Tag Archives: Sunny Day Real Estate

List-less Once Again

Another day, another quizzical top ten list. This time it’s curtsey of Justin Jacbos at Paste magazine, with a piece entitled “10 Bands That Prove That Emo Wasn’t Always For The Hot Topic Tween Set.” The newsworthiness of the piece is due to the two fall reunion tours by emo 2nd wave forefathers Sunny Day Real Estate and 2nd wavers The Get Up Kids.

I do have to give Jacobs a solid round for putting The Promise Ring at the top: considering the type of emo-tive image Jacobs is shooting for, and the band’s impact on the future of the genre. Still, Jacobs does go for the condescending route while observing the genre in list form, even praising Andy Greenwald’s Nothing Feels Good (Jacobs’ perspective was revealed fairly clearly when he called the book a “must-read manifesto.”)

Still, a big odd spot of confusion: Fugazi. Or the lack thereof. Great to mention Rites of Spring (though as proto-emo? Come on, the term was first used to describe that very band!), but not even a hint at Fugazi? And instead name check Minor Threat when describing the band? Yes, they are the go-to hardcore band, but Rites were a post-hardcore act, evading many of the redundancies of hardcore and doing things dramatically different than Minor Threat.

But the real kicker with the lack of any Fugazi-inclusion is Cursive. Alright, I get that most people don’t like to include Fugazi into the whole emo arrangement because that either A) messes with their ideals of the band itself or B) invades their definition of emo with something more multidimensional. But to mention a band who’s entire first record literally sounds like a take on the early part of Fugazi’s discography – aka Cursive – without mentioning the inspirational band is just odd.

And no At The Drive-In? That’s just surprising.

The Promise Ring – “12 Sweaters Red”:

Kaboom!

I recently uncovered a load of random Sunny Day… well, everything. For example, I’d been trying to find a picture of the infamous Nordstrom ad the band did when they first got together, and the searches would usually be futile. But, with the website sunnydayrealestate.net fixed up, it’s online, as clear as day:

That SDRE ad that was supposed to be a joke... notice the singer they hired on the left

That SDRE ad that was supposed to be a joke (from the band's perspective)... notice the "singer" they hired on the left

The big treasure trove I came upon is thanks to a little hint from Verbicide magazine on Twitter. It lead to enigk.com (as in Jeremy Enigk) which contains a variable treasure trove of little heard songs from their previous incarnations, Jeremy’s solo stuff, live recordings, demo tapes etc. Again, something of a conundrum in many ways, and now that Sub Pop is reissuing their first two albums with a handful of those rare tracks, I’ll probably buy them in a remastered version.

But, all things aside, literally a treasure trove for super-fans, and a lot of the stuff has been online for quite awhile. Sure, The Empty Set and Chewbacca Kaboom didn’t quite have what Sunny Day had (it was the trio of Dan, Nate, and William before Jeremy joined, with various name incarnations before settling on SDRE, starting w/Empty Set and then going to Chewbacca Kaboom), but it’s a fascinating listen nonetheless. And the self-produced Flatland Spider 7″?! That thing isn’t even getting the reissue treatment, which makes it an even more fantastic find.

There is plenty of material on there to keep any super fan happy and overwhelm anyone with a case of the SDRE curiosities. It was also a great reason to delve online, looking for some of the members previous bands. (Reason For Hate anyone? The hardcore band that had Jeremy on guitar and William as part of a drum team bears a resemblance to their later work together only in that it cemented their status of having been reared in hardcore.) May the great finds continue!

Sunny Day Real Estate – “Flatland Spider”:

Reason For Hate – “Kill The Itch”:

In Circles

When music-inclined and web-savy individuals open their browsers this morning and click over to Pitchfork, they may end up reading a review with this funny little quote:

What immediately strikes you about Diary is it doesn’t sound intended to be a gamechanger– even if it’s no surprise that one of emo’s most enduring documents is called Diary of all things. But even if it doesn’t break new ground musically, it signaled a new way to talk about the passion.

Does that sound, well, odd to you?

***

It seems these days everyone’s got a beef with Pitchfork. Either their “too cool” and ahead of the curve and used to read the site back when it was a lowly blog and now can’t be bothered with it, or they hate it’s newfound control over the culture of cool/hipsterdom, or maybe they just have never heard of it. Whatever. You can place me in some column of mild irritation. I appreciate a lot of what they do, and, for all their wreckless bashing of many a band that might not deserve it (and, hey, maybe even some that do), they’ve managed to make the world of music journalism translate into the Internet age and thrive, a feat among feats as the media self-perpetuates its own demise right next door.

