Todd Snider is basically awesome

Singer songwriter Todd Snider was on NPR last night, and though I always kind of liked him before, I really, really, like him now. Here he is talking about a song on his new record:

“America’s Favorite Pastime” is a song for the unprepared. It was inspired by the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Doc Ellis, who, in 1970, pitched a no-hitter under the influence of LSD.

“I felt connected to that, because many times I have come to work unprepared and still done OK,” Snider says. “I think Doc Ellis gives unprepared people everywhere someone to look up to. He didn’t do it on purpose — he thought he was pitching the next day.”

There’s no moral to this story except not to judge a book by its cover.

“You don’t always know who’s going to be able to deliver or have the solution. You can’t rule somebody out just because of what you know about them,” Snider says. “You can’t judge a book, and not even if you’d read it.”

You can hear the whole song here. It’s pretty damn spiffy.

Also, in a portion of the interview that didn’t air on the program, Snider goes on a bit more about baseball. You can hear it here. Among the highlights:

  • Snider, a guy who has experienced some adversity in his life, understandably counts Steve Sax as his favorite player;
  • His favorite team is the Royals, mostly because of Kaufman Stadium, which he loves because it “feels like the 50s,” and because it’s always empty. I know how he feels. Maybe it’s heresy, but I just love going to an empty ballpark and watching games that don’t really impact the pennant races all that much;
  • Finally, whenever he’s on the road, he tries to go to ballgames. He likes sitting way up high in the upper deck and looking out over strange cities, which is also something I like to do.
  • I guess what I’m saying is that, aside from the musical talent, history of drug abuse and bipolar disorder, Todd Snider and I are the basically the same person.

    But definitely listen to that song.

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    1. Levi Stahl said...

      I’m with you on the empty stadium thing. I really miss the mid-90s Cubs malaise, when there were still tickets available day of game to pretty much any non-Cardinals game, and weekday games early and late in the season were so lightly attended that you could sit pretty much anywhere on any ticket.

      Sammy and success ruined that forever . . .

    2. Nate said...

      Todd Snider is awesome. If you haven’t heard any of his other stuff you should check it out, although he’s really better live than on the studio albums. East Nashville Skyline and The Devil You Know are probably his best studio albums.

    3. Matt Davis said...

      Phenomenal song. Been spreading the news about it among friends the past couple weeks, happy to see it getting more publicity.

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