Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Music From Around the World: Shoegaze!

Shoegaze is coming back in style now, so figured since this is blog is super hip, let me lay down some history for yall!

Once upon a time in the early 90s, there were some British bands who liked to play loud and with a lot of pedals... I mean very loud(induce vomiting loud)/many pedals! The term "shoegazers" was quipped because of the way they stood still and looked at the ground. Then two big bad bullies named Grunge and Britpop came and shit all over the tiny, stationary rock stars; thus ending the reign of Shoegazing.

Although this awesome period of music was shortlived, it produced some really quality records. I will start with the big names and go off from there.

There is no way you can talk about this era without bringing up My Bloody Valentine (henceforth known as MBV). These guys were the poster children of Shoegaze. They were loud. Dreamy. Great! Their album Loveless is a good intro cd, but their EP You Made Me Realize just blows my mind. From start to finish, every track bangs (esp. the title track.) You really cannot find such a driving bass anywhere else. You can see their influence in many newer bands; such as The Flying Guilloteens!

Click here to hear a song by MBV

Moving on... Medicine. This is the kind of music that you can put on at any time. It really has something for everyone.
  • Guitarheads; screeching solos and exploding distortion.
  • Singers; dreamy girls singing
  • Trance Fans; amazing sound due to their 4 track compressed guitar
Example: Aruca/Never Click

They got popular towards the tail end of the whole thing but dammit if they didn't embody all the fuzzy goodness! Seems to have beget Magik Markers.

And now for some less known bands! Peep these tunes and appreciate the sound!

Bowery Electric-Only Sometimes Get their album Drop, Bowery at their finest!

Lush- Star Lust Coming at a time when the band was actually breaking up, they somehow released their best album, Split.

The Verve- The Sun, The Sea Sucker for the Sax

Cocteau Twins- Throughout the Dark Months of April And May AKA Blonde Redhead, back in the 80s. Quieter than MBV or others, but these scottish gent's/lady's influence on the genre is paramount.

Slowdive-For gettin' it on Youtube Video for 40 Days

Fleeting Joys
- Youtube Video for Lovely Crawl

Chapter House- Youtube Video for Something More

Ride- Big Fan, Mad Shoegazey; Nowhere

Bands are realizing that Shoegaze kicked ass, and are drawing heavily from it. Next time you hear The Silver Sun Pickups, The Horrors, BRMC, Sigur Ros, etc... Be sure to thank the first-british-oldguy-guitarist-staring-at-the-ground-playing-at-145-decibles-with-a-dreamy-girl-mumbling-something that you see. So it may have been delayed, but Shoegazing is finally getting the recognition it deserved!

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