As always, it’s a privilege to participate in the United Cardinal Bloggers roundtable, and it’s something that we take seriously at PH8 (or as seriously as we take anything at PH8). With that in mind, we took a brief departure from the typical roundtable question and posed something a little lighthearted for our fellow bloggers to contemplate. We made a foolhardy attempt to sneak a weak fastball by them, and it got drilled. See for yourselves….
This UCB Roundtable question doesn’t require serious sabermetric analysis, and you don’t have to be a LOOGy to handle it. We’re purposely leaving it over the heart of the plate, and we’re throwing at Aaron Miles fastball speeds. Imagine that the Stl. Cardinals have just put you in charge of booking musical acts to perform both the national anthem and “God Bless America” at the first game of the 2011 World Series in St. Louis. You can pick from ANY current acts in the world or even combine your favorites. Who would you sign up for each song? Be imaginative. Bieber and Gaga singing the anthem? Eminem and Bob Dylan or Yo-Yo Ma and Method Man performing “God Bless America”? Why not? Be the ball. Hit the ball.
~”Hanging curve” (Dennis) & “60 foot slider” (Nick) from PH8
Daniel – C70 At The Bat
I think I’d rather have the sabermetric stuff. That I at least have a grasp on. Music is well out of my strike zone, and I’m going to look like Willie McGee going after that two-strike pitch in the dirt.
That said, and as I brace for any possible derision, I’ve recently become a fan of Sara Bareilles and I think she could do an upbeat piano rendition of God Bless America or a slow, soulful National Anthem without any problem.
Heading back to the bench now….
Bob – On The Outside Corner
OK, now I know how Carlos Beltran felt in Game Seven of the 2006 NLCS. I never saw this one coming.
But unlike the former Cardinals killer, I am going to take a swing at this one.
We’ve done Nelly, Sheryl Crow and the Gatlin Brothers (who aren’t even from St. Louis). St. Louis is a rock-n-roll town.
While the idea of the red-rocker Sammy Hagar is intriguing, the thought of him trying to sing the National Anthem is sort of terrifying. OK, it might rival Roseanne Barr’s horrific rendition that sent dogs into hiding across the entire nation.
But there is a simple answer. There’s one rock band that has been long associated with Cardinals baseball, but not as much recently. They opened the new stadium in 1966 and used to play regularly when I was a kid. I’m talking about the age-defying Bob Kuban and the Bob Kuban Band. And if
there happens to be a blown call during the game, they can break into a chorus of “The Cheater”, whatever that means.
For God Bless America, the one and only Chuck Berry. Like Stan Musial, he’s a national treasure and we aren’t going to have him around forever. And if he happens to segue into My Little Ding-a-ling, all the better.
Joseph – The MBrayer-Baseball Blog
wow what a very unique question…….
I would choose Katie Perry only for God Bless America, only Katie can do this job by herself. For the anthem i would hire Little Big Town and Josh Turner
What’s that? Game 3 you say? (tongue in cheek) There’s ZERO CHANCE that someone other than Stan Musial plays the harmonica for the 7th inning stretch, “Take me out to the ballgame”, that much I know. As far as the National Anthem & God Bless America…there’s not much home-grown talent that would be fitting for the big stage. I guess Sheryl Crow gets the National Anthem (almost by default). I can’t see Nelly or Chuck Berry doing God Bless America, really. So maybe I take a MLB-minded approach to it: Get some corporate sponsor to hold a contest (that some kids choir eventually ends up winning) to sing it. Great question, Dennis–I like the outside-the-box thinking!!
Cadence – Cardinal Diamond Diaries
If we must go with home-grown talent, I am NOT picking Sheryl Crow again. Sorry, I don’t want to hear her do it again – its played out. How about country singer David Nail singing the National Anthem or God Bless America? He is a Missouri native and he is a huge Missouri sports fan (mostly from Columbia – East) and tweets about the Cardinals quite often. Besides the fact that he is a huge Cardinals fan, he is really good and would probably really enjoy the honor.
As for the other…well, I have always been a fan of the crowd singing The National Anthem. I know its the World Series and that probably wouldn’t go over too well with the network, but there is nothing like being at a game and the entire stadium is singing the anthem a cappella. I am sure I would get vetoed on that idea for Neal Boyd (again…), but that’s my choice.
Mike – Stan Musial’s Stance
I haven’t lived in St Louis for years, so I’ve completely lost touch with the local music scene. But since the World Series is a national event, I’ll take a crack at it.
National Anthem: USMC Drum and Bugle Corps. Crowd sings along.
God Bless America: Kane Kalas. (Yes I know, son of the great Phillies broadcaster, so what?)
Theme – Both played/sung with pride, and not a lot of added hoopla.
Tom – Cardinal’s GM
I am going with Aretha Franklin and “God Bless America” Watch it here.
Whitney Houston has the greatest performance BUT…………..
I am going with the Gaither Vocal Band for my selection.
But NOT this one which will bring a smile to your face!
Steve – The Outfield Ivy
I would love to have Hendrix do the National Anthem, but he is dead.
So, from the living side of things let’s have some classics, B.B. King do the National Anthem & Willie Nelson does a great rendition of “God Bless America”. Can’t get anymore Americana than that.
Aaron – Cardinals Diaspora
One of the best National Anthems of all time.
