Milwaukee Talks: Sigmund Snopek, 2007
Podcast: Sigmund Snopek talks about including a real-life baseball moment on his new CD
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The last time we introduced OnMilwaukee.com readers to Milwaukee musician and composer Sigmund Snopek III, it was back in 2000. Since then, the prolific, occasionally eccentric and amazingly talented Snopek has produced everything from rock operas to classical compositions to Christmas CDs.
However, it's Snopek's latest effort, "Baseball," that has turned into a very personal endeavor for him. Not only is Snopek a rabid Brewers and baseball fan, he has, in some ways, been working on this CD for about 30 years. With a whopping 70 tracks, it's not hard to understand what took him so, either.
We caught up with our old friend Sig -- the guy who composed the original OnMilwaukee.com radio jingles -- recently at his East Side studio / apartment.
OMC: I think you were working on the "Beer" CD last time I interviewed you.
Snopek: That was quite a while ago. That's on its fourth pressing now.
OMC: But every time we've talked since, you've been telling me this baseball CD is coming out. And now it's out.
SS: It's a double CD that has 70 pieces of music on it. It's got guest artists. Gordon Gano (of the Violent Femmes) has a really beautiful song that he sings in Spanish. (Bad Boy's) Xeno is a guest, so is Richard Penny on one of the more cranky songs.
The first baseball song that we wrote was called "Powder River," and that was in the 1970s. It's based on two games between the Brewers and Yankees. There are regular songs, and I also started selling commercials.
OMC: I know there's a commercial for OnMilwaukee.com, but you never actually sold it to me. Did the commercial sales pay for the CD?
SS: It helped pay. I raised $8,000, but I sold them really inexpensively. But the CD cost $26,000.
OMC: Did you produce it yourself?
SS: It's on my label, yeah. There are also pieces of music on the CDs that I call musical baseball cards. They're done in the style of classical music called postmodern. That's where you get this trance-like, repetitive thing going. It's high-brow classical mixed with the goofy polka stuff. The CD comes with a pack of baseball cards. Now I have 56,000 baseball cards.
OMC: Where can people buy "Baseball?"
SS: Right now, you have to come to my gigs to buy it. But I'll be selling it through Exclusive Company and Barnes and Noble, online and through my Web site. I've been selling them all summer.
OMC: Lets talk about the Robin Yount song, "The Kid," since that's one of the first pieces of music I identified you with. I listened to in Cooperstown in 1999, and it actually made me a little weepy.
SS: Robin was a very instrumental player for me. I saw his first game.
OMC: So the lyrics in the song are true?
SS: I was there for all the things that I mentioned in the song. I was there for every hometown playoff and World Series game in '82. Of course, Robin Yount hit two home runs on that Sunday, and my parents were there with me.
OMC: Were the guest performers easy to line up?
SS: Everyone was willing. The guest artists were just coming out of the woodwork.Page 1 of 2 (view all on one page)
72 | Aug. 23, 2007 at 3:20 p.m. (report)
It's good to see he got dressed up for the photo shoot..
Sig could always get a job as a stand in for Jack Nicholson. I played basketball with Sig at UW-Waukesha back in the day....it's a good thing he stuck with music....he's a nice guy.
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