Rock Gods #278: Adventures in Our Little Music Scene

The Shore Lobsters, the trio which originally formed to play post-game shindigs at the flying-disc tournaments in which the band’s founders members hurled and spun, added a slew of new members for a special gig last month.

The line-up included two more guitarists, a keyboardist, two harmonica players, a ukulele strummer, two tambourine virtuosi and assorted roadies.

As of Tuesday, the band had reverted to its initial threesome. “Musical differences” are being cited for the split.

It was a ruse, actually. The flying disc team had been invited to an international tourney but couldn’t afford the plane fare. So they strung together a slew of small grants, donations and bequests so that they could make their match.

The band formed (or rather reformed, perhaps you could say deformed) under an arts enrichment grant bestowed by the Ethnomusicology of the college on the hill where most of the sportsmen-cum-musicians purport to study. The institution was fully aware of the impromptu, second-priority nature of the ensemble it was funding, but saw promise nonetheless and set a few conditions. The disc tossers all had to attend a special class on music appreciation as well as three supervised rehearsals. They had to learn a composition by a student composer (luckily, one which favors primitive and repetitive neo-classical concepts in her work) and promise to perform it while they were at the tournament, to an audience of at least 20 people. And they had to submit a group report on this rare musical voyage.

All conditions were met, especially the concert one. When the organizers of the tournament, on the small tropical island of Wam Hau, caught wind of the intriguing travel fund, they formally invited the ShoreLobs to perform at the event’s opening ceremonies, before an audience of thousands. The coup is thought to be the largest crowd ever assembled for a debut performance of a student composition in the college’s history. The student in question, Jean Bluté, responds to the honor with this challenge: “If they let us perform during the school football games, we could beat that record right away.”

The traveling-music scheme is unlikely to be repeated, but the Shore Lobsters’ performance of “Disc Variations” has been recorded for posterity. None of the new members of the band have any interest in officially joining the musical wing of the sports team. (Only in the rarefied world of disc-flinging could membership in a jam band be considered “too much work”). But expect to see them jumping up at post-game jams when the mood (or several beers) strikes, now that they know a few tambourine licks.


The Pizzings and Tumblefun special summer series concert at the Cranberry Building. Attend, but don’t let it get out of hand. We want more of these…. The Fieldstons, Kolor Syndicate and Jackansons at the Bullfinch, power pop. No, we’re being generous. These are straightahead rock bands… Mane Focus, Lumin8 and Rex Hame & the Situates bleed covers at Hamilton’s… Acorn Cans and Old Salt Barber Shop at D’ollaire’s. We’re delighted that these bands have settled back down to where they’re within reach of their most attentive fans…

Ten Red Sox Mystery Novels

Are the Red Sox dead? Even Minnesota has been beating them.

But never say never. The Red Sox know from miracles and mysteries. The corpses have been piling up for years in novels set at Fenway.


Here are ten morbid fictions where red is not just the color of sox. The ones I’ve actually read, I’ve commented upon. The others I hope to get to in the post-season, since I’m unlikely to be listening to ballgames then.


1. Murder at Fenway Park by Troy Soos. Set in 1912.


2. Killing the Curse by Jeff Stratton


3. Green Monster by Rick Shefchik.


4. Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery By Mary-Ann Tirone Smith and Jere Smith.

Connecticut-based novelist and memoirist Mary-Ann Tirone Smith and her son Jere, both diehard Red Sox fans, concocted this thriller where the ballpark is more than a backdrop for murder. The story is packed with team trivia and shows serious love for the Sox.


5. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. The only book on this list to be adapted as a pop-up book, King’s touching and harrowing adventure of a young girl lost in the woods is informed by a universal symbol of social connectedness—listening to a ball game on the radio.


6. Fear in Fenway by Crabbe Evers. The cover of this murder mystery, part of a whole baseball-themed series, features a skeleton sitting, grinning spectrally, in the stands. Not an uncommon sight around the seventh inning of many games, to be sure. The story isn’t as horrorstruck as that cover suggests, and the best parts of it are really the baseball-history bits.


7. Best Bet in Beantown, Squeeze Play in Beantown, Foul Ball in Beantown and Double Play in Beantown; Will Beaman mysteries by G.S. Rowe


8. Harvey Blissberg mysteries by Richard Rosen.


9. Mortal Stakes by Robert B. Parker. Casual Red Sox references are plentiful in Parker’s Spenser series. This one actually has a character who pitches for the team.


10. Strike Three, You’re Dead by Richard Rosen. Actually, protagonist Harvey Blissberg is a FORMER Red Sox player; in this novel’s he’s helping out the Providence Jewels.