Anglophiles of a certain age surely rejoiced last week when they learned that reunited '90s Britpop legends the Stones Roses and Blur are headlining both Fridays of this year's Coachella festival. But apparently not all festivalgoers are feeling mad love for Madchester, as the Coachella 2013 announcement has generated a collective "Who???" from fans who clearly would have preferred to see rumored headliners the Rolling Stones over actual headliners the Stone Roses.
A "Who Are The Stone Roses?" Tumblr--similar to the amusing "Who Is Arcade Fire?" Tumblr that popped up in the wake of Arcade Fire's surprise Album Of The Year win at the 2011 Grammys--has even been created to amass the Interweb's funniest, most expletive-riddled, and most clueless reactions to the Stone Roses/Coachella news.
To be fair, the baggy-pants'd, bowl-cutted Mancunians were never as huge in the States as they were in the U.K. during their early-'90s heyday, and they have not performed in the U.S. since 1995. However, they were rather ubiquitous fixtures on American alt-rock radio and shows like MTV's "120 Minutes" back in the day, with iconic singles like "I Wanna Be Adored," "She Bangs The Drums," and "Fool's Gold." It's actually disheartening to realize how little the Stones Roses' legacy has translated to younger music fans, when a much older act like the aforementioned Rolling Stones has crossed generations.
So, here's a Stone Roses rundown for the uninformed:
The group only released two albums during their initial 1989-1996 run (there was a five-year gap between releases due to a legal battle with their record label, and 1994's inaccurately titled Second Coming was considered something of a sophomore slump). However, their self-titled full-length debut has been heralded as one of the greatest British albums of all time by NME, The Observer, Spin, Q, The Guardian, Time, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and many other music publications. In fact, the band is largely heralded as one of THE early pioneers of the entire Britpop movement.
After the Roses acrimoniously disbanded shortly after Second Coming, Simian-style frontman Ian Brown went on to a thriving solo career in Britain; guitarist John Squire formed a modestly successful but short-lived band called the Seahorses before going solo; and bassist Gary "Mani" Mounfield permanently joined Primal Scream's lineup. But fans' clamoring for a Roses reunion never ceased (at least not in the U.K., anyway), and finally, after years of vehemently denying that it would ever happen, the group got back together in 2011; their subsequent three-night homecoming concert stint at Manchester's Heaton Park last June sold out in mere minutes.
So now, the "I Am The Resurrection" band is set to continue its resurrection at Coachella, in front of what might be a decidedly less enthusiastic or knowledgeable American audience. Let's hope that Coachella punters give the Roses a chance. And on the bright side...at least most people seem to know who Blur are.
- Arts & Entertainment