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The Battalion

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

Texas A&M fans react after The Aggies win the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
The mad dash to Omaha
June 21, 2024
Some international students at Texas A&M have been struggling to pick up groceries because of limited transportation options from campus to H-E-B and Walmart on Texas Avenue.
Former A&M employee sentenced to 5 years for hiding restroom camera
The employee, who worked for Transportation Services, was sentenced Friday
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • June 24, 2024
Texas A&M Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle stands in a huddle during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Schlossnagle reportedly taking head coaching job at Texas
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 25, 2024

Just one day after leading Texas A&M baseball to a runner-up appearance at the Men’s College World Series, coach Jim Schlossnagle is leaving...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 24, 2024
Eats & Beats at Lake Walk features live music and food trucks for the perfect outdoor concert.
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
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My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

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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