I don’t hear a single.

It looks like I’ve finally made my Satanic Majesties Request, or maybe my Self Portrait — the album that makes people shake their heads and say, “He’s lost the plot.”

My latest Bandcamp effort, The Midnight Loneliness of the Sunflower, has stalled out with fewer downloads — and, I think, fewer listens — than any of its three predecessors.

Apparently, fire sirens and machine-translated French lyrics just ain’t what the music-loving public wants in the year 2015.

(Give it time, I say. By the year — oh, let’s say 2037 — I will be regarded as a genius, ahead of my time in my ambitious fusion of otherwise unrelated elements.)

Bandcamp’s inscrutable popularity rankings currently list The Midnight Loneliness as the eighth-most-popular recording with the tag “Allentown.”

Which says little, really, except that the music-listening public doesn’t seem to like recordings tagged “Allentown” any more than it does fire sirens.

sunflower

The Midnight Loneliness is also currently the 80th-most-popular Bandcamp recording with the tag “french.” I can only assume that sound I hear is Vercingetorix weeping from beyond the grave.

The good news? Well, you won’t get to listen ’til late in the year, but I’m already working on tracks for a second recording of atonal diddley-bow solos.

Yeah, next time around I’m gonna give the people what they want.

The sunflower.

Today’s post, in two-part summary:

1.) I do not speak French.

2.) I invite you to hear and enjoy my new album, The Midnight Loneliness of the Sunflower, which was recorded entirely in French.

# # # # #

A little more context, perhaps.

Over the past year-plus I have been confronted by a gradual slipping of my communications skills. This is a concern, as these skills are at the heart of both my job and my leisure hobbies.

– I don’t think my writing and other communication at work is as sharp as it used to be. It still gets the job done, but not very imaginatively.

– My inspiration for this blog and my other blog has very much dwindled. I don’t write for fun nearly as often as I used to, and when I do, I don’t do it well. (I have continued to write the other blog on a weekly basis, but only because that’s the pace I promised the readers … and in any event, that blog’s going bye-bye in a few weeks.)

– I feel less and less interested in sharing my opinions on anything with the world. I am not culturally deep enough to have much of interest to say; my perspective is lacking. Plus, no one gives a damn, really.

– I find that my ability to remember words and facts is not what it used to be. I can’t always find stuff on the tip of my tongue. (It’s not sliding enough to make me worry. And in some ways it might be healthy: I’m consciously trying not to be a know-it-all any more. Still, I find it mildly frustrating, and at times it poses a minor block to my ability to communicate.)

MidnightLoneliness3

Faced with these assembled setbacks, the idea of recording an album in a language I do not speak seemed oddly appropriate, appealing and potentially therapeutic.

It summoned new kinds of inspiration, while allowing me to throw conventional forms of inspiration out the window. It took hold of my imagination and lifted my spirits, which in and of itself was worth the effort.

The original idea was for a group of lulling, lilting bossa nova tunes with lyrics whispered in French — a language I took a quarter-century ago, vaguely remember, but have never used.

Real bossa nova guitar requires chops I can only dream of. So the project mutated. Some of it is Latin-influenced; some of it is not.

Midway through the project, I also decided to spice up the gentler acoustic tunes with a brassy layer of fire alarm. These alternative presentations appear at the end of The Midnight Loneliness, and I hope my listeners will enjoy them as much as, if not more than, the originals.

MidnightLoneliness1

I recognize that The Midnight Loneliness will not be amusing to anyone who actually speaks French. They will find any number of mispronunciations, not to mention lines where Google Translate — yup — handed me phrasings no real speaker of the language would use.

I am not bothered, and I hope they can find a way around their expectations and not be bothered either.

It was not my goal to pass for an authentic French speaker (or lyricist). If I had wanted that, I would have taken the necessary steps to pursue it, like taking a refresher course in the language and finding a more trustworthy translator.

