Not that San Diegans noticed, but spring has now officially been here for 11 days. Granted, it’s hard to tell with all this summer-in-winter going on, but it’s here. Definitive proof? Baseball is back.
Padres had their home opener last night and, thanks to late-inning heroics from newcomer Seth Smith, beat the Dodgers. Smith pinch-hit a game-tying homerun in front of the largest crowd in Petco Park history. And he did it during his first at-bat with the team. Complete awesomeness. Well, almost.
Smith’s walk-up music is “Come to the River” by the Rhett Walker Band. We’ll cut him some slack because he’s new, but if you’re gonna be a bomber for this team, you have to learn how to r-o-c-k.
Last night’s other hero, Chris Denorfia, approaches the plate to Quiet Riot’s “Bang Your Head” – a shining example of Padres punishment coming from the inspiration of cheesy rock songs. Ryan Klesko used to hit rockets to George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” and Phil Nevin crushed quite a few over the fence after hearing “Symphony of Destruction” by Megadeth.
Great start Seth Smith and welcome to San Diego. Watch some re-runs of MTV’s Headbangers Ball – the Adam Curry years – and this problem should work itself out. I mean, can you imagine if Trevor Hoffman came out to Amy Grant instead of AC/DC? No, neither can I.
• Speaking of AC/DC, happy birthday today to guitarist Angus Young. Here’s to another 58. And I can’t believe it, but there is talk of a 40th anniversary tour for the Australian rocker and his mates (even though if they do it now it will technically be their 41st). Cheers to your lifetime service of rock and roll, sir - and to the fact that you’re still willing to put on the schoolboy shorts and rip through “You Shook Me All Night Long” for the 2,987,684th time.
• Record Store Day is coming. It’s not here until April 19, but M-Theory Records has a way for you to celebrate early. They’ll be hosting a special event with the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne as part of his 3-date “Record Store Tour.” Sandwiched between stops in Long Beach and San Francisco, Coyne will be at the San Diego record shop tomorrow at 5 p.m. to sell and sign copies of the band’s first EP. It will come in two versions – a limited edition 12-inch green vinyl and extremely limited edition white chocolate skull. I heard he’ll be signing all other FL merch as well. Get there early. It’s going to be a madhouse.
• Record releases this week: Band of Skulls, Cloud Nothings, Hank Williams III, Kaiser Chiefs, Leon Russell, Mobb Deep, Nickel Creek, S. Carey, Thievery Corporation, Timber Timbre.
• Nickel Creek’s release, “A Dotted Line,” is their first in nine years. The San Diego trio will perform on A Prairie Home Companion in New York this week before heading out on a 27-date U.S. tour. Their NC-25 Tour (25 Years of Nickel Creek) will make a hometown stop at the Balboa Theatre on May 20 and then the band will hit the festival circuit, including dates at Newport Folk and Pickathon.