Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This week in non-reunions...

* STILL not getting back together, but now the half of the Smashing Pumpkins who aren't currently in the Smashing Pumpkins are suing their record company, because they're not being paid for digital downloads.

* And the new Chris Cornell song, produced by Timbaland. Wow. I know we're not getting a Soundgarden reunion because Matt Cameron's playing with Pearl Jam, but... wow.

* Mazzy Star are not getting back together, but Hope Sandoval has a new song written for Air France. Hear it here.

*The three people in Florida who were hoping for a Limp Bizkit reunion have had those hopes dashed. Wes Borland has joined Marilyn Manson's band.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This week in reunions...

* Sugar Ray was quasi-broken-up the last few years due to Mark McGrath's hosting duties on the syndicated TV program Extra, but now that Mario Lopez is replacing McGrath, Sugar Ray are... headed back to the studio! They had a greatest-hits album in 2005, but the last Sugar Ray album proper, 2003's In the Pursuit of Leisure, peaked at #29 in 2003.

* The Velvet Revolver auditions continue, and this week's rumored new lead singer is Royston Langdon, ex-husband of Liv Tyler, and former lead singer for Spacehog. Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing a Spacehog reunion. "Mungo City" was the bomb.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

RIP Jerry Finn

Jerry Finn, producer of several major '90s albums, died of complications Thursday following a brain hemorrhage in July. He was 39 years old.

Finn was most famous for his work with Blink-182, producing their breakthrough album, 1999's Enema of the State. During his career, he also produced albums by Rancid, Pennywise, Fenix TX and Fastball, and did mixing work for Green Day and the Presidents of the United States of America. He produced and engineered one of my favorite albums of all time, Superdrag's Head Trip in Every Key, as well as the under-rated classic ReadySexGo! by Marvelous 3. More recently, he had worked with Sum-41, AFI, Vendetta Red, Alkaline Trio, and Morrissey. You can see his complete list of credits here.

Here's Fenix TX's "Threesome," produced by Finn.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Live Smashing Pumpkins: 1997

Surf over to I Am Fuel, You Are Friends for a bootleg performance of the Smashing Pumpkins doing an acoustic set at the annual Bridge School concert in 1997. John Popper of Blues Traveler plays harmonica on one track.

RIP LeRoi Moore: 1961-2008

Some sad news this morning: Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore has died of complications following an ATV accident earlier this summer. The band had been touring without him, using a different saxophonist, and their show in Los Angeles last night went on as scheduled. The DMB tour continues on the West Coast and in South America through early October.

Moore also played flute with the band, and co-wrote a few of their '90s songs, including "Stay (Wasting Time)":

One of Moore's last performances with the band, a June 7 show in St. Louis, will be released as the 13th installment in the band's Live Trax series at the end of September.

DMB has not released a studio album since 2005's Stand Up. A follow-up was reportedly scheduled for last summer, but more recent reports indicated the band was still in pre-production and planned to work with producer Rob Cavallo (Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis Morrisette, Green Day, My Chemical Romance). There has been no word on whether or not recording will continue, after Moore's death.

The band's longtime keyboardist Butch Taylor left the group in May. Their most recent release is Live at Piedmont Park, which came out last December.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More signs of trouble in BTE camp?

When last we checked in with Better Than Ezra, lead singer Kevin Griffin was posting a solo track to his Myspace page, even as the band was announcing from the stage that a new BTE album should be out soon.
Since that time, two more tracks have made it to Griffin's Myspace, and they're quite good: "Who's Gonna Love the Loveless" in particular is very strong. Even more interesting, the song is listed as from the album TBA, on Control Group Music.
The Control Group is a Seattle-based label that has put out albums by Super Deluxe, among others, as well as vinyl for The Killers, Vendetta Red, and Kings of Leon.

And now intrepid fans on the BTE messageboard have noticed that bass player Tom Drummond doesn't have Griffin listed in his Top 8 friends on Myspace, and Griffin doesn't have Drummond in HIS Top 8 friends! And then two new PSAs were posted on BTE's main website urging people to get ready for hurricanes. Griffin and drummer Travis McNabb appear in the ads, but Drummond does not.

(cue overly-melodramatic music) Stay tuned for another episode of... As the Band Turns...

Seriously, though, it should be noted that the band could clear this up really quickly by posting something on their website along the lines of "hey, we're still together, we've got an album coming out in the fall, and we hope you like it." But this is a band that updates its website roughly every three years, so...

This week in reunions...

* Stone Temple Pilots' reunion-tour juggernaut rolls on, performing for only 4,000 in Phoenix, with Weiland rambling and shambling again (this time, backwards into the drumset).

* Joan "What if God was one of us" Osborne is reuniting with pop music, after forays into soul, country, Christmas music, R&B, and poor-selling collaborations with Los Lobos. And she's also reuniting with the producers and writers who helped make Relish a platinum album. She's doing some touring in September and October; read all about it here.

* James are back together. The band has done short reunion tours of the UK several times, but they'll be coming to the US for the first time in a long time, and they have a new album, their first since 2001. James was the first concert I ever saw, at Six Flags Over Texas in the spring of 1994. Texas opened up. Good show. Here's "Laid."

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Oasis: "Falling Down"

Here's the first song from Oasis' forthcoming album to leak, "Falling Down." Does Liam sing anymore, or is he going to spend this entire tour standing by the side of the stage playing the tambourine?
As previously reported, this is not the first single from the album Dig Out Your Soul. That's called "Shock of the Lightning" and probably isn't going to hit radio for another week or so.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Butthole Surfers return to Austin

The Butthole Surfers will return to Austin September 27, with the complete original lineup performing. As you might recall, the band did a short Northeast tour in June and July without original guitarist Paul Leary.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to school

As many students return to school this week, may I present the Marvelous 3's version of Career Day:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Top 10 Unheard Songs of the '90s: Orbit, "Medicine"

It's time for #3 on our list of the Top 10 Unheard Songs of the 1990s:* "Medicine," the 1997 single from the Boston band Orbit.

Forgotten mostly due to the fact that there were techno acts called The Orb and Orbital, as well as Orbit gum these days, this song unjustly never made the charts. I finally found the album in a dollar bin a few weeks back, so look for a full review of that soon.

*What's the criteria for this series? Basically, if the song never charted on the Billboard Modern Rock Top 40, it's eligible. This means, for example, that For Squirrels "Mighty KC" is ineligible, even though I don't think there's a radio station in the country that has played that song since 1996.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lots of '90s acts on tour this fall

I've been out of town, and my inbox has filled up with lots of tourdates. So here's a round-up:

* Alanis Morrisette (still not fat), September-November, US and Canada
* Less than Jake w/Rancid and Reel Big Fish, September, Pacific Northwest and Canada
* Nine Inch Nails, now through October, US and Mexico
* Cake, September and October, Canada and the Northeast
* Counting Crows, on tour through October with Maroon 5, US (plus Toronto)
* Jackopierce, September-November, US
* Beck, August 21-October 3, US
* Everlast, August 15 - October 29, US
* Juliana Hatfield, September, major US cities
* Smashing Pumpkins' "20th anniversary tour," August 8-20, Midwest and Southeast
* Liz Phair, performing Exile to Guyville in its entirety, August 27-29, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston
* Everclear, August and September, Midwest and Northeast