Welcome to a rock 'n' roll reunion, with our guests The Dream Syndicate. In 2017, the band released its first new album since breaking up nearly 30 years ago.
At the end of last year, I spoke to bandleader Steve Wynn about the Syndicate's history. Steve formed the band in Los Angeles in the '80s, which he intended to be in opposition to the way he saw music changing. (For instance, people were putting their guitars down and picking up synthesizers and keytars.) This was happening in the mainstream, it was happening in the underground.
Steve was not into it.
In response, he found like-minded artists who were bucking that trend, an emerging scene of musicians nicknamed the Paisley Underground. Based in L.A., they combined the sounds of '60s psychedelic pop and The Velvet Underground.
But Los Angeles wasn't the only place where artists were holding the fort on artful, guitar-based rock; there was R.E.M. in Athens, Sonic Youth in New York and The Replacements in Minneapolis.
In this session, Steve talks about touring with R.E.M. and U2, and watching them ascend to pop stardom at the same time The Dream Syndicate was breaking down. We'll also hear The Dream Syndicate perform live music from their influential debut record, 1982's The Days of Wine and Roses.
But first, a live performance recorded at the XPoNential Music Festival just outside Philadelphia this past summer with "Out of My Head" from that 2017 album, How Did I Find Myself Here.