Tag Archives: SDRE

Hold The Phone, Buzzgrinder

Buzzgrinder whipped up a little post today about a new Sunny Day Real Estate album.

I say “whipped up,” because they certainly embellished something.

Here’s the “scoop”:

Regular Buzzgrinderer Travis Lee dropped us a tasty tidbit. He just saw Sunny Day Real Estate in Minneapolis, and during the new song they’ve been playing on their reunion tour, they said something along the lines of “it’s going to be a fun one to record.” Trav also said the new jam was “a beast.”

So the word “it” can be substituted for just about anything now, huh?

Yes, the band wrote a new song. And if you were playing with 4 other people and created the first full song in well over a decade with that same cast, wouldn’t you want to record it before you lost the chance to do so?

It would make sense that SDRE would want to record the song. But an entire record? In numerous interviews they’ve mentioned that they don’t know if they have it in them at the moment to record an album, and that’s simply from scheduling conflicts (a fact I found out during the research and interview phase of writing the Sunny Day article for The Boston Phoenix)

It’s fantastic that they managed to squeak out a song (and a pretty solid one) in the short amount of time between their rehearsals and their other projects. But an entire album? That’s quite a leap of faith, and a rumor that could really take hold of SDRE’s fairly rabid fan base. They could do it, who knows, but to publish something that says:

So yeah, new Sunny Day record. You heard it here first. Maybe.

Is really taking advantage of fans and folks who go to Buzzgrinder as a trusted source.

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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!

Video: SDRE – “10”/”New Song”

For folks who want proof that a new Sunny Day Real Estate song exists, it’s been uploaded onto YouTube. YouTube user Jnuhjnuh (a spin on LP2‘s “J’Nuh”) captured the performance of what is believed to be called “10” at the band’s Portland show. Here’s the video:

The audio quality ain’t the best, but you can at least hear their new song (not quite) clear as day. I’ve heard comments that some folks find it reminiscent of The Rising Tide-era SDRE, but a lot of what I can hear so far reminds me a bit of the driving nature of many of the LP2 tracks I find so compelling.

SDRE Debut New Song In Vancouver

According to Paste, Sunny Day officially debuted what is most likely referred to as “10” (aka their new song) at the tour kickoff in Vancouver. Here’s what they said about it:

Only marginally less impressive was the debut of a new Sunny Day Real Estate number, appropriately titled “New Song,” where the guitars suggested someone has a minor thing for the beginning of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” Enigk announced the number as a work in progress, but that didn’t stop Hoerner from grinning like he’d just won the Powerball lottery.

It maybe got a “meh” from Paste, but to each his/her own.

SDRE Tacoma show on YouTube

Adam9512 was nice enough to record the entire Sunny Day secret show that was in Tacoma the other night and post it on YouTube (thanks Stereogum). Audio quality isn’t great (but really, how can you improve upon seeing a band in person?) but it’s a nice sneak peek for folks who have tickets for their upcoming shows. Enjoy:

New Sunny Day Real Estate Song?!

sdre back

Sunny Day Real Estate kicked off their tour tonight with an unofficial, surprise show in Tacoma, Washington.

And apparently they have a new song. The band members have been fairly open during interviews about the unknown status of the band’s future and their commitment to other projects, and in an interview with The AV Club that recently went online, Dan mention that, if it were possible, he’d work on a new SDRE record.

Well, thank goodness for Megan Selig’s consistently updated Twitter on the goings on of their first show (more will probably be online before this post is published.) Not only does Selig have great, up to the minute info on what’s going on at the show, but, here’s the kicker:

sdre song

And it’s confirmed with the upside-down picture of the setlist, which you can see here.

The new song is called “10” (an ongoing continuation of their “random numbers as song titles” deal that ended with “9,” which is now included in the Diary reissue). For folks who can’t see from the upside-down setlist, here’s the breakdown:

“Friday” (LP2)

“Theo B” (LP2)

“Red Elephant” (LP2)

“Song About An Angel” (Diary)

“7” (Diary)

“Grendel” (Diary)

“Shadows” (Diary)

“Iscarabaid” (LP2)

“5/4” (LP2)

“Guitar & Video Games” (How It Feels To Be Something On)

“J’Nuh” (LP2)

“Sometimes” (Diary)

“10” (NEW SONG)

“In Circles” (Diary)

“48” (Diary)

“Spade & Parade” (additional track on the LP2 reissue)

That’s a killer setlist.

