“The last few years, as I’ve been playing with a lot of these different indie rock groups, it occurred to me that, well, I’m going through the trouble to learn the songs to play the shows, maybe I can sort of double dip and incorporate those occasionally into the ball games,” says Kantor. “It’s not a huge fan base that’s going to recognize those songs, but there’s always a number of people at those games who will hear me play something that’s a little off the beaten path. Those folks get excited about it.”
In 2013, for example, Kantor caught attention for filling a changeover with Superchunk’s “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo,” a single from the North Carolina indie vets’ just-released album I Hate Music. “I’ve been a fan of them for a long time, and [Superchunk touring bassist] Jason Narducy and I actually went to high school together outside of Chicago. We barely knew each other back then, but we’ve kind of reconnected in recent years. I loved the song, it was getting enough play in the press that I knew if I played it, some people would recognize or get a kick out of it.” The performance made it to YouTube, thanks to a fan’s cell-phone video, and spread on social media. [Fast Company]
Quoted above is a 2015 interview with Josh Kantor, who is Fenway Park's organist at Red Sox games and also plays in baseball-themed indie rock supergroup The Baseball Project with members of R.E.M. and The Dream Syndicate. As you may know if you're familiar with his work, he does organ renditions of indie rock songs at several Red Sox games. Kantor's YouTube page is full of takes on Death Cab for Cutie, Wilco, The Replacements, Sugar, Jason Isbell, Neko Case, The Mountain Goats, Tacocat, They Might Be Giants, and more, all recorded at the actual Red Sox games he plays them at. (He's also appeared on The Best Show and has played the theme song at a Red Sox game.) His latest uploads include two great songs released this year: the title track off The New Pornographers' Whiteout Conditions and "Goose Snow Cone" off Aimee Mann's Mental Illness. They were both played in April (just weeks after those albums were released). Listen below.
If you're going to a Red Sox game in the future, know that Josh takes requests via Twitter.