, the Springsteen-esque working man's band that hails from the land of 10,000 lakes.

There's a fantastic interview from an article at The Portland Mercury which delves deep in the band's fascination and love for the Minnesota Twins and even puts them to the test with a pop quiz of Twins history.

Some gems from the interview with front-man Craig Finn are:

Did you grow up in Minnesota and were you always a Twins fan?

The Hold Steady Limited Edition Gig PosterWell, I moved to Minnesota from Boston as a kid, and my parents were Red Sox fans. I was kind of a Sox fan, but my dad had access to Twins tickets through his work, so I was mildly a fan. That was until 1987; the year I got my driver's license, my first girlfriend, and the Twins won the World Series. That was a magical year. Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, Tom Brunansky—it was just a great team with some amazing personalities. That whole year just turned me into a major Twins fan, along with everyone I know.

Are there a lot of people in the Minnesota music scene that are Twins fans?

Definitely. Especially the older crowd, like the Jayhawks and Golden Smog. I was at Twins' spring training this year and I saw Paul Westerberg at the game.

That is crazy. Well, the whole theme of this issue is about the relationship between sports and music. Mostly how we all have that moment—that dreaded choice—where we choose between one or another. Do you know what I mean?

Yes. The band and I were recently talking about this, how it seems cooler now for musicians to be into sports. Most bands we play with have a least one or two members who are into it. My theory is, when I was growing up, no cool bands liked sports, although now I know that Westerberg loves the Twins. It just never seemed like they could actually like sports. The band that I think changed it all was Pavement. They seemed like normal dudes who made great music and happened to like sports. They might have changed it all.

Do you have a favorite baseball song?

I just heard Bob Dylan do "Take Me out to the Ball Game." That was pretty great.

MLB Cooperstown Series 2 Figure: Catfish Hunter with Green Jersey
You know "Catfish" (about famed pitcher Catfish Hunter), right?

Oh yeah, of course, that's a great one. I don't know if I have an all-time favorite baseball song. There's not a lot to pick from.

BSOD Editor's Note: We're proving that "There's not a lot to pick from is" is false. :)

It's easy to pick a song such as Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" which of course is a "let it all out and party until the night is done" song, however seeing as the Twins have realized their dream of making something bigger, and constructed Target Field, we agree with the folks at the Alright Hamilton Blog in choosing "Constructive Summer" as the song of the Twins.  Bonus points for any song that pays homage to "St. Joe Strummer."

"we're gonna build something this summer
summer grant us all the power 
to drink on top of the water towers
with love and trust and shows all summer
let this be my annual reminder
that we can all be something bigger"

BSOD 4/13/2010: Constructive Summer
Artist: The Hold Steady
Released: 2008

Constructive Summer Lyrics

Me and my friends are like
the drums on "Lust for Life"
we pound it out on four toms
our songs are sing-a-long songs

this whole town is like this
been that way our whole lives
just work at the mill until you die
work at the mill and then you die
we're gonna build something this summer
we'll put it back together
raise up a giant ladder
with love & trust and friends and hammers

we're gonna lean this ladder
up against the water tower
climb up to the top
and drink it up

me and my friends are like
double whiskey, coke no ice
we drink along in double time
might drink too much but we feel fine

we're gonna build something this summer
summer grant us all the power 
to drink on top of the water towers
with love and trust and shows all summer
let this be my annual reminder
that we can all be something bigger

i went to your schools
i did my detention but the walls are so grey i couldnt pay attention
i read the gospel it moved me to tears
but I couldn't find the hate and couldn't find the fear
i met your saviour I knelt at his feet
and he took my ten bucks and went down the street
tried to believe all the things that you said
but my friends that aren't dying are already dead

raise a toast to st joe strummer
think he might've been our only decent teacher
getting older only makes it harder to remember
we are our only saviours
we're gonna build something this summer

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1 comment:

haasertime said...

great pick. Kevin Dutcher indeed played Constructive Summer after the Twins scored their 3rd run of the game. It sounded great. We Twins fans hope to build something this summer.


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