Category: Reunions

Grammys: Is a Beach Boys reunion in the works?

The Beach Boys in 1966

The Grammy nomination show had a notable void — where was the promised announcement of a legendary band's reunion?

CBS and the Recording Academy had publicized that Wednesday's broadcast would have the name of a historically significant band that would reunite for the February award show, but it never came. Producers were mum but sources close to the show said that talks with the band — reportedly the Beach Boys — fell apart in the 48 hours leading up to the nomination show.

There's hope, however, that the Beach Boys will still be available for the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards.

Here is what the Recording Academy promised in its press releases leading up to the nomination concert: "In addition to unveiling nominations for the 54th GRAMMY Awards, 'The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!' will feature a special live announcement from a truly iconic group regarding their historic band reunion set to take place on the GRAMMY stage on Feb. 12, 2012."

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They story behind the release of the official version of Beach Boys' 'Smile' 

— Geoff Boucher

Photo: The Beach Boys in 1966. From left are Al Jardine, Mike Love, Dennis Wilson, Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson. Credit: Associated Press.

Black Sabbath promises album of new songs to go with 2012 tour

Ozzy at the Black Sabbath reunion press conference

The founding members of Black Sabbath took to the stage Friday at the Whisky A Go Go to announce another reunion tour in 2012, but this time is much different: The British heavy metal originators have begun working on an album of new material, their first since 1978.

"It’s now or never for us. We’re getting along great," said guitarist Tony Iommi, sitting beside singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward, all now in their early 60s. “We’ve got some music to play.”

As his wife, Sharon, watched from the balcony, Osbourne added, “It was just time. We couldn’t do it any earlier.”

Osbourne had long been the band member most doubtful that Sabbath could record new material to match its early classics such as "Iron Man" and "War Pigs."

"We tried, but it didn’t work," he said Friday. "This time, for some reason, we’ve written seven or eight songs that are really good. I’m not just saying it."

"It really is back to the old Sabbath sound," Butler said. "We know this time it’s going to happen."

The album will be released next year through Vertigo/Universal Republic Records, accompanied by a worldwide arena tour, including a stop as a headliner on June 10 of the multiday Download Festival in England. Veteran producer Rick Rubin, who has worked with the likes of Metallica, Johnny Cash and the Beastie Boys, among many others, is working with the band on the album.

As for the live show, Iommi said the set list will be much more than the usual hour of hits the band has performed since its first reunion in 1997.

"If you think we’ll be doing the same set as last time, it won’t be," Iommi said.           

At the news conference, Rubin predicted a "no-pressure situation" in the studio for the band. "I’ve been in the room while they’ve played, and they sound remarkably like Black Sabbath," he said. "It’s inspiring hearing what’s coming out."

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They are the resurrection: The Stone Roses to reunite

Stone Roses! Back!

Following in the footsteps of Pavement, the Pixies and a whole raft of late '80s and '90s bands that either ended before their time or found themselves ready for a big paycheck, the Stone Roses have confirmed that they are reuniting for a 2012 summer tour.

In a press conference covered by the NME with typical breathless flair, all four original members appeared to announce the reunion, which will include two shows at Manchester's Heaton Park in June. No festival dates could be confirmed as yet, but it's even money that a Coachella appearance is in the works for the influential band whose richly melodic mix of dance music and a Byrds-like jangle set the template for the Manchester craze of the '90s.

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Big Audio Dynamite: An encore to the reunion?

Mick Jones of Big Audio Dynamite

Big Audio Dynamite was in the midst of completing a brief U.S. tour in celebration of its recent reunion, yet it was Mick Jones' pre-Big Audio Dynamite band, British punk forebears the Clash, that was referenced in a current events joke on "The Daily Show." In an effort to make sense of this month's riots in England, comedian Jon Stewart superimposed an image of the chaos over an imagined Clash album cover and joked, "Please tell me the Clash reunited and they're shooting a new album cover."

Jones didn't see the clip, but he's well- ware that the music he wrote with the late Joe Strummer has a tendency to be tied to civil unrest in Britain. Early Clash staples in the late '70s included the two minutes of bravado that is "White Riot," as well as the snarling stomp of "London's Burning." Though often lighter in tone, Big Audio Dynamite wasn't immune to violent imagery itself. Check, for instance, the band's mid-'80s, synth-pop crawl "Sightsee M.C.," in which London is taken from the aristocrats by the rioting youth. 

Jon Stewart's mock Clash cover

Jones performed the song in Los Angeles last week, and acknowledged its sudden topicality. The singer, however, let the song, which was also written with his former Clash co-hort Strummer, stand on its own. "I ain't going to say anything about it because I don't know anything about it," Jones said from the stage of the chaos that was sweeping London. 

The topic at hand is the still-new reunion of Big Audio Dynamite, whose original lineup split around 1990. Well-received festival dates at Coachella, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands have left the door open for more Big Audio Dynamite collaborations. Dates are scheduled through the fall, and then there's talk, perhaps, of a new album and reissues.

