Well, not exactly. Members of the influential '90s hardcore band are touring Europe, playing classic Swing Kids songs along with new material (joined by friend Nathan Joyner, not an original member). But they're performing under the name Blue Note to honor the memory of the band's founding guitarist, Eric Allen, who committed suicide in 1998.
Swing Kids were around only for a few years, and their discography clocks in at a mere 20 minutes, but they've influenced many musicians with their jazz-tinged sound and Spock-like haircuts. After the band broke up, members went on to start well-known bands like The Locust and The Album Leaf.
They first thought of getting back together in 2009 after playing two reunion shows, vocalist Justin Pearson says in an email. “[W]e all realized how great it was to play music together and share that experience again,” he says. “When the idea of pushing forward with more activity [came up], we agreed that it would be in our best interest and honorable to change the name of whatever we were deciding to do.”
Blue Note doesn't have enough new material to record an album, and no local shows are planned, Pearson says, noting that everybody lives in different cities and coordinating schedules is difficult. “But if our situations permit more activity by the band, we will do it.”
Maren Parusel's national tour took a bad turn last week when someone broke into the band's van in New York City. Stolen items include several guitars and more than $1,000 in cash (they've posted a list of the stolen items on their Facebook page). Despite the setback, Parusel and Co. are pushing on with the tour.
Singer-songwriter Chris Hassett will perform at We Are the Village: Breaking Ground, a benefit show at AMSDconcerts (formerly Acoustic Music San Diego, 4650 Mansfield St. in Normal Heights) on Saturday, July 30. Proceeds will go to the Cambodian Village Fund, a nonprofit that's raising money to build a 10-room school building in rural Cambodia.