Pops And Sox

popsIt was just a couple of years ago that the Boston Pops were trying to bring in younger audiences by teaming up with artists like Ben Folds and My Morning Jacket… that was also back when the economy still had a pulse.  Flash forward to 2009, and the Pops are battling to stay in the game … so they’re turning to the Red Sox.

red-soxKeith Lockhart and company will release “The Red Sox Album” this spring … so if you’ve always wanted a fully orchestrated rendition of Take Me Out To The Ball Game you’re going to get it (gee, I hope they include a lyric sheet with the CD).  Throw in Sweet Caroline and the Dropkick Murphys I’m Shipping Up To Boston and you’ve got a neat little package of FenwayPark kitsch.  Safe, smart and borrrrrrrrrrring.

The Murph’s are now the house punk band for the Sox with Tessie and Shipping, but it’s pure barroom energy that propel those songs.  They’ve got grit and sweat and potato skins all over them.  The Pops … love ’em as we all do … tend to turn everything into easy listening mush.  Not so much when you see them live, but on CD for sure.  This Sox collection sounds like it would be more useful for taunting Sox haters the delighting “The Nation.”

The new Pops season, which kicks off in May, includes a night with Broadway legend Barbara Cook … a “Film Night” conducted by John Williams (gosh, what will he play?!) … Linda Elder singing the songs of Judy Garland … and and a tribute to Arthur Fiedler.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Sorry, I nodded off.  Yikes, talk about playing it safe. Will the audience have to wear bubble suits so a cold isn’t spread around?  I realize everyone is trying to hang on to what they’ve got right now, but that doesn’t mean all sense of adventure and innovation was to be thrown out the window … especially in the arts.  C’mon Keith, take down the white flag and draw up some new battle plans.

Did everything work out swimmingly with the indie artists?  No.  The shows were hit and miss, but with moments of real energy and daring.  Well worth the effort. 

So, Keith since you’re all about the Sox now let me put it in baseball terms for you … it’s better to go down swinging than standing there with the bat on your shoulder and taking a third strike.

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