Tag Archives: Marco Collins

On and On and On

sdrephxfrt

I wrote another piece for The Boston Phoenix, this time about… Sunny Day Real Estate. Whoda thunk it?

For folks wondering about A) all the reunion hubub and why it’s happening 2) what’s the big deal with the band C) just how the band got back together and 3.14) the details of the reunion and how the seeped online, head over to the article. (I did say I’d write up a little something tracking the whole thing, so there you go… and concise too.)

Big thank yous go out to Marco Collins, Brian Perkins, Davey von Bohlen, Jonathan Poneman, and Jeremy Enigk for the wonderful interviews: I feel like I really got a wide variety of voices that weren’t really heard in the din of the “yaaaay reunion” hollers and usual Q+A with SDRE bandmembers. Not that those aren’t great, just a little familiar. And yes, I traced the reunion meme starting with Mr. Perkins’ initial tweet, and got some pretty great info out of folks for that section… If only I could fit more.

Speaking of fit more, I got a few particularly interesting answers from Jeremy that didn’t fit in with the piece… hopefully I’ll be able to get those out in the near future.

But, enough of that… read on!

Quick Sunny Day Real Estate Reunion Announcement Reflections

Picture 23

You can say that again Brian!

Our old Twitter buddy dropped the hint back in March about the potential reunion, which I promptly picked up and got a screen shot. One month later and BAM, instant SDRE reunion meme… possibly fueled by the combination of Marco Collins’ tweets and blip.fm entries, Travis Hay’s bit on Collins for the Ear Candy Blog, and whomever combined these elements with my blog entry and Brian’s tweet (jeez, still can’t believe I’m saying stuff like that) into Wikipedia… Actually, methinks it was probably the wikipedia stuff that really spread the word to the blogs and then the bigger blogs.

Well, how does it feel having seen everything come to fruition in sets of 96 hours (the Kollective tweet on Saturday), 48 hours (all the info released on Monday), and 24 hours (the official announcement from Sunny Day Real Estate and Sub Pop)?

Relieved for one thing. I’d come upon this reunion stuff as a fluke, merely searching for “Sunny Day Real Estate” on Twitter when I joined up. But once people flooded the blog and turned my questioning of the possibility of a reunion into a reality, some folks had a stake in my words. It was because of these people that really fueled my interest in (un)covering all the SDRE reunion rumors and facts, not just my own interest as a fan of their work.

When you’re one of two sources that people credit for a rumor, that’s a lot of pressure. No, it’s not like my words potentially saved folks or potentially put people in harms way, but diehard fans sought it out and put their faith in these words. And that’s a bit scary and a big responsibility in and of itself, especially speaking from a fan’s point of view. In that, I’m glad it’s all come to fruition. Not only because I’d like to see SDRE, but because those who’d opened up their calendars for a potential concert date, who may have saved up vacation time or allowance money, who have re-injected LP2 or How It Feels To Be Something On or Diary or, hell, The Rising Tide into their listening cycle, were clinging to a couple of paragraphs of unconfirmed internet chatter about their favorite band. And for them, I hope it’s everything they’ve wanted.

Be on the lookout for a more detailed overview of how everything has come to fruition with the Sunny Day Real Estate reunion, a reflection on the rumors that have cropped up, and the reunion debate that’s been tossed around in the general music scene.

Tracking the SDRE Rumors

So, months after my first post on a potential Sunny Day Real Estate reunion, and having recently come to realize how much of a hoopla my words have caused and the potential anguish I could cause in many an SDRE fan, and the reunion rumors are still bubbling. A little while after some newer rumors declared that Sunny Day might be performing at Bumbershoot, I’ve decided to help folks navigate all the newest rumors out there. So without further ado, here goes:

On May 20th, Dusty Henry reviewed Jeremy Enigk‘s show at Neumo’s in Seattle for The Falcon. Henry had this little tidbit to add to the rumor mill:

Throughout the evening, diehard fans would request Sunny Day Real Estate and The Fire Theft songs. Enigk denied, saying he would not play any of those songs.