Being an amateur, with all that entails, was more fun — and much more in tune with the curious spark that led to this recording in the first place.

The Midnight Loneliness of the Sunflower, like my earlier recordings, is available as a free Bandcamp download. The lyrics, in French and English, can be read on the home page if you want to know what’s (more or less) going on.

So check it out. Consider downloading it, even. That’ll make me happy, and downloading doesn’t obligate you to actually listen.

(I thought about offering a prize to anyone who emails me a screenshot showing a Midnight Loneliness track playing on their iPod, iPhone, iTunes or other audio player. I don’t really have any prizes beyond gratitude … but if you listen, send me a snapshot anyway.)

Thanks.

MidnightLoneliness4

January 22, 1979: C’est chic.

I don’t live-blog American Top 40 countdowns any more, but I’m still interested in record charts.

And whaddya know but the marvelous ARSA database has a hit-record chart for Allentown’s old WKAP-AM for this very week in 1979 (the week ending Jan. 22, to be specific.)

That looks like a marvelous target to waste a few hundred words on. So let’s turn on WKAP and see what we think of it, shall we? I guess I’ll put my favourites in bold, like old times:

1: The Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” This has become such a cultural touchstone that I can scarcely imagine hearing it for the first time, or the tenth time.

(I have even more trouble imagining hearing it without knowing about the homosexual subtext, though I’m led to believe quite a few Americans didn’t really know what was going on at the time.)

My dad told me once that he spent a few days at a YMCA when he first moved to Rochester in 1966. I imagine he got himself clean and had a good meal; I do not think he went so far as to do whatever he felt.

2. “Le Freak,” Chic. Cool and crisp as gin; maybe half a notch below “Good Times” but still one of those records disco doesn’t have to apologize for. This was Number One in the country that week, and had topped WKAP’s list the week before.

3. Nicolette Larson, “Lotta Love.” I much prefer this in the hands of its creator (and his ragged-but-right BFFs). Strings, horns, and a precious flute solo don’t compare to the joys of hearing Billy, Ralph and Poncho oooooooh-ing like choirboys.

4. “September,” Earth Wind & Fire. The first of several hits on this chart from performers who appeared in the “Sgt. Pepper’s” movie the previous year. The movie, however dreadful, was maybe not the career-killer some have made it out to be; it certainly didn’t stop EW&F from dropping tight funk here.

5. “A Little More Love,” Olivia Newton-John. I remember rather more of this song than I would have thought, which means I must have some fondness for it. Listening back on YouTube, though, it feels a little too turgid and bloodless to get a bold. (It gets me nowhere to tell it no.)

6. Bee Gees, “Too Much Heaven.” I can’t help it; I like them more when they strut than when they croon.

7. “My Life,” Billy Joel. I think this is the turning point when things start going to crap on the countdown. Few artists asking to be left alone have made more convincing cases.

8. “Fire,” Pointer Sisters. Another song that is probably better in the hands of its creator (and his BFFs.)

9. “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” Rod Stewart. I find this to be one big parodic goof, and pleasant enough, though I would have burned out on it double-quick if I’d heard it every hour on WKAP in 1979.

10. “We’ve Got Tonight,” Bob Seger. I like Seger well enough, and I wouldn’t turn the radio away from this, I suppose.

11. “New York Groove,” Ace Frehley. Awwwwwww yeah! Big dumb glam-style stomp, and probably my favorite song on the countdown. It’s a tradition in my family to play this in the car on road trips, any time we cross a state line (or, on one occasion, an international border) into New York state.

12. “Hold The Line,” Toto. Well-turned propulsive arena-rock, and probably the Toto song I’d want to hear if I had to hear one. That’s slim gruel as far as endorsements go, though.

13. “Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Race,” Queen. OK, this might rival the Space Ace for my affections. One side of filthy, sweaty hard-rock stomp; the other of loopy, only vaguely less filthy glam-pop eccentricity.

