I have an admission.
If you say “hey, do you want to see (insert name of any band) with me” there’s a 99% likelihood I’ll go, regardless if I’ve heard of them or not.
This is what happened over the weekend. My friend asked me if I wanted to go see Material Issue to which I responded with “who?” After she gave me some background – they were this pop band we used to go see all the time when we were too young to get in to real shows – I thought, why not?
Turns out, they were playing as part of International Pop Overthrow which is a pop music festival that is held throughout the US and UK. The fun part of this, is that the festival took its name from a Material Issue album of the same name that came out in 1991. As the night progressed, I got the full scope of the band and the significance of the show.
Jim Ellison, founder of Material Issue, helped put out six albums worth of pop goodness before decided to commit suicide. At that time, the band folded and hasn’t really played together since.
This year would have marked the 20th anniversary of the album after which the festival is named. So the band got back together with a new lead singer to pay tribute to their fallen leader. In the house was Jim’s mom and sister. And the show fell just a few days after Jim’s birthday so there was cake and singing and a general celebration of his life and not his death.
I was definitely in the minority by not knowing a darn thing about this band. But it was apparent those that attended were reliving their youth. Had I been aware of these guys at all, I would have been in to them when I was a kid, too. They are pop goodness in every way. Several songs about teenage love and lust – there’s four songs on the album with a woman’s name in the title!
The guys said they were getting together to play a few more shows in the next year. This is great for them to be reliving their youth as well, but sometimes these things have special meaning when it’s a one time deal. I suspect this might be the case. But hey, I hadn’t heard of Material Issue before last week so maybe I’m wrong.