For most bands whose CDs I have in my collection, there seems to be a pinnacle album – one that I’ll listen to more than anything else in that band’s catalog. One that I don’t think they’ll ever do better than even though they may come close. Case in point – Superchunk’s Foolish. Now, part of this may be due to the fact that that was the first Superchunk CD I heard and I’m sure many would disagree and say they’ve made better. That’s fine. But ask me my favorite Superchunk album and, without any hesitation, I’ll say Foolish.
So, it’s really cool when bands decide to do a nostalgia tour and play one of their albums, start to finish, especially when it’s a band I like doing my favorite album of theirs. Jimmy Eat World just announced that they are doing a 10-date tour in which they’ll play Clarity in it’s entirety. Released in 1999, Clarity was considered by many fans to be Jimmy Eat World’s OK Computer – a shift and expansion in sound from their previous release (the also outstanding) Static Prevails. I remember talking to Robby from Crumb around that time and he was telling me how he had heard Clarity demos (this was the early days of the web and a few years before file-sharing) but that they were a fourth generation cassette copy (ha ha … CASSETTE). Clarity didn’t disappoint and to many JEW fans, myself included, this is the one album from the band’s catalog that, if picked to save one from a burning house, there wouldn’t be any hesitation.
Here are the dates. Tickets go on sale this Thursday (Nov.13):
Feb. 23: New York (Terminal 5)
Feb. 24: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
Feb. 25: Philadelphia (Trocadero)
Feb. 26: Boston (House of Blues)
Feb. 28: Chicago (Metro)
March 2: Denver (Ogden Theatre)
March 4: San Francisco (Fillmore)
March 6: San Diego (House of Blues)
March 7: Tempe, Ariz. (Marquee Theatre)
Videos from Clarity after the jump.
Wow. Blind Melon seemed to have captured magic in a bottle two years ago when they discovered Travis Warren, a Shannon Hoon disciple who was the glue to bring the band back together after a 11 year separation. I don’t know that anybody could have guessed that the band would enter a second phase in their history complete with a new CD and hundreds of tour dates. It would have been simple to go the nostalgia route and just play already recorded songs but the guys were itching to see where this road might lead them. Unfortunately, after 2 years the magic bottle was shattered. Guitarist Rogers Stevens left fans a lengthy message on the Blind Melon message boards announcing Warren’s departure from the group. Here’s a brief excerpt:
The revelry call went out to start the tour, and all reported to duty except for one. We, along with our entire team, have been working long hours to prepare for this upcoming US tour, which we have all been excited about. All except one. There has long been consensus with the original 4 members of the group….we agree on purpose and vision, we believe deeply in what we are doing, and we have been forged together in the kiln of tragedy which has made us unbreakable. We all share that. All except one.
With tour dates already booked through the end of the year and into 2009, Rogers revealed that former Unified Theory vocalist (the band featuring Blind Melon members Brad Smith and Christopher Thorn) Chris Shinn would be riding in to the rescue.
This is shocking news but I personally hope that this is just a bump in the road rather than another premature end to the band.
EDIT: UPDATE FROM THE BAND (11/08)
We’ve made an effort to prepare for the tour with Chris Shinn, but there is not enough time. We are canceling the tour outright and will now start to shovel our way out of this enormous mess. Chris made a super effort to try to prepare for the tour, but it’s just too much to ask of him to get up to speed on all these songs in 2 days. It is not fair of us to keep promoters hanging on while we cancel the tour show by show, and it is certainly not fair to ya’ll to drag this out. We are not cool with doing something unless we know it is going to be up to snuff, and it is just doubtful that we would be there by Monday. We will have more news about what our plans are concerning the future this week, as well as information on how those of you who purchased tickets can be refunded. We’re sorry for the confusion, the bad vibes, the drama and the letdowns. We understand the disappointment and anger that you feel towards us. We are angry and disappointed too. We aim to make it up to yo u soon…..