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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Pitching their talent

In 1998, 13-year-old Erin Weidower was a member of the masses who were smitten with Fastball, a pop/rock trio that had colorful tunes and witty lyrics and seemed to come from out of nowhere.
Fastball was different from anything else that was on the music scene at the time, said Weidower, a freshman wildlife and fisheries sciences major.
“It was great to see a rock group that was thoughtful but didn’t take themselves so seriously,” Weidower said. “They were just the thing for people who were sick of listening to overbearing pop acts like Robyn and Jamiroquoi that were really big at the time.”
Fastball has been one of the most memorable mainstream rock acts to surface out of Austin in the past few years. Its colorful and perky brand of music struck a chord with America in 1998 when its No. 1 hit single “The Way” helped catapult the sales of its second album, “All the Pain Money Can Buy,” to more than one million. It even landed the band two 1998 Grammy nominations, according to fastball.com. After recent lineup and label changes, Fastball is trying a new musical formula.
Tony Scalzo is one of the founding members of Fastball. Along with playing guitar and creating most of the band’s lyrics, Scalzo shares vocalizing duties with co-founder Miles Zuniga.
“I am doing many dates throughout the country this spring. These days Miles and I have done many shows as an acoustic duo,” Scalzo said. “This has proven to be a fun and economical way for us to get our music out to people. We did the eastern part of the country back in February and now we’re off to the west. We travel in my car and it’s just a lot of fun.”
Scalzo said complete band performances are also in store for the band.
“We will be doing shows as a full band on various dates throughout 2003,” he said. Kevin McKinney of Austin band Soulhat will augment the lineup on lead guitar.
From local underground music to traditional Indian Scalzo, the Fastball clan has been expanding its musical taste.
“Since we have been doing a lot of traveling in my car, I get to make the call of what we listen to,” Scalzo said with a laugh. “Lately I have been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan. CDs you would find in my changer range from The Jayhawks’ new album to Indian pop legends like Asha Bhonsle and Muhammed Rafi. I like to listen to classical music on the radio. Some of my favorites are Bach, Scarlotti, Mozart and Schubert.”
Scalzo said Fastball has been a free agent since the band was dropped by recording label Hollywood Records three albums into its contract.
“We are actively pursuing ways to put out new Fastball music, but our priority is to develop the live act and perform in smaller venues as of now,” Scalzo said. “Jupiter Records in Austin, Texas has been helping us sell a new limited edition live album that was recorded in January called ‘Live from Jupiter.’ It features familiar as well as unreleased material.
With the recent trends in popular music shifting weight towards an artist’s image, Scalzo said that glamorizing the band should be done, but within reason.
“We try to keep it professional in our business. Personally I think it’s important not to let yourself go too far fashion-wise,” Scalzo said. “I don’t think it’s key but it is an important factor. After all, it is show biz.”
After several tours across the country and world, Scalzo said performing in Texas is still a great experience.
“With our acoustic sets, crowds in California sometimes get the impression that we’re going country. We’ve played in Texas recently as acoustic band, and we feel more comfortable playing a lot of these songs to a Texan audience,” Scalzo said. “Texans seem to like music in all forms. And since Austin is our hometown, it’s great to get out there again and see the people and the country.”
Rabia Yousaf, a freshman business major, said she has been a big fan of Fastball for years.
“I got ‘All the Pain Money Can Buy’ as a present for my birthday a few years ago. Since then, I have been hooked on to Fastball,” Yousaf said. “I listened to the CD so many times that I wore it out and had to buy a new copy. They are just awesome musicians.”
Fastball will make its first Northgate Music Festival appearance with a performance on Saturday, March 22 at Shadow Canyon.

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