New Simon Joyner on the way…; Tuesday morning music ramblings (whatever happened to Superstar?)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:48 pm June 20, 2017

What I presume is the soothing artwork for Simon Joyner’s new double LP Step Into the Earthquake, available late October from Grapefruit Records.

by Tim McMahan,

Simon Joyner announced last week that his label, Grapefruit, is taking pre-orders on his new double-album, Step Into The Earthquake. The record feature’s Simon’s deft band, the Ghosts (which includes David Nance and Noah Sterba) and longtime-collaborator Michael Krassner. The original message said the album is slated for release Oct. 20, though the website is saying “late October.”

There are two versions available for pre-order. The $70 Deluxe Edition of Step Into The Earthquake is limited to 50 copies, and will contain:
-The gatefold double-album wrapped in a screenprinted and die-cut paper outer-sleeve,
-A limited edition signed and numbered broadside of the song “I’m Feeling It Today” suitable for framing, designed and printed by Sara Adkisson Joyner,
-A bonus vinyl LP (signed, numbered, and limited to 60 pressed) of The Phoenix Demos, which features piano and guitar duo versions of songs from Step Into The Earthquake recorded with Michael Krassner at his home in Phoenix in preparation for the album

Or you can order a regular copy of the double-LP for $24.

I think I’m getting the expensive one because, well, WTF? It’s Simon Joyner!

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Last night I was going through my iTunes, trying to tighten up my list of songs I listen to on my morning jogs. Too often I listen to this playlist and something drops in I don’t recognize. And if I’m on a treadmill, I can’t go over to the hi-fi and change it, and then I’m stuck with this droning piece of drone that goes on and on…

Anyway. I’m going through my massive list of albums in iTunes and come across a band called Superstar. Their debut album came out in 1994, and I fell upon a copy of the CD when it was included in one of the monthly care packages from The Note, a magazine I wrote for way back when as an Omaha correspondent.

Superstar, self-titled (1994, SBK)

It’s one of those records that is virtually unknown ’round these parts, and probably anywhere. despite being released by SBK Records, whose claims to fame included Jesus Jones and Vanilla Ice. This record, Superstar, sounded like a tuneful, melodic version of Teenage Fanclub, which probably was what I wrote in my review for The Note. Despite being from Glasgow, Superstar had a distinctive So Cal sunset sound, very layered, very dense, with huge melodies and harmonies that I figured would put them in the same sentence as Fanclub, but never did…

I wondered whatever happened to the band. And the internet being what it is, it didn’t take long to find out. I found the ’94 album on Discogs, where (no surprise) it’s virtually worthless. But through Discogs I discovered Superstar actually recorded two more albums, neither of which I’d known about. It was on one of those Discogs pages that the band’s personnel was listed

From there, it was a simple bit of Googling before I discovered an article in The Guardian from Sept. 1, 2015, about Joe McAlinden. “His band Superstar never quite lived up to their name, despite being covered by Rod Stewart. Now, 30 years later, he returns as Linden, and he’s lost none of his melodic gift.”

From there, onto Spotfy where I found Linden’s 2015 album Rest and Be Thankful, released on Oakland label Slumberland Records. And that’s what I listened to this morning as I jogged through Elmwood Park.

OK, not much of a story, though if you’re into early Teenage Fanclub or ’90s Glasgow pop rock you can’t go wrong with Linden.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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