Summerland: Everclear, Sugar Ray and Marcy Playground
After bouncing around Los Angeles and San Francisco, frontman Art Alexakis found himself in a dire position. He was broke, his girlfriend was newly pregnant, and his music career wasn't panning out. He and his girlfriend picked up their bags and moved to her hometown of Portland, Oregon. The gamble paid off as Alexakis put out an add in the paper to start a band and picked up a drummer and a bassist to form Everclear. They produced two EP's in 1993, both of which were released through Tim/Kerr Records and both of which were not heard outside of the underground Portland grunge scene. By 1994, it was do or die, and Everclear found the attention that Alexakis believed that they had deserved. They were picked up by Capitol Records after the success of acts such as Nirvana and Sonic Youth. Everclear released their debut album Sparkle and Fade in 1995 and hit the touring circuit to promote the album. The album was a slow-burning success fueled by the hit single "Santa Monica", which pushed the album to Platinum status.
They returned to the studio in 1996 to produce the biggest album of their career, So Much for the Afterglow. They released it the same year and immediately hit the road for an Australian and US tour. The album spawned three hit singles, including the mainstream track "Father of Mine" which lifted the album to double-Platinum status. The single "El Distorto de Melodica" earned the band their first and only Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental at the 1998 ceremonies. Everclear tour dates were scheduled alongside rockers Marcy Playground and Fastball for a US tour. They followed up with Songs From an American Movie which was a two album series. The first Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile featured their biggest single to-date "Wonderful", and was certified Platinum. They released Vol. 2 Good Time for a Bad Attitude which was billed as an edgy hard-rock album. Everclear tour dates were booked on the opening stage for Matchbox 20's national tour in support of the double album effort.
Everclear finished out the decade with four more album releases and scored a few more radio hits. In 2009, the band released their most recent album, In a Different Light, which featured acoustic versions of their biggest hits. While the band has gone through lineup changes recently, they still tour the nation with their collection of '90s alt-rock smashes. Don't miss a date on the Everclear concert schedule 2011. Use Eventful as your source for Everclear tour dates and concert performance information.
Sugar Ray: (June 2005) THE BEST OF SUGAR RAY CD follows the band's decade-long evolution from its funk-metal origins to the catchy pop hits that catapulted them to stardom. The compilation includes essential tracks from Sugar Ray's five studio albums -- Lemonade And Brownies , Floored , 14:59 , Sugar Ray , and In The Pursuit Of Leisure -- recorded by singer Mark McGrath, guitarist Rodney Sheppard, bassist Murphy Karges, drummer Stan Frazier and turntablist Craig "DJ Homicide" Bullock.
Along with the ..1 modern rock and Top 40 hit "Fly," THE BEST OF SUGAR RAY also includes the radio staples "Every Morning," "Someday," "Falls Apart" and "When It's Over," as well as an inspired cover of Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"
THE BEST OF SUGAR RAY CD is sure to please fans with two brand-new recordings: "Shot Of Laughter" and a cover of the Cyndi Lauper classic "Time After Time." Also included is the previously unreleased "Psychedelic Bee," which was written by Howard Stern and recorded during the Lemonade And Brownies sessions.
Marcy Playground: Named for the formative location in lead singer John Wozniak's childhood, the Marcy Open grade school in Minneapolis, Marcy Playground emerged in the late 1990s with a clean and subdued alt-rock sound. Woz's first effort, Zog BogBean - From the Marcy Playground was essentially a solo work, recorded in bedroom studios at the turn of the decade. The alternative rock revolution was unfolding, and he was attending college at its epicenter in Olympia, sharing warehouse space with bands such as Nirvana and Blue Moon and Company (lead singer Jason Frost shared a college dorm with Woz). After college, Woz moved east to New York, where Marcy Playground began to coalesce around the songs that would become the self-titled album. Bassist Dylan Keefe and drummer Dan Rieser filled out the band's sound, and complemented Woz's songwriting. The self-titled album was released in 1997, and Marcy Playground emerged into the mainstream with the success of the single "Sex and Candy." Marcy Playground is quiet and minimalist in tone, but filled with emotion and childhood imagery. Woz's songs run in many different styles: some are modern folk music; many have undertones reminiscent of children's songs; the blurred sound of psychedelia makes appearances; and then there are the songs where Woz clearly defines himself as a rock man. Marcy Playground's next outing was 1999's Shapeshifter, in many ways a more complex album than Marcy Playground. The songs are longer and harder-edged than those on the self-titled album, and have a more layered sound. Whereas most of Marcy Playground has the feel of a quiet, unplugged live show, Shapeshifter is clearly amp-driven rock. A minor controversy came to light on Marcy Playground's BBS when it was revealed that the cover art for Shapeshifter had originally been conceptualized by the Butthole Surfers for another album, and then pitched to Marcy Playground by Capitol Records as original work from their art department. No hard feelings ensued between the bands, but neither work for Capitol anymore. Marcy Playground is now signed with Reality Entertainment. After Shapeshifter, drummer Dan Rieser left the band to pursue other interests. The position was eventually filled on his recommendation by Gonz, a friend who had also played in bands that opened for Marcy Playground. Marcy Playground's third album, MP3, was released in 2004. MP3 fit the pattern of evolution from Shapeshifter, with a more electric sound and less of an acoustic feel. Some of the songs on MP3 also featured more overt messages about Woz's feelings on the music industry and politics. This made MP3 arguably more topical than previous Marcy Playground albums, the songs of which seemed to have a more generally timeless quality.
Note: This website is not affiliated with Reality Ent. and is run by a friend of Marcy Playground.