Today's Top Stories
Monday, June 27, 2011
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If you’re reading this, you’re probably already familiar with the story behind the formation of Beady Eye. If you’re not, here’s the short, short version: in the Fall of 2009 the Oasis brothers, Noel and Liam Gallagher, get into a heated argument, which may or may not have involved the destruction of one or more musical instruments, Noel quits the band, Liam and the other band members decide to carry on. Fast forward to the spring of 2011 when what essentially boils down to Oasis minus Noel Gallagher drop their debut album, Different Gear, Still Speeding, under the new moniker Beady Eye.
Bands’ breaking up or swapping members is a pretty common occurrence in the world of rock and roll. Well I’ll be damned in Chuck Klostermandidn’t just address this very issue in a recent article “Rock VORP” , which was brought to my attention by my buddy Pete, or Petie Pie, as he’s affectionately known. Klosterman, a hell of a writer on pop culture topics, seeks to apply advanced baseball metrics, commonly known as SABERmetricsto rock bands. The article’s entirely tongue in cheek and funny as shit to boot. For those of you who don’t speak nerd, Sabermetricians try to analyze the game of baseball by using math to quantify the value of different players. Most people in the states, I’m sure, are familiar with traditional baseball statistics like batting average and earned run average and maybe even a few of the less common ones like on base and slugging percentage. SABERmetrics, however, goes far beyond traditional stats and uses mathematical formulas to analyze player performance in statistical categories with exotic names like OPS, PECOTA and VORP, which gives Klosterman his title and stands for “Value Over Replacement Player.” The statistic is measured by comparing the performance of an individual player relative to other players on his team and to other players who play the same position on other teams and… this isn’t helping, is it? Oh hell, go ahead and read the articles yourselves, I’ll wait.....
Ok. You’re back. Well, if you’re as a big of a baseball stat nerd and music nerd as I am, Klosterman’s article is like the nexus of nerdy awesomeness. The only way it could have been better for me is if he had somehow managed to shoehorn into his article mention of that episode of the original Star Trek series in which the crew of the Enterprise lands on a planet whose culture was influenced by the Roman empire. Advanced baseball metrics, music, sci fi and ancient history. Serious nerdgasm alert. Ahem… sorry, had to go change my underwear.
In any case, back to Klosterman. While the article applies his adaptation of VORP to the specific case study of Albert Hammond Jr. and his value to the Strokes, I think it would be rather interesting to look at the Oasis split through Klosterman’s metrics and try to figure out just how big of a loss Noel Gallagher's departure might be for the guys in Beady Eye. I think it’s difficult to underestimate the importance of Noel Gallagher to Oasis. Let’s face the facts here, if it’s a good Oasis song, it’s a pretty safe bet that it was written by Noel Gallagher. If it’s a not so good Oasis song, the author is probably not named Noel Gallagher. Not that there aren’t good Oasis songs written by the others, but do you want to compare the greatness of, say, “Don't Look Back In Anger” to “Songbird.” It’s not even close. But let’s see what the numbers say:
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