Sunday, June 29, 2008

This week in reunions...

* Blur bassist Alex James says the band will eventually get back together, though probably not anytime soon.

* First, Trey Anastasio said he and the other members of Phish have been "talking," only four years after they broke up and presumably stopped talking. Then keyboardist Page McConnell told ArtistDirect that the band will meet before the end of 2008 and "discuss options." Then said a reunion album has already been planned, with Steve Lillywhite producing (Lillywhite declined comment). Then I lost interest.

* Don't look for the original lineup of Fuel to get back together this year, if only because ex-lead singer Brett Scallions is sitting in the Jim Morrison chair for Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger's Riders on the Storm project, which is touring Europe next month.

* The reunited Rage Against The Machine have still not produced any music, but they are playing several European festivals, then Lollapalooza in Chicago in early August, followed by possible protests at both the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Soul Asylum and Everclear in LA

If you live in Los Angeles, get yourself down to West Hollywood TONIGHT for the first-annual Sunset Strip Music Festival, featuring, among others, Soul Asylum, Everclear, and Camper Van Beethoven (the dude from Cracker's other band).

Now, correct if I'm wrong, but the Sunset Strip was the locus for late '80s glam-metal, was it not? And Soul Asylum and Everclear were not really part of that scene, being a) '90s bands, and b) from Minneapolis and Portland, respectively.

So... ?? Somebody go and tell the rest of us what it was like.

What's Peter Buck reading?

According to Sunday's Atlanta Journal Constitution, REM's guitarist was going through Philip Roth's Zuckerman series of novels, and is now reading Remake/Remodel: Becoming Roxy Music, a study of the English art school scene of the 1960s and how it affected the art-rock movement of the 1970s.

REM wrapped up their US tour last Saturday in Atlanta (look for a belated review of that show in a couple of days) and now head to Europe for three months. Based on some recent interviews, they may be back in the States in October and November (they're definitely playing the Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans October 24-26, alongside Stone Temple Pilots and Nine Inch Nails) and touring South America in early 2009.

Here's REM's new single, "Hollow Man."

Friday, June 27, 2008

News bites: Oasis, Butch Walker, Jimmy Eat World

*Oasis' next album, Dig Out Your Soul, comes out October 7. The first single, "The Shock of the Lightning," hits radio in September. No word whether or not those leaked demos from spring will make the album. Oasis tour Canada in August and September, with one US date (in Seattle), and Mexico in November.

* Ex-Marvelous 3 frontman Butch Walker has abruptly canceled a summer tour and postponed the release of his next solo album, Sycamore Meadows, which was supposed to come out this fall. "Personal reasons" are cited in both cases.

*Jimmy Eat World are apparently already at work on a follow-up to last fall's Chase This Light, Gigwise reports. The band's US/Canadian tour kicks off in Montreal July 1.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Splender return

Splender are back, reports Alternative Addiction. Don't remember Splender? 1999's "Yeah, Whatever"? They got in on the very tail-end of the original alt-rock craze (right before Creed and Limp Bizkit brought nu-metal in), along with bands like Stroke 9 and Lit. I saw them at Music Midtown in Atlanta in the spring of 2000, on the same bill as Guster, Oasis, and Travis. They were pretty good live; bass player tweezed his eyebrows a bit too much, but hey, whatever makes you happy. Then they ended up as the only rock act on Clive Davis' J Records label for their second album, which flopped (though I liked it), and they broke up in 2003.

Since the break-up, lead singer Waymon Boone moved to Sacramento and started a band called Headrush, which didn't do much. He also became a songwriter-for-hire, working for Kelly Clarkson, Pink, and Tim McGraw, as well as the Shirley Manson solo album that may have been scrapped.

This reunion features all four original members (hey, Candlebox can't claim that). No tour dates have been announced, but a new album is expected in 2009.
Refresh your memory:

Toad the Wet Sprocket reunite (sort of)

I'm a little late to this party, but Toad the Wet Sprocket got back together for a brief run last week, and they'll play a few more shows in August together.

Since disbanding in 1998, Toad has played a few very sporadic reunion shows and released a live album (which was recorded in 1992). Lead singer Glen Phillips has fallen in with the Largo crowd in Los Angeles (including producer extraordinaire Jon Brion and Aimee Mann), and released four albums, the most recent of which is the EP Secrets of the New Explorers.

