My plane tickets are booked: Time for a return to the Paisley Underground

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was a kid, it was rare indeed for most major rock acts to stop anywhere close to where I lived as they trotted across North America on one of their “World Tours.” Consequently, when a rock magazine would publish an article about how great some band was in a live setting, I’d often skip it. Like Led Zeppelin was ever going to come much closer than a thousand miles of here, or anything.

In some ways, late 1970s punk rock was a backlash to these multimillionaire stadium gods who wouldn’t even crack open their guitar cases if there wasn’t good money to be made. One of the consequences of punk was there rose up “alternative rock” or “indie rock” scenes all over North America and the UK.

For example, in the early 1980s there was a scene that flourished in California called the Paisley Underground. This was characterized by combining different amounts of the classic 1960s sounds of garage rock, radio pop and psychedelic recording experiments. Some of the bands who often get mentioned as part of that SoCal scene are: Rain Parade, the Three O’Clock, The Bangs (who changed their name to The Bangles — yes — THOSE Bangles), Green on Red, and The Long Ryders.

Interestingly, there was a reunion of sorts as many of those bands shared the stage back in December 2013:

Oh — and don’t forget the Dream Syndicate. This was one of the bands that was pretty successful for a while but eventually broke up and moved on, with lead singer/writer Steve Wynn going on to a successful solo career as well as leading his own band called Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3. The Dream Syndicate played droning Velvets-influenced sonic jams that blended well with their version of roots rock via the godfather of grunge Neil Young. The Dream Syndicate is one of the few bands I would have loved to have seen live.

How about that: It turns out that right now they’re on a reunion tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary release of their first album The Days of Wine and Roses. And of course, they’re not going to be within a thousand miles of home … but, they are playing this weekend about 1,800 miles away in the city of Toronto.

Yes, the plane tickets are booked — save me a seat close to the stage.

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JC Mosquito

JC Mosquito spends most of his day keeping the wolves from the door. When he's not occupied with this pastime, he's interested in all things rock and roll -- which may or may not have died back in the late 1950s, the late 1970s, or the early '90s, depending on who you believe. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.