I’m not sure how I never got more into these guys: Any band with the charisma and imagination (and pipes) of Freddie Mercury and the guitar inventiveness of Brian May seems worth checking out at length.

Most of the players on the local minor-league baseball team choose country or crunch-metal for their at-bat music. But last season, infielder Tyler Henson used “Fat Bottomed Girls.” He was a naughty, naughty boy, and I wished he’d come to bat every inning so I could hear it again.

One more note: Unless I’m missing it, this song was not even on the American Top 40 that week. On the other hand, two songs from the National Top Ten — Eric Clapton’s “Promises” and Linda Ronstadt’s “Ooh Baby Baby” — are missing from WKAP’s Top 25. One of those is a shame.

14. “How You Gonna See Me Now,” by Alice Cooper. The last of a handful of ballad hits Coop had in the latter half of the Seventies. I don’t have great use for any of ’em, I don’t think, and the others at least are catchier than this.

15. “Somewhere In The Night,” Barry Manilow. Not for me, thanks.

16. “Shake It,” Ian Matthews. Watching this on YouTube brings back absolutely no memory of it. It sounds like a hundred other records from 1978-80, and while I have a mild fondness for those production values, they’re still pretty bland.

17. “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” Foreigner. Never liked these guys either.

18. “I Will Be In Love With You,” Livingston Taylor. This is totally an impulse bold, and one I’ll regret tomorrow. This one’s also kissed with that same choking 1979 lushness, which, in this case, works in its favor. I also give it credit because I cannot read the title without phrasing it into music, which is one sign of a catchy chorus.

(One negative: Livingston, through no fault of his own, sounds like his brother slowed down a quarter-step, and I can’t help wondering why the record’s playing slow.)

19. “Our Love (Don’t Throw It All Away),” Andy Gibb. My previously stated equation regarding the Brothers Gibb (funky>>>slow) holds true for their little brother too. (Was Andy ever really funky? Maybe he should have tried it.)

20. “Don’t Hold Back,” Chanson. I should actually tear myself away from Livingston Taylor and go listen to this, because I don’t remember it. It sounds like it might be brainless disco, and sometimes that’s fun. Let’s see …

… oh, damn, this is pretty good. That opening sounds like the Brothers Johnson. I’m gonna bold this. “Don’t Hold Back,” Chanson. No parking on the dancefloor!

21. “Crazy Love,” Poco. How many damn songs have there been called “Crazy Love”? I was kinda hoping this was an earlier, rowdier version of the Allman Bros’ hit of the same name. But once I played it, I recognized it for one of those moody finger-picking country-pop hits I’ve heard a million times but didn’t know the name of. Nice acoustic-guitar sound, anyway.

22. “No Tell Lover,” Chicago. My dad had a bunch of Chicago records when I was a kid, and I could always tell Hot Streets was different from the rest. It wasn’t just the absence of Terry Kath, or the absence of a Roman numeral on the (flamingly dopey) front cover. The sound of the record was different than it had been under James William Guercio; wetter and more echoey and wet-noodley. This undistinguished Cetera ballad is pretty much the musical exemplar of that sound; listening to it is like unfolding a rain-soaked newspaper.

23. “Soul Man,” Blues Brothers. I heard a fair amount of BBs as a kid, too — enough for me to grudgingly grant them status as a legit musical band, and not a coke-fueled ego trip. This cover version doesn’t go anywhere the original didn’t, though.

24. “Lady,” Little River Band. As ballads go, I find this more memorable than many of the others on this countdowns. Still doesn’t mean I wouldn’t switch channels on it.

25. “Goodbye, I Love You,” Firefall. Not gonna go listen but I bet my comments would be substantially the same as No. 22.

So, yeah — 1979 countdowns are hard roads to travel, more often than not, and Allentown was no better or worse than the country as a whole in that regard.

Top of the pops.

Another day has passed, and Hope’s Treat has further cemented its place in the hearts of the American people.

