"Play Ball!" channel returns to XM - Orbitcast

"Play Ball!" channel returns to XM

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XM Play Ball channel
XM is celebrating the start of baseball season with the return of the "Play Ball!" channel. The microchannel will air all day on March 29th and March 30th on XM Live (ch 120).

And in what looks to be an interesting shift of focus towards the intertubes: XM will be extending the channel for a third day - on March 31st - for online listeners only.

The Play Ball! channel will play more than 400 songs about the game, from "Talkin' Baseball" to the Dropkick Murphys' rocking version of the Boston Red Sox fight song "Tessie."   Between songs, you'll hear vintage audio clips, including classic baseball announcer calls ("The Giants win the pennant!"), comedy routines (George Carlin's "Baseball and Football,"  Garrett Morris as ballplayer "Chico Escuela" on "Saturday Night Live"), clips from the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Baseball Bugs," episodes of XM's "Baseball Confidential" interview show, the Rev. Jesse Jackson's 1972 eulogy for Jackie Robinson in Harlem, old-time radio dramas (Vincent Price's "Baseball Murder"), and a lot of other amazingly cool stuff.

The channel weaves the songs and spoken-word content together to create a sort of "theater of the mind" experience that's very, very cool... and very, very un-terrestrial radio.

The psychotic creative mind behind the Play Ball! channel is Lou Brutus (uhm... pictured), who's also the program director for XM's punk channel Fungus (ch 53) and a senior music program director. Brutus, a lifelong baseball fan, has been digging deep into XM's music library, as well as his personal collection of vinyl, reel-to-reels, and CDs, to create the channel.

"I think baseball runs emotionally deeper than any other sport," Brutus said. "The very nature of how the game is played can lift you up, or break your heart, more than any other game.  The Play Ball! channel will make you realize how inspirational baseball has been to all kinds of artists for more than a hundred years. You find songs about baseball in most every genre of music. We are going to play literally hundreds of these songs to celebrate the start of the season, and celebrate the passion that people have for the game."

5 Comments

This channel is always fun... let's hope it comes back in 2009

I'm more of a football fan than a baseball fan, but I loved this channel last year. The song choices are clever and eclectic, and the spoken word stuff is amazing. All hype aside, anyone who loves good radio (even the non-sports fans) will find something to like on this channel. It's a must. Do the free online trial if you don't have XM. It's worth checking out.

Lou Brutus often seems to be behind some of the more interesting programming on XM like Play Ball, XM Green and Special Xmas. Fungus is great in limited doses (sorry Lou, I don't need THAT much Circle Jerks). His Artist Confidentials are uniformly excellent as well. His recent one with Smashing Pumpkins actually made Billy Corgan seem likable. If only he would bring back Special X. I'll never forgive him for taking off Special X. The parrot training records, the Major General, Wesley Willis and William Shatner. If you never heard it you missed the most non terrestrial thing that sat radio has ever offered.

The only thing that gets me is that picture of him...which...seems...disturbing. Kind of like Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction.

Lou Brutus is incredible!!

Mitch Mitch -- I loved Special X, too, but the last person that you should blame for its departure is Lou.