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Repoz
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Maffie: On Rockstars and Flamethrowers

Tony Cingrani, Japandroids…and another reason I’m going to miss Getting Bent.

The Japandroids are a band that almost wasn’t. Consisting of only a drummer, David Prowse, and a guitarist, Brian King, they just barely meet the requirement of being a band at all. Yet, by pounding new life out of aggressive drum lines and wild electric guitar riffs, they minted one of the best summer albums of all time (at least, according to Rolling Stone). The duo from Vancouver almost left their music in a garage up north after they received a chilly reception from the local crowd. Their first album, Post-Nothing, made them a champion of the indy music scene, but it was their second, Celebration Rock that made them for real. A single listen to Celebration Rock reveals why they made it: The Japandroids play loud. They play fast. And they never gave up.

One of the most iconic images of the 2013 Reds season is of Tony Cingrani snarling on the mound. His feral, semi-insane scowl leaves you wondering if he is going to throw a pitch or charge the batter’s box. That raw emotion is appropriate for a pitcher who described his philosophy as “go after everyone like you’re closing.”

Yet Tony Cingrani is a pitcher that almost wasn’t. We think of Cingrani as the flamethrower who routinely sends batters back to the dugout, another K in his belt, but this wasn’t always the case. In his first year at Rice University, Cingrani posted an 8.59 ERA in six starts and walked more batters (16) than he struck out (13). At the end of the year, Cingrani walked into coach David Pierce’s office and asked him a tough question:

“Do you even want me back in the fall?”

...Celebration Rock is an album to blast while driving up the Pacific Coast Highway. Its fast and unrelenting pace conveys the white-hot adrenaline rush of finally … finally overcoming the barriers and naysayers who said you’d never make it.

When Tony Cingrani takes the mound today, he’ll be snarling, blowing out his cheeks and glaring at the batter in front of him. In front of tens of thousands of fans cheering and jeering. All the cameras and lights. Think of that feeling – the I’m going to throw this ball through a brick wall and there is nothing you can do about it – that comes from years of battling adversity to get up that ten-inch hill.

It’s also the feeling that you never want to leave. That no one would ever want to let go. If you could record it for people to play over and over again, well, it’s the type of song that would make you a rockstar.

Repoz Posted: May 18, 2014 at 09:58 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: overrocked rate, reds

 

 

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