Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year-end thoughts...

2009 seemed to be a year in which the '90s idea of "modern rock" began to enter its nostalgia phase. Limp Bizkit and Creed reunited, even though nobody really wanted them to (Bizkit couldn't give tickets away for a show in Las Vegas, and at least one promoter ended up selling deeply-discounted Creed tickets). Jimmy Eat World and the Get Up Kids, among other bands, did "10th-anniversary tours" for cult favorite albums. Billy Corgan and Courtney Love were more known for their tabloid exploits than any music they released.* Live, Oasis, and the Foo Fighters all took unspecified "hiatuses," and the Red Hot Chili Peppers appear to have joined them.

*Although seriously Billy, good on you for hooking up with Jessica Simpson. No idea how an Uncle Fester look-alike pulled that off, but good on you.

So, in the spirit of nostalgia that seems to always overtake things at the end of one decade and the start of another, I'll be doing a series of "From the Cutout Bin" posts. See you back here soon.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Green Day musical headed to Broadway

The Green Day musical, American Idiot, will reportedly premiere on Broadway in 2010. This makes me feel unfathomably old.
Here's a preview:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The great semi-lost Soul Asylum track

About a year ago, Kevin Smith dug up an old Live song from the Throwing Copper sessions for one of his movies that turned out to be as good as any of their hits (Go here for a refresher).

Well, there are a lot of great lost songs out there. Here's one by Soul Asylum called "Success is not so sweet," written around the Grave Dancer's Union days.

According to this interview with Dave Pirner, the band played the song once live, didn't get a great crowd reaction, and went on with their lives. They dragged it back out, re-learned it off of a bootleg of that show, and ended up recording it for 2006's The Silver Lining. So I guess file this one as only semi-lost. But couldn't you hear this on the radio circa 1994?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coming to your town: the grunge tribute tour

The "Sounds of Seattle" tour, featuring Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden tribute bands, may be coming to a city near you beginning Nov. 6. As the AV Club points out, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains are on tour now, and Chris Cornell still plays a lot of Soundgarden songs in his solo shows. So what's the point? Maybe if there was a Nirvana tribute, but alas, Nevermind has dropped off the tour.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This week in break-ups... the Verve (again)

* The Verve, who got back together in 2007, have broken up, again. This makes the third time, and once again, the problem is that everybody else in the band apparently hates Richard Ashcroft. The guitarist and bass player have started a new band with the lead singer of Goldfrapp, and Ashcroft is presumably returning to his milquetoast solo career. In the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure how big a loss this is; last year's reunion album, Forth, didn't exactly set the world on fire.

* Noel Gallagher quit Oasis after a screaming row with brother Liam in Paris; this conveniently came at the end of a year-long world tour and just before a scheduled hiatus. Apparently, Noel smashed up Liam's acoustic guitar during the fight, Liam didn't invite any of his band members to his wedding, and Noel is angry about Liam's clothing line. Liam appears to want Oasis to continue, and semi-hired guns Andy Bell and Gem Archer (all the non-Gallagher original members of Oasis have been gone since 2000 or so) are supposedly willing to carry on. The Times of London predicts the band will turn into Britpop's first heritage act, touring around festivals and state fairs playing the old hits.

* That Red Hot Chili Peppers hiatus just keeps on stretching out. Fresh off his supergroup Chickenfoot, drummer Chad Smith now has a solo project called Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats. Their new album is all prog-rock instrumentals (get an autographed copy here, or if you'd rather, try to win a copy here). Here's an interview with Smith where no mention of the Chili Peppers is even made. That can't be a good sign. Meanwhile, Flea played bass for Thom Yorke's solo shows in Los Angeles recently.

Monday, October 12, 2009

That new Alice in Chains album is a little freaky

I'm back, briefly. No major goings-on in the Peepers household, just haven't really had anything to say.
Then I heard some of this new Alice in Chains album:


We're positive Layne Staley's dead, right? And there's a new lead singer? They're not singing with old tapes of Layne like Nat King Cole's daughter did, right?

Monday, September 21, 2009

News bites: 311, Radiohead, Travis, Pumpkins, Guster, more

Sometimes stuff happens that's not really worthy of its own item. For instance:

* 311 are touring in November and December. Their most recent album Uplifter hit the Top 5 and has thus far spun off two modern rock hits: "Hey You" and "It's alright."

* Thom Yorke of Radiohead is working on a couple of new solo singles, which will more than likely be released on vinyl and digital download.

* Travis, who were very briefly one of the biggest bands in the world (remember when Coldplay were the next Travis?) are doing an acoustic tour across the U.S. from October 8 to November 12. It's being billed as a "chronological acoustical journey." Could be fun.

* That teenage kid who auditioned for the Smashing Pumpkins' drummer chair is apparently now a full-fledged member. Meanwhile, Billy Corgan is doing a solo tour with the Spirits in the Sky, a backing band that includes D'Arcy Wretzky's ex-husband on drums.

* The harmonica dude from Blues Traveler who used to be fat needs another new hip.

* Apparently the theme this year is "10th anniversary tours for albums that came out in '99." Jimmy Eat World and the Get Up Kids both did it. Now Guster is planning to play Lost and Gone Forever in its entirety at various clubs in October.

Monday, September 14, 2009

This week in reunions... Sublime! The Cranberries! No Doubt!

* Scott Weiland tells ArtistDirect that Stone Temple Pilots are working with between 10 and 18 songs for their next record, which could be out around Christmas. Meanwhile, Weiland kicked off his new clothing line with a solo set in LA last week, and STP are doing a handful of dates in October.

* Sublime are reuniting for Cypress Hill's Smokeout Festival in California in October. Not included in the reunion is lead singer / songwriter / guitarist Bradley Nowell, because he's, you know, dead.

* The Cranberries, who never officially broke up but hadn't played any shows or done any recording since 2003, will be touring the U.S. at the end of the year. Expect to hear new songs, old hits, and songs off lead singer Dolores O'Riordan's non-charting solo album (autographed copies still available here for only $9.99!). Generally, when the lead singer announces that the band's getting back together within a month of their solo album coming out, that's a sign the solo album didn't do too well.

* The Toadies reunion continues on. They toured the UK for the first time ever and are about to head back into the studio for a new album, to be released in 2010.

