Photo: James Smolka

These days, Mary Timony may be best known for her roles in Wild Flag and Ex Hex, or for her perfectly articulated distaste for John Mayer. But for those who were devotees of Matador Records’ slyly slack catalog in the ’90s (HOW DO YOU DO, FELLOW KIDS?), she will always be the clever, ethereal voice behind Helium, one of the most inventive rock bands of the decade, and a group that only rarely gets its due beyond being mocked on Beavis And Butt-Head. An unpredictable fusion between Dischord-derived noise rock, King Crimson prog innovation, and Timony’s slightly sardonic dream-pop fantasias about vampires and fairies, Helium sounded like nothing else at the time. And now a new generation will get to experience it.

On May 19, Matador will release vinyl reissues of the group’s sole two full-lengths, 1995’s The Dirt Of Luck and 1997’s The Magic City, the latter bundled in a double-LP set with the No Guitars EP. It will also debut the 19-track Ends With And, a never-before-heard collection of rarities, B-sides, demos, and other tracks Timony personally scavenged from cassettes and DAT tapes scattered throughout her archives. Even better, Timony will be touring as “Mary Timony Plays Helium,” performing songs that haven’t been heard live since the band’s dissolution nearly two decades ago, backed by Hospitality’s Brian Bettencourt and David Christian. Tickets are on sale now for the dates listed below. I will see you there in Chicago.

6/6 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
6/7 Philadelphia, PA - Boot and Saddle
6/8 Brooklyn, NY - Northside Festival - Rough Trade
6/9 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
6/10 Boston, MA - The Sinclair
6/12 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
6/13 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
6/14 Detroit, MI - Marble Bar
6/15 Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle