Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
It’s funny, after four or five days of intense concentration on one thing/topic/event, trying to sort through all the unrelated stuff that’s been backing up in the queue. I guess the most logical place would be this piece in last week’s Guardian which seeks to introduce its readership to a musical style tearing up the charts called “shoegazing”.
Quotes are solicited from the likes of Slowdive’s Neil Halstead and Ride’s Mark Gardener, representing the old guard and Mahogany’s Andrew Prinz and Ulrich Schnauss the new school but it’s former Creation Records honcho Alan McGee who has the most contentious quote, calling My Bloody Valentine a “comedy band” and “a joke”.
Of course, McGee’s been known to utter an outrageous remark or two in his time so there’s really naught to do but shake your head, say “Oh Alan!” and turn Loveless up. Way up. Or, if you’re a Stereogum reader, you get indignant and outraged. Whichever. Naturally, I think McGee’s on the mark on calling Ride “a rock band, really, a fantastic rock band” but he’s still a bit of a nutter.
Coincidentally (or perhaps not, there is apparently a shoegaze revival happening right now), The AV Club has added Ride’s debut full-length Nowhere to its Permanent Record Hall Of Fame. I applaud the selection, of course, but am firmly on record as declaring Going Blank Again as their masterpiece. Disagree if you like, just know that you are wrong.
Rumours continue to circulate about Kevin Shields returning to live performance as soon as this Fall and some new MBV activity next year, involving both new and archived material. Most are right to be skeptical, but where there’s this much smoke, there’s usually some kind of fire. Or just enough people smoking something. Ride, on the other hand, seem to be the one band from the 90s that are bound and determined to stay split up (though they’ve also been the subject of some crazy, unfounded rumours as well. Hell, at last check the retrospective DVD wasn’t even happening anymore.
Adam Franklin, ex of Swervedriver, recently released his new album and first under his own name Bolts Of Melody. The Portland Mercury talked to Franklin about finally stepping up and putting out an album without a pseudonym. Also worth mentioning is Setting Suns, Franklin’s new project with Interpol’s Sam Fogarino. Pitchfork had some details about the collaboration a few months ago.
J Mascis has got his own signature model Fender Jazzmaster, complete with purple sparkle finish. It’s good to know that if he ever gets his gear stolen again he can just head down to the nearest Guitar Center and pick up another one.
Pitchfork has details on two upcoming Sigur Ros releases, both due out November 5. Heima is a tour DVD culled from a tour of their native Iceland and Hvarf – Heim a double-disc retrospective but rather than collect album cuts, it consists of one disc of unreleased material and one disc of acoustic interpretations of their catalog. In other words, a must-have for fans.
Trailer: Heima (MOV)
A news item at Cardigans.com confirms that Nina Persson is working on a second A Camp record. Persson says that it won’t be as country-inflected as the first album nor is there any mention of Mark Linkous’ involvement this time around.
Video: Voxtrot – “Firecracker” (ASX)
Many show announcements over the past few days. Quickly and chronologically – The Brunettes are at the Horseshoe on September 28 and their new album Structure & Cosmetics is out next week. Minus The Bear are at the Opera House October 1 to support Planet Of Ice, out August 21. Dirty On Purpose and Fujiya & Miyagi team up Voltron-style at Lee’s Palace on October 3. !!! get sweaty at the Opera House on October 15. Architecture In Helsinki pay a visit to Lee’s on October 18 – their new album Places Like This comes out on August 21, check out their Take-Away Show. And finally Figurines are at the El Mocambo on October 26 – their new record When The Deer Wore Blue is out September 11. Most of the acts above putting out new records have media to sample. Check it out below.
MP3: The Brunettes – “Small Town Crew”
MP3: Architecture In Helsinki – “Debbie”
MP3: Architecture In Helsinki – “Heart It Races”
MP3: Figurines – “Hey Girl”
Video: Architecture In Helsinki – “Hold Music” (Vimeo)
And finally, some terribly sad news – Bottom Of The Hudson, who were in town just a week and a half ago, were in an accident coming off tour in North Carolina on the weekend and bassist Trevor Butler was killed. Drummer Greg Lytle also sustained serious injuries but has been upgraded from critical to stable condition. Full details are available at their label’s website and they are accepting donations via PayPal for Butler’s family and Lytle’s medical bills. Sympathies and best wishes to friends and families of Butler and the band.