Pre-concert, however, Jones is on the prowl backstage for the BBC, as he noted he's been trying to watch as much of the network as possible in order to get a handle on what's going on back home. It also inspired a line of questioning that Jones knows he can't avoid.

Of course, it's unfair to expect Jones to answer to every bottle thrown through a window in London, yet Jones still knows he'll be asked how today's violence makes the older Jones reflect on songs such as "London's Burning" or "Sightsee M.C.," if at all. 

"People just seem really fed up, but I won’t have a better idea until I’m at home," Jones said. "The [budget] cuts have been very bad. They’re closing down libraries. That’s crazy. The way people are reading now is changing, true, but if you can’t afford a computer, where are you? So they’re almost destroying the community, but I am not going to go too far commenting on this."

Yet he's said enough to indicate that he's at least willing to revisit the concept of rock 'n' roll as social commentary. A new song from Big Audio Dynamite, the swift rocker "Rob Peter, Pay Paul," fits comfortably with the traditions of both of Jones'  best known bands. 

"We tried to simplify the economic meltdown," Jones said. "That song is the meltdown explained."

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Soundgarden announces summer tour, Forum date in July

Soundgarden600
Grunge-era titans Soundgarden announced the first dates of a summer tour Wednesday evening, and with them an appearance at the Forum in Inglewood on July 22 (a fan-club presale starts Monday). Though the band's reunion was recently described by guitarist Kim Thayil as the result of a Twitter-based misunderstanding, Soundgarden's appearance at Lollapalooza last year was well-received, and the group has been in the studio recently with plans to record.

While results can -- to put it charitably -- vary in these kinds of reunions, one has to give the band credit for at least giving a new album a shot. Recent tours by the Pixies and Pavement amounted to little more than well-earned victory laps, and Soundgarden has the potential to pick up where it left off with a heavy yet intricate sound that holds up better than most of its '90s contemporaries. The band's recently released "Live on I-5" was a reminder of the power Soundgarden could summon onstage, and footage from last year's Lollapalooza finds the group sounding almost shockingly none the worse for wear.

Video after the jump.

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Boys to men bands: Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block plan joint tour

Backstreet boys nkotb
Backstreet's back, all right. The four remaining members of the '90s boy band will join also-reunited male vocal group New Kids on the Block in a summer 2011 concert tour, according to Ryan Seacrest's Twitter.

"All nine boys will get together for the first time this Monday, November 8 for an exclusive in studio interview with Ryan to talk about making preparations for the upcoming tour ... ," according to RyanSeacrest.com.

(In case you're worried why former Backstreeter Kevin Richardson, who left the group in 2006, isn't involved: We suspect he's too busy with his new career, which includes playing a substance-abuse and human blood-addicted vampire in the film "The Bloody Indulgent, A Sexy Vampire Musical.")

The tour will officially be announced at the American Music Awards on Nov. 21, when the two groups will perform together. But they're both on Twitter, if you want it that way: @NKOTB and @BackstreetBoys.

-- Whitney Friedlander

Left photo: New Kids on the Block's Danny Wood, left, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Jonathan Knight perform in 2008. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Right photo: Backstreet Boys Brian Littrell, left, Nick Carter, A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough. Credit: Ray Kay

 

Beach Boys' 50th anniversary reunion? Don't bet on it

Beach Boys TAMI show

Rolling Stone quotes former Beach Boy Al Jardine saying that the surviving original members of the group will reunite for at least one concert in 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of the band’s first release, “Surfin’.”

But that’s news both to Mike Love, the founding member who controls rights to the Beach Boys name, and to Brian Wilson, the group’s creative mastermind who has pursued a variety of ambitious solo projects and tours over the last decade.

Wilson’s manager, Jean Sievers, told The Times this week that he has no plans for Beach Boys reunion activities -- and Rolling Stone quotes her to that effect -- and that he is focusing his attention on his forthcoming solo album “Brian Wilson Reimagines George Gershwin,” in which he has recorded his versions of several Gershwin classics and completed two song fragments left behind by the composer at his death in 1937.

Love also issued a statement recently regarding Beach Boys' 50th anniversary reunion rumors, stating:

The Beach Boys continue to tour approximately 150 shows a year in multiple countries. At this time there are no plans for my cousin Brian to rejoin the tour.  He has new solo projects on the horizon and I wish him love and success.  We have had some discussions of writing and possibly recording together, but nothing has been planned.

--Randy Lewis

Photo of the Beach Boys -- Al Jardine, left, Mike Love, Carl Wilson and Brian Wilson, front; drummer Dennis Wilson, rear -- performing in 1964 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for "The T.A.M.I. Show." Credit: Dick Clark Productions


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Incoming: Members of Grandaddy, Earlimart spread the Cali love with Admiral Radley -- sort of

Admiral_Radley__ When Modesto native and former Grandaddy leader Jason Lytle opens new project Admiral Radley with the tongue-in-cheek "I Heart California," one could easily be mistaken for believing that the artist -- who long ago relocated to Montana --   is looking back at his home state with just a hint of scorn. 