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on this subject:

– The experimental EP I cooked up by manipulating 70-year-old home recordings of my grandpa’s piano playing is currently the sixth-most-popular Bandcamp recording with the tag “Allentown.”

no6inallentown

Hope’s Treat is presently the third-most-popular Bandcamp recording tagged “Stamford.”

Almost 30 years after he moved out of town, Bill Blumenau is an overnight sensation.

no3instamford

– And finally, Hope’s Treat leapt a rousing 200 spots, currently ranking No. 174 among the most popular recordings tagged “Connecticut.” Instead of page 10, it’s now on page 5.

(The folks in Walnut Shitstorm, for what it’s worth, are still mired on page 9.)

no174inConn

Now, lest this post be misconstrued, let me address some questions my Four Readers are probably asking:

– I’m not gonna keep posting these updates every day. I think they’re getting old too.

– I’m not really that interested in the “chart performance” of my noisy little EP as compared to everyone else’s noisy little EPs. These popularity rankings could be generated at random by goats, for all I know, and I don’t put as much stock in them as I’m probably making it sound.

(Even if I did clearly understand how the charts were generated, they’re still only measuring one tiny slice of one music site. Having the third-most-popular Bandcamp recording tagged Stamford is sort of akin to having the third-most sacrifice flies in Stamford Little League.)

Still, I have a bit of chart geek in me. And it’s kinda fun to play at the chart-geek thing when it’s your own name on the chart — no matter how obscure the ranking might be, or how small a pool you’re swimming in.

Plus, with the burst of initial interest in Hope’s Treat wearing off, today’s placements are probably about as high as the EP is going to get. I think those who are going to find it have found it.

So I’ll enjoy the high-water mark, however dubious and paltry it might be.

Once a week, and you know where all your favorite songs are.

I’m number 374! (In Connecticut, that is.)

I managed to convince one or two people to download Hope’s Treat, the experimental EP I wrote about yesterday.

The workings of Bandcamp’s most-popular ratings are unknown to me. A quick Google search suggests others don’t know exactly how they work either, except that they seem to be based on sales, not plays.

Still, I thought my brief burst of success might translate into an appearance on one of the most-popular pages.

And sure enough, Hope’s Treat currently ranks as the 374th-most-popular Bandcamp recording with the tag “Connecticut.”

(It’s tagged Connecticut because that’s where my grandpa made the 1940s-vintage piano recordings that I molested for the purposes of my experimental EP.)

How did I calculate the number? Did I rely on one of the fancy tube-glowin’ “computers” Casey Kasem’s team used to use to calculate 1970s American Top 40 countdowns?

Naw, it was simple. Each page displays 40 individual recordings (be they full-length albums, EPs, or whatever.)

Hope’s Treat, as of this moment, is on page 10 … so there are 360 recordings ahead of it. And it’s the 14th recording displayed on page 10. Hence, No. 374.

Sadly, I am a few places behind Walnut Shitstorm’s A 3D Map of Poland. I know now what it was like to be John Fogerty and have “Green River” stuck behind “In The Year 2525” for all those weeks.

Art is cruel.

ctranking

Edit: But wait, it gets better! Hope’s Treat is currently the 13th-most-popular Bandcamp title with the tag “Allentown.” It’s on Page One of the listings and everything.

Dude! I’ve got a record in the Top 20.

Where’s the champagne?

 

allentown

 

You must be a Libra.

One of the drollest things you can read on Wikipedia is Frank Zappa’s singles discography.

See, discography entries on Wikipedia follow a particular format. They show how each single or LP ranked on the pop charts of various nations.

If the song or album missed the charts altogether, a horizontal line appears — shorthand for a stiff, if you will.

Somehow, the listening publics of the U.S. and Europe failed to get behind such classic Zappa singles as “Who Are The Brain Police?” and “Peaches En Regalia.