The reviews are inevitably what it comes down to for people. (I hide no shame in saying that I regularly check the site for its news updates because, hey, I’m one person who can’t track every press release even when they hit my own inbox, so to see it marked up in a solid fashion ain’t too bad.) Rarely will I take a review at face value, and often I won’t even read them.

But, when I noticed the Sunny Day Real Estate reissues (Diary and LP2), I figured I’d take a gander. Of course they’d give it the “Best New Music” treatment: the folks at P-fork may have a select taste that has no use for 99.9% of emo, but they certainly can tell what has played an important role in our culture.

So it was a little dumfounding to read Ian Cohen’s remarks on the albums. Much like the quote above, I was a little confused by the review… not because he crammed so many gargantuan words where they need not be  (a problem of my own), but because he repeatedly seems to contradict himself. And not purposefully: I can see what he was getting at. But, it’s just… well, odd. To say that something isn’t “innovative” and yet completely changed things is just kinda like doublespeak. And I get what Cohen might be trying to get across: that SDRE took a combination of sounds from disparate scenes and communities and just put them together but that idea isn’t so much revolutionary as it may seem. I just fundamentally disagree with that statement, I guess.

Is this a case of Pitchfork trying to prove it’s might in writing it’s version of musical history? I can certainly see what Cohen is doing as a challenge-the-hindsight-and-historical-POV-about-SDRE type thing, but I really feel it falls flat. Reading, talking, and listening to the immediate community within which the band was wrought, there was literally nothing like them for miles around. Sure, zines and mailorders could connect music communities from across vast spaces, but it’s not like today where some kid can download kwaito and baile funke tunes and try and be the next Diplo. The Seattle scene which SDRE was geographically a part of was overrun with grunge, as it was ground zero. Most people looking for a break in the city must have looked stupid trying not to do grunge as that was what people asked for. So to say SDRE, who may have pushed a heavy and punk sound that was a brethren to grunge only in volume, wasn’t a gamechanger (for Seattle and the rest of the country). Well, you could call that a gamechanger.

Sunny Day Real Estate – “Seven” (Guitar Hero edition):

SDRE at Soundwave

A quick email post! The new Sunny Day Real Estate site has a special announcement of some more shows to come in 2010, this time in Australia. Here are the details:

SAT 20 February, 2010 Brisbane, Soundwave Festival

SUN 21 February 2010 Sydney, Soundwave Festival

FRI 26 February 2010 Melbourne, Soundwave Festival

SAT 27 February 2010 Adelaide, Soundwave Festival

MON 1 March 2010 Perth, Soundwave Festival

Is this a sign for more to come from the band? Who knows!

It Had To Happen…

I’m referring to a Get Up Kids interview featured on The Drowned In Sound website. Though it’s only been online for a matter of hours, it’s attracted a wave of attention for a rather misinterpreted quote that goes to the tune of GET UP KIDS APOLOGIZE FOR EMO on several other news sites reporting on the interview. It’s a rather brief moment in the conversation, but Get Up Kids guitarist Jim Suptic had this to say when pressed on the term “emo”:

Honestly, I don’t often think about the state of ’emo’. The punk scene we came out of and the punk scene now are completely different. It’s like glam rock now. We played the Bamboozle fests this year and we felt really out of place. I could name maybe three bands we played with. It was just a sea of neon shirts to us. If this is the world we helped create, then I apologise.

Valid points, sure enough. Surely, I tend to appreciate it when bands generally refuse to bash groups that they’ve influenced, instead taking the high road and not delving into that subject simply to not unnecessarily stir any bad blood. What’s funny about all this is that Suptic really is speaking the truth about not keeping up with the state of emo. After all, what he’s describing sounds like scrunk, a sound that’s definitely indebted to and a part of the geneology of emo, but a creation that exists unto itself.

How do I know it’s scrunk Suptic is referring to? Well, the neon shirts are a dead give away. But so is the part of his following answer:

We at least can play our instruments.

Same ole’, same ole’. But, to each his own. I never particularly liked much of the Get Up Kids stuff to begin with… I can understand the role they had in both accelerating emo’s ascent to the top of the charts and providing support for the Vagrant business model, but most of their tunes I just can’t dig. But, as Suptic reveals in the interview, they certainly do fit into the 2nd wave emo lineage:

Fugazi is the reason I am in a band today. When I was 14 I heard Fugazi and started a band the next day. We grew up on indie rock. Superchunk, Rocket from the Crypt, Sunny Day Real Estate, Cap’n Jazz. That’s the kind of stuff we were listening to when we started.

