(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Music news - Resurrection Blues

I understand the attraction of the reunion tour, where a classic old band gets back together again for the sake of the fans. Or for the sake of their kids' tuition or a cozier retirement. Regardless of the motivations, if a band still has die hard fans, the members can always bury their mutual hostility and make nice for another spin. If they didn't do that, I never would have seen Iron Butterfly back in the '80s. Despite that pleasure, these zombie tours are ultimately unsettling.

The cutest zombie
Photo credit: Sebastian Anthony

Most recently, I heard that the promised Buffalo Springfield reunion tour is on hiatus. Even though they played a few shows last year, Neil Young apparently lost interest when he started working with Crazy Horse again. Buffalo Springfield represents a golden era in folk rock music and had some classic songs, even if they only lasted two years. But a reunion tour like this only promises a rehash of the old classics, perhaps sprinkled with a couple of songs from the members' back catalogs.

Rolling Stone also upped the ante with their article handicapping the chances of other bands getting back together. From the Talking Heads to Oasis to Abba, they offer their odds. Best of luck to the fans (and I love several of these bands), but there's still an element of unresolved grief at the thought of these groups trying to grasp at the magic of their original energy.

By contrast, my favorite musical reunions are living examples of continued growth. The recent Béla Fleck and the Flecktones release, Rocket Science is a great example. For that matter, I'm willing to bet that's a big part of Neil Young's priorities: creating new music is richer than rehashing the old stuff.

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