* According to this interview with Tony Kanal, the No Doubt reunion album might be awhile. Apparently, they wrote together but hadn't actually recorded anything before the giant summer tour. And by "wrote together," Kanal means that there are "seedlings" of songs but no actual songs written yet.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

RIP Allen Shellenberger

Lit drummer Allen Shellenberger has died after a battle with brain cancer. The band has posted a tribute video to him:


I was going to post my favorite Lit song, "Zip-Lock," but BMG disabled the youtube embed, so if you want to hear it, you gotta go here.

No word on the future of Lit; main songwriter Jeremy Popoff spends a lot of time in Nashville writing country songs now. The band does have one date scheduled for October in Charlotte, N.C.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Speaking of video games...

The shit has really hit the fan in regards to Kurt Cobain's appearance in the new Guitar Hero 5. Apparently, you can unlock both Cobain and Johnny Cash during the course of the game.

That's not that bad. But once Cobain's unlocked, you can use him as the lead singer on any song in the game, leading to disturbing images like this:

Seeing Cobain fist-pump and booty-shake his way through a Bon Jovi song is just unsettling.
Courtney Love has taken to Twitter and claimed she never gave Activision Games the approval to use Cobain's likeness in such a way. She also makes some rambling, semi-coherent claims about being cheated (get the highlights here), mentioning specifically that somebody's forging power of attorney forms in her name. Activision, on the other hand, claim Love herself signed an agreement to use Cobain's likeness.

Courtney Love has been making accusations of people thieving from the Cobain estate for at least five years, possibly closer to 10. Yet to my knowledge, there have never been any lawsuits filed to recoup money, and no criminal charges have ever been brought. If I'm wrong, let me know in the comments, please, but between this and the accusations against ex-Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson last month, it seems like Courtney may be crying wolf a bit too much.

Meanwhile, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl have released their own statement (through a publicist, which, let's be honest, Courtney Love might think about doing) wherein they state that they gave permission to use two songs in Guitar Hero 5, but the Cobain estate has all rights to Cobain's name and likeness. They also want the Cobain character "re-locked," although I doubt that's even possible at this point with the game already on sale.

If you want some Nirvana news that's not sad, depressing, or creepy, the band's legendary 1992 set at the Reading Festival will be released on CD and DVD in November.

* Anybody else wonder why the Cash family isn't upset about this? Seeing Johnny Cash rap or sing Black-Eyed-Peas songs or whatever is just as weird as this Cobain stuff.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams, who was huge in the UK in the late '90s but never really came over here in a big way, is back with a new song called "Bodies."


I dig it. There's a part in the middle that reminds me of Enigma, or perhaps that Benedictine monks album Chant. (did you know that album went triple-platinum? Seriously?)


P.S. Yes, I'm aware that Noel Gallagher quit Oasis. No, I'm not that interested. Noel quit once before, around 2000, and the band released another album two years later. Noel was talking about the band taking a hiatus after the summer tour anyway. I've got $20 says they patch things up eventually.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This week in reunions... the Hole saga drags on

* So, in case you haven't been paying attention, Courtney Love said she was getting Hole back together, which surprised her old bandmates. One of them, guitarist Eric Erlandson, claimed he and Hole made an agreement when they broke up 7 years ago that neither of them could tour or record as Hole without the other. Well, Love has taken to Twitter and claims that a) that's not true, and b) Erlandson was stealing from her. And yes, if you're keeping track, this is the 325th person Love has accused of helping to take all her money in the late '90s.

* Alice in Chains' new album comes out in about a month, and apparently Elton John is playing piano on the title track, "Black Gives Way to Blue," a tribute to Layne Staley. The first single off the album, "A Looking In View," is #27 this week on the rock charts and #38 on the alternative charts.

* The Butthole Surfers have been playing sporadic reunion dates of late, and now they're doing a full-fledged tour, September 24 - October 31. This is the late-'80s lineup reunited, but I'm assuming they still play "Pepper."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rock Band and the future of music

As album sales keep falling and the growth of downloadable singles through iTunes and others peters out, is Rock Band the future of music? It seems like a lot of acts are jumping on the bandwagon.

I'm completely addicted to Rock Band and its sequel, Rock Band 2, but I long ago played through all the songs on the discs. Thankfully, there's downloadable content (and there are Pepsi giveaways to get free downloadable content). Just this week, the Rock Band folks made available tracks by Blur, Eve 6, Blind Melon, and the Foo Fighters. Third Eye Blind just re-recorded six of their hits for the Rock Band store, and Pearl Jam will make their new album Backspacer available to download and play on September 20, the same day as the album release.

What do you think? I've certainly spent more money this year on Rock Band tracks than actual recorded music. Have you?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

No more Radiohead albums

Radiohead aren't going to be making any more albums anytime soon, though they will still be releasing music, Thom Yorke says. Albums are a "drag," apparently.

The first fruit of this new attitude is an orchestral dirge dedicated to Harry Patch, the last British World War I veteran, who died a couple of weeks ago. Hear it here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This week in reunions... Tonic!

* Tonic very quietly put out a greatest hits set last month. There aren't any unreleased songs on it, but there are a couple of live and acoustic tracks. The band, which reunited a couple of months ago, is touring a bit this summer and working on new material.

* Not sure how long this Blink-182 reunion is going to last, given that Tom DeLonge spent the days before the tour starts working on the third Angels and Airwaves album. He says it sounds like Pink Floyd's The Wall and will include a film. Oh, boy...

* This has little to do with the semi-ongoing Stone Temple Pilots reunion, but I've been on vacation (sorry about the length between posts), and while waiting out a rain delay at a Kansas City Royals game a couple of weeks ago, the guy on the PA put on a mix CD containing tracks from both of Scott Weiland's solo albums. Now that's a super-fan.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weird video of the day

Ah, the late '90s and the first dot-com boom. Remember classics like N*Sync's "Digital Getdown"? Here's another one in that genre, "www.nevergetoveryou" from the Canadian band Prozzak, from 1999:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

After a quiet spring, second half of the year looks big

We haven't had a lot of news to report so far in 2009, other than the Better than Ezra career resurrection. But a whole slew of albums are set to come out by Christmas by a lot of your favorite artists. Among them:

* Third Eye Blind, Ursa Major - recently pushed back from June 23 to August 18.

* Our Lady Peace, Burn, Burn - out today, with a large Canadian tour and short US tour to follow. I've already got my tickets for the Atlanta date.

* Vertical Horizon, Burning the Days - out August 11.

* Alice in Chains, Black gives way to blue - out September 29, but the first single, "A Looking In View," is available now on iTunes (or listen to it below). First album without Layne Staley.


