It became clear that not many of my Record Club brethren had heard much My Bloody Valentine so I thought I’d prepare a short cheat sheet to Shoegaze.
The common elements of Shoegaze are (According to wikipedia) distortion, droning riffs and a “wall of sound” from noisy guitars. The term stems from the fact that many of the bands would stare downwards when playing in a “detached, introspective, non-confrontational state”. The heavy use of effects pedals also necessitated bands to look downwards often.
Some of the better known bands to receive the moniker are:
Ride -Polar Bear
My Bloody Valentine - Only Shalow
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Just Like Honey.
You can see the influence TJ&MC had on The Horrors in an ascetic way as well as musically.
The Horrors - Still Life
Other modern bands you could argue were influenced by shoegaze include:
Asobi Seksu - Transparence
Ringo Deathstarr - Imagine Hearts (Personally I think Ringo Deathstarr are just a blatant MBV rip off)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Young Adult Fiction
and Sydney’s own Sounds Like Sunset - Each Time You Smile
Last week we had an open themed record club where we could play anything our hearts desired. Anyways here’s what was played…
Hannah played “Machu Pichu” by The Strokes from their latest album Angles. She said the song is her Friday night, finishing work song!
Megan played “It Goes Without Saying” by Nico Muhly - he will be performing at Vivid festival next month with Sufjan Stevens & Bryce Dessner. Get to it!
I (katie) played “Demon Host” by Timber Timbre - it’s just one of my all time faves, absolutely never tire of his music.
Claire played “Sparrow & the Wolf” by James Vincent McMorrow who recently toured Aust last month.
Nat played “Wintersong” by the oh so wonderful Blake Mills.
& Jez played a great B-side from a great band “Swallow” by My Bloody Valentine. If you haven’t listened to the album “Loveless” by My Bloody Valentine then you really should. Definitely one of the best albums of all time.
The new Shins album has been getting a bit of a play. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t love Wincing the Night Away and I knew that James Mercer had ditched his entire old band and had replaced them. I know that Mr Mercer was always the creative driver behind the band but it’s felt like he’s been even MORE in control over the last 2 albums.
My wonderful wife bought me the album as a gift and I have been enjoying it more than I thought I would. It reminds me more of Chutes Too Narrow era, but with more polish in the production. The first single “Simple Song” really reminds me of something off their second album. I don’t love the album as much as their old stuff (which I was obsessed with) but it’s still worth a listen.
I thought since this month is SXSW it would be fun to take advantage of the endless supply of amazing bands waiting to be discovered. Simply find a band showcasing at this years SXSW that you’ve never heard of before & share them with us!
Loads of blogs have already done the hard work by sorting through & finding their favorites so feel free to steal from one of them if need be - just make sure it’s a band you’ve never heard of before & have now fallen in love with.
Is this the first post?! Thought you might all be interested in this, a piece by The Knife which they wrote for an opera about Charles Darwin called Tomorrow, in a Year. It was created by a Danish group called Hotel Pro Forma and is pretty cool - it has one opera singer, a pop singer, a few dancers of varying styles and an actor/narrator. It was here for the Melbourne Festival a while back, which I sadly missed. Hopefully The Knife will do it all again soon!
Recently Ben and I have been working on a music/art zine and I’ve reblogged this from our website! I’d love you to start following us too!