When someone requested the Sunny Day Real Estate song “Television,” he started to sing the first few lines of the song a cappella then stopped and said, “I won’t play that song. I’d need a full band for that song.”

He then went on to say, “I don’t know. I have heard some rumors,” and then intentionally mumbled and laughed.

Does it mean anything? Well, it certainly helps provide those diehards and hopeful fans with some oil for their reunion-dreaming machine’s gears…

I tried to take things up on my own and email one of the places that might be a location for the potential reunion: Bumbershoot. I emailed the general info line, but instead of asking “will SDRE be performing at Bumbershoot?!?!?!??!!?!?!?!!!” I asked when the last additions to the festival’s lineup will be announced. Here’s what I got as a response:

We will continue to make lineup announcements into the summer. To receive
the most up-to-date information about all things Bumbershoot, including
lineup announcements and Insider Deals on tickets, please be sure to sign
up as a BumberFan. It’s free and easy!
You can sign up at:
http://www.bumbershoot.org/bumberfan/

BumberFans are the first to know about lineup announcements. Its the best
way to stay informed about who will be coming to the Festival.
Hope this is helpful and we hope to see you this Labor Day Weekend!

-Bumbershoot

So, unless an official announcement is made by someone at the Sunny Day camp anytime soon, fans may have to wait until September to see if the Bumbershoot rumors are true. And it may be in your best interest just to sign up rather than check on the Bumbershoot site day in and day out… if that’s what you’ve been doing since that particular rumor came to fruition. As of now, nothing on the site about SDRE performing on the first weekend in September.

Which brings us to the original rumor mill for the recent rumors: Twitter.

Not only Twitter, but, yes, good ole’ SDRE-reunion-rumor-guy Marco Collins. Though this tweet was deleted from his profile, it’s somehow still searchable on Twitter:

Picture 22

Curious and curiouser… The “fiction” is probably in reply to the recent Bumbershoot rumors, as in there would be announcement relatively soon. However, Collins appears to not be avoiding the idea entirely, as he says the band mentioned they were in… Then again, they could have been pulling his leg.

Collins and his recipient, TylerBlue, have deleted all tweets of the nature concerning SDRE. But why did TylerBlue, aka Tyler McPherson, get rid of any scent of this SDRE reunion back-and-forth? Take a look at his profile:

Picture 23

The SDRE reunion-rumor hunting may not have been in his best interest as a Bumbershoot intern… I just hope this post won’t jeopardize any of the work he’s doing, but I feel curious people really aught to know!

The next connection is a bit of a round-about-combo. The Ear, Eye, Nose Candy Blog recently had an insider look at another emo band’s reunion: The Jealous Sound. Here’s the info there:

Star Parts drummer and good friend Tom Ackerman mentioned to me recently that he was offered the chance to audition for a Jealous Sound reunion, drum spot…what that ultimately is a reunion for, is a possible Sunny Day Real Estate reunion tour.

But what’s the connection between The Jealous Sound and Sunny Day Real Estate? Well, it could be original SDRE bassist Nate Mendel. Nate did not return for the original SDRE reunion in 1997, and made the hard decision to stay in Foo Fighters instead of trying to juggle both bands. For those who scanned Brian Perkin‘s Twitter after I posted his tweet on the SDRE rumor may have found that post deleted, but this one still online:

Picture 24

And it remains online. And though it is summer and no tour dates have been announced, there is still something of a connection. What is it exactly? Enter Rory Felton, who had this to say:

Picture 25

So it appears that, at least according to Felton, Nate is working with the Jealous Sound on their new record and an exciting tour announcement soon. Considering Mendel is rumored to be involved in the rumored Sunny Day reunion, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to see them tour together. Conspiracy? Wishful thinking? Probably the later. And considering it sounds like The Jealous Sound may, in fact, be reuniting (at least, according to their myspace post and a bunch of blogs), I’ve certainly got my fingers crossed…

The last piece of reunion snooping comes in the form of a tweet from Lee Martin, a website developer for bands who’s worked with another emo act – Jimmy Eat World. Which makes me wonder what this means:

Picture 26

Are Sunny Day Real Estate setting up a website with the help of Martin? Well, considering that the only current websites available for the band are: 1) a rarely updated fan site, 2) a fan-created MySpace page, and 3) their Sub Pop site that hasn’t been updated since their last album was released on the label – their live album. In this day and age, it certainly would be beneficial for a band to get some properly-updated website in order…

Again, this may all be wishful thinking on my part, but the more you dig, the more hopeful one can get…

We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks and months; as I said before, I hope no one gives their hopes up, but digging sure has proven to be interesting…

Those Sunny Day Real Estate Reunion Rumors

Tim Karan had an interview with former Sunny Day Real Estate frontman Jeremy Enigk for Alternative Press posted the day after the release of his newest solo album, OK Bear. What’s interesting was the conversation at the very end of the interview:

Is there any truth behind the rumors that Sunny Day Real Estate are getting back together?
There’s a huge force behind Sunny Day Real Estate that none of the band members ever controlled. It took on a life of its own. It had nothing to do with us as individuals, and it created a lot of expectation from the music industry and fans. It became a gigantic beast. 

I imagine it’s like a pressure cooker right now.
A little bit. I’m already sensing this–not individually or personally within the members–but on the outside, suddenly all of these people are freaking out. And it’s like, “Woah! Pull the reins in a little bit here.” It’s a bit overwhelming.

As soon as there’s so much as a mention of the chance of a Sunny Day reunion, people go crazy. That must be a lot of weight on your shoulders.
Yes, and people want to control it, as well, which is the weirdest thing.

It should be just yours, right?
Apparently. It’s supposed to be just ours, right? But the thing is that it’s not. That’s the force that Sunny Day create: It’s everybody else’s. People love to own it for themselves and that’s very special. But as a person who’s actually doing the work, it’s like, “Okay, start swimming. Here we go!”

When you are talking about other people wanting to own it, are you talking about the music industry or the fans?
Well, especially the music industry. Our fans have a very passive ownership of it in that they own it in their CD player or their iPod and it’s very special to their hearts. But it’s the industry that is the most controlling. They see the potential explosion of it–and I’m not saying that they just want to profit off it– but they want to see it flourish. With Sunny Day there’s always been the question of why we didn’t get bigger than we were and people think, “Well, let’s do what we can to make it happen for these guys.”

So you’re saying it’s still a “never say never” situation?
What it comes down to is that I just fear getting fans’ expectations and hopes up. It would be just a major bummer to be like, “Hey, We’re doing this!” and then suddenly not do it. alt 

How oddly ambiguous… But, outside of the unknown future of SDRE, Enigk does have an excellent point to all this. Enigk deftly manages to explain the power of internet rumors and its ultimate impact on the fans. It’s something I ultimately agree with, and I too do not want to give up fans’ hopes, including myself: as much as I really want to see Sunny Day perform, I hope that my own words haven’t spurned definitive thoughts of a reunion in the minds of others.

Since I first wrote about the potential reunion/rumors back in March, my piece had been getting tons of traffic. It’s gotten picked up by Absolute Punk, Alter The Press, Alternative Press, Paste Magazine, an emo blog from Japan, and even the Sunny Day Real Estate Wikipedia page. While I was certainly honored to be written up in these fine places, I’ve been a little worried about folks reactions. Suddenly, the question mark at the end of the post’s title indicating some lack of veracity became an exclamation point, and this blog became one of a couple of “sources” claiming that the reunion was, in fact, true.

Now, as I said, I would absolutely relish the ability to attend an SDRE show, but until there is an official announcement concerning a Sunny Day show, it’s a little to early to call anything go. And yet, just the other day when Enigk released his album, there was a new wave of rumors cropping up, saying that the band might be playing this year’s Bumbershoot. However, many of these write ups were definitive.