So, Frank Zappa’s singles discography on Wikipedia consists of a long, barely broken series of horizontal stiff-lines spanning 25 years and six nations.

It’s a nice, understated representation of a lifetime of mutual hostility between Zappa and the average record-buyer.

singles

One of the few actual numbers to be seen on the full chart came from a fluke step into the mainstream 35 years ago around this time of year. And, whaddya know, there’s a minor Lehigh Valley angle to our story.

Zappa, ever alert to cultural fatuousness, parodied disco music as early as 1976 with the single “Disco Boy.” That one didn’t trouble Casey Kasem, peaking at No. 105 in the U.S.

Three years later, Americans were just starting to tire of the disco trend, and Zappa’s similarly themed (but catchier) “Dancin’ Fool” single began catching some unprecedented airplay.

The song’s chart placement might have been boosted by its performance on “Saturday Night Live” in October 1978, and by its inclusion the following year on Sheik Yerbouti, one of Zappa’s most popular LPs. Yerbouti reached No. 21 on the U.S. album charts, Zappa’s best placement on that chart since 1974 and a peak he would not reach again.

According to the Wiki chart, “Dancin’ Fool” topped out just short of the U.S. Top 40, peaking at No. 45.

It’s sort of an open secret that Billboard magazine cooked some of its singles charts in the Seventies.

I wonder if Zappa’s near-miss was legitimate, or whether somebody decided that the music industry’s most notorious iconoclast didn’t deserve to be on the Forty — especially while he was mocking the music industry’s hottest meal ticket.

(Either seems believable to me. Certainly, Zappa was never known for attracting mainstream radio play, so maybe he did fall just short. He eventually made the Forty for the first and only time with 1982’s “Valley Girl.”)

The invaluable ARSA database of local radio airplay charts shows “Dancin’ Fool” getting spins in a handful of major markets, including San Francisco, New York and Minneapolis.

Oh … and Easton, Pennsylvania, the easternmost outpost of the Lehigh Valley.

For the week ending June 11, 1979, Easton’s WEEX-AM ranked “Dancin’ Fool” No. 23 in its local airplay ratings — riding alongside such uncut slices of disco as “Hot Stuff,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Ring My Bell” and “Love You Inside Out.”

It heartens me to know that a local station that was probably living off disco in 1979 could also find some airtime to take the piss out of it.

WEEX is now one of two local stations simulcasting ESPN radio programming. Wonder if they’d give regular play today to something that openly mocked America’s sports-industrial complex and the people who worship it?

(Shame Zappa’s not around to take a whack at that.)

Father’s Day.

My Father’s Day was a warm slow Sunday without any particular impetus to accomplish anything.

So in the early afternoon, I drove over to Northampton Area High School to watch a couple innings of Blue Mountain League baseball.

The BML is an amateur league for grownups — basically, for working stiffs who aren’t done playing baseball.

It’s been around for almost 70 years, and has enough of a sense of history to have posted its statistical archives online.

This allows the stat geeks among us to look up the likes of ? Youngkin, who hit .075 in 40 plate appearances with Easton in 1968 and apparently was too embarrassed about it to leave his first name with the scorer.

Only the hitting statistics are online, which suggests the BML might value hitting more than it does pitching.

I didn’t get a sense of that in person, though, watching the Northampton Giants and Martins Creek Creekers play two-and-a-half mostly hitless and totally scoreless innings.

The Giants wore orange jerseys like their major-league namesakes wore in the ’80s, while the Creekers’ red-white-and-blue caps gave their gray road unis a ’90s Montreal Expos feel.

The end result was like watching a jumbled Game of the Week from my childhood — the kind where it doesn’t seem realistic that the two teams played, but they must have, because there’s film of it.

Swing and a miss.

I enjoyed my brief visit with the Blue Mountain League, and went home untroubled by mascots, paid parking, assigned seats, or any knowledge of the score.

(Martins Creek won; whether it was 1-0, 10-0 or 10-9, only God and three guys in the bleachers know.)

