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Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

Going Blank Again

So it seems that Andy Bell, ex of Ride and current of Oasis, was in town last week and was spotted at the Mod Club where he performed a short acoustic set:

Chelsea Girl

Step Into My World

Live Forever

Fading Dreams (new Oasis song)

Today

Now I can’t say that I’m kicking myself for missing that, because it was completely unannounced and there’s pretty much no circumstance under which I would have been hanging out at the Mod Club on a Tuesday night. But still, that’s pretty cool. In keeping in spirit with yesterday’s post, I dug up another set of Questions of Doom from Poptones, these ones directed at – that’s right – Mr Andy “I’m not the gay guy from Erasure” Bell. Lots of good stuff in this one, including the revelation that Bell and Sanctuary Records are assembling a shoegazing box set to be entitled… get ready for it… The Shoebox. Genius. I’ll take two. Also, the Creation Records fansite has a slew of interviews, mostly recent, with the band members.

Anyone who knows me and/or reads this site knows that a) I am a huge Ride fan and b) I gladly poop on everything that Messrs Bell and Gardener have done post-Ride. Hurricane #1? Poop. The Animalhouse? Poop. Oasis? Double poop. Mark’s solo stuff… well, I haven’t heard too much of it yet and only in solo acoustic format, so the jury is still out on that. Give me anything from Nowhere through most of Carnival Of Light however, including the EPs in-between, and I can sing their praises ad nauseum (excepting Tarantula, which gets the poop, but the band pretty much disavows it as well, so that’s okay). Those records are just sublime. A textbook example of the musical whole being so very much more than just the sum of its parts, which seems to be an all-too phenomenon in the UK indie scene. If you want more background, Pitchfork’s review of the OX4 best-of disc functions as a pretty good capsule history, though it’s excessively harsh on Carnival Of Light.

I still remember being congratulated by the store clerk when I first bought Carnival Of Light in the winter of 98, he seemed genuinely pleased that the album had found a good home. Over the next few months, I sought out the remainder of their discography and am now pretty much complete – all I’m missing is the CD-single for I Don’t Know Where It Comes From, the one with the remixes, and with eBay as my witness, it will not elude me for much longer. It’s been a sort of windfall in the last few years for Ride fans with the albums all getting the remaster/rerelease with bonus tracks treatment, as well as the box set, reunion EP and BBC sessions (Gary – I need my copy of Waves back, please. I’ve already listened to the rest of my stuff), but sadly the well seems to be running dry. They’re still assembling a DVD scheduled for release next year, but after that the vaults are pretty much empty. They could possibly put out some more live albums but none of them would match the Reading 1992 performance released in the OX4 box set which captures them at the very peak of their powers. Since their heyday was more than a decade ago, I never got to see them live – seeing Mark Gardener solo at Lee’s Palace last year was probably as close as I’ll ever get. I actually don’t think I’d want them to get on the reunion bandwagon, to be honest…

…Oh who am I kidding, I’d love it. Coming Up For Air proved that the chemistry was still there. But I doubt it’ll ever happen – word is fellow Oxford-ians Radiohead threw big bags of money at them last year to get them to re-form and support their Hail To The Thief tour, but to no avail. Grudging respect. We’ll always have Reading.

Since it’s the holiday season, I give you this – a performance of their ‘signature’ song, “Vapour Trail” (mp3), live in London circa 1991. Share and enjoy.

I should warn you all in advance that I have been on a heavy-duty shoegaze kick of late, and it may very well trickle down into my posts for the next little while. Just so you know. I need to buy more pedals. And put together a band. And buy all of them pedals.

Chart gets some soundbites from Idlewild about their just-completed new album Warnings/Promises, out next March.

Those REM reissues are coming out February 15, not January 25.

Everybody’s favourite beard, Sam Coomes Beam aka Iron & Wine, is releasing the Woman King EP on February 22 next year. It will feature all new material as detailed here.

Pulse Of The Twin Cities talks to Patterson Hood about the history of his day job with the Drive By Truckers as well as his solo material. Everyone who told me to get Southern Rock Opera was absolutely right – that record kicks my ass. From LHB.

Billboard calls bullshit on the Coachella 2005 lineup rumours floating around the internet. Promoters say that they have just tendered offers to the acts, no one has confirmed and they don’t even have a specific date set aside. The conspiracist in me wonders if maybe that lineup wasn’t leaked by the promoters to see what the reaction of the punters would be?

Largehearted Boy is first out of the blocks with his top albums of 2004, complete with sample mp3s. Some surprises on the list – or more, some surprises NOT on the list… but where’s the fun in being predictable? Mind you, my list will be completely predictable. In fact, anyone who manages to guess my top 10 albums (no ranking this year) will get a prize. I don’t know what prize, I really haven’t thought this out yet.

np – The Sundays / Reading, Writing & Artihmetic

By : Frank Yang at 9:25 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. ryan says:

    Oi! Coomes = Quasi ; Beam = Iron and Wine…

  2. Frank says:

    whoops!

  3. bsearles says:

    If ever we meet, I’ll let you touch the drumstick I got from Loz in Seattle…

    And no, that’s not a euphamism.

  4. Michael says:

    Thanks for the Ride info. Big fan as well, and I pretty much agree with your assessment of their musical output. Although I think Mark’s solo stuff is okay.

  5. David says:

    been a huge ride fan for years too. i think i still have that remix single if you want a copy

  6. JM says:

    Recommendation – Ride – Live at the Roxy bootleg. Friend picked it up in the UK a while back (umm.. ’92?). Brilliant version of Nowhere (ahh.. the feedback)…

  7. bozairzere says:

    ride….yes

    reading,writing and arithmitic…BOO-YEAH!!! how i wish for a new record from the sundays.

  8. david says:

    Southern Rock Opera is amazing, but Jason Isbell’s songs on Decoration Day and especially The Dirty South blow me away. "Goddamned Lonely Love" is one of my favorite tacks this year, I can’t wait for his solo album to be officially released.

    I’m off to catch my homeboy Patterson Hood’s show, and hope he doesn’t kick my ass for some comments I made recently about The Dirty South.

  9. Eugene says:

    Any suggestions on where can I find the Nowhere reissue online for a decent price?

  10. Frank says:

    I need to get Patterson Hood’s solo record, thanks for reminding me. And you know what sucks? My copy of The Dirty South is apparently scratched so "Goddamned Lonely Love" won’t play on my computer or my discman, only my home stereo. So it’s not damaged enough to prompt me to replace it, but it is damaged enough to annoy me and offend my anal retentive side. Gah.

    Eugene – no idea offhand, sorry.

  11. Coolfer Glenn says:

    Like you, I’m a big Ride fan and have been unable to kick the shoegazer phase that started a few years ago. On a regular basis I listen to early Ride, Slowdive, Chapterhouse and My Bloody Valentine without tiring of them.

    I’m glad that era is coming back and is being heard in today’s music. One of the reasons I like electronic artists like Ulrich Schnauss and Fennesz is because of the shoegazer elements.

    I was lucky enough to see Ride back in the day. Must have been about ’92, on the Going Blank Again tour. (Wasn’t able to get to their show when they toured for Nowhere.) Not only did Ride put on a fantastic show, but Slowdive opened and were absolutely stunning as well. If there was ever a bill that made perfect sense, it was that Ride/Slowdive bill. Ah, good times…

  12. Frank says:

    Attention Coolfer Glenn – I am warning you in advance that I am going to find you, cut open your skull, scoop out the part of your brain that contains the memories of that show and stick it into my own brain.

    read: me jealous.

  13. Jason (1115.org) says:

    Ahh…Ride. I still remember going to see them on the "Going Blank Again" tour in 1992, with Pale Saints (another criminally under-appreciated band) opening for them. Thanks for the post down memory lane…I think it’s pretty much a given what I’ll be listening to for the remainder of the day.

  14. mattS says:

    I caught that Ride/Pale Saints show myself, in NYC. There’s not much to match the thrill of the opening keys of "Leave Them All Behind" going on and on in the dark to massive cheers, then the band comes on and boom.

    I was also lucky enough to catch Slowdive’s first (I believe) US show, part of the CMJ marathon. They played with Blur, Fatima Mansions, and I think maybe Teenage Fanclub. It’s been a while.

    "Shoebox." Heh.

  15. Whitey Fisk says:

    It’s good that Andy is in a decent band now. Thank You For The Good Times, what a tune!

  16. olle says:

    anyone know if theres a DVD of ride live out there to buy or download ?

    saw them back in -92..they rocked.