And what does “10” sound like? There might be some video on YouTube in t-minus any-minute-now. It wouldn’t surprise me. Here’s hoping there’s plenty more where that came from…

UPDATE: Apparently SDRE did not end up playing “10” last night. It could mean the band was having a laugh by tossing a new song title on there, or they could have just not played it. Who knows. Hopefully, we’ll find out soon enough…

Origin Story

I came across this odd post entitled “The Origin of Emo” on an unusually blank WordPress blog (though the thing appears to be written by a Thom Lloyd, which is the gmail address at the bottom of the article). It’s the only post, and it’s written in a pseudo-term-paper light, with citations that don’t really say much of anything or connote to any one article/book/etc (though some of the names provided can be linked up via a quick search). It’s all very odd.

What’s even odder is Lloyd’s thesis statement on the origin of emo, which he sort of drops in at the end:

Rites of Spring and Sunny Day Real Estate did not start the emo genre.

Eh? Lloyd continues to throw out vague, inconsistencies, many of which I can agree with (genres are a culmination of the sounds that have influenced the bands), and some that are rife for contradiction. Namely the last point:

With all of these factors in place a band and or a label had to start the wheels in motion forming the emo genre.

Huh? Didn’t he just say Rites of Spring did not start emo? And Dischord doesn’t count because emo didn’t rise solely out of it?

This happens to be an ongoing problem with people seeking a solid definition for emo: the fact that the genre/sound exists as a fluid and evolving concept that many individuals ignore simply because of the condescending nature of the term makes it damn hard to tack a pin in it and call it a done day.

But, those irrelevancies aside. Rites are duly credited for starting emo: that’s where the term as a definition for a musical sound came from. Period. Not Husker Du, who Lloyd credits as an important factor. The fact is, Zen Arcade came out after Rites were a fully formed band with an entire pedigree of songs (1984 to be exact). Rites were listening to all sorts of hardcore (nothing I’ve read remotely mentions Husker Du though), and sought to challenge the trends within their own community by embracing a poppier sound. They took from many a British popper: The Buzzcocks are most credited as an influence there. But nothing about Husker Du.

And Lloyd’s idea of indie rock fusing the gap between Rites and Sunny Day is… well, a bit much. Lloyd also calls into play grunge as an important influence on emo and bridging these two bands: hardly. As far as grunge goes, the only role that played was its skyrocketing popularity behind Nirvana led to sale numbers that helped Sub Pop move out of the red zone and avoid bankruptcy so that they could go on and sign SDRE: grunge’s influence on emo is really relevant in a business capacity. Emo was a complete change from grunge, which is why Sunny Day startled so many people in Seattle: it was different. They were different. They took from hardcore, took from bands like Rites, Fugazi, Lungfish, Shudder To Think, and many of the DC bands that Lloyd overlooked. Yes, as Lloyd mentions, there are too many bands to name, and many of them he overlooked when trying to tie these two distinct bands (ROS + SDRE together). Since when do you need to fill in a time blank in terms of bands that came about that were important and led to another important band of the same sound anyway? How many of the new shitgaze (or whatever you want to call them) bands actually took other sounds and used them in their own songwriting? It’s always possible, and often an excellent appeal to change. But I can’t see Vivian Girls having taken lots of notes on IDM when they wrote their fuzzy, 60s surf garage rock sound. (It’s possible, but after the interview where they dissed bands that use a dancey drum beat, I doubt it.)

But there are plenty of bands that “filled in those years.” Just on Dischord there were a bunch (again, Embrace, Happy Go Licky, One Last Wish, Nation of Ulysses, Fugazi, Lungfish, Shudder To Think, Jawbox etc etc). And then there’s Jawbreaker’s take on the sound from DC. And then there’s Drive Like Jehu’s take on the DC sound and it’s impact on the San Diego scene: that whole arty-hardcore-meets-DC-emocore is indebted to the DC scene. Gravity Records, Heroin, Antioch Arrow, etc etc. And all of this in the years between 1984 (Rites of Spring) and 1994 (release of Diary).

That’s a lot of time, and many of these bands aren’t remembered because, in terms of folklore or the progression of a genre, only a few – those considered to be important for one reason or another – are consistently remembered and repeated to the next person, and the next person, and so on and so forth. That is an evolution of a genre, not some influential indie band that has nothing to do with these groups: no offense to The Pixies or Sonic Youth, but those bands hardly share anything with the first wave of emo. And because genres evolve, and many within different spheres and cultures (aka underground or mainstream), it may sound different at different points along the way. So, of course emo sounds different than it did before: it’s not static. Some things grew, other bands made their individual changes, and other bands made changes on other bands’ changes. Though the definition is rather fluid, a general line is fairly recognizable (one that doesn’t exactly include Sonic Youth, who were more no wave affiliated and who’s experimentation is mostly left out of many an “emo” act, or The Pixies, who tend to have a fairly basic pop sound that, as it’s well known, is more a grunge influence than an emo one) and observable.