Some pictures, inevitably:

Chat.

The pitch.

Runner's out at second trying to stretch a hit down the left-field line into a double.
Runner’s out at second trying to stretch a hit down the left-field line into a double.

Two out.

Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?

I’ve added something new to the list of Things I Know I Shouldn’t Want To Do But Might Anyway:

Badfinger is coming to town.

The band playing a free show in Bethlehem on Aug. 23 is really Badfinger in name only.

The original band’s main singers and songwriters, Pete Ham and Tom Evans, are long dead. The original fourth member, drummer Mike Gibbins, is more recently passed.

Whatever amalgamation currently calls itself Badfinger features only one original digit — rhythm guitarist and singer Joey Molland.

(I believe Molland is at far right of this photo. It should probably be illegal to advertise a 2014 band with a picture of its 1969 members, especially when most of them are dead. But it isn’t.)

So why do I want to go?

Well, because it’s free.

And because the original Badfinger was a wonderful pop band — they were scouted and signed by the Beatles for good reason — and hearing their songs played live by someone who knows how to play them should be at least a small pleasure.

And because I’m sorta curious about what sort of aging pop geeks (and how many) will come out of the woodwork on a hot August night to see a ghost band that last hit the Top 40 in 1972.

And because … well, who wouldn’t want to tell their grandkids they’d seen Badfinger?

And, lastly, because even if Molland and Co. blow chunks all over the stage, it won’t erase the original band’s legacy of great power pop songs.

Like this one:

Coming soon: Nengo Flow.

Every week, the stars come and go at the corner of Eighth and Chew.

There’s not much on that particular street corner (we’re in Allentown, Pa., just to set the scene.)

Just a couple of businesses — a secondhand furniture shop on one corner, a little Latino grocery on the other, something unremarkable across the street.

I pass the grocery most mornings on my way to work, and I usually turn my head to see it. That’s because it always has a series of concert posters out front, advertising the latest Latino music stars coming to the Lehigh Valley.

On the corner.
On the corner.

The wall is never bare; there are always two or three shows being promoted.

It’s an education for me to look at the artists, who are all totally unknown to me.

Some of them are young bucks in baseball caps and chains. Others appear to be suavely dressed young lovermen.

Still others are comfortably dressed and older. I imagine they’re like the George Strait figures or something — the venerable elders. Or, at least, they’re performers who appeal to an older, more sedate crowd that isn’t too old to go out on a Saturday night.

People (sigh) more or less my age.

elchavacrop

(Sadly hidden behind the mailbox above is one Nengo Flow, a Puerto Rican reggaeton performer whose tunes include “El Sex.” He’ll be at the Maingate nightclub, over near the Allentown Fairgrounds, on May 25. Remember: 18 to party, 21 to drink.)

I don’t go to these shows, but I like seeing any and all evidence that the Valley has an active music scene.

I like seeing anything that teaches me at least a little bit about cultures I am unfamiliar with.

I like sizing up the expressions and poses of the guys (pretty sure they’re always guys) on the posters. Are they party-bangers? Smooth operators?

Look at Antony Santos above: He’s wearing a suit, but he seems to have a little glint in his eye. Party-guy who matured into a suave crooner? Dunno the real backstory, but it’s fun to write my own.

I’m led to believe the little grocery store sells tickets to the shows, too, which I find charming. None of that Ticketmaster nonsense or those $8.50 handling fees. Just go in, buy yourself a cold bottle of cane-sugar soda, and ask at the counter for dos para El Chaval.

Wonder who will be up there next week?

 

Day off.

I took a mental health day off work today and went to the ballpark.

(My mental health is actually pretty good, all things considered. But the local minor-league team doesn’t play too many morning games. This was a relatively rare opportunity for me to go see them during the day.)

What began as a charming idea turned into an endurance test.

