7" pop shots

Kelley Stoltz
Stoltz 45 b/w ’84 Tigers
Cass Records

On his past couple of records, former Detroiter Kelley Stoltz has carved an enviable and oft-ear-grabbing body of work from his lo-fi approach to classic, expired-warranty pop music. So this little trinket of lighthearted ephemera could be a bit of buzz-kill for his fans. The A-side is so de-contented (as they say in the automotive world) as to be mere ballast for the bona fide nugget that’s hidden on the flip. “’84 Tigers” is a monologue-as-homage rock ’n’ ramble about — you guessed it — the 1984 World Series champs. After an audio glimpse of Mr. Ernie Harwell introduces the song, Stoltz takes off on a flight of giddy nostalgia that conjures the boyhood joy of watching the Tigers take the Series. This jam has it all — the image of a young tyke honking his mother’s car horn in celebration at midnight; a Wesley Willis-worthy rattling of trivia about the ’84 starting lineup that distills that team’s blue-collar rep into mythic minutiae; there’s even a cut ’n’ paste collage that juxtaposes sound bites from team jingles, ancient and contemporary, with audio of news coverage of Detroit blight ’n’ crime.

Yes, it’s about a baseball team, but it’s so much more. And, yes, it’s the B-side.

Chris Handyside is a freelance writer for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]
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