Toad the Wet Sprocket shows:
August 23 - The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, CA
August 29 - The Canyon Club, Agoura Hills, CA
August 30 - The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA

I've always liked Toad; they were one of the first '90s bands to be clearly influenced by REM (the Gin Blossoms, Hootie, etc. were a few years later), and when they made their big rock move with 1994's Dulcinea, it didn't sound forced. I tried to go see them at the House of Blues in 1998, on what ended up being their last tour, but tickets sold out about a half-hour before I showed up. Sigh.
Here's "Fall Down."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Barenaked Ladies go kiddie

Those of you Tied to the '90s readers who have little ones now, and really liked quirky, literate power-pop back in the day can rejoice: Barenaked Ladies and They Might Be Giants are doing a kiddie-pop tour in conjunction with Disney.

Wait, really?

That's what this article says. Raven-Symone as the guest host? I'm there!

Barenaked Ladies recently released a children's album, entitled Snacktime, which debuted at a fairly respectable #61 on the charts back in May. And unbeknownest to me, They Might Be Giants have actually released three kids' albums: No!, Here come the ABCs, and Here Come the 123s.

Dates for the Disney Music Block Party Tour:
July 25-27 - Toms River HS, Toms River, NJ
July 29-30 - Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
August 1-3 - Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
August 5-6 - Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
August 8-10 - Toyota Park, Chicago
August 12-13 - Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, OH
August 15-17 - Downsview Park, Toronto
August 19-20 - Meadow Brook Music Festival, Detroit
August 22-24 - Nassau Coliseum Parking Lot, Uniondale, NY

In other Barenaked Ladies news, they're doing a cruise in February. As we've seen, cruises are quite the income stream for many '90s acts now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Blink-182 not reuniting

Live Daily has a new interview with Angels and Airwaves frontman Tom DeLonge, where he talks about his painkiller addiction, his new business venture, the Angels and Airwaves documentary (and possibly coffee table books?), and the fact that he doesn't think Blink-182 is ever getting back together.
It's too bad they didn't ask the question really on everyone's mind: when do we get a Boxcar Racer reunion?

DeLonge, of course, has two Top 10 albums with Angels and Airwaves, and Blink only broke up three years ago. I'll lay down $20 we see a Blink reunion tour by 2025.

Angels and Airwaves (also featuring former Rocket from the Crypt and Offspring drummer Atom Willard) will be bringing their punk-meets-Pink Floyd and U2 aesthetic to the Warped Tour all summer. The other two-thirds of Blink are supposedly in the studio working on a second +44 album, though some Internet chatter has indicated that label funding hasn't been forthcoming.

According to Wikipedia, the Angels and Airwaves albums have outsold the +44 album about 4 to 1, although the +44 guys have been playing Blink hits in concert ("Dammit," "What's My Age Again?", etc.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

News bites: Jackopierce, Weezer, Toadies

* Jackopierce, the critically-acclaimed acoustic duo that were a clear influence on groups like Guster and Vertical Horizon, are back together for a new album. Since their break-up, Cary Pierce has written songs with Zac Maloy (of Nixons fame), and Graham Colton, among others.

* The Toadies have expanded their summer tour plans. Originally scheduling a little week-long tour (which starts tomorrow), they've now added shows at Lollapalooza and a festival of their own at Possum Kingdom Lake called Dia de los Toadies, among others.

* Weezer are doing a weird thing this week called "Hootenanny." They're asking people to hop up on stage and play various songs with them, including, oddly, Radiohead's "Creep" (which Prince famously covered earlier this year). The Phoenix Hootenanny was held at an American Legion post. If you live in Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, or LA, check it out.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Early Offspring albums re-released

Idolator reports that Epitaph Records is planning to re-release two Offspring albums, 1992's Ignition and 1994's multi-platinum Smash, with remastered tracks and an extra booklet (for Smash only). No extra tracks, though, despite the fact that there were several acoustic and live versions included as B-sides on various Smash-era singles.

The Offspring's new album Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace comes out tomorrow.

