Sports Music Festivals are FundaMETAL

The middle sliver of a very strange Venn diagram was elated yesterday over the news that The Walkmen are reuniting after a two month hiatus, thanks to ginger catapult Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs. The band is headlining Bonner’s Alt-Star Party during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, so try to imagine a game of pick-up Rock ‘N Jock breaking out in Bushwick and you’ll have some idea how cool this is. Are you thinking about Dan Cortese wearing a Big Country Reeves throwback, sipping soup from an old canteen? Good, you’re with me.

Pitchfork gave Matt Bonner a 7.4

Pitchfork gave Matt Bonner a 7.4

I give everyone involved here credit for recognizing the untapped potential of sports and music crossover festivals. The combination of obvious and necessary naming puns, random athletes serving as subculture arbiters, and the hilarious possible mismatches between sport and artist leave me wanting a full summer calendar of fests I can tailgate at with brats and a couple xani bars. Let’s all go on a weird tour of ones I’m making up right now.

Ace of BASEketball 

Two whole generations of music and sports fans have been denied the opportunity to witness Ace of Base’s classic alternative-yet-radio-friendly hit “The Sign” performed live, and this one-week residency at the LACMA will attract pseudo-ironists who won’t admit this song is in their personal top-fives in mixed company, even though it TOTALLY IS, GUYS. They’ll have plenty of time to make up their minds here, as the band will play the song on repeat for six hours, cast in shadow behind a projection screen that’s showing the 1997 film “BASEketball” four times.

They Traded It All…For One Thing…For One Month

For the month of March the roster of the Calgary Flames is comprised only of members of Canadian alt-rock band Finger Eleven. They are singing “One Thing” the entire time at center ice. Go do this now, because I guarantee that you never have before: Start that song at the beginning, and then listen to it all the way until the end. You couldn’t do it, could you? Yeah, the Flames are going undefeated in March.



World Cup FANDAMONIUM 2014

This is a fun, interactive one. All Americans who are super duper excited for the 2014 World Cup are invited on this early Spring tour of our country’s finest multi-purpose outdoor stadiums. Once there, they’ll each be invited one by one on stage to perform a spoken word piece about why they think this is the year for the U.S., talk in-depth about “soccer strategy,” have a little runway show for cool scarves, or heck, just stand up there and refer to some singular team names in the plural all day long. Because this is music to some people’s ears.

 “NBA Superstars” VHS Reunion Tour

What do Gladys Knight, Pearl Jam and Wrecks ‘N Effect have in common? How about The Outfield, Sheena Easton and LL Cool J? If you said “the soundtrack to my execution” you’re only half right, because these seminal 90s artists also provided the score to the greatest highlight compilation video series in the history of man, “NBA Superstars” Volumes I-III. Yes, those tapes that just seemed to mysteriously appear one day in your VCR and never left until your mom threw the whole set top away (Important note: These are not the blooper tapes with Marv Albert and Frank Layden). The formula was simple: take a song from the fringes of arena-readiness, strip it of all context, and hastily splice it with NBA game footage and local radio play-by-play. Sometimes the pairings tried (Charles Barkley/”Born to be Wild”, Shawn Kemp/Pearl Jam), but it was much better when they didn’t (Dominique Wilkins/Yanni).

A truly flawless trilogy, “NBA Superstars” did the impossible: get you to like Soul Asylum. Because you, like Mark Price, don’t care about no wheelchair. Volume III was particularly incredible, because it saw enough similarities in the games and backstories of Derrick Coleman and Steve Smith to pair them together in a montage, then pair that montage with “Movin On Up” by M People. If you’re anything like me, you’ve stumbled upon old game footage of Dan Majerle and found yourself with the sudden, uncontrollable urge to sing “Love Can Move Mountains” by Celine Dion. This is why:

So yeah, we’re rounding up all these artists and touring them forever.