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The Second Coming of No Doubt

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome musical artist fades from popularity, their fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour once more.  Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce you to some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future!

THEN: Before the Spice Girls and the bubblegum pop princesses of the late 90s, Gwen Stefani was serving up her own brand of girl power. As lead vocalist of the ska band No Doubt, she brought her fearless fashion sense and formidable vocal ability to the world of pop. The band’s traditional ska sound on their debut album failed to deliver commercially, but the more polished sound of their 1995 record Tragic Kingdom was applauded by critics and fans alike. The GRAMMY-nominated record spawned monster singles like “Just A Girl,” “Don’t Speak” and “Spiderwebs,” placing No Doubt in the sweet spot of achieving mainstream success, while still staying true to their roots. The band followed up Kingdom with another GRAMMY-nominated record, Return of Saturn, which piggybacked off its predecessor in terms of sound. Just one year later, No Doubt released Rock Steady, which showed a sharp turn of musical direction with its dancehall and reggaeton-infused tunes. The album was a mega pop success, churning out the ubiquitous “Hey Baby,” “Hella Good” and “Underneath It All.”

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The Second Coming of Refused

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity,  fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour again. Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.

THEN: It’s fairly common to see a film or a book gain more recognition once the lead actor or author is dead. It’s not as common to see the same thing happen when a musical act breaks up. In 1998, Swedish punk band Refused played their final show to a sparse crowd in a basement in Virginia. In an interview with DrownedInSound.com, guitarist Kristofer Steen remembers: “We were too dazed to feel any sadness at that point. What kept us going for as long as we did was a sense of loyalty to the group that was bordering on the suicidal. The band had been more important than any individual needs for a long time.” Refused had been struggling to stay afloat for quite some time, and this final tour was the nail in their proverbial coffin. Before that, of course, they had released several studio albums: This Just Might Be… the Truth in 1994, Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent in 1996 and The Shape of Punk to Come in 1998. Shape spawned the anthemic single “New Noise,” but thanks to the band’s breakup a few months after its release, the album was not truly recognized for its contribution to the genre.

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Second Coming: What Do Holograms Mean For the Future of Live Music?

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity,  fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour again. Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.

We usually discuss comebacks and reunions in Second Coming, but in light of recent events, we felt it was necessary to address one of the hottest topics being debated in the music industry right now: the hologram. The half-awesome, half-creepy performance of “Hologram Tupac” at this year’s Coachella Festival sparked both excitement and outrage from the music world. Those who were present at the event said the audience mainly expressed confusion at the haunting display of technology (which isn’t technically a hologram…but the terminology has stuck).

Snoop Dogg with Holo-Pac at Coachella 2012

After the initial hype died down, many began to question what Holo-Pac could mean for the future of live musical performances. Would we soon be seeing holograms of Michael Jackson? The Beatles? Jimi Hendrix? And is it even ethical to use a person’s likeness in this way after they’re gone? After all, Tupac never lived in a world where Coachella existed, so he never said “What the f*ck’s up, Coachella?” Whether it was the use of voice replication technology or a very good impersonator, it’s tough to say whether or not this kind of performance add-on is morally correct.

Since Holo-Pac, there have been other talks of using this technology beyond Coachella. There were rumors that Dr. Dre was planning a world tour with the ghostly image of his former peer, though he has recently denied having any plans to do this. Last week, the surviving members of R&B/hip-hop girl group TLC added to the hologram buzz when they announced the possibility of bringing late member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes with them on their upcoming reunion tour. Others have considered the possibilities of a livestreamed hologram of an artist that is actually performing in another city. The introduction of the hologram could clearly have a big impact on live musical performances, but the jury is still out on whether or not they should become commonplace.

Are you for or against hologram performances? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The Second Coming of DMX

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity,  fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour again. Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.

THEN: DMX (a.k.a. Earl Simmons) didn’t have a typical childhood. As a kid living in Yonkers, New York, he learned to steal money from drug dealers”a hobby that quickly landed him in group homes and juvenile detention. When he was off the streets, he turned to rapping and beatboxing to pass the time. After he was written about in a column about unsigned hip hop artists, DMX was signed to Columbia Records. The signing led to the young rapper scoring a few guest spots on the albums of hip hop heavyweights like LL Cool J, Mase and The LOX. When it came time to drop a single of his own in 1998, DMX did not disappoint. “Get At Me Dog” was certified Gold and the classic “Ruff Ryders Anthem” from debut It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot is still heralded as one of the best hip hop songs of all time. Later that same year, he released a second album, Flesh of My Flesh and Blood of My Blood, which followed Dark to a No. 1 Billboard debut, a feat only accomplished before by Tupac. After all this success, it was X’s third album, …And Then There Was X, that truly catapulted the rapper to star status. The single “Party Up (Up In Here)” has become an iconic anthem for every frat party and dance club rave since its release. Unfortunately, X’s following two albums couldn’t seem to match the sales or the commercial success of his third record. His last album was released in 2006.
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The Second Coming of S Club 7

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity,  fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour again. Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.

