Sunday, September 20, 2009

sometimes you see right through me

Can't wait to hang with these guys tomorrow night.

Sunny Day Real Estate's reunion tour was announced in June but it's only recently that I've really let myself get excited. Don't get me wrong though, I've still taken all necessary precautions to ensure attendance at two of their shows. Which just seems weird, going from never having seen them to seeing them twice within the span of a month, Denver on Monday, Seattle on October 16. I tried to make it three shows (Tempe, AZ, on October 9), but I just couldn't justify the cost of another plane ticket.

Last Tuesday, Sunny Day released remastered reissues of their first two albums, Diary and LP2, and each contains two bonus tracks. I lost my copy of Diary who knows how long ago and my copy of LP2 won't play without skipping on several tracks. I felt more than justified in picking up the new remastered copies at lunch on Friday.

The remastering is definitely noticeable but not necessarily needed, especially since you seem to not notice much of a difference after continuous listening. The bonus tracks are fun, but they're nothing new since these previously unpurchasable tracks were relatively easy for any hardcore SDRE fan to find online, which really is who these reissued albums are for. What really makes these reissues worth it are the expanded liner notes.

I was surprised to learn that Sunny Day was signed by Sub Pop in 1993 after playing their second show ever. Apparently Sub Pop knew what they were doing, as the band's debut album Diary, released in 1994, went on to become Sub Pop's seventh biggest seller of all time, moving over 231,000 units. Regarding Diary, quoth Ben Gibbard, "I had never heard an album I'd felt was so custom-tailored to me. The dynamics, the singing and the raw emotion in the music -- it's something that really knocked me out."

Ben Gibbard? Who knew the sphere of SDRE's influence was so far-spread. Oh wait, I did.

The fist time I saw Sunny Day's singer Jeremy Enigk play a solo show was as an opening act for Cursive on Halloween 2006. I came away disappointed, not in any way because of Jeremy's set but because of the indifference the Cursive fans showed him. Tim Kasher himself mispronounced his name, calling him Jeremy En-ick (short 'e'), not Jeremy Ee-nick (long 'e', like Enoch). While Cursive has made their way as a band probably without much direct influence of Sunny Day, Cursive and many of their contemporaries are nevertheless in debt to Sunny Day for the market they played a big part in creating.

It made me a little sad that Cursive's fans seemed to be so unaware of Enigk's contribution -- via Sunny Day Real Estate -- to a genre that might not have otherwise succeeded without albums like Diary and LP2.

(I tried to make this post shorter but I just couldn't manage to say what I wanted in fewer words. Sorry.)

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