Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sorry Ma, No Mats Reunion

Some music fans may gripe about band reunions. I have neither qualm nor quibble with any artists who want to bring their music back to the live stage. Nor do I frown upon those who choose to record new songs (though I can't bring myself to listen to The Weirdness), or bands that re-record older songs (e.g., Gang of Four or Rocket from the Tombs).

Say what you will about reunions, or the motives of those involved. I have nothing but good memories of the shows I've seen in the past two years from the Slits, Pylon, Radio Birdman, and Swervedriver. Most recently, Wire put on a great concert in Atlanta in support of their excellent new album, Object 47. My Bloody Valentine played again this year, and so did the Feelies, Throbbing Gristle and Rival Schools!

One long-rumored reunion that hasn't happened yet is that of the Replacements, or at least Paul and Tommy (since Bob Stinson and Steve Foley are dead, and neither Chris Mars nor Slim Dunlap are interested.) Now that Chinese Democracy is out, and the Mats' albums have been decently reissued, maybe Tommy will be freed from Axl's spell.

So who should play lead guitar and drums for the 21st Century Mats? I would nominate Pete Hayes of the Figgs for the drum spot. Hayes is a monster drummer, and the Figgs supported Tommy on his solo tour. The lead guitarist should be someone who can channel the anarchic brilliance of Bob Stinson. Captain Sensible would be ideal; but I would suggest Richard Lloyd. He's not playing with Television anymore. He made some great records with Matthew Sweet, and he plays brilliantly off other guitarists (like Cheetah Chrome, Robert Quine, and Tom Verlaine).

Speaking of reunions, and fabulous guitar interplay, here's a great song from the Soft Boys' 2002 album Nextdoorland. It's got a wonderful Robyn Hitchcock chorus, and spiraling leads from Robyn and Kimberly Rew. I wish I'd seen the Soft Boys reunion on stage (and Television's 1992 and 2001 reunions). Maybe they'll do it again someday soon. Here's to more reunions in 2009!

Soft Boys: Mr. Kennedy


At 12/31/2008 1:07 PM , Blogger Jim H said...

I'll play drums. Please pass this on to Paul. (Oh and :-) )

At 12/31/2008 7:39 PM , Blogger PCarino said...

One of the reasons I cannot be categorically against reunions is cuz o' that very Soft Boys album, which I liked a lot (that song, 'specially!) Their supporting shows were also fantastic.

At this point, with the much-ballyhooed "long tail" creating new fans for old bands, reunions don't seem as sacrilegious or awkward or goofy to me anymore, they often just make sense.

At 1/01/2009 11:19 AM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

Jimmy Page should play lead for the 'Mats, now that Plant won't do the Zep reunion.

At 1/02/2009 5:04 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Jim, I will put a good word in for you.

Paula, I am retrospectively jealous of your attendance of the 2002 Soft Boys reunion, and I will continue to be jealous into the foreseeable future.

Nazz, I thought you woulda favored Captain Sensible. Sir Page would improve the Mats version of "Misty Mountain Hop", which was terrible.

At 1/07/2009 12:51 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Damn, I just read that Ron Asheton died. Now I will never get to see the Stooges. RIP, Ron.


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