There was Marco Collins, who’s original Twitter post for that day spurned the original Bumbershoot rumors. Marco was one of a couple of folks that the original reunion rumors were based on, and he’s known as credible considering his closeness to members of the band, or at least with Enigk, and at least for work. Collins originally had this to say:

Sunny Day Real Estate @ Bumbershoot? Fact or fiction?

He then took the post down and said this a little later that day:

Picture 17

And then there’s the Seattle Post-Intelligencer‘s Ear Candy blog, written by Travis Hay, who’s last piece on the reunion said the eventual Bumbershoot set was all but inevitable. And though Collins, who retracted his statement, was all but definitive, questioning the very idea, Hay has been recklessly positive about the group’s appearance, calling Collins a credible source because of his insider knowledge and previous positive, potentially-educated, guess about a festival headliner. Though the outline of Hay’s piece isn’t definitive, the tone of it surely is, and the constant ambiguous Twitter-postings certainly show that Hay believes the reunion will happen. But, as Collins perviously stated that the band would be performing summer festival dates and the first two albums, and most summer festival announcements are coming to a close (Bumbershoot’s schedule isn’t finalized, but that’s in the beginning of September, so technically still summer… all that’s left is the Virgin Music Festival), I’m still a little suspect.

But, what might be most troubling about all of this is Hay’s attitude about his work. Take a look at this conversation over Twitter:

Picture 19

And the response:

Picture 20

It’s a little stunning if you ask me. Sure, it’s ok if you don’t take your job seriously; no one in that working relationship hurts more than the individual who thinks of their job as nothing serious. But music journalism, true music journalism, is like all kinds of journalism: it’s meant to inform the public about their interests. Readers, music fans, and people take this stuff seriously, and take it to heart, and it’s a damn shame when someone involved in journalism just doesn’t think anything of their words or their affect. 

To end things, I’d like to take something that Ian MacKaye said in an interview with Alex Cook for The Believer:

IAN MacKAYE: How could it be that someone under the age of twenty-one is not allowed to see a band? I mean, did you like music when you were under twenty-one?

THE BELIEVER: Of course.

IM: Did it mean anything to you?

BLVR: Yes, it meant everything to me, in fact.

IM: Of course it did. It is completely absurd and insane that because of the economic dependency that musicians have been faced with which maintains this status quo, that they are forced to say, “That’s the way it is.” And I think that’s a bunch of bullshit. I know music predated the rock club. I know music predated the music industry. I know music predates the alcohol industry. I know music predates it all. Music is no joke, and the fact that it has been perverted by these various industries for their own profit is discouraging to me.

While what MacKaye was talking about was strictly focused on age restrictions at rock clubs in conjunction with alcohol sales, it’s still a particularly applicable for this piece. Hay’s job is merely another part of the music industry if you want to think of journalism (especially music journalism) in terms of consumer writing, and so his preponderance over a popular broken-up band potentially reuniting is all good business for him (and that is very much an ugly interpretation of journalism and I partially apologize for that as I tend to view journalism as something greater than simply consumerist influences). But what’s most important about that quote is how serious both these individuals look at music. Music was, and is, an important part of their lives. And music journalism is a part of the culture of music today; it allows us to discover new bands, learn more about the humanity behind bands we love, and find out about potential reunions. And Hay’s strong focus on a Sunny Day Real Estate reunion and his positivity of it is potentially dangerous. And while Hay’s words certainly aren’t responsible for the Spanish-American War or putting individuals in harms way, they certainly are putting pressure on a group of talented individuals to do something they might not want to, and feeding into the hopes of many a passionate SDRE fan who are amorous about music and nothing else. And to let those people down on a whim would be unfortunate.

I’ve still got my fingers crossed, but we’ll have to wait and see. And if any member or friend of Sunny Day comes across this and wants to voice their opinion here or anywhere else, I (and so many others) would be completely supportive.

Sunny Day Real Estate – “Seven” (Live on The Jon Stewart Show, right before their first break up… interestingly enough, they were thought to have broken up immediately at the end of this set, but that claim is untrue… you’ll have to read Norman Brannon‘s Anti-Matter Anthology for the SDRE 1997 reunion piece originally featured in Alternative Press):