(PS- stick with the video. Don’t know the point of the first 40
seconds or so, but these guys are European, so who knows.)
Erika – Cardinal Diamond Diaries
I’ve heard rumors that some of the boys can sing. So why not get Dave Freese, Adam Wainwright or some of the other karaoke kings out there to show off their pipes? That’s my vote. Hands down. I’ll set my DVR right now. 😉
Bill – i70baseball
I was going to just stay out of this one, because I’m not sure I had much to add to it.
But seriously, how is no one throwing our very own Aaron Hooks and his musical genius into the discussion?
Pip – Fungoes
The two criteria that I’d look for in booking performers are people with local connections and those who can maintain the dignity of the performance. My first pick would be local jazz singer Erin Bode and her band, who could handle both God Bless America and the Star-Spangled Banner. Another option for the national anthem is Wilco (of Bellevegas origin). T-Bone Burnett and Alison Krauss would be fabulous for both songs. Grace Bumbry (opera) would be lovely, and, if you’re looking for a guitar version of the national anthem, Richard Fortus (Guns ‘N Roses) might work.
Andy – Gas House Graphs
This might be my favorite question of them all thus far as I’m a huge music person (actually, I’ve been known to play a little bass guitar). I was horribly embarrassed by Saint Louis’ representatives in recent World Series, although the only person I can recall at the moment to have performed is Gretchen Wilson (shudder)… maybe Ozzie Smith’s son did too… or was that the All-Star Game? I can’t remember or find this information on the internets.
God Bless America: Form an unlikely collaboration between Sheryl Crow and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco fame). They were both born in the Saint Louis area after all… and would the collaboration be any more unlikely than Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock’s “Picture,” a song that is admittedly a guilty pleasure of mine? I think it would work.
National Anthem: As much as I’d like to assign the song to one of my favorite indie bands (Yo La Tengo, The Hold Steady, Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, etc.), it’d be a nice gesture to forward the honor to our very own Chuck Berry, yes? And while we’re at it, perhaps we could have Erin Bode (local jazz singer) provide accompanying vocals to his guitar work.
Mark – Retrosimba
Because it’s St. Louis, have to go with some St. Louis-area talent. So:
_ Chuck Berry and T-Bone Burnett to do the national anthem on guitar
_ Sheryl Crow and Tina Turner team on God Bless America
Chris – Bird Brained
Being a rock and roll guy, I’ve always thought the best interpretation of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the one Jimi Hendrix unleashed at the Woodstock festival in 1969. And though it would be about as imaginative as possible to say I’d raise Hendrix from the dead for such an event, that may be taking “imaginative” a little too far. So I would like to see Eddie Van Halen as a substitute. His band may have taken more twists and turns over the years than a roller coaster designed by an engineer on LSD, but to me he is still the best guitarist in the land. I think he could rip out an instrumental version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that would be remembered for a long, long time. And since Van Halen is just as good on the keys as he is on the guitar, he could also take a seat at the stadium organ to play “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and the Budweiser theme later in the game.
In that same vein, I would like to keep with the Van Halen theme and have David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar team up to sing “God Bless America” (even though I’m not a fan of it being sung at all, but that’s a topic for another day). It’s possible the bad blood between them would overflow before they even made it through the first verse, but no one could say it was a boring rendition. And while Roth uses his kung fu to battle Hagar and his boxing skills near home plate, security will be otherwise engaged trying to tackle Gary Cherone for running onto the field because everyone knows he doesn’t belong there.
Christine – Aaron Miles’ Fastball
To me, both songs are about tradition. For “The Star Spangled Banner” in particular, I just want someone who can sing the song – no Christina Aguilera, no Bieber, no Gaga. So I will go with someone who can definitely sing (to say the least), sing it the way it’s supposed to be sung and remember all the words: Josh Groban. (As a bonus, he’s already sung it at the World Series in 2005. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYzcB_6BCVs&feature=related)
For “God Bless America”, my preference is for something that speaks a little more to St. Louis. And, since we’re just being imaginative here, what could be more St. Louis and more Cardinals than Stan the Man Musial? A harmonica version of “God Bless America” by Stan the Man in game one of the World Series would be perfect – and no doubt inspire the team to win!
Pip (part deux) – Fungoes
Two more to add to my previous list: Christine Brewer and Kristen Chenoweth.
Dustin – Welcome to Baseball Heaven
For “God Bless America” I’m going to choose country singer David Nail, who I believe Cadence mentioned. Now I’m not a country music fan whatsoever, but my girlfriend is and I attended a show with her in which Nail opened at The Fox. I’ve got to admit he wasn’t too bad. He’s a Missouri native with a baseball background along with being a big Cardinals fan. I believe he’d represent well.
“The National Anthem” I’d love to see performed by active and veteran members of the military singing along with the fans. Maybe have a representative or two from each branch sing. This of course followed by a flyover.
I must admit that I was impressed by the responses and the tendency to lean a bit to the homegrown talent side of things. That said, one of my favorite non-vocal renditions is the one performed by Dave Mustaine at an MTV Rock’n’Jock softball game. However, I’m also a huge proponent of having the anthem performed without accompaniment and having the whole crowd sing along is a huge bonus. If all goes well, maybe the Cardinals can win the series in 7, and there will be a little bit of everything to keep everybody happy.