Press Releases aren’t usually worth quoting, but the opening paragraph of the one sheet for Riot Now!, long-tenured and oft-overlooked Chicago band Eleventh Dream Day’s 10th studio album, seems relevant. It’s the group’s first collection in five years, a span that’s seen the ’90s return in welcome and weird ways:
The last few years have seen a surge of critical and commercial success of bands from the ‘90s, or otherwise middle-aged artists. Superchunk, Slint, Come, Gories and many others have reunited to find themselves more popular then they were back in the day. Sonic Youth, Tortoise, Yo La Tengo, and the Flaming Lips are some of the most successful artists from the indie community. It is true that critics and audiences alike embrace new artists with mind bending rapidity thanks to blogs, social networks, and video technology. The same audience seems equally fast to reward and embrace artists whose careers began before those championing their virtues were born.
Throw Jesus Lizard, Dinosaur (that new solo Mascis), Pavement, etc., into the pile. Eleventh Dream Day always felt like underdogs and major label casualties — at least in my neck of the ’90s — but they released some great material and maybe they’ll find a new niche in the current reevaluation, re-contextualization, and festishization of that decade. The band — original members Rick Rizzo, Janet Beveridge Bean, and Douglas McCombs (Tortoise) along with Mark Greenberg — recorded “a string of mostly first takes tracked in one session with few overdubs.” Check out the invigorating guitar rock of “Satellite.”
Eleventh Dream Day’s Rick Rizzo also has a limited-edition LP called Double Star with Tara Key of fellow (mid ’80s and) ’90s heroes Antietam. It’s the followup to the duo’s 2000 mostly instrumental release Dark Edson Tiger.
Take a listen to “Hungry.” It puts guitars to different use than “Satellite.”
Double Star is out 2/15 via Thrill Jockey in a vinyl-only edition of 500. It includes a download coupon for the record plus an exclusive EP called Noisy Attic. Riot Now! is out 3/15 via the same label. And, speaking of the ’90s, Eleventh Dream Day’s playing a show with a reunited Come in April, plus a couple other non-Come dates. Come agreed to play the reunion show at Eleventh Dream Day’s request. (And Come features Chris Brokaw, also of the original Codeine lineup, a band I’d pay to see reunite.) The dates:
03/04 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theater $
04/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Bell House %
04/22 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall #
$ w/ Iron And Wine
% w/ Come, D. Charles Speer & The Helix
# w/The 1900s