You read the first few lines of the press release, see the words “Steve Wynn,” “Dream Syndicate,” and “classic” album, and think, Oh, awesome, Days of Wine & Roses! But, wait, the press release goes on:
Wynn, former leader of the Dream Syndicate, and his current band the Miracle 3 will commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the release of “Medicine Show” with two shows in New York City and Los Angeles (see dates below) where they will play the classic album from start to finish for the first time.
For fans of the seminal LA post-punk band, Medicine Show is a pretty polarizing record. Coming off the overwhelming enthusiasm for the band's debut album, Days of Wine & Roses, the follow-up was a departure, to say the least. Wynn's voice was put way out front by Medicine Show producer Sandy Pearlman (best known for his work with Blue Oyster Cult, and ruining the Clash's sophomore record, Give 'Em Enough Rope). Gone was bassist/future Opal ingenue Kendra Smith. And unlike Chris D's hands-off approach on Wine & Roses, Pearlman pushed Wynn further to the center — and baffled at least one adolescent Midwesterner eager to hear a follow-up to “Halloween” and “Too Little, Too Late” instead of a different, more in-your-face brand of guitar jamming.
Does Medicine Show hold up after a quarter-century? We don't know; we admittedly haven't listened to it in 24 years and 11 months. But West Coast Sound is nothing if not open-minded, and is very curious to find out. (It's worth noting that Wynn performed The Days of Wine and Roses in its entirety in LA in 2001. This is a natural follow-up.)
“''Medicine Show' is the weirdest, most idiosyncratic, nastiest, funniest and most revealing record the Dream Syndicate ever made,” wrote Wynn in the liner notes from Medicine Show's 1991 reissue — and reprinted in the press release. “It's also my favorite.”
Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 perform Medicine Show at the Echo on July 9.