Dada returns from ‘vacation’ to Rockford

Dada returns from ‘vacation’ to Rockford

By Molly Fleming, Staff Writer

On Thurday, April 17, chart-hitting and critically acclaimed rock group Dada will play Rockford on their way to Chicago. Returning from a 3 ½ year hiatus from the public eye, the group is stopping in Rockford to promote their new album, Dada Live and a CD comprised of previously unreleased tracks. Although the band has been out of the public eye under the name “Dada,” all three members have been working on various projects within the music industry since their final concert in 1999 at Norfolk, VA’s Harborfest. As Joie Calio (bass/vocals) states, “we never really went away, we just took a really long vacation….”

While time has passed and the band has not been recording and touring, their fans have continued to remember the group whose songs were featured in The Brady Bunch Movie, TV shows Charmed, The Real World and Homicide. Dada’s music has been described as extremely relevant to the times, and continues to have a broad appeal.

In 1992, Dada exploded on the scene with their critically acclaimed debut release Puzzle (#2 on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart), on Miles Copeland’s now-defunct I.R.S. Records. The single “DizzKneeLand” (#5 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart) set the standards for the alternative radio movement and rapidly found its way to mainstream rock and pop stations. The third single “Dim” (#24 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart) was accepted by the fans with just as much favor as the previous two, showing that the qualities of “one-hit-wonderdom,” and “burning out” are not a part of Dada’s career. Puzzle sold more than half a million copies and made a number of critics’ “Best of the Year” lists. Sixteen months of constant touring followed, both as headliners on the nightclub circuit, and as openers for Sting, Izzy Stradlin & the JuJu Hounds, and Material Issue (USA), Crowded House (UK), and DePeche Mode (Portugal). September 1994 saw the release of American Highway Flower (#5 on Billboard’s Heetseaker chart)—which took a harder direction than Dada’s previous albums, and was accepted by the public with just as much enthusiasm.

More touring, releases and another record deal brought Dada to its “vacation” in 1999. MCA Records’ parent company (the group’s label) Seagrams was bought out by Vivendi, and left Dada with no label to wander the industry without a guide.

Over the next three years, Michael Gurley (guitar/vocals) and Phil Leavitt (drums) formed Butterfly Jones, and recorded their debut release Napalm Springs from Vanguard Records. Gurley also performs with his jazz trio, Champagne Champagne around southern California. Calio moved to Seattle and began working as an A&R scout for MCA Records, while writing new material. All three members of the group have spent their vacation building up to their official “comeback,” although three years isn’t enough time to be forgotten.

The band will perform at 9 p.m. Thursday, April 17 at Rockford’s Kryptonite. Tickets are $15 at the door. For information, call 965-0931.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!