Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Mercury Rev

Boys from Buffalo

Two acts from the unlikely location of Buffalo, New York, will be touring Japan in December. Actor/director/musician Vincent Gallo brings his album When to Orchard Hall in Christmastime, while left-field art rockers Mercury Rev settle into Liquid Room for two nights earlier in the month.

�������������� Mercury Rev join other bands who, following appearances at last summer' Summer Sonic festival, are returning in headlining tours. And, like Gallo, they bring with them a new album in the form of their typically cryptic September release, All Is Dream (V2).

          The upcoming tour and release cap a comeback for a band that was losing its hold on the public imagination around the time of 1995's See You On The Other Side (Sony). Beset by internal troubles, unhappy with the support offered by their label, and booted of the Lollapalooza tour for being too loud, things were not looking happy.

           Ditching the notoriously unstable vocalist/guitarist David Baker, the core of the band in the form of lead singer Jonathan Donahue and guitarist Sean Mackowiak re-signed to V2 for 1998's Deserter's Songs.

               Mercury Rev appeared on the scene in 1991 with Yerself Is Steam, an uncategorizable album that saw them being compared to bands as diverse as Pere Ubu and Pink Floyd. While garnering little notice in their home country, their cause was taken up by the British music press, including Melody Maker, which called the album "the first, and so far only, great rock long player of 1991."

               Subsequent tours saw them broadening their audience with backing slots for My Bloody Valentine and, unusually, Bob Dylan. Their next album was Boces, another dreamy rock outing exploring seldom visited nether regions, both lyrically and musically.

          Of the new album, Donahue explained his approach in an interview with Billboard. "It's not a rejection of reality but an acceptance of an alternate reality that's equally valid," he said. "I do what I can to balance my unconscious dream world with this physical, dense matter plane of existence. My dreams [are] as valid as my waking life.Eo:p>

Mercury Rev play Liquid Room on Dec 17-18.  See listings for details.

Concert Listings
403: Sloan
402: Jamiriquoi


401: Park Tower Blues Festival
400: Mercury Rev
399: Bjork
398: The Isley Brothers
397: Janet Jackson


396: Ian Brown
395: Tortoise Orchestra
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana