So, Suede has reunited. Who hasn’t? As I recall, by the time these guys had thrown in the towel, it was well past the expiration date. A New Morning, wasn’t that the last one? Yeah, that album was rather bad. But money beckons. As does fame. And solo albums aren’t as successful as surmised. I got into Suede my freshman year of college when they played “Metal Mickey” on Leno, I believe it was. At the time I preferred them to Blur. Funny, how differently I feel now. I still have a soft spot for those first two Suede records, though. The ones with Bernard Butler on guitar. Once the teenage Richard Oaks had taken over on guitar, I was fully entrenched in camp Blur. It’s amusing to watch this band in 2010 playing early singles like “Animal Nitrate.” Back when their eponymous debut album hit, these guys seemed frightening in that androgynous druggie way that David Bowie had once seemed. Youth and ambition add so much to a band’s mystique. The reunited Suede scares me very little, however. I’m sure if the shows go well, a new record will surface. But it certainly won’t recapture the glam angst of those early days.
For most people Talk Talk were a flash in the pan new wave band with two hits, “It’s My Life” and the self-titled “Talk Talk”, but the band, led by the unmistakable voice of Mark Hollis, veered hard left on subsequent albums, pursuing a much darker, experimental, and esoteric creative form. This “single” from the band’s underground classic Spirit of Eden, didn’t even make a dent in the UK singles chart, which is unsurprising given how nothing on this record even remotely resembles a marketable pop song. Most of the music was improvised in the studio and then edited back down digitally to create templates for songs. Hollis never toured this record because he said it would have been impossible. Spirit of Eden has long been considered the band’s indisputable masterpiece. Countless idols of mine have pointed me to this album over the years. This bizarre clip of the band lip-syncing on a Dutch TV show would mark the band’s last ever television appearance. After Talk Talk’s equally challenging and brilliant Laughing Stock in 1991, Hollis released only one record 1998’s self-titled solo album. He has since retired from music completely. Thanks to Rock Daily for the welcome reminder.
After a few tax troubles that resulted in an aborted tour late last year, Echo & the Bunnymen are finally ready to support their 11th studio album, The Fountain with a brief US tour that kicks off at Coachella. Despite being only 50% of its heyday glory, this incarnation of The Bunnymen (namely guitarist Will Sergeant and vocalist Ian McCulloch) can still pull off the grandiose rock show, as McCulloch’s voice can still send shivers down your spine. He’s a walking anomaly. Usually smokers lose the meat of their voices as they age but not McCulloch. And following the success of their thematic Ocean Rain shows, The Bunnymen are now planning similar gigs (in Europe, unfortunately) devoted to its first two classic LP’s, Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here, in December. While McCulloch believes The Fountain is the band’s best album since Ocean Rain, I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it’s certainly a respectable addition to the canon.
4/16/10: Indio, CA @ Empire Polo Grounds (Coachella Festival)
4/18/10: Sparks, NV @ John Ascuaga’s Nugget
4/19/10: San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
4/21/10: Chicago, IL @ Metro
4/23/10: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
4/25/10: Glenside (Philadelphia), PA @ Keswick Theatre
4/26/10: Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
4/27/10: Fairfield, CT @ Fairfield Theatre Company
4/28/10: State College, PA @ State Theatre
4/30/10: Washington, DC @ Black Cat
5/1/10: New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Arctic Monkeys are cutting the grueling promotional circus a little short in support of Humbug in order to get back into the studio to work on their 4th LP. The current plan is to bring QOTSA frontman Josh Homme back to work the boards. So, despite being accused of “maturing” for Humbug, the band plans to stay the course with Homme’s darker, grittier influence, which works for me. The band’s latest video is for Humbug’s staid opener, “My Propeller.” The video eschews the over-the-top effects of Humbug’s first single, “Crying Lightning”, in favor of a much more subdued, and minimalist approach. Suits the song well.
Arctic Monkeys’ Spring Tour Dates:
1st April Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie, Miami Beach, Florida
2nd April The Ritz, Tampa, Florida
3rd April Hard Rock Live, Orlando, Florida
5th April 40 Watt Club, Athens, Georgia
6th April Disco Rodeo, Raleigh, North Carolina
7th April Rams Head Live, Baltimore, Maryland
9th April Madison Theatre, Covington, Kentucky
11th April The Pageant, St. Louis, Missouri
12th April Liberty Hall, Lawrence, Kansas
13th April Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, Oklahoma
15th April The Marquee, Tempe, Arizona