"We are heading into the studio in December to start in earnest on a new album. It's been 17 years, and so it's a big deal for us."
Glen Phillips, the lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket, is genuinely excited for the new venture. The band, which includes guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning, and drummer Randy Guss, produced a pretty steady stream of hits back in the early 1990s "All I Want," "Walk on the Ocean," "Fall Down," and "Something's Always Wrong," the principal ones.
But that last title heralded an eventual breakup in 1996. Since their reuniting for occasional engagements six years ago, and then completely three years ago, they've performed primarily as a retro act happy to do so as they primarily will at Harrah's Tahoe but also eager to try themselves in a new age.
"The record company two decades ago gave us time to grow, but it's all product now. And everything has changed. I remember when we bought actual albums and, even if we were not happy with one we would still play it over and over until we found something we liked. Now, we can have 20,000 songs on our iPad and we have Pandora.
"On the good side, that's why there are so many cool bands now."
Phillips himself didn't take much time off when Toad disbanded ("I've been obscure but I've never stopped"). He released several albums on his own and played in three other bands: Works Progress Administration, Plover and Remote Tree Children.
Toad the Wet Sprocket was a radio-friendly band, and Phillips attributes their sound to Nichols' unique way of playing guitar, as well as to their mix of two guitars, bass and drum.
He says the new songs have been generated pretty much the way the old ones were with the other band members starting the creation and his finishing it up, but "even though we'll write the old-fashioned way, we will not be anachronistic. We will not be a reincarnated '90s band."
As for the band's name, it was suggested by Dinning from a Monty Python skit.
"He thought it would be hilarious. It was meant as a temporary placeholder. It's probably not a good idea to name your band after a joke." (7:30 p.m. Saturday; $29.70; Ticketmaster).
Out and about
As area showrooms go into the holiday season, two things predominate local Christmas shows and shows geared for the significant Asian market that reigns for the next three weeks.
Saturday, for instance, Cache Creek brings in a Hawaiian show, headlined by Amy Hanaiali'l and featuring Joey Guila's dances (8 p.m.; $29, $39, $55; cachecreek.com); and follows up Sunday with a Thai Lao show featuring Jintara Poularp (6 p.m.; $20, free with club card).
And the Grand Sierra goes Filipino with the stars of the island nation's hit television series "Walang Hanggang Pasasalamat" on Saturday (7:30 p.m.; $48, $68, $88; grandsierraresort.com).
The Chippendale dancers may wear some seasonal costumes in their performances at Thunder Valley on Wednesday (8 p.m.; $29.50, $47.50; thundervalleycasino.com), but it's a pretty sure bet there will be little holly or jolly when Megadeth brings their "Countdown to Extinction" 20th anniversary tour to the Grand Sierra on Tuesday (8 p.m.; $36.50; grandsierraresort.com).
Cal Neva Resort Frank Sinatra Showroom: Mickey Avalon, Dec. 8. (800) 233-5551.
Carson Valley Inn Cabaret Lounge: Escalade, today-Saturday; Joe Buonanno,Tuesday-Wednesday; Melissa Dru, Thursday-Dec. 8. (775) 782-9711.
Eldorado, Reno Showroom: "Aladdin and His Lamp," Tuesdays-Sundays, through Jan. 13. (800) 648-5966.
Harrah's Reno Sammy's Showroom: The Magic of Eli Kerr, Fridays-Saturdays, through Feb. 23. (800) 427-7247.
Harrah's Lake Tahoe South Shore Room: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Saturday; Night Ranger, Dec. 8; (800) 427-7247.
Horizon, Lake Tahoe Illusion Fusion starring Alex Ramon, Thursdays-Tuesdays. (775) 588-6211.
MontBleu Resort, Lake Tahoe Daniel Tosh, Dec. 15. (888) 829-7630.
Silver Legacy, Reno Randy Travis, Saturday. (800) 687-8733.