'90s stars goin' country

So I was driving through some rural areas this weekend, and I stumbled on one of those country countdown shows that are popular with small-town stations because they're cheap. And lo and behold, who was sitting at #30-something this week? Darius Rucker, lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, with his new song "Don't Think I Don't Think About It."

However, Hootie and the Blowfish are still together, as they're touring all summer, according to this article (which says two of the Blowfish are working on solo projects as well). Most of the dates are casinos and county fairs, but they're still big enough in Georgia and the Carolinas to play big amphitheaters.
This won't be Rucker's first solo album; after Hootie's underperforming third album Musical Chairs, he recorded a soul album, Back to Then, which didn't do much on the charts. Since then, Hootie have released two more albums (the most recent in 2005), both of which did quite well on adult contemporary radio.

Think Rucker is touring with Hootie rather than a country band so that fans don't request this number?

So the Hootie guy has gone country. And he's not the only one. Jewel also has a new country song (which sounds like a regular Jewel song with extra banjo), and is one-upping Rucker by spending the summer opening for Brad Paisley and judging the NBC American Idol-wannabe Nashville Star.

Also going country: Jessica Simpson, with a song, "Come On Over," and a full album set for September. But really, given her performance in the Dukes of Hazzard movie, this move isn't that surprising.

Since three is a trend, here's some other '90s artists we'd like to see tackle a country album:

White Town: admittedly, the gender-bending is going to throw NASCAR dads off, but if he could pull it off, it'd be amazing.

Tracy Bonham: bonus points - already plays violin.
Mr. Big: Hey, it worked for Bon Jovi.
Either Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, or the Cherry Poppin' Daddies: unsure how the horns are going to work in a country milieu, but let's give it a shot anyway.
Everclear: let's be honest, for enough money, Art might do it.
Nerf Herder: the world needs more jokey country songs, right?
Jesus Jones: the world needs more British dancey country songs (EMF works here, too).

Who do you want to see do a country album? Post suggestions in the comments.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Package tour update: Collective Soul / Live / Blues Traveler

As predicted here, it appears the Live / Collective Soul / Blues Traveler package tour is on. Live Daily has the full set of dates; the tour starts July 4 at Red Rocks near Denver (with Blues Traveler headlining), and ends August 17 at Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta with Collective Soul headlining.

Live, Collective Soul, and the Counting Crows toured minor-league ballparks last summer. Counting Crows have now graduated to the opening slot on the summer Maroon 5 tour.
Blues Traveler released a pseudo-greatest hits album last fall consisting of re-recorded, semi-acoustic versions of all their hits. Live have a new album called Radiant Sea which is mostly live tracks, with a couple of new studio tracks tacked on; their last proper album was 2006's Songs from Black Mountain. Collective Soul's 2007 Target-only album Afterwords is still getting a pretty big push at Target, at least the ones I go to in Atlanta. It features the single "Hollywood," which is a pretty good little song.

As with all Collective Soul songs, it sounds a bit like a robot helped write it (or at least produced), but that's part of the CS charm for me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Toadies song!! has streaming audio of the new Toadies single, "No Deliverance." It is apparently the title track to the album of the same name, out August 19 on Kirtland Records, home to the Burden Brothers and owner of Bush's old masters.* Listen to it here.

I like it; sounds a little like "I Come From the Water," off 1995's Rubberneck.

* Side note: the guy who owns Kirtland Records was the drummer in Deep Blue Something. There's your fun fact of the day, kids.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Beck update

According to the NME, Beck's new album Modern Guilt will be out July 8 in the US. Tracklisting can be found here.

I gotta tell you, "Chemtrails" is growing on me. It still sounds more like the Flaming Lips than Beck, though.

Shirley Manson (maybe) goes solo, (definitely) heads to TV

Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson is possibly working on a solo album, as well as expanding her acting career.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the Scot will be on the second season of Sarah Connor: the Terminator Chronicles, a show I made it through about 15 minutes of before giving up on. Manson has done some modeling, but her only other credited acting work is a part in the Terrence Howard movie "ItW," which comes out later this year.