* Pearl Jam, Backspacer - out September 20. The band premiered a song off it on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien last month.

* Collective Soul, Rabbit - out August 25. First single "Welcome All Again" just hit radio and is available on iTunes as well. Go here if you want to hear a clip of another song off the album, "Staring Down." After two self-released albums, this one's coming out on Roadrunner Records, more famous for metal bands and Nickelback.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cover of the day - Hole do Nirvana

Thinking about Hole as a result of yesterday's post sent me to YouTube, where I found a weird one. You may remember "You Know You're Right," the so-called "last Nirvana single," recorded only a few months before Kurt Cobain's suicide and not released until 2002's greatest hits album.

Well, here's Hole doing the song in 1995 on MTV Unplugged.


Creepy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This week in reunions... Blur! Sunny Day Real Estate! Hole?!?

* Blur's reunion concert in Hyde Park, London was quite well-received (click that link for the setlist and some photos). A new, two-disc greatest hits is out now in the UK and gets released at the end of this month in the U.S.

* Sunny Day Real Estate, the Seattle band who strongly influenced emo, then gave the Foo Fighters half of its original line-up, are back together for a fall tour. Get dates and some YouTube clips here.

* Courtney Love, as you may know, has been working on her second solo album for quite some time. Initially, it was supposed to be co-written with ex-4 Non Blonde Linda Perry, who's become a songwriter for hire for Pink, Christina Aguilera, and others. Then it turned into a "return to rock" album, with Billy Corgan stepping in to co-write a bunch of songs. Now, it's apparently going to be a Hole album. Problem is, the other members of Hole are a little confused about what's going on. Guitarist Eric Erlandson told Spin that, based on the break-up contract signed by himself and Love in 2002, there is no Hole without him, and he hasn't been contacted to participate. Bass player Melissa Auf Der Maur says she's been contacted by Michael Beinhorn, the guy who produced Celebrity Skin, but not by Courtney, and she's not sure what her role's going to be (the NME says she'll record backing vocals on the album, then play bass on tour). Drummer Patty Schemel quit the band during the recording of Celebrity Skin, but then played drums on Love's first solo album and was most recently drumming for Juliette Lewis, so she's probably in.

Here's the 1999 line-up of Hole on Letterman, doing their last big modern rock hit, "Awful":

Friday, July 17, 2009

This week in break-ups... Nine Inch Nails, Live, and more

* Nine Inch Nails have announced their "final shows" later this year, though it's not clear if this means they're breaking up. Plus, could Trent Reznor break up with himself?

* In the "staying broken up department," Soundgarden are apparently not getting back together, no matter what the lead singer of Shinedown tells people. They may, however, be working on a b-sides album or a box set, Chris Cornell says.

* Ex-Cranberry Dolores O'Riordan has a new album out August 25, and will be touring in the U.S. this fall. And even though the band got back together for a one-off recently, don't expect a larger reunion. That's probably an OK thing; as good as some of the singles off the first two albums are, the Cranberries had really worn out their welcome by the time they broke up.

* Speaking of wearing out your welcome, Live, who are lucky they have any fans left after the abomination that was 2001's V, are going on a two-year hiatus. Ed Kowalczyk's doing a solo album, and some of the guys are rumored to be doing some sort of side project with the lead singer of Candlebox. While still huge in Belgium and the Netherlands, Live's been dealing with diminished returns in the US for a decade now, and super-fan Chris Daughtry's public support wasn't able to goose their career that much a few years back.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More D'Arcy news

Q101 in Chicago has posted the entire phone call ex-Smashing Pumpkin D'Arcy Wretzky made last week. According to Pitchfork (who bothered to listen to the entire thing), Wretzky now lives on a horse farm in Michigan and tells a delightful story about Marilyn Manson's parents.

You know, between this, Tinted Windows, and Billy Corgan hiring teenagers to play drums for him, I'm not sure a Smashing Pumpkins reunion is all that likely.

Monday, July 13, 2009

News bites: Vertical Horizon's new sound; Dinosaur Jr.'s too loud; the return of D'Arcy Wretzky

* Vertical Horizon's new album, their first since 2003, will be happier and dance-influenced, says frontman Matt Scannell.

* Dinosaur Jr.'s new album is apparently too loud (it's not that you're too damn old). A problem with the manufacturing increased the dBs too much, and you can return it if you so please for a new one and a free ringtone.

* Why is it still called the Smashing Pumpkins if it's just Billy Corgan and a bunch of no-names? Because Billy says the music he's writing still sounds like the Smashing Pumpkins.

* Meanwhile, ex-Pumpkins bassist D'Arcy, who hasn't been heard from in a long time, called a Chicago radio station to rave about the Monkees a couple of days ago.

* The Deftones had a new album about ready to go, but in the wake of bass player Chi Cheng's brain injury, they're shelving it and recording something new.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our Lady Peace are back

Our Lady Peace, for my money the best Canadian band of the last 20 years, are back with a new album Burn, Burn, out July 21. And in a development that is making 17-year-old Mr. Peepers' head explode, the first single, "All you did was save my life," was co-written by Raine Maida of OLP and Zac Maloy of the Nixons. Watch the video here (sorry kids, no embedding).

The band's doing a big Canadian festival tour this month, and a small US club tour in August (already got my tickets for the Atlanta date). For an interview with Maida, go here; he says the band is consciously trying to get back to its '90s sound, which probably isn't a terrible thing. I liked parts of their last album in '05 (particularly "Angels/Losing/Sleep"), but it wasn't stellar, and their last big hit, "Somewhere Out There," was a little too slick for some folks.

Here's something to discuss in the comments: when all's said and done, who will be remembered as the biggest Canadian band of the '90s, Barenaked Ladies or Our Lady Peace? And no, the Tragically Hip don't count because a) their first album was in '87 and b) nobody south of Ontario knows any of their songs.

** Thanks to reader The Josh Strayhorn Experience for the tip!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This week in reunions... Blur! STP! Phish!

* If, like me, you couldn't find enough change in your couch to get over to England for the Blur reunion, you can watch rehearsal footage from the comfort of your own computer desk.

* Stone Temple Pilots, who are back on the road for a bit this summer, are ready to record a reunion album, due in 2010, with Don Was, of Was(Not Was) fame, producing. Was produced some of the later Rolling Stones albums.

* This guy thinks maybe Phish should have stayed broken up.

Friday, June 19, 2009

This week in break-ups... Harvey Danger

* Harvey Danger, who I'm pretty sure broke up at least once before, are calling it quits again. They'll do a few farewell shows in August and then hang it up. Good to see they're not flagpole sittas. Huh? Am I right?

*New Order, who aren't really a '90s band, have broken up and reformed without bass player Peter Hook. Instead, they've added Alex James from Blur and are calling themselves Bad Lieutenant. I assume this means the Blur reunion is short-lived. Expect to see a Bad Lieutenant album in October.

Here's New Order's one big '90s hit, "Regret."

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Pumpkins drummer

If you grew up listening to the Smashing Pumpkins, you're apparently too old to be their new drummer, because Billy Corgan looks set to hire a 19-year-old for the seat left vacant by Jimmy Chamberlain.

Meanwhile, if you've been watching television, perhaps you've heard the new Smashing Pumpkins single "F.O.L." in an ad for Hyundai, and now the song's available for free on the Hyundai website.

F.O.L. ... G.L.O.W. ... apparently, Corgan only thinks in initials now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This week in reunions... Phish! Blink! Limp! Aqua?!?

* Phish's reunion tour has begun, and the band will have a new album by the end of July. Catch a YouTube clip of one of the songs here. Wait... do Phish fans actually care about their recorded music? I thought they were all about the live show only.

* Blink-182 played a surprise mini-set at a T-Mobile party in Los Angeles. If you want to see bad cellphone footage of it, go here. If you want to read an interview with Mark Hoppus where he talks about Twitter and the tour, go here.

* Speaking of bad cellphone footage, if you want to see the Limp Bizkit reunion tour live from Latvia, go here. Early word on the European tour is that Wes Borland is really phoning it in (which isn't really that surprising).

* Aqua are back together, with a new song ... about the 1980s, which mostly just namechecks a bunch of stuff from "I Love the 80s." I think Bowling for Soup did it a bit better, but this is the band famous for "Barbie Girl," so whatever.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coming soon... the Weezer snuggie

If you haven't bought a Snuggie yet, wait a few weeks longer, because Weezer are coming out with the Wuggie... the Snuggie with a Weezer logo on it.

In other bizarre Weezer news, they covered Lady GaGa and MGMT recently. Catch the video here. At the show, drummer Pat Wilson was the third guitarist and Josh Freese (ex-Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails, among others) was the drummer. No word on whether or not that's the configuration they're taking on tour this summer.

In non-bizarre Weezer news, they will probably have a new single out this summer. They may or may not have a new album out this summer, but probably by fall. They're still opening for Blink-182 in August and September.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Barenaked Ladies get their own ice cream

If you live in Canada, or will perhaps be traveling there soon, you can get a carton of If I had a Million Flavours, the new Barenaked Ladies-themed ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. As you can guess from the spelling of the word "flavours," it's Canada-only, and as you can guess from the "million" part, it's chock full of various chunks of chocolate, toffee, peanut butter, almonds, and other stuff. If anybody wants to ship me a carton in dry ice, e-mail me for the mailing address.

In other Barenaked Ladies news, the now-four-piece just began recording a rock album, says the Canadian Press.

Monday, May 25, 2009

This week in reunions... Toad the Wet Sprocket

* For the second year in a row, Toad the Wet Sprocket have reunited to do some summer dates. Just like last year, don't expect a new album. I contemplated going to see them here in Atlanta this Sunday, but tickets are $35, so... probably not.

* Not sure if this qualifies as a reunion, given that all three bands have kept going for the last decade in varying combinations (most with just the lead singer remaining as an original member), but Seven Mary Three, Sponge, and Days of the New are doing a package tour this summer, mostly in casinos and small clubs. I've got some Seven Mary Three content I've been meaning to put up; I'll try to do that soon.

* Stone Temple Pilots are back at it this summer, for a couple of weeks at least; they're touring the northeastern US and Canada from July 7-18. Meanwhile, Scott Weiland's doing some West Coast solo shows this month.

* Oh, and LFO are back together, but right now it's just for one show in New York. And I don't care what you think, this song was pretty good:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Your BTE update

After briefly hitting the Top 10 (on iTunes at least), Better than Ezra's new album Paper Empire debuted at #62 this week, their highest placement since their first album, Deluxe (you know, the one with "Good" on it).

And now the band's on tour all summer. Dates below:

May 29 & 30 - House of Blues, New Orleans
June 2 - Flytrap, Tulsa
June 3 - Whiskey Roadhouse, Council Bluffs, IA
June 5 - Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth
June 6 - House of Blues, Houston
June 7 - House of Blues, Dallas
June 9 - Soul Kitchen, Mobile, AL
June 11 - Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
June 12 - Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, FL
June 13 - House of Blues, Lake Buena Vista, FL
June 14 - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta
June 16 - 9:30 Club, Washington DC
June 17 - Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia
June 18 - Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY
June 19 - Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, New York City
June 20 - Paradise Rock Club, Boston
June 23 - House of Blues, Cleveland
June 24 - Pioneer Court, Chicago
June 25 - The Vogue, Indianapolis
June 26 - 4th Street Live, Louisville
June 27 - House of Blues, Chicago
June 28 - Summerfest, Milwaukee
July 9 - Alive at Five, Stamford, CT
July 10 - Bottle and Cork, Dewey Beach, DE
July 11 - NorVA, Norfolk, VA
July 12 - The National, Richmond, VA
July 14 - Rex Theatre, Pittsburgh
July 15 - Emerald Theatre, Mount Clemens, MI
July 17 - Snowden Grove Amphitheater, Southaven, MS
July 19 - 3rd and Lindsley, Nashville
July 24 - Kansas City Live, Kansas City
July 25 - The Pageant, St. Louis
July 30 - Alive @ Five, Stamford, CT
August 12 - The Independent, San Francisco
August 13 - Music in the Park, San Jose, CA
August 21 - Power Plant Live, Baltimore
August 22 - Downtown Live, Raleigh, NC

And for fun, here's Taylor Swift covering BTE's "Our Last Night:"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This week in reunions... Sugar Ray

* Jane's Addiction's tour with Nine Inch Nails only just started, and already the band is feuding with bassist Eric Avery, who stayed away from the previous two reunions. Oh, and Perry Farrell tore a calf muscle in his leg and will have to perform on crutches.

* Sugar Ray are back together; you may remember that lead singer Mark McGrath took some time out to host Extra, host a Pussycat Dolls-themed reality show, and appear on an episode of Law and Order: SVU. Their new album Music for Cougars comes out July 21, and they'll be on tour most of the summer. Listen to the first single, "Boardwalk," here.

* The Wallflowers will indeed have something to promote on their summer tour: a greatest hits album with two "previously unreleased" tracks.

* Rancid have a new album, out June 2, though I'm not sure if it counts as a reunion. Their last album was in 2003, and since then they've done a variety of side projects and solo albums. But they toured in '06. So... regardless, the new album's called Let the Dominoes Fall.

* The dates from the Blink-182 reunion tour have been released, and it starts July 24. Weezer, the All-American Rejects, and Fall Out Boy are opening on various dates.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Britpop compilations have begun

Common People: the Britpop Story, a three-disc set of the best of UK guitar music in the '90s (minus Blur, Oasis, the Verve, and Travis, who must have been too expensive), comes out in June. Included are tracks by Pulp, the Stone Roses, Supergrass, and Gay Dad, as well as this classic from 1995:


I lived in the UK in 1998-99, and disc 3 is essentially that mini-era's greatest hits, so I might think about picking this up. No Three Colours Red, though?

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Nirvana DVD

OK, newish. A new DVD, Life Takes No Prisoners, of Nirvana's famed 1992 Reading Festival performance has just been released. So if you've ever wanted to hear Nirvana cover Boston's "More than a Feeling," this is your chance.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Better than Ezra's big comeback

As I write this (Thursday morning), Better than Ezra's Paper Empire is the #7 album on the iTunes charts. Yesterday, it was #3 (this from a band whose five previous albums peaked at #35, #64, #129, #110, and #84 on the Billboard charts). The album got a featured review at allmusic. Entertainment Weekly is streaming one of the tracks, "Just One Day" (listen here). Bands like the Fray name-check them as an influence, and Kevin Griffin wrote a song with American Idol winner David Cook.

Does the great '90s retro revival start here? While you ponder that, check out BTE's new video, "Absolutely Still":

Friday, May 8, 2009

No more Oasis until 2014?

As a former diehard Oasis fan (posters in my college dorm room and everything), I'm embarrassed to admit that I a) didn't get their most recent album Dig Out Your Soul when it came out, instead waiting for Christmas, and b) still haven't listened to it. But it appears I've got ample time to get acquainted with it, because Noel Gallagher tells Q Magazine that the band probably won't record another one for five years. In the meantime, the band will wrap up its touring with European dates this summer, and then Noel plans to do a solo album.

This certainly doesn't make me as sad as if the announcement had been made in 1997; I'm one of the few people who enjoyed Heathen Chemistry and parts of Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, but the parts I've heard of the new album were awfully same-y, and I've skipped chances to see them on tour twice in the last five years. Are you going to miss Oasis?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Return of the Rentals (again)

Was Matt Sharp the key to Weezer? Most fans feel the Blue album and Pinkerton outshine the four post-Sharp albums. Sharp quit Weezer during the long post-Pinkerton hiatus to concentrate on his side project, the Rentals, who were then riding high off of "Friends of P". Then he broke up the Rentals after a poor-selling follow-up, did some solo work on tiny indie labels, sued Weezer for songwriting royalties, and now... the Rentals are back.


That's "Song of Remembering," off their odd new project Songs About Time, which will consist of some digital mini-albums, some short films, and some photographs. Get more info (and a four-song player of the first EP) here.

Weezer, meanwhile, are headlining the KROQ Weenie Roast in LA May 16, and are still supposedly touring with Blink-182 this summer, though as of yet no dates have been announced.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This week in reunions... The Wallflowers

* With Jakob Dylan back in the fold, the Wallflowers are touring in June and July. No new album as of yet, though be honest: do you know anyone who's bought one of their albums since 1998? I didn't think so.

* Taking a page from the Everclear playbook, Evan Dando is releasing an all-covers album with the Lemonheads, and going on tour in June. This isn't really a reunion, because only Dando remains from the band's '90s heyday.

* The Limp Bizkit reunion tour starts... in eastern Europe. The band will be playing arenas and festivals in Latvia, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Bulgaria, among other places, this summer. No word on a new album or a US tour.

* The Alice in Chains reunion album, which we first heard about in February 2008, is now supposedly coming out in September. For real.

* Oh, and Creed is getting back together. But I don't really want to talk about that.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Corgan and Chamberlain on Cobain and Courtney

Want to watch one of the last Smashing Pumpkins performances with Jimmy Chamberlain? Here you go.

What's that? You'd prefer to watch Billy Corgan turn "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" into a weird spoken-word intro for a minor-league wrestling circuit? Well, it's your lucky day:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This week in reunions... Jesus Lizard

* The Jesus Lizard are back, and playing the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this summer. If you're like me, and only vaguely remember the band, get a primer (and a couple of YouTube videos) here.

* Jason Newsted rejoined Metallica for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction a few weeks ago.

* Jane's Addiction have recorded two new tracks which were originally demoed in 1987, with Trent Reznor producing. They're on a new box set.

*The three guys in Soundgarden who aren't Chris Cornell got up on stage with the dude from Tad (remember Tad?), and played a couple of songs in Seattle last month. Since it's 2009, you can of course find grainy YouTube videos of the performance here.

Your video mash-up of the day

The Dallas Mavericks, after two straight first-round playoff exits, are up 3 games to 1 on the San Antonio Spurs, and are looking pretty good. So let's celebrate that with a YouTube video of Mavs highlights, set to Urge Overkill's 1993 hit "Sister Havana."

Because nothing says Dallas pro basketball like a 15-year-old Chicago power-pop song.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Green Day on tour

If you live in a major metropolitan area, and want to see Green Day in a giant arena or amphitheater setting, July and August are your chance. The band's announced a 38-date tour starting July 3. If you don't live near a major metropolitan area and you are an insomniac, catch the band five nights in a row on Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC in June, which in my market airs around 1:30 in the morning.

Meanwhile, "Know Your Enemy," (the youtube for which was available below but has been yanked), debuted at #8 on the modern rock charts this week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weezer, Blink-182 touring together this summer

No dates yet, but apparently Weezer will be opening up for the big Blink-182 reunion tour, says Buzznet.

