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Smackdown: Reunion Fever

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Dormant rock acts like Pavement, Soundgarden and Faith No More are reuniting for summer tours. But as music writer Michael Azerrad explains, not all fans want their favorite musicians to give it another go.

In another Soundcheck Smackdown, we debate the perils of band reunions. Guests include writer-blogger Maura Johnston and musician-author Steven Daly, formerly of the staunchly “un-reunited” post-punk band Orange Juice.


Michael Azerrad, Steven Daly and Maura Johnston

Comments [22]

worst_1_yet from Brooklyn

Well, not to be too technical, but Mike Patton is not the original singer for Faith No More, and was not the singer of their breakout indie hit "We Care A Lot" that led to their "big" record contract.

The guy bitching about reunions should consider how far the Stones have fallen by not breaking up.

Jun. 01 2010 10:28 PM

boog music did a really good blog post on this a while back:

Jun. 01 2010 02:50 PM
bill from astoria

WNYC producers have a hard on for putting UK accents on every show. Daly has nothing positive to say. Check everyone's green card immediately.

Jun. 01 2010 02:39 PM
peter from ATL

I'd like to see the influential 90's indie rock band, Mineral, reunite for some shows

Jun. 01 2010 02:38 PM
bicameral from greenpoint

what steven daley says makes a lot of sense:

cultural movements are born, grow and should be allowed to die natural deaths...
- even if only to be resurrected once the lag stretches to historical proportion...

but that never produces the same thing as what it was in it's own cultural moment... etc...

Jun. 01 2010 02:35 PM
Mikey from NYC

Mr. Daly is half right. In these days when most of these artists can't live on either solo careers or there ever diminishing royalties, live concerts and merchandise sales serve as a great motivator. But there is an emotional connection by fans and music that represents important times and rights of passage in their lives. So, it shouldn't be belittled, especially because all of these bands can actually play their instruments and sing...which is a rare experience these days.

Jun. 01 2010 02:34 PM
ben from park slope

happy to have seen SLINT and OS MUTANTES reunite, happy to get a chance to see GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR later this year.

can we please euthanize the hackneyed, rip off artists known as PAVEMENT and have the band they're making so much imitating, THE FALL come to the US???

it's mark e. smith vs stephen malkmus smackdown time!

Jun. 01 2010 02:34 PM
MG from NJ

What about Madness???

I saw them in concert only once 20 years ago and they were great fun.

They're back and playing together but for some reason they aren't crossing the pond to see us here in the US. (They're playing in Hungary even!)

Jun. 01 2010 02:32 PM
Mckechnie from Liverpool

Mr Daly won't like this, I don't either; The Pop Group are reforming, We Are All Prostitutes indeed.

Jun. 01 2010 02:32 PM
danyo from BKLYN NY

Thinking that reunions are a bad thing is like thinking in the 60s that Louis Armstrong should go back to where , he came from, or Frank Sinatra or even -- Elvis

Jun. 01 2010 02:29 PM

I like the fact that Bob Weir put together his own band and project in 'RatDog'. I'm not so excited about the Grateful Dead continuing, as in their Further Festivals. I like some of the older musicians but in an entirely new and forward direction.

Jun. 01 2010 02:28 PM
Zak from Washington Heights

Saw the Pixies four or five years ago when they first reunited and they were sadly very wooden.

Additionally, Faith No More should have never existed in the first place. That band is awful and always has been.

Jun. 01 2010 02:26 PM
Zak from Washington Heights

Saw the Pixies four or five years ago when they first reunited and they were sadly very wooden.

Additionally, Faith No More should have never existed in the first place. That band is awful and always has been.

Jun. 01 2010 02:26 PM
Frank Grimaldi from East Village

I recently asked a friend if he wanted to The Specials with me. He said he didn't want to see them because they had probably lost their energy. I saw them - not true - the reunited Specials show was high energy. Albeit, there were lots of fans on stage - the band definitely was drinking their red-bull. I think it depends on the band.

Frank Grimaldi

Jun. 01 2010 02:26 PM
Sandra from Astoria

I would sell any body organ to see The Smiths reunited in concert.

I had a chance to see them on their only US tour in 1986 but my mother wouldn't let my 15-year-old self go, and I regret not exercising some teenage rebellion to this day :(

Jun. 01 2010 02:25 PM
david from Bklyn

Saw PIL, everybody loved them but me and my friends. For all the railling John Lydon does about the authenticity of artists, it was strange to see him with his lyric sheet. The band was solidly over rehearsed and there was not a shred of spontaneity in the house. The least he could have done was memorize the words before the tour.

Jun. 01 2010 02:24 PM
Tim from NYC

I just saw PIL and they were great! They are much much better now than they ever were in the past. I worked with them in the early 90s and they were not nice people to be around. I worked again with them last month and they were really nice. John Lydon is happy to be working and he puts more energy into the shows today.

Jun. 01 2010 02:23 PM

all original members

Jun. 01 2010 02:21 PM
Cynthia from long island

Reunions are fine especially if it is all the original (or at least the ones present during their prime.) Substitutions are only acceptable if that player is no longer rocking on earth.

Jun. 01 2010 02:19 PM
a g from n j

what about bands who were big [im not talking one hit or one album wonder],then slid back into small club obscurity. they chugged along under the radar [harder to do now in a viral world] then all of a sudden,for reasons varying and complex,they are on the "big" stage again.
what about personnel uniformity? who has pieces that are interchangeable?
some bands and certain types of music are great studio creations,nothing necessarilly wrong with that,but how do you "smackers" see this? whether contrived or organic,it seems to me that the most looked foward to reunions,are those where the musicians have dissapeared,into other bands or off the face of the music world altogether,reapearing as the triumphal long lost prodigal profligates[with a little help from "behind the music & vh1.

Jun. 01 2010 12:09 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

After writing in I realized that Big Dipper did play some live shows last year. Will a record be forthcoming?

Jun. 01 2010 11:16 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

A few bands that should reunite are The Smiths, Galaxie 500, Husker Du, Big Dipper, The Smiths, The Smiths and The Smiths. After breaking up, the players in these bands went on to record substandard material (Sugar and Electronic were awful). Luna was okay, but the songs would have worked better as Galaxie 500 material. Dinosaur Jr. is trying and did not embarrass themselves on record, but those live shows make Styx sound progressive.

I was hoping Pavement would not try it again, they were so very good and have no chance of being the band they were in 1991.

Jun. 01 2010 11:14 AM

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