ESPN Music: Baseball

Music featured on MLB programming

September, 2, 2013
9/02/13
2:44
PM ET
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN’s MLB programming, links to the artist’s websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Music for MLB Programming

The Who: ”The Real Me" from the “Quadrophenia” album.

(iTunes | Amazon)

Papa Roach: ”Still Swingin’" from the “The Connection” album.

(iTunes | Amazon)

Mayer Hawthorne: ”The Stars Are Ours" from the “Where Does This Door Go” album.

(iTunes | Amazon)

Fall Out Boy: ”The Phoenix" from the “Save Rock and Roll” album.

(iTunes | Amazon)

The Mag 15 playlist: 2008

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
7:00
AM ET
ESPN The Magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Whatever You Like” by T.I.
“This had to be the team song of the Detroit Lions, whose accommodating performances on the gridiron helped make them the first 0-16 team in NFL history.”

“Superstar” by Lupe Fiasco
“Forget his NFL career. Watch this and be reminded Tim Tebow [the speech], on his way to a national title at Florida, was every bit the superstar many wished he could be now.”

“4 Minutes” by Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake
“The song doesn’t matter. Just remember the '08 Phillies won the franchise’s first World Series since ... before anyone had even heard of Madonna. Yeah, long time.”

“No Air” by Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown
“As in, when Mario Chalmers hit a last-second 3-point dagger to send Kansas into overtime against Memphis, John Calipari looked like there was no air left in the universe.”

(Read full post)

The Mag 15 playlist: 2007

April, 3, 2013
4/03/13
7:00
AM ET
ESPN The Magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Make It Rain” by Fat Joe
“That was pretty much all anyone could hope would happen in a game against the 16-0 Patriots, featuring the resurrection of Randy Moss. Or, just wait for the Super Bowl.”

“Umbrella” by Rihanna
“Never forget -- Prince killed the Super Bowl halftime in February -- in high heels, in the rain -- and managed to sneak an inappropriate visual into the show for good measure.”

“Party Like a Rock Star” by Shop Boyz
“Because this is exactly what Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich did after winning their fourth championship. You know they did.”

(Read full post)

The Mag 15 playlist: 2006

April, 1, 2013
4/01/13
7:00
AM ET
This month, ESPN The Magazine celebrates its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley
“This was the year Steve Nash won his second MVP. Maybe we were crazy? Yeah, possibly.

“Ridin Dirty” by Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone
“This is more Mark Martin’s flavor, but it was the year Jimmy Johnson won his first of five Cup series championships. If you ain’t ridin’ dirty, you ain’t tryin’.”

“I’m in’ Luv (Wit a Stripper)” by T-Pain
“At once, a young athlete’s dream, and the soundtrack to the veteran’s cautionary tales.”

“Dirty Little Secret” by The All-American Rejects
“Yes, Floyd Landis, I’m looking at you.”

“There It Go (The Whistle Song)” by Juelz Santana
“The unofficial theme song of the 2006 NBA Finals, when Dwayne Wade went to the foul line like he paid rent on it.”

“Bossy” by Kelis
“As is Peyton Manning. But after the 2006 season, he was something more important -- a Super Bowl champion.”

“Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood
“Little known fact -- that was the official name of the play Florida ran when Tim Tebow threw the jump pass. Or maybe it just should have been.”

The Mag 15 playlist: 2005

March, 29, 2013
3/29/13
7:00
AM ET
This month, ESPN The Magazine celebrates its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“I’m Shipping Up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphys
“Oh, you thought the newly minted Red Sox Nation stopped celebrating when 2004 ended?”

“Number One Spot” by Ludacris
“In the AP poll, that was USC’s from the end of 2003 all the way through the 2005 season. Until...”

“Best of You” by Foo Fighters
“...They ran into Vince Young in the greatest college football game of all time to close the season.”

“Speed of Sound” by Coldplay
“The Heisman Trust may not remember Reggie Bush, but the rest of us do, and that’s about how fast that electric, once-a-generation talent moved.”

“La Tortura” by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz
"2005 gave us one of the lowest-rated NBA Finals -- Spurs-Pistons -- in history, and it had the nerve to go seven games! What torture.”

“Scars” by Papa Roach
“As in, ‘If you cancel your whole season because of a labor dispute, NHL, it’s gonna leave some scars.’ And it left some scars.”

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
“That’s the road the Seahawks take to go back in their minds to Super Bowl XL, and officials throw flags at them the whole way for no apparent reason.”

“Over and Over” by Nelly featuring Tim McGraw
“Hey, did you know Jerome Bettis was from Detroit? That’s one thing Seahawks fans hear going down that boulevard. Over and over.”

