TCB is on vacation this week, which means only one thing: Take me out to the ball game. And no pregame ritual is complete without a viewing of 1988's Bull Durham, the best baseball movie ever made. Its themes of aging, mentorship, and taking things for granted be it talent or a lover resonate far beyond the diamond, and the love triangle of cantankerous veteran Crash Davis (Kevin Costner), fireballing space case Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), and well-read ballpark groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) is classic.
Like Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction, its soundtrack advances Bull Durham's story as much as Ron Shelton's sparkling dialogue. Here are a few extra-base hits from Shelton's ode to the sport that, as Walt Whitman wrote and Sarandon quotes, "is our game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us."
OPENING: Annie's soliloquy about belonging to the church of baseball ("There are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and 108 stitches on a baseball"), appropriately accompanied by black-and-white photos of the game, plus a church organ and gospel-style female vocalizing.
BILL HALEY & THE COMETS, "Rock Around the Clock": Movie's first song immediately establishes baseball's inextricable link with America's other national pastime, rock & roll.
THE SMITHEREENS, "Only a Memory": Plays in local bar right after Crash realizes this season in the "bus leagues" is his last hurrah.
IKE & TINA TURNER, "I Idolize You": Annie and "Clown Prince of Baseball" Max Patkin work it out on the dance floor as Crash and Nuke spar in alley outside. Obviously the adult, Crash observes, "God, I love this song."
EDITH PIAF, "La Vie en Rose": Follows Crash's famous "long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last for days" speech, and mirrors Annie's melancholy as she realizes reading "I Sing the Body Electric" to Nuke just isn't the same thing.
TIM ROBBINS, "Try a Little Tenderness": Nuke's mangling of soul classic's first line sparks one of the movie's funniest: "It's not wooly. No one gets wooly. Women get weary." Reprised, with proper lyrics, by Dr. John several minutes later.
LOS LOBOS, "I Got Loaded": Cavorting on the field during man-made rain-out, Bulls snap losing streak by reminding themselves that baseball may be a job and a grind, but it's also a game.
FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS, "Can't Tear It Up Enuff": Plays during Bulls' bus trip as Crash tells Nuke not to endanger his winning streak i.e., sleep with Annie and schools the young pitcher on his clichés: "Of course it's boring. Write it down."
BILLY WARD & HIS DOMINOS, "Sixty Minute Man": Nuke is off to the big leagues, as Crash and Annie finally do the horizontal mambo in her bed, bath, and beyond.
BENNIE WALLACE, BONNIE RAITT, and DR. JOHN, "Love Ain't No Triple Play": The Night Tripper takes us to the closing credits as camera lingers on Annie's shrine to fallen Yankee catcher Thurman Munson. Whitman again: "I see great things in baseball."
Celebrating its 1,000th issue this month, Rolling Stone has come a long way: must-read voice of the Sixties counterculture to trend-chasing publication trying to bring down the Bush administration while featuring the American Idol judges on the cover. From Ed Ward to David Fricke, the Chronicle has a long history with Rolling Stone, and a mole in founder/publisher Jann S. Wenner's office leaked us this top-secret memo apparently a set of guidelines for their record reviewers just in time for this momentous occasion.
The Funny Papers
1. BEGIN WITH BASE OF FOUR STARS if artist is Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Simon & Garfunkel, Van Morrison, U2, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, or any solo/side project thereof.
2. BEGIN WITH BASE OF TWO STARS if artist is anyone else.
3. ADD ONE STAR if artist is from UK, or speaks native language other than English.
4. ADD ONE-HALF STAR if artist is from Canada, Brooklyn, Seattle, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Athens, Portland, Bay area, or Silverlake.
5. SUBTRACT ONE STAR if artist is from anywhere else.
6. ADD ONE-HALF STAR if artist is already a hit on MTV2 and/or college radio.
7. SUBTRACT ONE STAR if artist is already a hit on MTV and/or commercial radio.
8. ADD ONE STAR if reviewer received "exclusive" advance copy of album.
9. ADD ONE STAR if artist is obviously influenced by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Ramones, David Bowie, and/or Velvet Underground.
10. ADD ONE-HALF STAR if artist is obviously influenced by Gang of Four, Joy Division, Depeche Mode, the Cure, and/or Echo & the Bunnymen.
11. ADD ONE STAR if artist is not influenced by Foghat, Boston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grand Funk Railroad, Rush, Journey, and/or BTO, but reviewer wants to be "ironic."
12. SUBTRACT ONE STAR if artist is actually influenced by Foghat, Boston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grand Funk Railroad, Rush, Journey, and/or BTO.
13. ADD TWO STARS if album contains song(s) that explicitly condemn(s) Bush administration, one star if implicit.
14. SUBTRACT THREE STARS if album contains sentiment that could remotely be construed as conservative and/or Republican.
NOTE: Please submit all ratings to Jann S. Wenner's office for final approval.
After literally weeks of speculation and conjecture, it's here: Your roster for the fifth annual Austin City Limits Music Festival, Sept. 15-17 in Zilker Park. Start stocking up on sunscreen, and see www.aclfestival.com or www.frontgatetickets.com for full lineup and ticket info. Current price for a three-day pass is $115.
Into the Great Wide Open
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Massive Attack, String Cheese Incident, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Flaming Lips, John Mayer, Raconteurs, Los Lonely Boys, Shins, Ween
Secret Machines, Ben Kweller, Matisyahu, Gnarls Barkley, Damien Rice, Cat Power, Nickel Creek, Ray LaMontagne, Damien Marley, Tragically Hip, Kings of Leon, Iron & Wine, Kasey Chambers, Aimee Mann, New Orleans Social Club, New Pornographers, Calexico, Explosions in the Sky
Gomez, Stars, Wolf Parade, Sparklehorse, Feist, KT Tunstall, Greencards, Guy Clark, Long Winters, Stills, Charlie Sexton, Okkervil River, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Randy Rogers Band, Ian McLagan & the Bump Band, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Del Castillo, Lou Ann Barton, I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness, Black Angels, Terri Hendrix, Trish Murphy
Mick Jagger made nonmusic news recently when he agreed to appear in an ABC-TV pilot tentatively titled Let's Rob Mick Jagger, a 24-style serial comedy wherein former MTV cabdriver Donal Logue and friends plot a season-long heist of Jagger's penthouse apartment. Left unreported was the fact that the show is actually only one of several Rolling Stones-related projects in development. A few of the others:
SURVIVOR: FIJI: Two teams, the Sticky Fingers and Tattoo Yous, square off in the now-familiar series of endurance and ingenuity-testing challenges, modified for participants' advancing ages. Production suspended after Keith Richards' and Ronnie Wood's boozy race to the top of a palm tree goes awry.
THE LONELY PLANET WITH CHARLIE WATTS: Watts recently announced the band's current Bigger Bang tour would be his last. Here he takes over this PBS travel series from Monty Python alumnus Michael Palin and studies percussion techniques in exotic locales including Morocco, Indonesia, and South London.
MAKING THE BAND: Single-camera show that documents bassist Darryl Jones' daily life as he repeatedly tries to convince skeptical friends and family that he is, in fact, a member of the Rolling Stones.
TUMBLING DICE: Sitcom starring Jagger as doddering yet saucy single dad dodging paternity suits while coping with houseful of young children, some of whom may even be his. Co-starring Bill Wyman as the unemployed but wacky neighbor.