Sounds familiar. And though Superchunk and Rocket aren’t emo bands, Superchunk is noted to have a pretty solid influence on 90s indie music, including emo (The Promise Ring anyone? That’s all Pitchfork could do when talking about TPR was to compare the two), and Rocket are a Drive Like Jehu offshoot of post-hardcore. Basically your out-of-the-ordinary ordinary roundup of influences for a second wave emo act.

This whole thing could potentially snowball into the Tim Kinsella vs Max Bemis free-for-all, though Tim had a more malicious rant against the emo acts he inspired, and Max had just as much venom when tossing insults right back. Good for Suptic for generally foregoing all the drama of attacking every band in Alternative Press and generally letting them be, even if he can’t give them credit for their music. Oh well.

The Get Up Kids – “Action & Action” (video):

VS

The Bamboozle fare… BrokeNCYDE – “40 oz” (video):

And the SDRE Rumors Continue?

Yep. And this one’s a doozy:

sdretol

Clearly an incorrect rumor from the get go.

Big ups to Aaron at Unlikely Words for catching this one. Dude’s been working quite a bit to track down information concerning the slightly-guarded/unknown state of Thorns of Life and their debut album.

But seriously – who thought this would happen? Especially after news of The Jealous Sound opening for SDRE leaked before this tweet occurred. Even beyond that, Thorns of Life are directed at playing tiny intimate shows far away from the Live Nation venues that SDRE will (unfortunately) be performing in.

I can safely say this is wrong. But hey, someone prove me wrong and I’ll be quite happy!

SDRE + The Jealous Sound…

The Jealous Sound have confirmed a rumor I tracked down a little while ago: they are in fact touring with Sunny Day Real Estate and sharing bass players, one Nate Mendel.

Whoa, is Mendel trying to one-up his bandmate Dave Grohl on the how-many-bands-can-I-perform-in-at-one-time? So far, Mendel’s got Foo Fighters, SDRE, and The Jealous Sound… I think Grohl’s got him beat though (Foos, Queens of the Stone Age, Killing Joke, Garbage, Nine Inch Nails, Probot… and who knows what else.)

Anyway, here’s the down-lo, from the band’s myspace:

Ok, even though that is true, i am writing to tell you that Nate Mendel and Asher Simon are writing and recording our new record with us. Blair and I couldn’t be happier. Nate is possibly one of the greatest bass players i have ever heard live or recorded and Asher is absolutely destroying and bringing something very new and special to the band. We have been hearing all sorts of crazy rumors about who is and isn’t playing with us as well as some other insane rumors about us going on tour with this band from Seattle called Sunny Day Real Estate. Wait, that one is also true…. I should cut this short, Kanye is going OFF next door and we have been playing this new song over and over trying to get it just right… I think we are super close. This would bring our current song count up to about 5 fully finished and another 5 or 6 only wearing their skeletons. Everything is in it’s place friends so, again, thanks for being here and being a part of our lives. It is an amazing feeling indeed. I am assuming we will see you in a couple months, no?

Andy Greenwald posted it on Twitter the other day:

Picture 25

But, several blogs (if you check my “Tracking SDRE  Reunion Rumors” and “More SDRE Reunion Rumors” posts, I’ve got them linked) beat you to it. Like this one.

That’s for the awfulness of Nothing Feels Good!

Unfortunately, I don’t have the Village Voice music blog listening to me on Twitter.

Touche Andy Greenwald, touche.

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.

Purchase SDRE tickets

Ok, last email post. Seriously.

Here’s where you can buy tickets for the Sunny Day Real Estate reunion:

http://www.ticketmaster.com/search?tm_link=tm_homeA_header_search&q=Sunny+Day+Real+Estate&search.x=15&search.y=10

Enjoy!

One Last SDRE update

One last email…

Thanks to Kyle Ryan at the AV Club
(http://www.avclub.com/articles/sunny-day-real-estate-releases-tour-dates-announce,29550/) for finding this sweet bit of info.

Sunny Day Real Estate now have a website. And it’s got the LP2 image all over it:

http://sunnydayrealestate.fm/

And a Twitter:

https://twitter.com/sdreband

And Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/SDRE/113325584362

And Myspace:

http://www.myspace.com/onedayistoppedbreathing

It’s official!