Ashley Monroe talks music and baseball

March, 26, 2013
3/26/13
6:00
AM ET
Ashley Monroe of Pistol AnniesRick Diamond/Getty ImagesAshley Monroe, right, has quite the busy career. But she still gets to see baseball from time to time.
Just 26 years old, country singer Ashley Monroe has had her fair share of struggles in the music business. Having inked her first deal as a teenager, her debut album was set to be released in 2006, but didn’t see the light of day until 2009 as a digital exclusive with little fanfare. With a fledgling solo career, Monroe made her name as a songwriter, working with some of the biggest names in country. In 2011 she teamed up with pals Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley to form the Pistol Annies. Since their critically acclaimed debut album later that year, Monroe’s career has skyrocketed.

Earlier this month Monroe finally released a solo record. "Like a Rose" has already garnered rave reviews and impressive sales. With a new Pistol Annies record set for a May release -- and a recent engagement to Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks -- it seems like Monroe is on top of the world both professionally and personally.

We chatted music and baseball with Monroe over the phone earlier this month, in between performances at SXSW in Austin.

Playbook: Congrats on the album! How does it feel to be getting such positive reviews and acclaim?

Monroe: I can’t believe it. It’s really overwhelming. At first I thought my mom was just sending me the good reviews ...

Playbook: After the disappointment of your first record never getting a proper release, how did you manage to stay focused and not get discouraged?

(Read full post)

Boston's music pranks amp up Rays rivalry

May, 31, 2012
5/31/12
11:28
AM ET
Boston Red Sox Barry Chin/The Boston Globe/Getty ImagesWho knew the Rays-Red Sox rivalry could get so chippy so soon in the teams' relative history?
I think it’s fair to say that everyone’s pretty satisfied with the rivalry between the Rays and the Red Sox right now. How it’s grown since 2008! This weekend’s series brought us a bench-clearing almost-brawl, Bobby Valentine taking salty jabs at Maddon & Co and a deliciously catty bit of drama involving the pregame warm-up music that largely went under the radar.

Here’s what happened.

B.J. Upton, annoyed with Fenway’s custom of cutting off music during batting practice, ran an extension cord from the dugout and bumped his own jams from a boombox before Saturday’s game. The folks in the booth didn’t take kindly to the insubordination, so they started blaring organ music to spoil the fun. Then, before Sunday’s game, the Fenway PA system played "Fur Elise" and other classical tunes during BP -- the kind of stuff that could deplete the Rays of energy or lull Don Zimmer’s giant baby head into a deep sleep.

The two teams don’t face again until July, when the Sox make the trip down to Florida. In the meantime, I’d expect the Tampa sound guys to devise some sort of retaliation to up the ante a bit.

(Read full post)

The Isotopes blend punk and baseball

April, 15, 2012
4/15/12
8:24
PM ET


The Sex Pistols challenged authority. The Ramones mastered the three-chord song. Bad Religion wrote lyrics related to social responsibility.

The Isotopes Punk Rock Baseball Club sings about baseball. And baseball players. They call themselves "the world's greatest baseball punk band."

Sample lyrics from "Operation: Vamos" addresses the kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos:

"A Venezuelan Holiday
They're gonna take that kid away
Operation: Vamos
Target: Wilson Ramos"


It's one of the newest tunes from the band also responsible for "Ballad of Rey Ordonez" and "Curse of Jim Eisenreich."

"I've played baseball every season since I was 3 years old and as experienced as I am at picking up chicks, getting my heart broken and vice versa, I'm 10 times more experienced at fielding grounders and hockin' loogs," said lead singer Evan October (real name: Evan Wansbrough).

The band splits its time between Louisville, Ky., and Vancouver, British Columbia, where October grew up playing middle infield for the North Shore Twins, a league for elite high school-age players.

"The Twins were also in the same league as Adam Loewen and I had to face him a couple times, with no particular success," said October, 27.

The band has been playing since 2006 and put out its first album on Red Scare Industries in 2009. But the boys still find time for bar-league ball, where October generates ideas for songs like "Suicide Squeeze":

"We're tied and it is getting late
We'll manufacture our own fate
They won't believe we did it
First move and I'm committed"


But they'll even delve into the rules. Sample lyrics from "Rule 21," a song named after the MLB misconduct rule:

"I've been erased
A black bar across my name, ashamed and disgraced
Nobody will remember me
I've been tossed outta history
I bet and lost a legacy"


The Isotopes Punk Rock Baseball Club has a few tour dates coming up, including an appearance at the well-known Insubordination Festival in Baltimore this summer.

Less exciting for October is the Miami Marlins' new uniforms, which he says are about as punk rock as Justin Bieber.

"The Marlins are going to be a team to watch," he said. "I was behind them for NL wild card last season, but the addition of Reyes and Ozzie guarantees that they'll be in the conversation come October. The new uniforms though ... good lord. The Marlins' new branding is the worst baseball has ever seen."

Check out more Isotopes music at theisotopes.bandcamp.com.

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