After a few teaser reunions, this seems like it might be the big one.
After an absence spanning nearly two decades, The Replacements are giving performing another go at this year’s Riot Fest in Chicago, Denver and Toronto. While the band’s last show was in 1991, they technically haven’t performed together since 2012, when the band got together in the studio to record Songs for Slim, a charity EP to raise money for guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke last year, Rolling Stone reports.
Despite the sad occasion, the reunion apparently felt so good that the band felt they should try the performing thing once again. "After two or three hours, my voice was shot, but we were rocking like murder for a while," vocalist Paul Westerberg told Rolling Stone last fall.
With the summer festivals in full swing, the could hardly have picked a better time for the reunion. The Replacements have been named as headliners for all three legs of Riot Fest. Westerberg and Stinson, sans drummer Chris Mars, will join Dinosaur Jr., Best Coast, Rocket From the Crypt and others on the bill August 24th-25th in Toronto. The Replacements head a lineup that also features Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, the Violent Femmes, Motörhead, Rancid, Blondie and Public Enemy September 13th-15th in Chicago. They'll top a bill including Blink-182, Iggy and the Stooges, Rancid, Public Enemy, Guided By Voices, Flag and the Dismemberment Plan September 21st-22nd in Denver. The full lineup and all other information is available on the official Riot Fest website.
Continue reading: Riot Fest To Play Host To The Replacements' Long Awaited Reunion
Barcelona: arguably the most picturesque city in Europe. Situated on the Mediterranean coast in the heart of the Catalonian region, it's a landmine of history and culture. In amongst the beautiful landscapes and symbolic architecture; much of it crafted by Antoni Gaudi; lies the wonderful Park Guell, while at the city's highest point resides the Olympic Stadium, redeveloped with an increased capacity for the 1992 event. Then, of course, there's always the world famous Nou Camp, home to arguably the greatest and most successful football club of this generation, which is where our week long journey begins.
Arriving a day early before Primavera's festivities start enables us to take in the unique atmosphere as champions Barcelona narrowly defeat Real Valladolid by the odd goal. It also allows one final opportunity to contemplate this year's timetable where clashes aplenty are the order of most days. However, such a haven of choices marks a great festival, right? Right.
This year's event marks the thirteenth edition of Primavera Sound and, with weekend tickets having sold out months ago, it would be fair to say it's one of the few whose reputation and audience is growing despite the current economic decline. Mainly situated across three venues; the Parc Del Forum, Parc De La Ciutadella and Sala Apolo; Primavera has developed from an initial three-day weekend into a full blown seven-day event.
Continue reading: Primavera Sound 2013 - Live Review
It's May and festival season is upon us, which means it will soon be time for Primavera Sound 2013, arguably the pinnacle of Europe's increasingly popular schedule. Set in beautiful Barcelona and mainly based on the Parc Del Forum site at the heart of the Diagonal Mar area of the Sant Marti district, this year's event will be the thirteenth edition of a festival that first opened its doors in the summer of 2001.
As has been the norm in recent years, Primavera week kicks off with a series of fringe events starting on Monday 20th May. Sonic Boom's Spectrum headline the Sala Apolo venue, with the likes of Bo Ningen, Godflesh, Veronica Falls and Parquet Courts all playing there over the two nights. The main festival itself kicks off at the Parc Del Forum on Wednesday 22nd May, with The Vaccines and Delorean heading a bill that also includes hotly tipped US trio Guards and skatepunk duo The Bots.
The main event itself gathers momentum the next evening for the following three days, where over 200 artists will perform across eight different stages until the early hours of Sunday morning. However, as in previous years, that isn't where the fun ends, as there'll be a series of free shows on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May in the Parc De La Ciutadella featuring the likes of Merchandise, The Babies and Mac De Marco, while Sunday evening's closing ceremony at the Sala Apolo will see performances from Deerhunter, Come and The Orchids among many others.
