Saturday, July 4, 2015

Space Coast Stadium and Songs About Fireworks

Casey At The Bat At Space Coast Stadium
(Flickr user JB Kopp/CC)

Arriving at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida in our last post from Interstate 95, its time to take a look around.Space Coast Stadium is the Spring Training park for the Washington Nationals.

Viera, Florida. Before the town's construction in 1990, this area that Interstate 95 passed through was known as Cocoa Ranch. The owners decided to break up the ranch for development. Viera is a master planned community that adjacent to Melbourne, Florida. Viera seems to be about suburban as you can get with 58 individual neighborhoods.

Space Coast Stadium was built in 1994 to act as the Spring Training facilities for the then new Florida Marlins.

You may remember from my post about Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, the Marlins now have Spring Training in Jupiter. Why aren't they still in Viera?  In 2002 the Montreal Expos were sold. As part of the deal it was required that Marlins switch stadiums with the Expos putting the Marlins in Jupiter and the Expos in Viera.

Expos? Not the Nationals. Actually they are the same team having been reformed and renamed in 2004 as the Washington Nationals. Which catches us up to the current day, The park seats 8100 fans and takes its name, like the rest of the region, from the history of NASA on the Central Florida Coast. When Spring training is over the park becomes home to the minor league Brevard County Manatees as well as occasionally serving as home field for the Nationals of the Gulf Coast League.

Space Coast Stadium
(Flickr user Joseph Gruber/CC)

Playlist Additions
Songs About Fireworks

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans. As I suspected, Space Coast Park hosts a Fourth of July Fireworks Show. Lets go!

Our musical selections this week are all songs related to fireworks. In many ways, fireworks are like Americans: so fun, so dangerous, so loud, and so colorful!

Our set begins with a classical piece that hearkens back to Colonial Era England. In 1749, George Handel was contracted to compose a musical score to accompany a firework show that was being put on for King George II. The show was held on April 27, 1749 in London's Green Park. celebrating the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.

Interestingly, Music for Fireworks, whose overture we feature here was originally written to include violins.The producer of the fireworks show, Duke John Mantagu insisted that the strings be removed as the King had a preference for wind instruments and drums. Handel argued the point, but ultimately complied. Regardless, the piece entered the classical canon as one of Handel's most famous pieces, often paired with his other famous outdoor composition, Water Music, in recordings.

Fireworks on the Thames
(Flickr user Paul Wilkinson/CC)

Indoor Fireworks by Elvis Costello shares a similar tempo to Handel's piece so it bridges the musical transition from classical to more modern music. The song itself is a classic bit of the Elvis Costello wordplay that makes him one of my favorite songwriters. Indoor Fireworks symbolize a burning out of a fiery relationship, that still enjoys a spark in the bedroom.

Going back to 1929, our next track is a song recorded only once by Louis Armstrong and his Hot 5. The rocord was made in Chicago and it is the the uptempo number Firecracker.

Louis  Armstrong gets followed up by an obscure track from an obscure album. Chet Bolin was a little known Philadelphia musician who recorded an album in the 1980's that went largely unnoticed. It was yeas later, in 2007, when community radio station WFMU ran a series called The 365 Project on their blog that showcased obscure audio track every day, Frequently these were thrift store LPs available for free download. Chet Bolin's album All American Masher was posted on October 11 and on it was the song Boom Boom, our next track.

Colorful Aerial Fireworks
(Flickr user Adam Carter/CC)
The Chet Bolin track gets followed by an even more obscure track. When mash ups were first happening, a collection called Divas Of Joy was posted online. Our next track is a mash up from that collection between Joy Division and Katy Perry called joy division vs katy perry-Means To A Firework. Good luck finding a copy of this one, as it looks like it has been pulled down from most hosting sites.

Our next cut is far more readily available. It is also one of the most famous blues songs of all time. John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom. It is followed by another song from England. This time it the song Rocket from a Bottle, from the XTC album Black Sea.

It would be an oversight to have a list of firework songs without including one of the most iconic songs to mention fireworks. The  title of this Starland Vocal Band hit also gave the world a new phrase for an midday sexual tryst, Afternoon Delight.

Bus with fireworks exploding in background
(Flickr user Toshihiro Oimatsu/CC)
A metal firecracker is a slang term for a musician's tour bus. Alt-Country favorite Lucinda Williams sings of a love affair that is now over but was consummated on the bus with her song Metal Firecracker.

Keep Sending Me Black Fireworks comes to us from the band Of Montreal, who are not of Montreal at all, but rather from Athens Georgia. The song is a psychedelic love song from the bonus disc on the band's 7th album, Sunlandic Twins It compares love to black fireworks, you can feel the energy, but you cannot see it.

Firework Stash
(Flickr user Epic Fireworks/CC)
The next track randomly appeared on my music player. I am not sure where it came from, but I like it. Laura Cantrell gives us a torchy folk cover of the Elvis Costello song Indoor Fireworks that appears as a sort of reprise on the playlist.

Finally this week we have a song that was offered on the music blog Cover Lay Down. It is another folky female cover. This time it is the Ryan Adam song Firecracker being performed by Janelle Daddona.

  • Overture From The Royal Fireworks - Strings&Trumpet (Handel) Classical Requests BMP Classical Grand Entrance 1:22
  • Indoor Fireworks The Very Best Of Elvis Costello Elvis Costello 4:09
  • Fireworks The Complete Hot Five & Hot Seven Recordings  Louis Armstrong 3:10
  • LINK  Boom Boom All American Masher Chet Bolins 2:53
  • joy division vs katy perry-Means To A Firework Divas Of Joy Oki 4:14
  • Boom Boom Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues John Lee Hooker 2:32
  • Rocket From A Bottle Black Sea XTC 3:31
  • Afternoon Delight Have A Nice Decade- The '70s Pop Culture Box Starland Vocal Band 3:50
  • Metal Firecracker Car Wheels On A Gravel Road Lucinda Williams 3:30
  • Keep Sending Me Black Fireworks The Sunlandic Twins Of Montreal 3:28
  • Indoor Fireworks  Laura Cantrell 4:19
  • Firecracker Janelle Daddona 2:45

Watching the fireworks, I remember the that America was founded as a bunch of rebels and traitors, but we showed the world that a nation can survive by the rule of the common man.That is pretty cool and it IS something to be proud of. Have great 4th, everyone! Enjoy!

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