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Craig Finn to the Twins: play better music!

Apr 6, 2012, 5:45 PM EDT

Craig Finn Twins

Craig Finn of The Hold Steady is a big Twins fans. BIG fan. Wears Twins jerseys on stage, writes songs about them and everything.  And he loves going to the park.  Once upon a time they used to play cool music at Twins games too, but no longer, he tells CBS’s Eye on Baseball:

EOB: I’m assuming you’ve been at a Twins game at least, where they’ve played one of your songs, but what was it like the first time you heard your own song at a baseball game?

CF: It was at the Metrodome. The music guy there got in touch with me and knew I was going to be at the game and he played eight Hold Steady songs during the Twins game. And the other music he played was Bruce Springsteen and the Replacements. So I felt like I was being serenaded by my own mix, so it was pretty amazing. I feel like my relationship with Minneapolis is strong. I sing about it a lot and we get good crowds there. There are times where I always feel like I’m really accepted by the city and that was one of them. I’ve heard (the Hold Steady) once in Target Field. Unfortunately they let that guy go and they used to have amazing music at the dome, they’d play smart music, stuff you don’t always hear at the ballpark. I was disappointed they let him go and they got some sort of Top 40 DJ, playing Lady Gaga.

EOB: That’s terrible when you have a place like Minneapolis that’s so rich in music history.

CF: You want the park to be connected to the city both architecturally and vibe-wise. I thought when I’d go to a game and hear the Replacements, this is what makes our city different. That we really understand what we have musically and honor that. I thought that was unfortunate that it’s gone away. But whatever.

It does stink. Baseball is so very local. Any park in a city with any kind of local musical or artistic heritage should play that up as much as possible.  Too bad the guys in Minnesota don’t feel that way.

Read the rest of the interview, by the way. All kinds of stuff about baseball. Which makes me like Craig Finn a lot.

  1. Mark Armour - Apr 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Craig Finn is wonderful. He has also collaborated with The Baseball Project, who should be the house band for Hardball Talk. Fantastic musicians, the lot of them..

  2. simon94022 - Apr 6, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    I’ll take Roll Out The Barrell on an organ over this stuff any day.

    • paperlions - Apr 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

      I love the traditional organ at the ball park….and I hope to never hear that song, in any arrangement, for the rest of my life.

  3. wlschneider09 - Apr 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Frankly, I kinda wish the Twins would play better baseball too.

  4. senatorsguy - Apr 6, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Great timing on this article. Yesterday my Twin’s season ticket salesperson called me and checked in. I told him to get the music fixed. When I saw this article – I sent him the link. I don’t think I can handle another year of Living on Prayer every damn game! Maybe the Pohlad’s need help building a CD collection….

    • meteor32 - Apr 7, 2012 at 5:25 AM

      I hate the over use of Don’t Stop Believing. They even play it when the Tigers are in town and I see so many fans *sing* the lyric “born and raised in south Detroit” without the slightest sense of irony. I doubt LSU plays Sweet Home Alabama when they host the Crimson Tide.

  5. nikesparq - Apr 6, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    I’m a season ticket holder and appreciate the new music. Not all Twins fans are older that come to new Target Field. From the lower section, to the captains deck, to the higher level, the mood is always positive with the current music. If it’s not broke don’t fix it.

    Mr. Finn, I suggest you be more vocal about the sportsmanship of the team, not the music.

    • danielcp0303 - Apr 6, 2012 at 9:31 PM

      You don’t have to be old to have a good taste in music.

    • frankvzappa - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:14 PM

      It IS broke, and Finn is right. Anybody who thinks there is nothing wrong with top-40 music knows absolutely nothing about the subject and should probably keep their mouths closed lest everybody find out how little they know about life and art. Craig Finn’s opinion on music is so much more highly evolved than yours that i am incredulous that your comment could even be posted without sarcasm. Anyway, sorry for interrupting your delusional world, I will let the record companies get back to telling you what you should listen to since you apparently cannot decide for yourself.

    • meteor32 - Apr 7, 2012 at 5:19 AM

      I too am a Twins season ticket holder and you were going to a different Target Field than me last year if you thought the mood there was anything near positive. It’s not just that they play bad music, it’s that they play the same bad music that has no connection with city. It’s mindless pop that has no business at a ballpark that employs an organ player.

      • senatorsguy - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:27 AM

        and furthermore, they play it over and over and over and over and over. I refuse to believe the “playlist” consists of more than 8 songs for the entire season.

        those of you who are OK with need to consider the quantity, if not the quality. I don’t care if its Lady Gaga or Journey. If it gets played every third inning, its too much.

    • Cris E - Apr 8, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      The mood might or might not be positive, but that’s despite the music, not because of it. Would you be comfortable with another 63-99 team on the field? The mood was good…

      Listen, Top 40 or Lifter Puller, there’s room for improvement in the music department. Minnesota has lots of local options at all points on the dial, so there’s no reason to get dogmatic about the particulars. But everyone sing Kumbaya with me: it’s a cheap and easy thing to address that a pretty fair number of fans will notice and appreciate.

  6. Bryz - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    A music director’s job is to play music that appeals to as many people as possible. Simplest method? Play top 40 songs.

    Look, I’m not even a fan of this kind of music (in my opinion, the best bands/artists are those not on the radio) but I don’t care about the local bands, either. I just got used to top 40 songs when I was in high school.

    Finally, there are a few local bands that get played before the games. Yes, it’s not during the game, but there’s a bit. Frankly, I really don’t care if Craig Finn or anyone else is unhappy because their music isn’t being played at Target Field because my favorites aren’t being played either, and I’m surviving without it.

    Get off my lawn.

    • Reflex - Apr 7, 2012 at 6:38 AM

      As someone who used to work as a DJ, no, that’s not how it works. If that was how it worked, you’d just pipe in the local pop radio station and call it good. A good DJ, at a live event, knows the local scene, whats popular, what comes from the area, and they know it like the back of their hand so regardless of what happens they have something the locals know and the visitors do not on hand that is appropriate to whats on the field. They should know several decades of music, and there should be something for everyone, from the spectators in their 70’s to the ten year olds.

      Someone presumably making a decent salary working for a major sports team with this as their primary job certainly can do better than what is being described here.

  7. kirschmania - Apr 7, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Yep…the music sucks. Especially the players music. Too much hip-hop. I’d agree with Craig. More Soul Asylum, Jayhawks, Hold Steady, Replacements, Prince, etc, etc…

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