Tag Archives: Descendents

Alternative To What?

When you talk to the average bear about their favorite music of the decade, you may find yourself in murky water. The Vanilla Ices, Sugar Rays and Lits of the decade have potentially rendered many music fans’ 90s taste buds useless. Just as every decade’s pop charts have ruled the airwaves, there is of course a plethora of musicians who have had their good name sullied by similar “artists.”

By no means am I an expert in this field, but it is a passion of mine to discover the overlooked. The goal of this ongoing series is to expose the vein and turn you on to the real, honest artists from the 90s who actually deserve your attention.

It’s A Shame About The 90s

Evan Dando of The Lemonheads

The Lemonheads, fronted by the elusive and brutally honest Evan Dando, are my first choice. My bromance with Mr. Dando aside, this man warrants your consideration. The ability he has to take pop/rock stylings and inject them with heroin-infused truths may not necessarily strike a chord on first listen. It takes a few spins to sink your teeth into the meanings and find the sincerity. Just like any good drug, after you’ve tasted it, all you want is more.

Starting as a “punk” band in the mid-80s, Evan has remained the Lemonheads’ only constant member through the years. In 1992, their fan base grew enough for the almighty major label to bring them under their wing. That same year, they released “It’s a Shame About Ray,” their only critically acclaimed release. The record’s title track was the first and most successful single, reaching #5 on the Modern Rock charts in America. When the record was re-issued, a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” was tacked on as the album’s closer. The cover was a pretty big hit, even finding its way onto the Wayne’s World 2 soundtrack.

Over the next 15 years, Evan and his Lemonheads went on to release a lot of wonderful music that was greatly overlooked. He collaborated with members of Dinosaur Jr., Descendents, even the crazy Brits from Oasis. I could tell you that every single record they made through the years is fantastic, but I’m biased. As a songwriter, Evan mixes metaphor and reality in a way that is truly poetic while at the same time can be taken in jest.

I was fortunate enough to share the stage with Mr. Dando on the 20-year celebration tour of “It’s a Shame About Ray.” Through all of his quirkiness, he could not have been more friendly and cordial. I can’t imagine playing the same songs over and over for 20 years and still being able to wear a genuine smile. We talked about MC5, how our Methodist Church van is a good cover for smoking pot, and how strange it is that our little town of Gainesville gets no love from bigger touring artists.

I can’t say enough nice things about this man and the music he has crafted. I hope he never stops.


“It’s a Shame About Ray” (Atlantic Records 1992)

“The Lemonheads” (Vagrant Records 2006)

Two Riot Fests??!?!!

Not content with your festival options? Well, you now have two extra choices because Riot Fest 2011 and Riot Fest-East have announced their line ups.

The Chicago line up includes the likes of Weezer, Social Distrotion, Descendents, X, Youth of Today, Suicide Machines, Helmet, The Menzingers, Cheap Girls, The Copyrights, Chinese Telephones and about a million other bands. Riot Fest 2011 will be taking place over the weekend of October 6 – 9 in Chicago and tickets will be going on sale Friday June 24 at 9 AM Central time.
While Riot Fest-East will be a one day event on September 24th in Philadelphia, and it will be featuring a slimmed down but still impressive line up which includes the Descendents, X, Dead Milkmen, Hot Water Music, Naked Raygun, Suicide Machines, Samiam, The Menzingers, Larry and His Flask and more.

FYF Fest 2011 Announces Line Up

Apparently in an attempt to out do the east coast who has The Fest and Best Friends Day coming up soon, FYF Fest 2011 has been announced for September 3rd in Los Angeles. The line up for this festival is going to be pretty out of hand because it includes; the Descendents, Kid Dynamite, Explosions in the Sky, Broken Social Scene, The Dead Milkmen, No Age, The Weakerthans, OFF!, Title Fight, Touche Amore and lots more.

Tickets go on sale June 17th for $35.

Also, if you’re going to be in California for Labor Day Weekend and Downtown Los Angeles is not your thing, check outAwesome Fest 5.