I've done a few radio interviews so far for Big Hair & Plastic Grass where the interviewer will repeatedly misread the sub-title as "A Funny Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s," a flub which always makes me wince involuntarily (and makes me think they haven't actually read the book). But, in truth, there's a lot of funny stuff in the book — something which Dave Hoekstra totally picked up on in his review of the book in the Arts section of today's Chicago Sun-Times.
Hoekstra also makes a great comment, which might be construed as damning with faint praise if he hadn't so obviously enjoyed the read: "Epstein...proves the truth of one sports axiom: It’s more interesting when music people take on baseball as opposed to baseball experts analyzing music."
Seriously, man. I know Bob Brenly and Len Kasper are genuine fans of alternative rock, but my insides totally seize up whenever they say something on a Cubs TV broadcast like, "Gee, I can't wait to see the Flaming Lips at Lollapalooza this year!" And of course, the less said about Peter Gammons' forays into the world of rock, the better. I love music, and I love baseball, but mixing the two is a deceptively difficult endeavor. I am stoked and honored to know that someone like Hoekstra (who positively reviewed one of my old bands about 20 years ago, though I'm sure he doesn't remember it) thinks I'm doin' it right.
Anyway, getting some unexpected good press from one of my hometown papers totally made my day, and got me even more pumped for what looks to be an incredibly fun (and incredibly busy) trip to Chi-town this week. Hope to see all you '70s baseball-lovin' Windy CIty types at the Liars Club or Book Cellar events this Thursday and Friday nights!