Pin It

Our Back Pages 

Nostalgia Fest, the improbable-reunion franchise

click to enlarge SPIT IT OUT Coffee & Donuts, back in the day, reunite this weekend.
  • SPIT IT OUT Coffee & Donuts, back in the day, reunite this weekend.

The pain of band reunions, so incessant and unrelenting in their frequency in the last 10 years, is that they pose as tremendously necessary. Never mind that they might be entertaining, no, no. That's not the point. These are REALLY BIG EVENTS. I mean, really, it's been ALMOST EIGHT YEARS since ALL FOUR MEMBERS of LETTERS TO CLEO played together, OH MY GOD tickets go on sale TOMORROW!

When announcements like this arrive every week, and when the time retroactive to the band breaking up in the first place to their inevitable cash-in reunion gets shorter and shorter, you're allowed to get weary. You're allowed to grumble about too many band reunions and bemoan our culture's attachment to the past and pine for a future that really looks, smells and sounds like the future instead of Refused reuniting to play at Coachella for $315.

But then there are the completely improbable band reunions. The bands for which there is very little call to perform once more in public. The bands that elicit barely a Google search result, because they are more obscure than even Tripping Daisy or Suddenly, Tammy!

I am a fan of these stupid reunions, these culturally irrelevant occurrences. Consider this weekend's resurrection of Coffee & Donuts, an unclassifiable band who played every Sonoma County skate party from 1988 to 1991. The people who remember Coffee & Donuts are one of three types: (1) cheap-beer-swilling forty-somethings in denim Jaks jackets; (2) local music nerds who work at record stores or write for alt-weeklies; or (3) the band members themselves, maybe.

And yet Coffee & Donuts are an integral part of the early-'90s Sonoma County musical quilt, one that blankets jazz, punk and psychedelia. Their legacy exists only on one out-of-print compilation and a muffled, endlessly dubbed practice cassette; their reunion is a history lesson, a chance to fill in the gaps. Likewise for the Louies, a funk juggernaut that's got no recordings out there. Throw in reunions by local 1990s bands Punch the Clown, Jr. Anti-Sex League, Edaline, Headboard and Seven-Year Winter, and you've got Nostalgia Fest 2012—headlined by the almighty Victims Family.

There have been three of these Nostalgia Fests, all benefiting good causes. This year, proceeds go to the newborn son of Tony Evjenth, a well-loved skater and team manager who died suddenly last year. Add it all up, and, yes, it's a really big event.

  • Nostalgia Fest, the improbable-reunion franchise


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Latest in Music

  • Built to Last

    The long-standing legacy of Built to Spill
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • NorBay Boogie

    The Boho's annual music bash is back!
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Get Out of Town

    Restored resort celebrates Woodstock anniversary
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Preoccupied

    Daniel Coshnear's 'Occupy & Other Love Stories'
    • Dec 19, 2012

More by Gabe Meline

Find It

Submit an event

Boho Beat

Aug. 15: Bria Skonberg Quintet at 142 Throckmorton

Aug. 16: Jerry Jeff Walker at Lincoln Theater

Aug. 16: Sonoma County Wine & Swine in Railroad Square

More »

Facebook Activity

Most Commented

  • Under the Radar

    Santa Rosa's Live Musicians Co-op expands its vision
    • Jun 25, 2014
  • It's a Hoot

    Hootenanny takes over the Arlene Francis Center Charlie Swanson
    • Jun 11, 2014
  • More »


Read more @nbaybohemian

Copyright © 2014 Metro Newspapers. All rights reserved.

Website powered by Foundation