Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy holidays

Merry Christmas from all your friends at Tied to the '90s (oh, and the Crash Test Dummies, too.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh, Billy... Pumpkins abandon albums

It's been a bad decade for Billy Corgan thus far. Zwan acrimoniously broke up while working on an aborted second album, his solo album couldn't break 75,000 in sales after most of the Smashing Pumpkins' records went multi-platinum, and while the Pumpkins' comeback album Zeitgeist did go gold, a lot of people saw it as a disappointment and a cash-grab (especially considering the only original members involved were Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, who was in Zwan). This year, he's made headlines for playing setlists that are upsetting to the fans.

And now Billy says the Pumpkins won't make albums anymore, just singles. The trend's already started, with "G.L.O.W.", from earlier this year. It's done fairly well on the modern rock charts, getting up to #11.

What do you think? Are albums as dead as Mr. Corgan's making them out to be? Or is Billy just frustrated by a decade's worth of diminishing returns?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pearl Jam reissue campaign begins

Pearl Jam are re-releasing their debut album Ten with a whole boatload of stuff, including out-takes, demo tracks, a remix of the entire album, and new artwork. It's all part of a series of reissues leading up to the band's (gulp) 20th anniversary in 2011.

We haven't really talked much about Pearl Jam on this site. I'm a fan, but not a huge one; you'll find Ten, Vs., Vitalogy, and the 2006 self-titled album in my collection, but that's it. I find them fascinating, though, because they could have been (and probably were) the biggest band in the world, capable of playing stadiums wherever they wanted, and they essentially threw it all away (conspiracy theorists will tell you intentionally).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Toadies play live

Today's fun video link: watch the Toadies play "Possum Kingdom," live from Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Who would you pay $10 to hear?

Jill Sobule, author of the original "I Kissed a Girl," self-funded her forthcoming album by getting advance donations from people.

Who would you pay $10 to hear with the expectation of getting an album six months later? I'd pony up a Hamilton for a Nixons reunion album. Post your thoughts below.

Here's Sobule's "Supermodel."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New this week... Dave Matthews Band

Not a whole lot in stores this week, as things start slowing down before Christmas.

* Crash Test Dummies, Collections - greatest-hits compilation with a different tracklisting than last year's Best of.

* Dave Matthews Band, Live Trax Vol. 13- two-disc set recorded in June in St. Louis.
* Dave Matthews Band, Live at the Mile High Music Festival- three-disc set recorded in July in Denver. This is the first album not to feature saxophonist LeRoi Moore, who died earlier this year. Includes a cover of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer."

* Shawn Mullins, Live At the Variety Playhouse- the "Lullaby" guy releases a live album, recorded in Atlanta. Also available as a DVD.

* Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chroniclessoundtrack - primarily orchestral score, though new castmember Shirley Manson (of Garbage) does some vocals on a couple of songs.

* Yes Man soundtrack - soundtrack to the new Jim Carrey movie. Features 9 tracks by Eels. One, "Man Up," is new.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This week in reunions...

* The Manic Street Preachers are reuniting (in a fairly creepy way) with missing guitarist Richey Edwards. Edwards, who is presumed to have committed suicide in 1995 (a body was never found, and there have been sporadic sightings in out-of-the-way locales like Goa), will be providing the lyrics to the songs courtesy of an old notebook. Edwards was officially declared dead a couple of weeks ago.

* Kerrang! magazine in the UK claims Faith No More is getting back together. The missus should be happy, as she recently discovered "Epic" thanks to Rock Band.

* The Creed reunion tour rumors continue. Apparently, somebody is offering them a lot of money to do some shows.

* OMG, you guys. Kevin Richardson rejoined the Backstreet Boys for one special encore song in LA last week.

Jimmy Eat World to perform Clarity live

I am so angry that this isn't coming anywhere near me.

Jimmy Eat World will perform their 1999 album Clarity in its entirety at 10 shows in the spring. Find tourdates here.

Claritywas re-released a couple of years ago with bonus tracks. Seriously, if you haven't heard it, go over to a (legal) mp3 service and start with "For Me This is Heaven."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New BTE in 2009

We've reported several times with National Enquirer-like histrionics about the goings-on in the Better than Ezra camp... Kevin Griffin's possible solo album, people missing from public service announcements about hurricane awareness, etc. etc.

But now comes word from Griffin's myspace page that a new BTE album is coming in spring 2009 (although it's not finished recording yet).

Griffin also did an interview with Alternative Addiction in which he states that half the album is finished, with the rest to be recorded in January. The album could come out in May, although a few tourdates have already been announced for March.

Here's 1996's "King of New Orleans," which hit #5 on the modern rock charts.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Solo albums and side projects update

Lots of your '90s favorites are working on side-projects and solo albums right now. Here's a round-up:

* Paul Doucette, drummer and now guitarist in Matchbox 20, has a new solo album under the name The Break and Repair Method. Tracy Bonham helped out on it. Matchbox are recording a new album soon, to be released at the end of 2009.

* Robby Takac, bass player from the Goo Goo Dolls, is involved with an electronica/dance project called Amungus. Didn't see that one coming.

* Black Lab singer Paul Durham has released an album of covers on's mp3 service under the name Mirror Ball Associates.

* Mike Doughty of Soul Coughing fame has a new solo album. Two of the guys from Semisonic helped out on it. He's on tour now.

* The dude from Sister Hazel just put out his first solo album. Sister Hazel is working on a new album to be released in 2009.

* J.R. Richards from Dishwalla is working on a solo album with John Mellencamp's drummer and the guitarist from Ednaswap, among others. Look for it in 2009.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New this week... Collective Soul

Time for a new feature here at Tied to the '90s. New this week... is designed to let you know what's out right now from various '90s artists.

In stores December 9:

* Collective Soul, Afterwords- this actually came out in 2007 as a Target exclusive. It's being re-released this week to all retail outlets with three Ed Roland solo tracks as a bonus. From the Amazon samples, it sounds like they're Roland with a drum machine, so don't take this as evidence of a forthcoming solo album.

* Mark Kozelek, The Finally LP- dude from '90s shoegazers Red House Painters cobbles together a bunch of odds 'n sods (mostly covers)

* Pavement, Brighten the Corners(Nicene Creedence Edition) - the indie slackers' 1997 album is re-released with beaucoup de bonus tracks.

* Stereophonics, Decade in the Sun- career retrospective from the band that pretty much defined Britpop in 1998-99 (even if nobody in the US cared by that point). Available in one-disc and two-disc "deluxe" editions.

Duncan Sheik takes a break from musicals to tour

Seriously, did you know Duncan Sheik was a Broadway playwright now? He has TWO Tony Awards. Crazy. Anyway, he's on tour. See dates here.

Here's Sheik's 1997 Adult Top 40 hit "She Runs Away."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Win some stuff from Filter

Go here if you want to win copies of Filter's most recent album Anthem for the Damned and the new remix album, plus a guitar autographed by Richard Patrick. Second prize is some dog-tags and an autographed poster.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This week in break-ups... Blind Melon loses a lead singer

So Blind Melon's second lead singer (the guy with the creepy Shannon Hoon tattoo) is now Blind Melon's ex-lead singer, according to their blog. The band fired him right before embarking on a lengthy US tour, which is now cancelled. According to one of the commenters on this post, a new lead singer may have already been settled on.

Blind Melon's comeback album For My Friends charted at #133 earlier this year, but didn't spin off any hit singles. They just finished a tour of Canada.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The great lost Live track

In 1995, Live could do no wrong. Rolling Stone named them band of the year. Their second album, Throwing Copper, had four monster hit singles and hit #1. The demand for Live material was so great that radio programmers went back to their first album and started playing "Pain Lies on the Riverside" in heavy rotation (at least that's what they did in Oklahoma City).

Five albums of varying quality later, Live are... still huge in Belgium and the Netherlands. In the States (despite the support of Chris Daughtry, among others), they've spent the last two summers playing package tours with other '90s bands.

Then last month, Kevin Smith put out a movie called Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I haven't seen it yet, but plan to; it's still playing in most major cities. And apparently, toward the end, there's a song called "Lift Me Up" used in a crucial scene. And it's fantastic.

Near as I can piece together from the internets, the song was left off of Throwing Copper, and held for the follow-up (which became the much darker Secret Samadhi). Smith heard the track in '95 and wanted it for the quite excellent Mallrats soundtrack, but the band wouldn't give it to him. Fast-forward to 2008, and the song's still never been released.

So... what's the problem? This is a hit single no matter when it comes out. Zack and Miri doesn't have a soundtrack, and the song's not on Live's new live album. So we may have found the great lost '90s song. Go here or here if you want to learn more, or obtain a (mediocre-quality) copy for yourself.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New this week... Bloodhound Gang, Weiland, and more

Time for a new feature here at Tied to the '90s. New this week... is designed to let you know what's out right now from various '90s artists.

In stores December 2:

*Bloodhound Gang, Playlist Your Way - a greatest hits album, apparently only available at Circuit City (which is going out of business in most of the country). Neither allmusic nor the Circuit City website has the tracklisting, but you'd have to assume it'll include 1996's "Fire Water Burn" and 2000's "The Bad Touch."

* Rivers Cuomo, Alone II: The Home Recordings- even more cassette recordings and demos from the prolific Weezer frontman. From the snippets I've heard, these sound a lot more unfinished than the Alone album from last year.

* Gin Blossoms, Playlist Your Way - see the Bloodhound Gang entry above. Again, tracks weren't available, so I don't know how this is going to be any different from the Blossoms' existing greatest hits.

* Al Jourgenson, Wicked Lake soundtrack- the dude from Ministry soundtracks a horror movie.

* Moby, Last Night Remixed- a track-by-track remix of his album from earlier this year.

* Soundtrack - The Punisher: War Zone- features Rob Zombie, Slayer, Slipknot, and Static-X.

* Scott Weiland, Happy in Galoshes- the second solo album from the troubled Stone Temple Pilots / Velvet Revolver singer. Extensively covered elsewhere on this site, so we'll just move on.

* White Zombie, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie- boxset with all five of the band's studio albums, plus some extra tracks that only appeared on soundtracks and tribute albums. Hardcore fans may be disappointed to find there aren't any remixes included.