The Madison Mallards (summer collegiate; Northwoods League) scored a nice coup by bringing in The Baseball Project, a musical supergroup featuring R.E.M.’s Peter Buck Mike Mills, for a June 10 match where the band will play live music throughout the ballgame, as the team brings a slew of live music to the renovated Duck Pond.
The Baseball Project focuses on original songs about America’s pastime, topics include Satchel Paige, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and more. Gates will open an hour earlier than normally scheduled, at 4:30 p.m., for a special pregame concert, which will run from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The band will also perform during the game between innings from a stage located behind home plate in the new Duck Pond seating bowl.
“This is what Mallards Baseball is all about,” said Mallards President Vern Stenman. “The Baseball Project is all about having a great time and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the first Friday night in our new ballpark than live music by a baseball-focused, national, rock band.”
The Baseball Project was formed in 2007 and is composed of Scott McCaughey (Minus 5, R.E.M.), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Gutterball), Peter Buck (R.E.M.), and Linda Pitmon (Miracle 3, Golden Smog). Later that year, the group recorded its first album, Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails. The group’s second album, Volume 2: High and Inside, was released on March 1, 2011. For this concert, Mike Mills is replacing Peter Buck.
Singer-guitarist Wynn described the group as being part musicians and part sports journalists.
“I think it will be a lot of fun just to kind of see what’s going on and get fired up about something,” said Wynn. “And instead of just writing bemused e-mails to each other, we’ll put chords behind it and call it a song,” Wynn said last week by phone from New York.
The Baseball Project is just one part of the live music at Warner Park this season. The Baseball Project will be joined by Madison’s Hometown Sweethearts, who will handle music in between at-bats and at other times throughout the game on the 10th. The Sweethearts will become the Official Friday Night House Band for the Mallards in 2011 and handle all musical duties each Friday during the summer (except June 17, which will be the Kissers).
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