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Steve Albini, Master Of Sparks

Earlier this month on Hit & Run:

"Matt Spiegel was joined in studio by musician Steve Albini to discuss his vast love and knowledge of baseball, his illustrious career that includes his work as a record producer, recording engineer, musician and professional poker player and more."

Here it is:

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From my notes . . .

* Albini explained why he loves baseball, particularly in comparison to other sports, but I can't find my notes on that.

Albini: All sports are two mobs fighting over a pill and trying to put it in a bucket/goal before time runs out. The only difference is playing surface - ice, wood, grass. These mob sports are all the same.

Then there are the pong sports: defeating the return of something over a net.

And golf is billiards.

Then there is baseball, where the ball is immaterial to scoring. The offense doesn't handle it. Every game, something absurd happens.

Baseball is chess but you shout instructions to the pieces.

Poker is chess but you capture money.

The hard part of poker is to be disciplined enough to throw hands away.

* Given the choice, Steve Albini's walk-up song would be ZZ Top's "Master of Sparks."

* Spiegel chose Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box," though fretting that Albini would disapprove of one of the leading grunge bands of the '90s, but Alibini professed to be unfamiliar with . . . the whole category?

* Albini also talked poker; Spiegel has been to his home for games and brought a series of interesting beverages . . .

* Albini records bands every day at his studio. That's his day job. You can book time with him.

* Albini's wife, Heather, runs UnconditionalGiving.org, which started as a "Letters to Santa" program in Chicago and has grown big-time.

* Albini: "The only cure for poverty is money."

* "In the third hour, Matt Spiegel kept musician Steve Albini around for an extra segment and even gave you a coffee recipe."

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However, not the first time this conversation has taken place:

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Previously in Steve Albini:

* God Factors:

"Psychedelic fungus infestation of European grain, not divine inspiration, is responsible for many of the 'visions' so lovingly portrayed in the Christian paintings of antiquity. How many people were pressed under stones or drowned or burned for Satanism while those of faith were quietly tripping their brains out on bad bread?"

* Item: Tomatillos and Squash:

"I couldn't find it online, but pick up the current Reader and turn to page 49 for a beautiful essay by Steve Albini about record stores. Albini wrote the piece for Reckless Records - it appears as an ad - as part of National Record Store Day. Albini is easily one of the city's best writers."

* Steve Albini, food blogger.

* Albini explains the Slayer to Sinful Desire in the studio.

* Steve Albini Calls Online Music Sharing The Best Thing Since Punk Rock.

* Albini In Toyland.

"Honestly, the biggest problem with music has always been the encroachment of outside industry into what functions best as a self-sufficient community, and that hasn't changed."

* Steve Albini On The Surprisingly Sturdy State Of The Music Industry.

* Psychology Today: Steve Albini Shows Punk Rock Ethics Are Good Business.

* Steve Albini Is A World Series Of Poker Champion.

* Steve Albini On Why He Hates Jazz 1.

* Steve Albini On Why He Hates Jazz 2.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on August 29, 2019


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