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MP3 Jason Siemer - A World of Orioles Baseball

"A World of Orioles'' Baseball" is a celebratory anthem, but these notes of regret and yearning distinguish it from every other ballpark theme song I''ve ever heard." -Baltimore City Paper

1 MP3 Songs in this album (4:21) !
Related styles: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop: Pop/Rock, Mood: Upbeat

People who are interested in Counting Crows REM The Replacements should consider this download.

1998 Baltimore City Paper article:

Rookie of the Year
The Story Behind the Orioles'' Warm-Up Song

By Geoffrey Himes
One of the year''s best rock ''n'' roll songs comes from Baltimore and has been heard by audiences of 40,000 or more for most of the summer. And yet you can''t buy this song in any store.

The tune, "A World of Orioles'' Baseball," was written, sung, and produced by Jason Siemer, one of the Jumbotron video producers at Camden Yards. For most of this season, it was played at every home game between "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the first pitch.

The song opens with a simple but catchy riff, vigorously strummed on acoustic guitar at first but soon reinforced, after a dive-bomber bass figure, by a twitchy electric guitar. When the drums come tumbling into earshot, the riff gathers a rumbling momentum. The surprised critic up in the nosebleed seats suddenly realizes this is a real rock ''n'' roll song, not just another cheesy beer-commercial soundtrack.

As the guitar, bass, and drums lock into the galloping riff, Siemer''s vocals lag behind, using the disarming melody to inject some regret and yearning into a genre that has never had room for either. The song is a fond remembrance of growing up as an Orioles'' fan, but when Siemer sings, "Often I had sat and wished the game would never end," you can''t miss the ache in his tenor.

Similarly, when he sings, "I am lost in my own little world of baseball," there''s a self-conscious irony, underlining that no adult can stay in that "little world" for long. And when he cries, "This could be our year," he does so with a hope shadowed by past disappointments.

"A World of Orioles'' Baseball" is a celebratory anthem, but these notes of regret and yearning distinguish it from every other ballpark theme song I''ve ever heard. The tune''s internal tensions--as present in the churning guitars as in the lyrics--makes its power-pop jangle much closer to the Replacements than the Knack.

"It''s basically my view of growing up in Pasadena as a big Orioles fan," Siemer says. "It made me reflect on growing up when baseball was such a big part of my life. It still is, but it was somehow more magical then. Maybe that makes the song a little sad, but people can relate to that. You have to keep it honest. You can''t just come out and say we''re definitely going to the World Series this year; you can say you hope they will, but you have to acknowledge that maybe they won''t."

Siemer, now 23, graduated from Chesapeake High School in 1992, but it wasn''t until he got to Towson University that he taught himself to play the guitar. "I had always liked to sing," he says, "but I got tired of going to parties and asking the guy with the guitar if he''d play a song I wanted to sing. He''d always say, ''No, I don''t know that one,'' so I finally said, ''Enough of this; I''ll learn the guitar myself.''"

After graduating from Towson, the singer/guitarist formed a trio called Hyper Hanna with his cousin Rob Siemer on bass and Mark Jordan on drums. Jason took the band into Glen Burnie''s Sonitek Studios to cut a dozen of his original songs for an album, Rebirth of Majesty.

When Siemer got a job as associate producer for the Orioles'' Ballpark Entertainment division last year, he had to break up Hyper Hanna. Now that he''s been promoted to a full-time producer, it''s even harder to keep a band afloat. "When the team''s in town for a home stand," he points out, "we work 70-hour weeks. There''s no time for rehearsals, much less gigs."

That hasn''t kept him from writing more songs. He plans to record another CD early next year, and promises it will be a quantum leap beyond Rebirth of Majesty, which will finally be released this November. There''s good reason to believe the new release will be better, for "A World of Orioles'' Baseball" is much stronger than anything on Rebirth of Majesty. Siemer is negotiating with the Orioles to get the song released as a CD or video next season.

"Back in March," he recalls, "I was thinking that the Orioles hadn''t had a new song in a while, and the ones they did have sounded more like jingles than songs. I thought I could apply my style of music, which is mostly alternative, to baseball and make a real song rather than an ad-agency commercial. I didn''t tell anyone at the Orioles about it; I just went to Sonitek and used my own money to record it with Rob and a drummer named Miles Evans.

"When I took it to the Orioles, though, they really liked it. Spiro Alasassos, my boss, said, ''Why don''t you make a video of it?'' I was here day and night for a week and it took 100 hours, but I had the video ready for Opening Day. They played it as the team took the field. It was a very bizarre feeling to hear my voice piped out to 50,000 people."

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