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It was announced this week that SXSW will be getting yet another addition to its already fruitful lineup: Tinted Windows. The band consists of Taylor Hanson (Hanson, duh), James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne). It's an eclectic group, that's for sure, and if you leave out Taylor Hanson, the group formed by the remaining members kind of makes sense. As well, if you leave out Taylor Hanson, you'll lose about 75 percent of any fans you had a chance of getting. The supergroup isn't a brand new concept, by any means, so why should this one deserve special attention?
I think Tinted Windows is a unique gathering simply because of what credibility (good or bad) that Taylor Hanson brings to the group. Say what you will about Hanson and their contribution to the American music canon, but having Taylor Hanson play with your group adds an element that none of the other members' bans achieved -- an insane legion of sadistically devoted, mostly female fans. I'm surprised to hear James Iha is still alive and well, and the other two members seem to make sense, seeing as they are very competent musicians in their own right. These guys ain't exactly the Travelling Willburys, but then again, who is these days? I'm just glad to see a supergroup/collaboration like this form instead of one like Two Tongues. Do we really need both Saves The Day and Say Anything making music as one band? Furthermore, why didn't they cleverly name their little band "Saves the Say Anything?" At least that's somewhat witty. I feel their new album is like a dog whistle for angst-ridden 14-year-olds; only they are allowed to actually hear the album while the rest of us simply hear nothing.
Only time (and their set at SXSW) will tell what the future holds for Tinted Windows. As it stands now, they are a band featuring Taylor Hanson with a less-than-inspired name. Honestly, as long as it's not Damn Yankees, I will be okay with whatever Tinted Windows ultimately becomes.