Mariner hitters have been dreadful at Safeco Field, saddening Mariner fans like me, you, and music journalist Mark Baumgarten. When not suffering through low-scoring Mariner games, Mark has spent the past year-plus writing the story of Calvin Johnson’s K Records, the galvanizing force behind Beck, Modest Mouse, the grunge scene, and the riot grrrl movement. With his book Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music coming out today, I gave Mark this challenge: Pick the K Records songs that will galvanize Mariners hitters and get Safeco rocking. Here are his indisputable picks.
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“#1 USA” by Love as Laughter, from #1 USA (1998)
I have long been a proponent of Ackley dropping Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ode-to-humility “Simple Man” as his warm-up music. Yes, you are a simple man, Dustin, and we love you for it. But you are a professional ballplayer, sir, and that requires a little swagger. This track from K’s best-ever melodic garage rock group is dripping with infectious riffs, hand-claps and tons of slump-busting attitude. I mean, look at the title, man!
(there’s no full version of this song online; there is a sample here.)