The Amazing Casual Observer Overview!
CasualObserver.net is the Songblog of Casual Observer, a two-man band composed of a couple of guys who have known each other forever and have been writing music together for about two-thirds of that time. Being on a strict curfew due to jobs, families, and occasional bouts of agoraphobia, we’re releasing our songs here for what we hope will be your enjoyment. Between new recordings, we’ll talk about a variety of related subjects.
Hey, who are you guys?
Steven Goldman is a baseball writer whose work can be read at the Pinstriped Bible and Baseball Prospectus, and he also blogs about politics at Wholesome Reading. In addition, he is the author of the Casey Stengel biography Forging Genius, and is the editor of various other baseball books including Mind Game, It Ain’t Over, and the last five editions of the Baseball Prospectus annual. Steve (on the right) can play the guitar, though not so well as an arthritic orangutan. He counts Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, The Beatles, and They Might Be Giants among his influences.
Rick Mohring is composed of randomly-sized bits of this and that, currently spending the daylight hours quietly controlling the universe from his position at a management and technology consulting firm. He earned a Ph.D. in physics by tickling protons until they coughed up interesting subnuclear bits; the close relationships he built with electrons during those years still continue to bless his daily life. Rick (on the left) generally plays instruments that have keys or strings on them — some (guitar, bass, piano) better than others (banjo, accordion, cimbalom) — and can make computers do useful musical things. Beyond Steve’s list above, he counts Elvis Costello, R.E.M., and Robyn Hitchcock among his influences.
We’re from New Jersey. It’s weird, but we like it here.
What genre is this stuff?
Darned if we know. Many years ago, Steve called it “Jovial-Eclectic,” though he never did define what that means and we’re not convinced that it’s accurate. The music isn’t always jovial, but it’s definitely eclectic; the genre is what it needs to be. We’ve attempted to categorize the songs by subject matter, but not all the songs in the same category sound alike.
Do you guys ever play live?
We have in the distant past, but Steve got tired of Rick getting all the good groupies and called a halt to it.
Who writes what?
Often, Steve writes the lyrics and Rick writes the music, but sometimes one or the other writes both. We let you know who did what in the Background section of each song entry.
As for the site itself, Rick has learned enough PHP and CSS to be considered dangerous.