Unplugging: Pearl Jam celebrates two decades of grunge

Posted by Nick Vadala, MXDWN

Did your PSN account get hacked? Well, if they’ve got your information now, you just gotta wait for the bogus charges to start rolling in. You might as well forget about it all and take a break with MXDWN and Unplugging.

If there’s one thing that can take your mind off of possibly having your identity stolen as a result of Sony’s worst security flub in history, it’s Pearl Jam.  In celebration of their twentieth anniversary, the seminal Seattle grunge outfit has announced plans for a Labor Day weekend festival at the Alpine Valley Resort in East Troy, WI. 

Featured performers—aside of course from Pearl Jam—include The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age and Mudhoney.  It ain’t cheap, though, with tickets going for just over $250 a pair.

If you’re rich (or if you recently stole a credit card number from PSN and have credit to burn), you might want to check out some of the all-inclusive, cruise style packages that area hotels are offering Pearl Jam fan club members.  Ranging from about $1500 to $200, the packages include chauffer services to and from the festival, food and limited edition swag. 
 
In other high profile, multi-day performance news, the organizers of the now decade-old Austin City Limits festival recently announced the lineup for this year’s event.  Going down September 16-18 at Austin’s Zilker Park, this year’s ACL will feature headliners Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Kanye West and Mr. “Isn’t She Lovely” himself, Stevie Wonder.  Adding to that already eclectic mix of headliners will be Cee-Lo Green, Bright Eyes, Ray LaMontagne and Death From Above 1979.
 
If you want to experience that sonic assault that is ACL, you better act fast. Three-day passes are already sold out, and single day passes went on sale May 17.
 
In addition to bringing about the sale of ACL tickets, May 17 also brought back Vermont-based jam band Dispatch. Having thrown their hats back into the ring with the release of a self-titled, six-track EP this week, the band also revealed plans for a brand new full-length sometime in early 2012. The EP’s release marks the first new material from Dispatch in 10 years, with the last effort being 2000’s Who Are We Living For. With the EP holding steady at third place on iTunes’ Top Rock Albums list, that downtime doesn’t seem to have affected the group’s staying power with fans.
 
They’ll being bringing the show on tour in a short series of US tour dates.  Kicking off June 4 in Morrison, CO, the tour will include stops at the Dave Matthews Band Caravan in New York City and George, WA. 

Following suit with Dispatch in the new material ring this week is the critically lauded metal outfit, A Perfect Circle.  Guitarist Billy Howerdel revealed in a recent interview with Rocknewsdesk.com that the supergroup—consisting of Maynard James Keenan, Howerdel, James Iha, Matt McJunkins and Josh Freese—will have new material out in the future. 
 
“We’re going to have at least one new song on the tour. It’s very close to being done, and from there, things could come together. Once we’re on the road and start hashing through our ideas, they could quickly become a song and make it onto the stage,” he said.
 
A bit wishy-washy, yes, but it is a confirmation that we will see new material from APC.  Howerdel went on to add that the group needs to “get the juices flowing” before going into writing/recording mode. It’s all good though, fans have been without new material from the group since their 2004 release, eMOTIVe—a 12-track Virgin release that featured a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”  Another year or so can’t hurt. Right?
 
In the meantime, you might be able to catch the band on their reunion tour, which kicks off this Sunday, May 22, in Columbus, OH. 
 
Also making their return to the world of music this week is NYC-based genre mashup outfit Cibo Matto.  Breaking up for the second time in 2001, the group reportedly went their separate ways “because it was time.” They reunited in March for a performance at a Neew York City benefit concert for victims of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.
 
To prove that they are here to stay this time, the band announced dates for two short tours called “Yeah Basically Cibo Matto” that run from June 21-26 (East Coast) and July 11-20 (West Coast) and plans for an upcoming album.  Set for an early 2012 release, the album is currently still in the writing stage, but new efforts will be performed at stops on the tour and streamed via the group’s website. 
 
Pearl Jam Destination Weekend- Seminal 90s grunge outfit announced 20th Anniversary show featuring The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age and Mudhoney.  
 
Austin City Limits 2011 Lineup- Organizers of the Austin City Limits festival, in it’s tenth incarnation in 2011, announced the 117 band roster for this year’s event with headliners Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Kanye West and Stevie Wonder.
 
Dispatch Release EP, Plans for Full Length-  Vermont folk jam outfit Dispatch dropped self-titled EP, their first release in 10 years, and revealed plans for a new full length that will see a release in early 2012.
 
New Material From A Perfect Circle Announced- A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel revealed this week that the supergroup will release new material in the future and preview upcoming tracks at stops along their upcoming tour.
 
The Return of Cibo Matto- NYC genre defying outfit Cibo Matto officially confirmed their reunion by announcing a series of two short tours and plans to record new material for release in 2012.

* Nick Vadala, MXDWN