In other news, Rainn Wilson and Rivers Cuomo have recorded a cover of the Joan Osborne hit "One of Us." Fast-forward to 4:50 or so if you want to miss all the idle chitchat:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Green Day: "Know Your Enemy"

I give it a couple of hours max before YouTube knocks this down, but here's the new Green Day single, "Know Your Enemy," bootlegged from British radio earlier this morning. The song's supposed to hit American radio today, so if you're lucky enough to still live in a town with an alternative-rock station, tune in.


In other news, Green Day's been doing secret shows in the San Francisco / Oakland area. Check out pictures of the stage setup for their 2009 tour here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Where were you in '94?

15 years ago this week, Kurt Cobain took his own life, and in so doing, ended the first, more innocent phase of alternative rock (think about it: things got a lot more corporate after '94). Idolator has a nice piece asking people where they were when they heard about Cobain's death. Among the commenters weighing in: ex-Lemonheads guitarist John Strohm.

I was a sophomore, going to high school in suburban DFW. A reporter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram came up to get reactions from teenagers at school, but in that pre-Internet, pre-cell phone age, she ended up breaking the news to everyone. Word spread pretty quick after that. A buddy of mine had just gotten his license, and after school, we just drove around in his beat-up Mercury Cougar, listening to KDGE play the more somber Nirvana deep cuts ("Pennyroyal Tea," "Something in the Way," etc.) while we wound our way around the cul-de-sacs.

Where were you in April '94?
Here's the actual Kurt Loder newsbreak on MTV announcing the death:


Here's "Pennyroyal Tea," live from Toronto (bad video, but pretty good audio)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Want some free Marilyn Manson?

I don't, but you might. Get a free mp3 of the first single from his upcoming album here. Coincidentally, we are coming up on the 10th anniversary of the Columbine shootings, which briefly transformed Manson from "Alice Cooper-ripoff" to "genuine menace to the youth of today" in the eyes of middle America. Since then, he's released three top 10 albums and had as many covers ("Tainted Love," "Personal Jesus") reach the modern rock charts as original songs.

DRUMMERS: Want to be in the Smashing Pumpkins?

Do you own your own drum set?
Failing that, can you play "Today" and/or "Cherub Rock" on expert on Rock Band?
Do you live in Los Angeles, or could you get there by Friday?

Well, then you're in luck, because the Smashing Pumpkins (now down to one original member, Everclear-style) are looking for YOU. You've got to e-mail them some information before showing up, though, so get on that. And if you get the gig, let us know.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Green Day, Matthew Sweet hit the (theater) stage

The Berkeley Repertory Theater in California is presenting not one, but two '90s-related musicals in their 2009-2010 season, Variety says. If you're in the area, look for rock operas of Green Day's American Idiot (which is itself a rock opera), and Matthew Sweet's 1991 breakthrough Girlfriend (which is not).

What albums would you like to see turned into musicals? The Ben Folds Five stuff comes immediately to mind. And maybe it's just because I've been listening to the Ten reissue, but I'd like to see a Pearl Jam musical (like that'd ever happen). Post your thoughts in the comment section.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Who do you want to see on Behind the Music?

Behind the Music is coming back. Scott Weiland and Blink-182 are already ticketed for two of the 10 episodes ordered; who would you like to see for the other 8?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This week in break-ups... Smashing Pumpkins

* Jimmy Chamberlin, the one non-Corgan original member of the Smashing Pumpkins, has left the band. This is the first time he's done so of his own accord (he was kicked out due to a heroin addiction in '96, but came back to the fold eventually). Corgan still plans to record and tour as the Smashing Pumpkins.

* Nothing concrete, but John Frusciante just released a solo album, and Chad Smith is now drumming for Chickenfoot, the new supergroup featuring Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, and Michael Anthony. And I haven't heard much from Flea or Anthony Kiedis in awhile. Are the Chili Peppers still together?

* Don't expect to see more Rage Against the Machine dates this summer, as Tom Morello has a new band called Street Sweeper that'll be opening up for Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chris Cornell vs. Trent Reznor

In feuding news, Trent Reznor posted on twitter that Chris Cornell's new album is embarrassing, and then Chris Cornell responded with a Jesus reference.

The fact that two men in their late 30s are using Twitter to have a fight is neither here nor there, I guess.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Coolio gets busted

Coolio, who was one of the most famous men in the world in 1995, was arrested for possession of crack and battery in Los Angeles last week.
Anybody else remember when he got busted in Germany in 1998 for shoplifting at a mall? That was funny. This is fairly sad.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This week in reunions... Sublime?!?

* The big (and inexplicable) news of the week is that Sublime are getting back together, minus (of course) deceased singer / guitarist / songwriter Brad Nowell. Now, on one hand, I can see why the two surviving members of Sublime would want to do this. They never got to tour behind their phenomenally-popular self-titled album (three hit singles, five-times-platinum), because Nowell died of an overdose shortly before it came out. So they left money on the table that tribute bands like Badfish and Wrong Way are now taking (seriously; Badfish - A Tribute to Sublime comes through Atlanta fairly regularly and plays pretty big venues. There's a market for this stuff). But at the same time, how can they possibly need the money? This is a band who have released three greatest-hits albums this decade, all of which have charted in the Billboard Top 200, and two of which have gone gold. Their spin-off project, the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, released two decent-selling albums and did the theme song to Joey. This is worse than Alice in Chains getting back together, because Jerry Cantrell's harmonies and guitar work were at least half of the appeal of that band. This is more like watching the Jimi Hendrix Experience without Jimi.

* No Doubt don't want you to consider this upcoming tour a reunion. Because they never broke up, you see. Although since 2002, Gwen Stefani has made two platinum solo albums while the other three guys backed up Scott Weiland, and No Doubt didn't tour or record. But it wasn't a break-up. Cause it was never official. This is like if your wife moves out and you see other people, but after she moves back in, you don't want to call it a reconciliation, because you never got divorced. Meanwhile, you can get the band's entire catalog in digital format if you buy a "premium ticket" to the upcoming tour.

* Meanwhile, Mr. Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale, is embarking on a solo tour beginning in late March, and apparently has been making noises about a Bush reunion at the end of 2009. This is a little surprising, given that Rossdale's solo career is just now gaining traction (after his debut album looked like a flop, "Love Remains the Same" caught on as a single around Christmas).