THEN: We’ve talked about O-Town and Backstreet Boys, but there’s another ’90s pop group that ruled not only our portable CD players, but also our television sets. England’s S Club 7, a group comprised of four chicks (Rachel Stevens, Tina Barrett, Jo O’Meara and Hannah Spearritt) and three dudes (Jon Lee, Paul Cattermole and Bradley McIntosh) made a splash on the pop scene in 1998 with their hit TV series S Club 7 in Miami. In the sitcom, these bright and cheery Brits sang and danced their way around their new city with tunes as sunny as Miami itself. At the end of the century, the group released “Bring It All Back” as their first single, and the track achieved Platinum status. What followed was S Club 7 mania: their own magazine, singing dolls, made-for-TV movies and more. As the years went on, the group became drained by the constant traveling and multiple projects. When Paul Cattermole left S Club in 2002, the band found that they were not able to successfully continue in his absence. In April 2003, the band announced their split on-stage, much to the disappoint of fans worldwide.

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The Second Coming of Fiona Apple

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity, their fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour once more. Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.
THEN: Fiona Apple made a splash on the ’90s music scene with her debut album, Tidal. Thanks to the success of the album’s third single, “Criminal” (and its suggestive accompanying video), 20-year-old Apple quickly became the poster child for sullen, piano-based pop. “Criminal” drew a sharp contrast to rising Top 40 radio stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera back in 1997, as did Apple’s tendency to discuss taboo topics and include obscenities in her speeches and interviews. Her second album, When The Pawn… (as the full ninety-word title is typically abbreviated) was not a mainstream hit, but it did solidify her status as a powerful alternative rock icon. Musically, Apple went off the radar until 2005, thanks to delays in completing her album meant for a 2003 release, and a rumored strain in her relationship with Sony Records. Following the leak of the entire album, her fans rallied together against Sony, demanding that the album be released for sale. This third effort, Extraordinary Machine, was met with critical acclaim, but Apple continued on to only record one-off songs for other projects in the years following its release.
NOW: At the dawn of 2012, Epic Records chairman LA Reid tweeted: Lots of good music coming from @Epic_Records in the next few weeks. Stay tuned music fans. Welcome back Fiona! In March, Apple announced the title of the new record to be The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do (yes, really). In preparation for her comeback, she performed at the South By Southwest Festival and did a small tour of several sold out shows. For now, keep an eye out for The Idler Wheel, which will be released this June. And based on the ticket sales for Apple’s shows earlier this year, we’d expect a tour to be right around the corner, too.
Though it was pretty tough to turn on MTV in the late 90’s without seeing the risqué video for “Criminal,” this is nothing compared to what we see today:

The Second Coming of Jack White

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity, their fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour once more. Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.

THEN: Husband-and-wife blues/garage rock duo The White Stripes made their debut in 1997. With Jack White on guitar and vocals and Meg White on drums, the band became well-known for their lo-fi aesthetic and strange tendency to tell the media they were brother and sister (actually, Jack took Meg’s last name when they married). The White Stripes had a few indie releases around the turn of the century, but it was 2001’s White Blood Cells that brought them into the alt rock limelight. Though the couple divorced in 2000, the band continued on, a decision that would turn out to have some pretty awesome results. With hits like “Fell In Love With A Girl” “Seven Nation Army” and “Icky Thump,” The White Stripes quickly became one of the most prominent alternative bands of the early 2000’s. Jack also became involved in successful side project The Raconteurs, whose song “Steady, As She Goes” was a smash hit, and was nominated for a GRAMMY award in 2007. Additionally, he was tapped to produce and perform on Loretta Lynn’s album, Van Lear Rose. The album proved to be the most successful crossover record of Lynn’s career.

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The Second Coming of Ben Folds Five

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity, their fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour once more. Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.