Continue reading: Primavera Sound Festival - 2013 Preview
Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis has revealed that Kurt Cobain asked him to join Nirvana, on more than one occasion. In an article with Spin magazine, Mascis reveals that the first time he was asked to join the legendary grunge band back in 1989. “Nirvana was playing Maxwell's and after the show I was talking to Kurt and [Sonic Youth's] Thurston Moore… Kurt said, 'you should join my band.'” He added that he thought Kurt was sick of the guitarist at the time, Jason Everman, though he recalls that he “didn’t think much about it.”
The second time that he was asked to join the band, was around the time of the release of ‘Sliver,’ when there was talk of him playing drums for the 1990 single, though he thinks that Mudhoney’s Dan Peters did the honors instead. It wasn’t just Nirvana that tried to poach J Mascis, either. Built To Spill’s Doug Martsch reportedly wanted the formidable guitarist in his own ensemble as well. He told Spin “When we signed to Warner Brothers [in 1995], I didn't have a band," Martsch says. "One idea I had was to play all the instruments myself and just get a drummer. I ended up doing that and scrapping it, but another idea was to have J play drums on the record. He was willing to do it, but then I kinda decided it wouldn't be a good idea.”
It seems as though Mascis’ evident confidence and experience may have been a little too much for Martsch to work with, as he explains “I felt like I needed to work with someone who I could really work with a little more, you know? I didn't know how we could work together, I had no idea and I didn't want to get started on something like that. I didn't want to be telling J Mascis what to play on drums. I wanted to find someone I felt comfortable really expressing myself with. But there was a moment where he was almost the drummer on that record.”
Unless this is the first review of the album you've clicked on or have been oblivious to the fact that they're still around, I Bet On Sky is the third Dinosaur Jr. album released by the reformed original line-up of J Mascis, Murph, and Lou Barlow since 2007. After a shaky couple of years as 'J Mascis and his Dinosaur Jr.' in the '90s, the reunion didn't falter as much as first suspected, but in fact blossomed and the newly reformed trio have since released two of their best albums so far. With the release of I Bet On Sky, the greying rockers can now make that three of their best albums so far. Beyond and Farm showed us that, about a decade after their last release (1988's Bug), each member of the band still makes the others tick, and they all feed off one another to create the kind of music many of us thought died along with D Boon and Kurt Cobain - that's gritty, punk-infused rock that genuinely made sense and didn't make you lose all faith in music and humanity.
I Bet On Sky kicks things off with 'Don't Pretend You Didn't Know', a trademark approach by the band to hit the ground running immediately using heaps of Mascis' raucous guitar playing, akin to crowd favourites 'Freak Scene' and 'The Wagon'. But wait, what's that in the background? All the usual elements are here; the unhinged riff-heavy guitar of Mascis going hand in hand with his grizzly vocals, Barlow's melodic yet hard-as-nails bass lines and Murph's eardrum shattering drumming - but the guys have also brought in a few new elements to their sound too and, frankly, come off better as a result. The song has a heavy dose of keyboards playing in the background and this escape from the norm is something that shows up frequently on the album. The keys are a nice touch and most blatant on the opener, but it isn't just the discovery of keyboards that have showed up on the album, but acoustic guitars too on 'Almost Fare' and 'Recognition.' These take nothing away from the Dinosaur Jr. sound of old, but instead prove that the band are listening to each other now and taking in new ideas and, as a result, coming off sounding a little more inventive and a little wiser. Frankly, after 10 albums and nearly 30 years on the music scene, a little bit of something different is always a good thing as at least it means that the trio aren't getting stale just yet; I Bet On Sky shows us that there's life in this old horse yet.
A maturing in sound, yes, but let's not forget why people are still looking forward to new Dinosaur Jr. releases after all these years; that garage sound that at many time may have been the J Mascis show is still a firm favourite and just because we can hear Murph's drumming and Barlow's bass a little better doesn't mean that the DIY punk ethic that we still long for has gone. 'Pierce The Morning Rain' is one of the group's most entertaining, in-your-face tracks in their whole repertoire, whilst album closer 'See It On Your Side' is all the scuzzy noise you could hope to hear and, coming in at a whopping 6 minutes 39 seconds, it is practically a punk prog song.
Continue reading: Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet On Sky Album Review