* And the Jayhawks are reuniting to do some shows, though not under the name "The Jayhawks."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Superdrag ... Industry Giants

I have no idea how I didn't learn about this until today, but Superdrag's first album in 7 years (and first with the original lineup since 1998's classic Head Trip in Every Key) is called Industry Giants, and it's out today. If you're at SXSW, they have six shows in Austin between now and Saturday. Go here for details.
Newbury Comics has autographed copies of the new CD, if that's your thing, or you can get bonus tracks at iTunes or Amazon if you buy the mp3s. If you want a sample, the Superdrag merch store has a free mp3 of the opener, "Slow to Anger."
The band do a short east coast tour (and a couple of dates in and around Chicago) in April.

I can't embed it, but if you want to see a video for the band's angry new single, "Aspartame," visit Spin's website.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Links roundup

* Chris Cornell, whose Timbaland collaboration only came out Tuesday despite all the pre-Xmas hype, is on tour. Get dates here.

* You can listen to a new Oasis b-side which finally goes whole-hog with the Beatles-influence over at Spin.

* A tribute to Mike Watt's 1995 solo album Ball-Hog or Tugboat?, which featured an all-star cast of alt-rock luminaries, including Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and Evan Dando, among others. Check the comments section for fond remembrances of the supporting tour (the Foo Fighters opened up).

*If, like me, Jimmy Eat World didn't come anywhere near you on their Clarity 10th-anniversary tour, you can live vicariously with the Clarity Live album, which is out in April in a digital-only format.

* And Lamestain has a bunch of mp3s up right now of obscure tracks from 7-inches put out by various early-'90s Seattle bands.

Friday, March 6, 2009

This week in reunions... Limp Bizkit

* Limp Bizkit have returned... somewhere in South Dakota, there's a guy throwing a party because of this news.

* Jane's Addiction are back together for sure, and are spending the summer touring with Nine Inch Nails, this according to Trent Reznor.

* No Doubt have announced a 45-city reunion tour, beginning May 3. Expect to hear the hits, as there's no word that a reunion album will be out by then.

* Faith No More (minus original guitarist Jim Martin) are reuniting for a European tour, their first major run of shows since the band petered out in 1998. No US dates, though.

* Just to whet the appetites of everybody for this summer, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon appeared on stage together at the NME Awards last week and performed "This is a Low," their first joint appearance since 2000. This makes a great excuse to post "The Universal":

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More on the Tinted Windows

Watch this video, which has been making the rounds:
Tinted Windows


I might be able to get behind this Tinted Windows thing. Not sure what to make of Iha's platinum hair, though.

Want to buy a multimillionaire punk's house?

Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph Records founder Brett Gurewitz is selling his house in LA. If you've got $3 million, it's yours. No word on whether or not the Rancid and Offspring gold records can stay with the house.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cover of the day... Steven Page does Radiohead

Somewhere in the numerous posts around the web about Steven Page parting ways with Barenaked Ladies was this link. Click on it, and you can listen to a broadcast of Page performing covers of his favorite songs with a classical ensemble live on CBC Radio 2 last summer. I highly recommend Track 12, "Paranoid Android."

Yes, the dude from Barenaked Ladies doing a chamber-music cover of a Radiohead song. It's just as awesome as that sentence makes it sound.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Green Day demo leaks

The title track from Green Day's forthcoming "21st Century Breakdown" leaked over the weekend. It sounds like the band built on their American Idiot sound by listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen and Queen. I doubt this is going to be the first single off the album (which isn't due until May), as it's more than five minutes long and goes through three distinct movements.

I would post a direct link to the mp3, but I am led to believe that could get me in some legal difficulties, so I will just say if you youtube "Green Day 21st century breakdown" you can find where it's being hosted. Let me know below what you think.

Breaking... Page leaves Barenaked Ladies

The chubby dude who sings better than the rapping dude in Barenaked Ladies is out of the band. Whether or not this has to do with his cocaine bust last year remains to be seen. Also, he's working on a solo album. The remaining members of the band plan to go into the studio in April.

This really isn't helping the Barenaked Ladies' good-time, happy-go-lucky Canadian image. Back in December, they were supposedly working on a boxed set. It will now apparently serve as the epitaph for the chubby-guy singing / skinny-guy scatting Barenaked Ladies.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Pantheon 1: Punk revival bands

After this post on Less than Jake set off a wide-ranging discussion on the merits and ranks of various bands, it seems like a new series is needed. So here's the Pantheon: the great bands of the '90s. It's been long enough to get some critical perspective. As always, discuss and argue below:

First up, the great punk revival of 1994 and beyond:

First-tier
Green Day - uncontested champions. If Dookie's not enough, consider their triumphant return to form with American Idiot. They've collaborated with U2, covered John Lennon (with Yoko's blessing), had countless hits, and sold millions of albums while influencing every Warped Tour band that came after. Plus, I still really like "Redundant."


The Offspring - forever the Rolling Stones to Green Day's Beatles, they'll never have the same critical success even as they approach the same level of commercial success. Get extra points for Dexter Holland's tight braids back in the day, his impossible-to-imitate voice, and his Ph.D. in microbiology.

Blink-182 - Had less of an impact in the '90s than the above bands, though "Dammit" was a good single and Enema of the State did come out in '99. And now they're back.

Bad Religion - one of our posters was adamant about including this band here. I loved Recipe for Hate and Stranger than Fiction, and you have to give them props for founding Epitaph Records, which was responsible for Offspring, Rancid, etc. But I only tolerated The Gray Race, and their material after that has been fairly weak. It seems obvious that the band needed Brett Gurewitz, who ditched in '95 and came back in '02. Still, last time I was in LA, I heard them on the radio four or five times and they can still play large venues on the West Coast whenever they want.

Rancid - ...And Out Come the Wolves was a masterpiece, but our posters are right, they really didn't do that much either before or after that (I'm not counting Operation Ivy).
Man, "Ruby Soho" is a great song, though:


Second-tier
Face to Face... MxPx... NOFX ... Rocket from the Crypt (a lot more popular than you would think in the UK, to this day)... Pennywise (never quite got over the hump)... Social Distortion

Third-tier

FenixTX... Unwritten Law... (who knew they had an album on Epic in '96?)... Sprung Monkey... No Use for a Name (love their punk cover of "Fairytale of New York")...

New supergroup: Tinted Windows

This spring brings a new supergroup: the Tinted Windows, consisting of ex-Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, Fountain of Wayne Adam Schlesinger, Taylor Hanson, and Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos.

They're playing select dates this spring, including a SXSW showcase in Austin March 20 and a show in Hanson's hometown of Tulsa. The AV Club reports that they'll also be on the Late Show with David Letterman April 20, and their debut album comes out April 21.