Think of the cut, which also serves as the title track of the project, as a sobering summer-song antidote to Katy Perry's garden of playful decadence that is "California Gurls." Its balmy, fuzzy guitars are dotted with sparkling effects, and Lytle's vocals settle into a reassuring sway. But rather than reference the beach, Lytle croons about I-5, and there are no signs of glamor, but there are plenty of disappointed tourists.

Yet the song, said Lytle, is written with nothing but love toward the Golden State, comparing its lighthearted but well-intentioned nature to that of a comedian who mocks his or her family. 

"I don’t think it’s sarcasm," Lytle said of the song, below. "You can’t expect people to know your sense of humor. You can’t expect people to know where you’re from. I was worried this would turn into an inside joke, but there’s a lot of fondness in there. That’s just the way I’m comfortable expressing myself about the things that I am fond of, with a hint of black humor." 

Such a tone and sound will be familiar to those versed with the Grandaddy and Lytle catalog, where an upbeat title such as "Summer Here Kids" gave way to an anthem for a disastrous vacation. Working here with Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray of locals Earlimart, as well as Grandaddy drummer Aaron Burtch, Admiral Radley likewise delivers humor with honesty.

"Sunburn Kids," for instance, is call-and-response silliness, boasting keyboard notes that sound as if they have been lifted from an old-school video game. "Ghost of Syllables," meanwhile, is all grown-up heartache, striking what Espinoza described as Fleetwood Mac-inspired harmonies, and later, the Murray-fronted "The Thread," with its playful static, is nostalgic for days that may never come. Then, ensuring no one gets too comfortable, there's a spastic, electronic-laced rager about having a few too many beers on a sun-drenched day, complete with a title unfit for a family blog.

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Matador heads west for anniversary party with reunited Guided by Voices

Matadorposter___ When well-known indies Sub Pop, Merge and Touch & Go threw anniversary parties, the labels did so in their hometowns. New York's famed Matador Records, however, is going the twentysomething bachelor party route, celebrating is 21st anniversary with a three-day weekend in October in Las Vegas. The already-reunited Pavement will be joined by the soon-to-be-reunited Guided by Voices, leading a lineup of more than 20 artists on Oct. 1-3.

Masters of the low-fi guitar rock, Guided by Voices split, more or less, in 2004, and Matador promises that the Vegas anniversary gigs will feature the band's "classic" 1993-96 lineup, which likely means the band that included guitarists Tobin Sprout and Mitch Mitchell. The event is set for the Palms Casino & Resort, and ticket prices and a full lineup will be revealed on July 5.

After missing in action since 1999, alt-rock slacker heroes Pavement have become regulars around the Southwest, having already appeared at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and a festival warm-up date, and are currently booked for a Sept. 30 gig at the Hollywood Bowl

Other artists on the Matador bill include Spoon, who signed with the label outside the U.S., Belle & Sebastian, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the New Pornographers, Superchunk, Girls, Cold Cave and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, among others. 

The label promises more acts to be announced. Matador's anniversary party is being thrown in conjunction with Los Angeles promoters' FYF Fest.

-- Todd Martens


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Corin Tucker announces her first solo album after Sleater-Kinney

Corintucker600

According to the Portland Mercury, one of indie’s enduring powerhouse singers, Corin Tucker, is coming out with a solo album on Kill Rock Stars due in October. For those who didn’t educate themselves back in the day with that rare issue of Magnet featuring real live women on the cover (OK, so we’re still a little bitter), Tucker’s maelstrom of a voice led the fiercely femme band Sleater-Kinney, which has been on hiatus since 2006.

Teaming up with Hungry Ghost’s Sara Lund on drums and Seth Lorinczi of Golden Bears producing and playing various instruments, Tucker states that the 11-song collection will be more of a “middle-aged mom record… it’s not a record a young person would write.” Tucker claims to have taken some of her cues from another sometimes-vitriolic middle-aged mom: Sinead O’Connor and her fiery, beautiful debut, “The Lion and the Cobra.” Tucker also says she’s been inspired by the Slits, Raincoats and the English Beat, as well as the new record from Quasi, helmed in part by Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss.

Tucker, who has two children, plans on touring in support of the record but not at the breakneck pace of Sleater-Kinney. She said some of the songs do exist “in the same ballpark” as her old threesome and their keyed-up tangle of words and guitar, but the different players and changed focus will yield a unique vision.

“I take certain feelings or certain experiences and put them into a little story,” she said. “And there are definitely some ghosts on the record, too—ghost songs. There's some sadness, some reinvention, some rebirth.”

Playing off of SK guitarist Carrie Brownstein’s recent hints to IFC about getting Sleater-Kinney back together, Tucker said “the door is open. We ended things on a hiatus so that it was always something that could happen in the future. You know, I'd love to live a long productive life and do a lot of different things.”

--Margaret Wappler

Photo: Corin Tucker playing All Tomorrow's Parties in 2002. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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