Thursday, February 01, 2007

Squirrel Nut Zippers Comeback Special

Here we go again with yet another Squirrel Nut Zippers post:

Even though I'm nowhere near where these shows are happening, I'm really excited about the upcoming Squirrel Nut Zippers mini-tour. It's only 4 shows, possibly just a one-off thing, and it starts next week!

February 6 -- The Birchmere, Alexandria VA
February 7 -- Ram's Head Tavern, Annapolis MD
February 8 -- Cat's Cradle, Chapel Hill NC
February 9 -- Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta GA

Go, go now if you can!

Last month, Zipper drummer Chris Phillips dropped by my blog with a comment ("where were you when we needed you?") on a year-old post I made about the band. At least, I'm inclined to believe it was Chris Phillips and not an impostor commenting on one of my first blog posts ever from mid-2005 pretending to be Chris Phillips. . . um, not likely I think. While not as exciting as, say, meeting Terry Gilliam last year, the virtual presence of the drummer of my 2nd favourite Chapel Hill band (hint: #1 band has the initials BFF) had me beaming momentarily. The current line-up of Zippers is Jimbo Mathus, Katharine Whalen, Chris Phillips, Stu Cole, Je Widenhouse and Will Dawson, who I'm led to believe was the last recording/touring line-up from 2000. From their press release: "Life is mysterious. You never know when something might appear or disappear. Take it while you can get it, because for now, it's the Squirrel Nut Zippers."

The ol' "good things come to those who wait" seems appropriate here. My favourite bands that have reunited over the past couple years: Harvey Danger, The Presidents of the United States of America, The Philosopher Kings... and now tack on the Zippers to that list. I've said it before and I'll say it again, still waiting for Moxy Fruvous to rise out of the ashes of their "hiatus" which is 7 years and counting.

On a not-so-happy note, key ex-band member Tom Maxwell will not be among the newly reunited Zippers. Maxwell is responsible for writing their big hit Hell, among a flurry of other great Zipper songs. From a recent blog post on his mySpace: "Most of you are probably aware that my relationship with most of my former bandmates is sour, and continues to be litigous. I don't wish any of them ill will, but sure as f*ck wouldn't step back on stage with them." Please continue to read his full post to see why (understandably) SNZ is the least important thing imaginable and why the band is dead to him. Ken Mosher is another familiar band member who will have nothing to do with the latest incarnation of the band. Actually, Maxwell and Mosher both quit the band in 1999, an album and tour before the rest of the band broke up. The SNZ saga is outlined in quite tragic detail in this article.

Related links:
A recent SNZ article on their upcoming gigs can be found here.
The Official website is now back online here
The Official Zipper mySpace is also up here.

Squirrel Nut Zippers - Do It This Way
Squirrel Nut Zippers - Evening at Lafitte's
Squirrel Nut Zippers - Got My Own Thing Now
Squirrel Nut Zippers - Bedlam Ballroom
Squirrel Nut Zippers - The Ghost of Stephen Foster (live from Sessions at West 54th)

Jeff Warren - Galang-al (Trou Macacq) [SNZ vs. M.I.A.]
Quite possibly the only Zippers mash-up.

And for your cover fix, in the spirit of band reunions:

Mel Tormé - Happy Together [originally by The Turtles]
Konishi Yasuharu - I Want You Back (readymade 524 mix) [remix of the Jackson 5]
Steel Train - I Want You Back [originally by the Jackson 5]

Katharine Whalen - Want You Back
Not a cover, but apropos nonetheless. This solo effort is from the only female Squirrel Nut Zipper's 2006 album Dirty Little Secret.

...and in the spirit of bitter band break-ups:

The Jeff Healey Band - Communication Breakdown [originally by Led Zeppelin]
Matchbox 20 - Never Going Back Again [originally by Fleetwood Mac]
The Canadian Brass - You Never Give Me Your Money [originally by The Beatles]

2007 will also see David Lee Roth return to Van Halen and The Police back together too. Lesson: never say never!


Bubba said...

Not only are Van Halen and The Police back together, but the Eagles are getting ready to release a new disc...their first full-length studio disc in 28 years.

El Arcano said...

Great music selection, and great article, Fong.