Based on the pedigree of all concerned, this is probably going to be some hardcore power-pop, which will be a different direction for Iha, who left Smashing Pumpkins, then joined A Perfect Circle. Oh, and don't forget his '70s singer-songwriter solo album (which I really didn't like).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Breaking... McNabb leaves Better than Ezra

Geez, I leave the site alone for a couple of weeks because it seemed like nothing was going on in the world of '90s music, and look what I missed.

You may remember this blog's semi-breathless (and soap-operatic) reporting of goings-on in the Better than Ezra camp. At the time, speculation was that bass player Tom Drummond was unhappy. Well, Tom's back in the fold, but drummer Travis McNabb is leaving to play with multiplatinum country superstars Sugarland full time. Here's the statement from BTE's website:

EVERY NEW BEGINNING IS ANOTHER BEGINNING'S END

Fans and friends, we want to let you know that after 12 great years with Better Than Ezra, Travis McNabb is moving on to pursue other opportunities in music. You probably are aware that Travis has been touring with Sugarland for the past year and a half. We will miss Travis dearly and wish him nothing but success and happiness in the years to come. He will remain a close friend of the band and will continue to serve on the board of the band’s charity – The Better Than Ezra Foundation. Travis’ last show with the band will be this Sunday in Metairie.

That said, it is with great excitement that we welcome Michael Jerome to the band. We've been friends with Michael for awhile and have been a fan of his drumming. Michael has toured with the likes of Richard Thompson, John Cale, and New Orleans' own, Pleasure Club. He brings with him a great musical sensibility and an explosive live show.
In May Better Than Ezra will release our seventh studio album, Paper Empire. We are thrilled with how it sounds and can't wait for you to hear it. Looking forward to touring with new music, new gags and of course, new dance moves! Thanks so much for all your support over the years…many more to come!

See you on the road in '09!
Kevin and Tom

McNabb joined the band in time to record their second major-label album, 1996's Friction, Baby (ongoing legal disputes with original drummer Cary Bonnecaze have prevented the re-release of the band's cassette-only debut album, Surprise, which now goes for princely sums on eBay). For a great example of his prowess, watch him in this live clip of "Desperately Wanting":

(I always liked that maracas trick... sorry about the terrible sound quality).

Drummond, McNabb, and Kevin Griffin will cross paths again when Better than Ezra and Sugarland both perform at the New Orleans Jazz Fest later this spring. BTE's new album Paper Empire comes out May 12 on MRI Records, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Both McNabb and Jerome play on the album, and the first single "Absolutely Still" should hit radio (probably AAA and Adult Top 40) in March.

Interestingly enough, according to this post on BTE's messageboard, Jerome briefly played drums for the Toadies, and was also in Pop Poppins and Course of Empire, two fairly-minor Dallas acts in the '90s.

* Thanks to readers Chris and Siyabonga for the tips!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

More on that new Green Day album

The new Green Day album 21st Century Breakdown will be out in May. The album art has already been released (look to your right), Butch Vig is producing, and if you go here, you can hear a small snippet of one of the songs.
This is Green Day's first release since a 2005 live album, and only their second album proper this decade (they did put out that live album, a greatest-hits compilation, and a B-sides album). The last time they were on the radio was 2007's "Working Class Hero," off a John Lennon tribute album.
Rolling Stone has heard six of the songs, and says they continue in the same vein as 2004's American Idiot: politically-minded punk with a rock opera twist.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cover of the Day

Belly does Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?"


This was off a mid-90s tribute album that I think I owned at one point, although my copy may have been a dubbed cassette that a friend gave me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This week in reunions... BLINK-182

* Earlier this week, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker claimed to be both doing solo albums, but then they appeared on stage at the Grammys just now with Tom and announced that they're back. A visit to Blink-182.com reveals that a summer 2009 tour is in the works.*

* Stone Temple Pilots are once again dormant, while Scott Weiland supports his solo album and clothing line.

**And speaking of the Grammys, how awesome was Dave Grohl drumming with Paul McCartney?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cover of the day

Click here to hear a jazz version of Nirvana's "Lithium" by the Bad Plus. The melody line's been slowed down in parts, for a jarring effect.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Green Day in the studio

Not sure how this slipped by me, but Green Day are currently recording a new album with Nirvana / Smashing Pumpkins producer (and Garbage drummer) Butch Vig.
Here's a clip of them in the studio in October:

This week in reunions...

With only a trickle of reunion news over the holidays, this week's post is more like this month in reunions, but whatever.

* The biggest news of the month (for this site) is that Tonic are getting back together for a national tour and a new album sometime this year.

* Rage Against the Machine, on the other hand, have been back together for nearly two years, but don't expect to ever hear a reunion album, Tom Morello says.

* Lance Bass thinks an 'n Sync reunion might happen. My wife and all her high school friends are pumped.

* Blur are back together, playing Glastonbury, and maybe playing Coachella in the US.

* Hey, remember Dexter Freebish? They're back together and working on a greatest hits. Did they have hits?

* The Phish reunion tour kicks off in June. Dates here.

* And last but not least, Tommy Lee says he's getting his homies together for another Methods of Mayhem album. Awesome? Here's 1999's "Get Naked" (NSFW lyrically and visually):

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New this week... Reel Big Fish, Duncan Sheik

Last week's release schedule was so light, I skipped it. So here are the albums new in stores this week (and last):

Trey Anastasio, Original Broadwalk Style- Live album, previously only available on the Phish singer's website.

John Frusciante, The Empyrean- the Chili Pepper guitarist's 10th solo album. Really. Haven't heard the other nine? You're not missing much.

The Odds, Cheerleader- Canadian power-pop band who had brief success in the US in 1998 with "Someone who is Cool:"


Reel Big Fish, Fame, Fortune, Fornication- Oh, my. It's a covers album, including their versions of hair metal songs, John Mellencamp, and "Brown-Eyed Girl."

RZA, Afro Samurai Resurrection- Wu-Tang Clan mastermind does an anime soundtrack, with guest spots from a lot of other Wu-Tang alums.

Duncan Sheik, Whisper House- album intended to be a sampler for the next Broadway musical from the Adult Top 40 fave turned Tony award-winner.

Swervedriver, Mezcal Head- remastered version of the shoegazers' 1993 album, with 4 bonus tracks.

Thom Yorke, The Eraser Remixes- I believe this originally came out in vinyl last spring, but now it's available on CD. As you can guess, it's remixes of songs from Yorke's solo album.