THEN: As we know, the early 90’s saw an alt rock explosion. Singer-songwriter Ben Folds jumped into the fray with a band of his own, Ben Folds Five. An indication of Folds’ off-kilter humor, the band was actually a trio (an in-joke unsurprising to anyone who knew that Folds’ first band, Majosha, released an EP called Five Songs About Jesus, which included four secular tunes). The band’s self-titled debut LP garnered them a significant amount of buzz upon its release in 1995, but it was their sophomore effort, Whatever and Ever Amen, that spawned the hit “Brick.” Though they went on to record a third record (and most of a fourth), but decided to “amicably” split up in 2000. Folds, of course, went on to rock the suburbs with a successful solo career, but it seemed as though the world had seen the last of the Five.

NOW: In 2011, Ben Folds Five reunited once more to record three tracks for Folds’ compilation album, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective. A few months later, Folds announced via Twitter that they would be writing and recording a brand new album: “It’s happening fo sho – Day 1 in studio with Robert and Darren through March #NewBenFoldsFiveRecord.” Looking ahead to the rest of 2012, BFF are slated to headline New York’s Mountain Jam, as well as perform a set at the legendary Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. The new record’s title and release date are still TBA, but we’re excited to hear what they sound like thirteen years after their last album.

Who could forget the wild video for “Underground?”

The Second Coming of The Cranberries

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome musical artist fades from popularity, their fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour once more.  Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce you to some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future!

THEN: Back in the early ’90s, you couldn’t turn on your car stereo without hearing one of The Cranberries’ songs. The group formed in 1989 under the name The Cranberry Saw Us, but when singer Dolores O’Riordan replaced the band’s original vocalist, she suggested the name be simplified to “The Cranberries” (much better, in our opinion). From “Linger” to “Zombie,” the band churned out hit after hit, making them international alternative superstars. By the middle of the decade, the eclectic Irish band became a staple on MTV and continued to tour worldwide on the heels of their success. At the peak of the new millennium, the members of The Cranberries decided to take a break from the band to pursue solo projects. This hiatus became much longer than ever anticipated; the group didn’t reunite until 2009, and were quick to brush off rumors that they were officially back together.

NOW: After fighting off reunion rumors for several years, O’Riordan finally announced that The Cranberries would be going out on tour in 2010. The set list of the reunion tour included some of her solo project songs, along with classic Cranberries singles and some songs the band had recently written. The band went back into silence for a few years before recording a brand new record, called Roses. In an interview with Spinner.com, O’Riordan discussed the need to rejuvenate the band: “The Cranberries became a box and we had to get out of the box and make it something fun and fresh, which it now has become.” Roses was released on February 27th, and the band is heading out on a world tour  in just a matter of days. For a complete list of tour dates, check out the band’s official Web site.

Nine years later, it’s still nearly impossible to walk through a grocery store without hearing “Linger”:

The Second Coming of The Beach Boys

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome musical artist fades from popularity, their fans later wonder, Where are they now?  You may not know it, but many artists you loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour once more.  Fortunately, you now have Second Coming to reintroduce you to some of your favorite acts of the last few decades, and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future!

THEN: The year was 1961 and a brand new musical soundscape was about to unfold. The three Wilson brothers (Brian, Dennis and Carl) along with their cousin and friend formed a band called the Beach Boys. The group had several hits, like “Surfin’ USA,” “I Get Around” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Besides serving up some sunny pop tunes, the band is also known for creating the first-ever concept album: 1966’s Pet Sounds. This record showed a departure from the simplistic beach hits of the group’s early days and pioneered new instrumentation and musical stylings. Though the band had every intention of continuing on after Pet Sounds, frontman Brian Wilson began to fall victim to mental instability and substance abuse. After Carl and Dennis both passed away, the band made sporadic appearances under the Beach Boys name, but they were still very clearly distanced from the close relationship they once had.

NOW: Rumors of a Beach Boys reunion have circulated for a few years, but it wasn’t until December of 2011 that the surviving members of the band confirmed the plans. If you tuned in to the 2012 GRAMMY Awards, then you may have caught the group’s first performance with Brian Wilson in over twenty years, which featured appearances from Maroon 5 and Foster the People. It may seem strange to call these seventy-year-olds “boys,” but it’s clear that everyone was feeling nostalgic during their performance of “Good Vibrations.” The Boys used the GRAMMYs as a chance to announce their Fiftieth Anniversary Tour, which includes a set at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Visit their official site for a complete list of tour dates and information on their upcoming album!

Take a trip down memory lane with this live television performance of “I Get Around”:

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