Indie auteur Richard Linklater pleasantly surprised audiences with his charming 2003 comedy School of Rock, in which a struggling musician (High Fidelity co-star and Tenacious D frontman Jack Black) hijacks a 4th grade prep school class and inspires them to become a killer rock band. Buoyed by likeable characters, a great soundtrack, remarkably talented kid musicians, and Black's lengthy, irrepressible, almost improvisational classroom scenes, the film earned rave reviews and inspired scads of copycat programs around the world (as featured in the '05 documentary and reality series Rock School). But while the cast kicked ass at their ten-year reunion concert in 2013, plans for a sequel fell through. Everyone loves an encore, though. And so this weekend saw the Broadway debut of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical starring Alex Brightman, with a TV adaptation to air on Nickelodeon next year. Because there's no way you can stop... the School of Rock. [more inside]
Lush announce their return on May 6th in London. Following some speculation over the last few weeks, the band finally confirmed (via Facebook) their return, following in the footsteps of contemporary shoegaze bands My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Ride. [more inside]
Sleater-Kinney's new album No Cities To Love is streaming at both NPR and the CBC. While you listen, read some of the justifiably hagiographic praise of the band within. (Or just rock out?) [more inside]
After two decades of absence, Slowdive have reunited, and announced that they will play the Primavera festival in Barcelona. In an interview with The Quietus, Neil Halstead hinted that there might also be new material forthcoming. [more inside]
After more than 15 years on hiatus, the punk-spawned, world-music-defining Dead Can Dance released their eighth album Anastasis one month ago. The reunited act are on a world tour. [more inside]
They were a couple of blokes from a small city in in England who started out messing around with instruments. Paul played the guitar and drums, and Phil the saxophone, but both were interested in electronic music by the likes of Kraftwerk. Phil also liked hip-hop, and Paul got into acid house in the late 1980s. One afternoon, Paul slapped together a happy little song based on a sample from a now-forgotten instrumental cover version of some pop hit, and called the little ditty Chime. Even before it was pressed on vinyl, DJs were asking for it, and Orbital was born. [more inside]
For only the second time since their breakup in 1985, the three surviving members of Pink Floyd shared a stage last night in London. Video, with the amazing reveal around 0:52. [more inside]
Tomorrow, in Auckland, mellow jazz docents Pavement will play their first live show in a decade. A week later, Matador Records will release the band's first-ever best-of collection, Quarantine the Past. But what about all the B-sides, live takes, and rarities that didn't make the cut? An extensive selection follows, but you can start with these superb live recordings from their last tour: Gold Soundz, Range Life, Here. (Previously.) [more inside]
Rock band reunions normally involve, at minimum, a little live music. But as The Velvet Underground are not your typical rock band, maybe none of us should have been surprised that the reunion of The Velvets at LIVE from the NYPL on Tuesday December 8th had none.
Shane MacGowan is the face and name most often associated with The Pogues. Unraveling Shane's psyche would require a book-length study but the crux of his identity lies somewhere in that conflict between English experience and Irish heritage. The abbreviated story of his life starts with his birth in England, but he was raised in Ireland, and moved back to England some years later. He won a scholarship to the renowned Westminster School, where he was possibly enrolled alongside Thomas Dolby and other notable people. MacGowan was involved with drugs and publicized hooliganery before being in a band, the first of which was The Nipple Erectors in 1977. [more inside]
Lennon and McCartney's Studio Reunion. On March 28, 1974, John Lennon was in a Burbank studio producing Harry Nilsson's "Pussy Cats" album when Paul McCartney dropped in. The room froze and remained silent until John said, "Valiant Paul McCartney, I presume?" Paul responded: "Sir Jasper Lennon, I presume?" The tension broken, a jam session [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] ensued featuring Lennon on guitar and vocals, McCartney on drums and vocals, Stevie Wonder on electric piano and vocals, Harry Nilsson on vocals, Jesse Ed Davis on guitar and Bobby Keys on saxophone. A bootleg of the session has circulated under the title "A Toot and a Snore in '74".
'The Family' Has Reunited. Members of the studio band created in the wake of The Time's disintegration, who never toured and who only released one self-titled album (featuring the beautiful photography of Horst and lavish orchestration by Clare Fischer, like much of Prince's other projects at the time) have reunited. No word yet about any involvement from either Prince (writer of nearly all the band's songs, including their gigantic hit Nothing Compares 2 U - well, at least for Sinead O'Connor) or his Revolution cohorts Wendy (twin sister of Family co-lead vocalist Susannah Melvoin) & Lisa, now a successful scoring team for film and television.