The temperature topped out at 48 degrees at game time, while a whipping wind made it seem much colder. Rain threatened the whole time, and finally broke through with increasing intensity in the fourth inning.

It was one of those permanent-grimace kind of games, the kind where everyone in the crowd bundles up and squints a lot and feels brave and put-upon.

The ‘Pigs weren’t any too motivated by their surroundings, allowing the visiting Pawtucket Red Sox a seven-run second inning.

The umps called the game after five innings with Pawtucket up 8-0. The final inning, played in spattering rain, seemed like one of those affairs where the plate umpire whispers to each batter, “Swing at everything, kid, ’cause if it’s in this area code, it’s a strike.

For all that, it wasn’t the worst experience in the world.

The weather took some of the insistent fizz out of the IronPigs’ usual game presentation. The between-batter and between-innings promotions seemed fewer in number and less annoying. If you could get into the game, there was less to take you out of it.

The beer lines were pretty much nonexistent — always one of the nice things about a 10:35 a.m. start. (Yup.)

And fewer people at the ballpark meant more space to roam. Wanna be the only person on the outfield hill? The only person in the right-field standing-room area? I was both of those people at various points today, and it felt good.

Of course there are pictures of my morning at the ballpark. They’re nothing to write home about, but they capture some of the flavor of The Salaryman’s Day Off.

The Bud Light Trough overlooking right field is usually bustling with beer drinkers before game time. Not today.
The Bud Light Trough overlooking right field is usually bustling with beer drinkers before game time. Not today.
Plenty of good seats available -- and this was *before* the rain set in. I never did hear an announced attendance. It was Education Day, and a couple sections were full of local schoolkids, which must have driven up the total.
Plenty of good seats available — and this was *before* the rain set in. I never did hear an announced attendance. It was Education Day, and a couple sections were full of local schoolkids, which must have driven up the total.
IronPigs third baseman Maikel Franco sports a balaclava.
IronPigs third baseman Maikel Franco sports a balaclava.
Most of the PawSox players opted for hoods. This is Daniel Nava at the plate, with a few of his hooded teammates visible in the dugout.
Most of the PawSox players opted for hoods. This is Daniel Nava at the plate, with a few of his hooded teammates visible in the dugout.
Nava fends off a wicked googly with what looks like a cricket swing.
Nava fends off a wicked googly with what looks like a cricket swing.
Another shot of the empty stands. I think this was during the endless second inning.
Another shot of the empty stands. I think this was during the endless second inning.
Nothing special going on in this shot; I just liked the way the pitcher, second baseman and right fielder lined up from bottom to top.
Nothing special going on in this shot; I just liked the way the pitcher, second baseman and right fielder lined up from bottom to top.
Pigs right fielder Tyler Henson can't bear to watch any more.
Pigs right fielder Tyler Henson can’t bear to watch any more.
PawSox outfielder Bryce Brentz is the hero, having hit a grand slam. The Pigs' shortstop appears to be kicking the dirt in frustration.
PawSox outfielder Bryce Brentz is the hero, having hit a grand slam. The Pigs’ shortstop appears to be kicking the dirt in frustration.
A group of schoolkids from -- Lower Saucon? Macungie? Emmaus? -- glows in the stands like a cluster of pale tulips.
A group of schoolkids from — Lower Saucon? Macungie? Emmaus? — glows in the stands like a cluster of pale tulips.
I took this picture for Pigs center fielder Tyson Gillies' facemask. I didn't even notice left fielder Clete Thomas in mid-squat at top right. It was the sort of day where you're willing to look ridiculous if it means staying warm.
I took this picture for Pigs center fielder Tyson Gillies’ facemask. I didn’t even notice left fielder Clete Thomas performing some sort of baroque squat at top right. It was the sort of day where you’re willing to look ridiculous if it means staying warm.
The Pigs' Phillippe Aumont works to the plate amidst visible rain.
The Pigs’ Phillippe Aumont works to the plate amidst visible rain.