This may be a substitute for a solo album and tour, as the Scotsman reported in April that Manson's record label wasn't happy with the record she turned in (calling it too "noir"). As Idolator correctly points out, hasn't Garbage's entire career basically been "noir"?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jakob Dylan on tour

Erstwhile Wallflower Jakob Dylan has announced dates for a summer-long North American tour, featuring a series of runs built around summer festivals. His new album, Seeing Things, came out Tuesday. What I've heard of it so far (and you can listen for yourself here) takes the concept of solo album to its logical conclusion, with very little instrumentation other than Dylan and his guitar. No idea how Dylan's band, the Gold Mountain Rebels, will factor in to these shows: will he perform the solo stuff by himself and the Wallflowers hits with the band? Will he play Wallflowers songs at all?

I've actually heard the first single off this album, "Something Good This Way Comes," a fair amount on the radio, and I like it. The whole album is very sweet and soft, with a lullaby-like quality. You can hear it for yourself on Letterman tonight and Leno July 15. He'll also be on Austin City Limits sometime later in the summer or fall, as well as the NPR program Mountain Stage.

Jakob Dylan tour dates:
June 15 - Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
June 16 - Workplay, Birmingham, AL
June 17 - Music Farm - Charleston, SC
June 18 - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta
June 27 - Metro, Chicago
June 28 - St. Andrews Hall, Detroit
June 30 - Wood Songs, Lexington, KY
July 1 - Kentucky Theatre, Lexington, KY
July 3 - Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY
July 4 - Rothbury Music Festival, Rothbury, MI
July 5 - Western Gateway Park, Des Moines, IA
July 6 - Summerfest, Milwaukee
July 10 - Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa, ON
July 13 - Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg, MN
August 2 - Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI
August 9 - Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Edmonton, AB
August 17 - Folks Festival, Lyons, CO
August 30 - Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle
September 26 - Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, TX

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

News bites: Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Beck

* Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin hopped on stage with the Foo Fighters earlier this week in London in front of more than 80,000 at Wembley Stadium. Dave Grohl has long voiced his interest in drumming for a Zep reunion, and he got his wish, only with Taylor Hawkins singing instead of Robert Plant.

* Radiohead's old record company has released a new "best of" CD, with little to no input from the band. Don't look for detailed liner notes, but you can try to win a copy here.

* That new Beck album hasn't shown up yet (see this post for more on that), but he has announced a few tour dates in August and September, with Cold War Kids, Spoon, MGMT, and Band of Horses opening select shows. See the complete list here. And as previously noted in our comments section, you can listen to "Chemtrails," a leaked track from the new album, here.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones return

Oh, yeah! The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are back together and co-headlining a tour with the Dropkick Murphys in July, according to this. As you'd expect, the tour's heavy on the Northeast.

Bosstones tour dates:
July 7 - Charter One Pavilion, Chicago, IL
July 8 - Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, Sterling Heights, MI
July 9 - Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
July 10 - LeLacheur Park, Lowell, MA
July 11 - Hadlock Field, Portland, ME
July 12 - McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI
July 13 - Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
July 19 - Konocti Field Amphitheatre, Kelseyville, CA
July 20 - Orange County Fair, Costa Mesa, CA
August 22 - Punk Rocks Festival, Morrison, CO

I gotta be honest: I don't watch Jimmy Kimmel Live that much. Is Dicky Barrett still the announcer? I know he had his own morning show on Indie 103 in LA at one point, but I don't think he's doing that anymore.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Juliana Hatfield's autobiography

According to this article, Juliana Hatfield has written an autobiography, scheduled to be published in 2009. Expect lots of stories about the early-'90s Boston scene (and bands like the Lemonheads and Belly), Lilith Fair (Hatfield was on the first one in '97), touring with Jeff Buckley, her guest-starring appearances on The Adventures of Pete and Pete and My So-Called Life, and possibly the firestorm that ensued when she told Interview Magazine in 1992 that she was still a virgin (at the age of 25).

She also has an album out August 19, entitled How to Walk Away. Tracy Bonham and members of Nada Surf and Fountains of Wayne assist on the album. The tracklisting can be found here.

Like her 2005 album Made in China and her 2007 live album, the new record will be released on Hatfield's own imprint, Ye Olde Records.

No tour dates as of now, but she does have a blog (read her thoughts on Silverchair!)

Hatfield last hit the modern-rock charts in 1995, with "Universal Heart-Beat."

*I forgot about this one; that was a decent song.