Longtime indie rock followers might recall that original Mercury Rev frontman David Baker lived in Baltimore for awhile in the early 1990s. He always seemed like a nice but fragile kind of guy, and I remember him telling me his band—which was comprised of guys from Buffalo, not locals—was working on a new disc he was really excited about. The band turned out to be Mercury freakin' Rev, and the record was Yerself Is Steam, which came out on Columbia. Baker toured the world with the band, never returned to Baltimore (as far as I know), and was reportedly booted from the group for erratic behavior. He resurfaced with a band called Shady a few years later, and then pretty much disappeared for 18 years. Now, he's back with a new band (Variety Lights), CD (Central Flow, out June 12th via Fire Records), and single—the appropriately titled "Silent Too Long." Baker and the band should be touring later this year, and let's hope they stop in Baltimore. We have some catching up to do.
[Baker photo courtesy Team Clermont]