LP Tour Snags Soul Asylum, Matthew Sweet, Big Head Todd

One of my favorite genres is one I made up and named “Big Dumb Rock.” As you may guess, this genre is played exclusively by “Big Dumb Rock Bands.” That may sound condescending, but is totally used as a term of endearment. This type of music straddles the border between alt-rock and power pop, features decent enough if often bland or nonsensical lyrics, and was primarily popular from the early- to mid-90s.

At least two of the acts on the new “LP Tour” fit squarely into this category: Soul Asylum and Matthew Sweet. Big Head Todd and the Monsters also will be on the tour and fit well-enough into my made up genre, I suppose. Rounding out the tour are the Wailers because, you know, why not throw some reggae in there?

The tour is dubbed the “LP Tour,” because each band will be playing one of its albums in its entirety. Sweet and Soul Asylum went with the obvious choices – Girlfriend and Grave Dancers Union, respectively, and Big Head Todd will play Sister Sweetly, his and the Monsters biggest record. The Wailers have it easy because they can (and will) just play the greatest hits collection Legend, which has all the songs a casual fan of Bob Marley & the Wailers will want to hear, including “No Woman, No Cry,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Is This Love” and “Get Up, Stand Up.”

As of right now there are only four cities scheduled for the tour: Saratoga, Calif. (July 18), Las Vegas (July 19), Universal City, Calif. (July 20) and Atlanta (August 21). However, more stops will be added soon, and my suspicion is that the tour will flesh out that month between the west coast dates and the Atlanta show.

On a tour like this, Soul Asylum is pretty much forced to play Grave Dancers Union, which even if you don’t know that name you certainly know the hit song from it: “Runaway Train.” That song and the album are fine, but the group released a slew of albums in the 1980s that easily topped that one (from a musical standpoint, not sales, of course).

Sweet has it easy, however, because Girlfriend is his best and his most popular album. It’s also one of the best “Big Dumb Rock Albums” of all time – if you ask me.