The All-Time Teams series is taking an unintended hiatus for a few weeks. I was doing well at piecing these together during my very limited free time, but I've kind of hit a wall of late.
So, I'm going to try to do a few shorter posts in the meantime and hope I can return to this series in a couple more weeks. That said, it seems like an appropriate time for the second Frequent Spins post of the year...with a twist.
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
This band is old school. Not Cole Hamels old school. More like Mariano Rivera old school. In other words, they don't need to say they're old school. They just are.
Damien Jurado - Maraqopa
Jurado's latest, while far from his best, reminds me of Jeremy Hellickson, unspectacular peripherally, but surprisingly effective. (I was going to say Mark Buehrle, but decided it isn't quite that good.)
Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
I'm going to compare Nada Surf to Michael Young, in that both are not particularly well-liked by the critics—which, in baseball terms, means sabermetrics—but I still can't help but think they're good at what they do.
The Shins - Port of Morrow
The Shins are Josh Hamilton. That's not to say this album is as great as Hamilton's year so far, but the band has the potential to be one of the best and have certainly shown flashes of that ability. But, then you realize it's been 11 years since their first album and this year's effort is just their fourth overall. Hamilton, despite how great his career has been at times, is 31 years old and is going to have to keep producing at a high level to have a shot at the Hall of Fame.
Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
A while back I was working on an all-underrated team. The idea was it would include the best veteran player at each position who has never made an all-star team, won a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger, or finished in the top ten in MVP or Cy Young voting. Snider is Carlos Ruiz, a workmanlike player who epitomizes underrated based on the aforementioned criteria.
Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Spiritualized is a band that's been around for a while (20+ years) and one I've known about for most of that time, but have never really given them their due until now. The analogy is far from perfect—actually all of these analogies are far from perfect—but they're kind of like Ben Zobrist, a player I've consistently refused to believe is as good as the advanced metrics say. Of course, Zobrist's 2012 to date might be a clue I was right in the first place, but if his slow start turns out to be just that, consider me a believer.
Interview: Roland Hemond on 63 years of baseball
59 minutes ago