it is a summer of reunions.

Last summer when Footstone reunited to play a show at my house, it came amidst new records from Dinosaur Jr. and Polvo.  All three of those things were fantastic to me; Footstone being my favorite band of the 90s and Dino and Polvo being right up there.

At the time I had missed a Superchunk show at South Street Seaport, and I guess the fact that they were playing a show was sort of lost on me.  I’d never considered Superchunk to be “broken up,” or anything less than a current band – but in hindsight those shows seemed to mark the beginning of a trend that has continued throughout 2010.

When we were planning the re-launch of Dromedary, and the simultaneous real Footstone reunion show at Maxwell’s, our friend Stuart Wexler was also coordinating some reunions of his own.  He’s filming a documentary of the 1990s music scene in New Brunswick, NJ, and as part of that he pulled a bunch of bands together for reunion shows at the Court Tavern, a great central Jersey club where many cool bands (including Footstone) frequently played.  And at the beginning of the summer, our old friends Jenifer Convertible – that great East Village noise pop band that was so important to Dromedary Rev.1 – reunited and played a show in Brooklyn, their first date in years.

We also got wind of the Pavement reunion as we were doing our planning, and managed to latch onto some tickets – a year in advance.  People really wanted to see Pavement, as the band sold out multiple shows very quickly, and Matador released a Pavement retrospective to coincide with what quickly became a reunion tour.

As I look at my summer concert calendar, though, I now realize that it’s just filled with bands from the 90s and early 00s, getting back together, releasing new records, and touring behind them.  Polvo is playing in Brooklyn at the end of the month.  Unrest – one of my very favorite bands –  is playing a string of shows up and down the east coast, and for a few of them, are being joined by Versus.  Sonic Youth is playing the ATP festival at the end of the summer, alongside the Breeders.

And of course the Mommyheads just toured Sweden, with smashing results.

We’ve got more records lined up for the balance of the year – which we’ll start telling you about very soon – and a few of them fall under the category of “reunion” as well.

My theory, in general, revolves around the guitar.  Popular indie rock seems to be lacking in it these days, with lots of acoustic and synth-based stuff having built a strong following, leaving the heavy pop and noise in the background.  Sure, the noise is still out there, but it definitely seems to have taken a back seat to the quieter stuff.

And I think the bands that once played LOUD, and their fans, are looking for something more.

I’m thrilled about all these reunions.  To me, it does NOT feel like watching the spate of dinosaur rock arena bands that reunited in the 80s (Emerson, Lake and Powell, anyone?) to play football stadiums around the country.  In that case, those bands were making their last gasp, raking in cash from tours that catered to aging baby boomers who were all too happy to go out and see The Eagles, Deep Purple, and Yes one last time.

In this case, to me, the old-school indie bands still have something artistically relevant to say, and since there hasn’t been a wave of bands carrying their torches over the years, they’re simply picking up where they left off.  That’s cool.  It makes me happy to see Unrest playing a show at Maxwell’s.  It makes me feel like there are still people out there who like their indie rock loud.

We’ll keep putting the records out there, too.  Our next one will be truly special – I’ll be telling you about it within the next week or two, and it should give you a taste of what’s to come.  Stay tuned.

~ by Al on June 16, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: