2017 has been quite a year for supergroups. The eponymous debut album by Minutemen/Wilco/Deefhoof/Tera Melos supergroup Big Walnuts Yonder immediately comes to mind. There were also releases of one kind or another by Man Man/Islands/Modest Mouse supergroup Mister Heavenly, Garbage/Spiritualized/Goldfrapp/Alpha/Free Design supergroup 5 Billion In Diamonds, Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo’s supergroup Dead Cross, Pedro The Lion/Starflyer 59 supergroup Lo Tom, No Doubt/AFI supergroup Dreamcar, Cro-Mags/Queens of the Stone Age/Warzone/ Danzig supergroup Bloodclot and, most witty, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Rancid’s Tim Armstrong formed a supergroup called Armstrongs. Best of all, 2017 has seen tours and debut albums from Filthy Friends and BNQT. Founded and led by Eric Pulido with his Midlake bandmates McKenzie Smith, Joey McClellan and Jesse Chandler, BNQT is a collaboration with Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Ben Bridwell (Band Of Horses), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) and Fran Healy (Travis). Their self-titled debut album was released in April. Filthy Friends features Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, King Crimson and Swans’ Bill Rieflin, The Minus 5’s Scott McCaughey, The Fastbacks’ Kurt Bloch, and occasionally Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic and released Invitation last month.
All of this to say, move over other supergroups – the most exciting melding of bands on tour this fall will be Tears of Silver featuring both of Mercury Rev’s two core members (Grasshopper and Jonathan Donahue, the latter also a former member of The Flaming Lips), Posies co-founder and reformed Big Star member Ken Stringfellow (also an REM studio collaborator and tour member from 1997-2005, plus his own solo discography and work on over 200 albums by others) and Jesse Chandler of Midlake and the aforementioned supergroup BNQT (and in recent years a key Mercury Rev associate and tour member). Tears of Silver is hitting the road for a string of very special “secret” engagements. As with The Posies’ recent tours, Tears of Silver will be playing unconventional, intimate venues – a church in Baltimore, a Vespa store in Richmond, a private courtyard in NOLA, etc – mostly in regions Mercury Rev hasn’t played in at least a decade. The cities are listed below, but the exact location of each show will only be announced to ticket-holders, via e-mail 48 hours prior to the event.
“We’ll be playing Mercury Rev and Posies songs with the odd cover song thrown in,” Grasshopper tells The Future Heart. “Some Big Star songs, Flaming Lips songs, Sparklehorse, Mercury Rev all eras…” Meanwhile Donahue teased on Facebook he was brushing up songs from Rev’s 1995 album See You On The Other Side that haven’t been performed in decades! All eras indeed.
Tears of Silver 2017 Tour Dates
Visit tearsofsilver.space for more information.
September 12 – Baltimore MD – tickets
September 13 – Richmond VA – tickets
September 14 – Raleigh NC – tickets
September 15 – Charlotte NC – tickets
September 16 – Atlanta GA – tickets
September 17 – New Orleans LA – tickets
September 18 – Austin TX – tickets
September 19 – Dallas TX – tickets
September 21 – Albuquerque NM – tickets
September 22 – Phoenix AZ – tickets
September 23 – San Diego CA – tickets
September 24 – Pasadena CA – tickets
September 25 – San Francisco CA – tickets
September 27 – Portland OR – tickets
September 28 – Seattle WA – tickets
September 29 – Boise ID – tickets
September 30 – Salt Lake City UT – tickets
October 1 – Denver CO – tickets
October 2 – Omaha NE – tickets
October 3 – Minneapolis MN – tickets
October 4 – Milwaukee WI – tickets
October 5 – Chicago IL – tickets
October 6 – St. Louis MO – tickets
October 7 – Cleveland OH – tickets
October 8 – Pittsburgh PA – tickets
Tears of Silver will mark the tour with a new E.P. of covers including Al Kooper’s “Going Quietly Mad” (streaming here). “Isolation, loss, betrayal, detachment,” Donahue says of “Going Quietly Mad,” “Al Kooper’s 1971 ‘cry in the wilderness’ still rings true and clear in the ears of the Tears of Silver as the band’s own haunting harmonic sensibility adds even more sympathy to the overtoned remoteness to Al’s classic song.” Other covers on the E.P. include Big Star’s “Nighttime” and Bread’s “Down on My Knees.”