Considering Everclear has written and recorded some truly iconic ’90s alt-rock hits, it would be all too easy these days for the band to be a victim of its past successes, relegated to performing as a glorified jukebox, existing to satisfy the nostalgic cravings of Gen Xers everywhere. But singer-guitarist Art Alexakis isn’t about to start phoning it in now. Although the band hasn’t released a new studio album since 2015’s triumphant Black Is The New Black, Everclear continues to tour actively, in conjunction with a series of past-release anniversary dates and the annual Summerland Tour, which Alexakis created and has been running since 2012, featuring a rotating cast of ’90s alt rock favorites. And while it’s a virtual surety that no Everclear gig is complete without a rendition of “Santa Monica” and “Father of Mine,” lately the band has found that exploring the full range of past material—especially the “deep cuts”—not only gives fans a rare treat, it also injects new life into the band’s live dynamic. “By mixing it up and digging into the catalogue, it still makes it fun and relevant for us, and I think for the fans as well,” says Alexakis. “It’s still important to play the hits, but by playing those other songs as well, it makes it all seem more vibrant and real. Even though I recorded some of those songs 20 years ago, I haven’t played them in a long time, so it’s like reinventing the wheel. I’m having more fun now than I have in years. I think all of us are.” Formed by Alexakis in 1991 in Portland, Oregon, Everclear has enjoyed a lengthy career spanning 11 studio releases, numerous videos, thousands of shows and accolades that include a 1998 Grammy nomination. Like a true survivor, Alexakis has soldiered on through multiple lineup changes over the years: During the “classic” era, the band also included Craig Montoya on Bass and Greg Eklund on drums; the current touring lineup features longtime members Dave French (guitar) and Freddy Herrera (bass), as well as drummer Brian Nolan (also with American Hi-Fi), who has performed with Everclear on multiple past tours.
90’s alternative rockers Marcy Playground are celebrating their 20 year veterancy in the music industry. This year marks the anniversary of their 1997 self-titled debut album, which included the hit single “Sex and Candy”. In celebration of the anniversary, Slow Down Sounds will release the album on vinyl for the first time ever. The album went platinum back in 1997, selling 1.4 million copies, while the radio classic “Sex and Candy” spent a then record 15 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. In the interim years Marcy Playground has released four posterior albums “Shapeshifter” (1999), “Marcy Playground 3” (MP3) (2004), “Leaving Wonderland… In A Fit of Rage” (2009), and “Lunch, Recess, and Detention” (2012). The albums demonstrated tremendous periods of creative growth for the group and are recognized as “cult classics” among the band’s dedicated fans. The band has also enjoyed notice by the big screen. Their songs are featured on soundtracks such as Cruel Intentions, Antitrust, Simply Irresistible, Hurricane Streets, as well as many films by writer/director Kevin Smith (Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, Zack and Miri Make a Porno). Marcy Playground has been off the road since the summer of 2012, when they played the inaugural Summerland Tour. The band is looking forward to getting back out on the road this summer. They are planning tour stops across the nation as part of the Rockin’ Roadtrip tour with Fuel, Dishwalla, and more.
Local H is known for their blistering live shows and for pioneering the two-man band set-up -- frontman Scott Lucas covers both guitar and bass through an extra pick up in his guitar and drummer Ryan Harding pounds out the rest of the sound. While they have earned praise in the past for their catalog of clever concept albums, Local H are forgoing a singular theme on their new album -- Hey, Killer (out April 2015 on G&P Records) -- turning out a non-stop blast of straight-up, hooky, guitar-heavy rock songs -- each one catchier than the last. The band’s discography includes seven other studio albums, a live album, and a bunch of EPs. Harding joined Local H in 2013, after years spent playing in Minneapolis bands Left Brain Heart and Bruder, and fit right in. His first recording with Local H was a heavy, rocking reinterpretation of Lorde’s “Team,” title track of the EP released in 2014. Local H’s widely praised 1998 concept album Pack Up the Cats earned a spot in SPIN magazine’s top 20 albums of that year. The band was named “Chicagoans of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune for their 2008 break-up album, 12 Angry Months, more than a decade after their breakthrough hit “Bound for the Floor” ruled the Modern Rock charts. This April, Local H celebrated the 25th anniversary of their first show (4/19/1990).