Gary Louris and Mark Olson left Jayhawks fans in a lurch when they parted ways rather abruptly in 1995. Turns out Olson had tired of all the obligations and trappings that came with the Minneapolis-spawned group’s hard-won success. So he escaped to the Mojave Desert to ply a rootsier, salt-of-the-earth trade with the help of wife Victoria Williams. Ah, but time—and perhaps a little fiscal motivation—has a way of smoothing over the rough patches in many productive creative partnerships. (Unless you’re Bob Mould and Grant Hart.) And 15 years later, the Jayhawks have returned to us more-or-less fully intact. For how long, no one really knows, but they just did a string of shows to back the enhanced reissues of 1992’s Hollywood Town Hall and 1995’s Tomorrow The Green Grass (American/Legacy). With their sugary (if unrefined) harmonies, rugged intelligence and casual accessibility, the albums are to the alt-country movement what One Of These Nights and Hotel California were to ’70s SoCal country rock—even if the comparably modest sales figures may not indicate as much. Louris and Olson will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with Louris.
Louris: Yes, Minnesota, at times, has been called Loserville U.S.A., and maybe the Twins are still living in a grace period from the ’87 and ’91 World Series victories, but they seem to be the only home team to have one the big one. And with the new stadium and the way the organization works, they are truly the little engine that could. They could, that is, if they could only get past the big, bad Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. Let’s face it. I am a sports junkie. Olson is a news junkie, I am a sports junkie. I guess he lives in the real world and I want to escape. Because although all pro sports are really a business nowadays, they are still an escape for the fan. Maybe that is why people who listen to sports radio get upset when their broadcasters get bored (understandably) and branch off into world politics. Who wants to hear another athlete being interviewed, talking about someone “stepping up” or the ususal cliches? Almost as boring as listening to or reading an interview from a whining, self-centered musician like me? But I still love my Vikings even if they let us down every year. Yes, sports might not impress the reader, but I must be honest: I love them. Maybe that is because there is a clear winner and loser, unlike the arts, particularly music.
Video after the jump.