Recently the Smoking Popes released a CD/DVD of their epic reunion show at the Metro in Chicago from 2005. Anyone who is a fan should definitely check them out - it seems to be a vast improvement over their previous live CD, not only in production but also the set list, which caters to long-time listeners. The Smoking Popes did quite well for themselves during their run, and were one of the most beloved bands of the Chicago scene during about the time when I was in high school. It's probably mostly nostalgia, but they'll always have a place in my heart as being one of the key bands in my life during my formulative years. "Megan" off of their album Destination Failure is one of my favorite songs of all time. I think that my tastes in music will always change, but it remains one of the few songs that can evoke an emotional reaction from me. Bands can wail and scream and yell, but for pure heart-on-your-sleeve vulnerability and earnestness, I've found the Smoking Popes to be the real deal. After breaking up in 1999, they came back in 2005 for a reunion benefit show in Chicago at the only place one does such a thing - the Metro. I was able to attend this concert, and it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had. I *think* I can see myself in the crowd in the picture of the crowd that is in the CD jacket, but I'm not entirely sure. The Smoking Popes recently got back together semi-permanently to tour with Bayside, which they're currently in the process of doing. I use the term "semi" because I have not heard whether or not they will continue after this tour or if they are looking to record more material. Either way, however, I'm excited! Noteworty tracks include: Megan, Pretty Pathetic, I Need You Around, and Paul. (And, of course, by "noteworthy", I mean, "My personal favorites".) I would recommend their album Destination Failure to anybody. If you're interested at all in catchy and heartfelt pop-rock from the Indie scene before it exploded into the crapfest emo debacle it has become, the Smoking Popes are definitely worth a listen.