Shoegazing Revisted
March 2, 2005 6:58 AM   Subscribe

Shoegazing revisited. Sanctuary Records are now releasing anthologies from the Creation back catalog, including a set this month from Swervedriver and one recent set from Slowdive. Can the mysterious My Bloody Valentine Box Set be far behind?
posted by Otis (22 comments total)
Heres hoping! Mixed feelings about a reunion tour however - MBV were terrible live when I saw them on the Rollercoaster tour. That said, I'd be surprised if I (re)buy any of the old 'Scene That Celebrates Itself" records. I'd still like another listen to the first Chapterhouse album though.
posted by dmt at 7:35 AM on March 2, 2005

mr dmt. with all due respect, you're insane. Loud?, yes. Very loud?, certainly. Louder than any other band ever by a giant margin? I'm pretty sure. Too loud for your taste, perhaps -- but brilliant always in my experience and the bootleg collection I've culled affirms my view. MBV in February of 1992 at the 930 club was the best show I've ever seen and I've seen some pretty tremendous shows.

The MBV box is at least 10 months away (that could mean years, sadly), say my people. But it is moving forward. Swervedriver's back catalog is certainly deserving of the reissue.

Another great out of print Creation record is the Telescopes self titled album, which is just a totally perfect and sublime record.

The main thing that I am looking forward to in these releases is the remastering. Mastering has always been a dark art, but the era of these recordings was a sad one for CD mastering. Many, many records from 86-95 sound like totally poop. The Slowdive comp is work every penny just because the sounds are much more present and clear and I'm looking forward to the same treatment for these other records and, someday hopefully, Loveless, which was engineered more brilliantly than any record before or since, but sadly sounds quite flat on CD (vs LP.)
posted by n9 at 8:10 AM on March 2, 2005

> The MBV box is at least 10 months away...

It would be cool if they named it Chinese Democracy, assuming it hits the shelves before Axl's masterwork.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:22 AM on March 2, 2005

The careers of Thousand Yard Stare and Revolver were over before anyone had even noticed they'd begun, on account of the eventual backlash that befell the scene

Having seen both bands, I can only say thank God.

Shoegazing will always remind me of one thing - the excellent impression of Mark Ride and Tim Charlatan, in all their shoegazing glory, on the Mary Whitehouse Experience.
posted by ciderwoman at 8:30 AM on March 2, 2005

Good news.
No longer relegated to mp3s or hard to find vinyl.
posted by asok at 8:30 AM on March 2, 2005

mr dmt. with all due respect, you're insane. Loud?, yes. Very loud?, certainly. Louder than any other band ever by a giant margin?

Thence the problem! Loveless was one of the best albums I've owned - I adore the richness and complexity of their songs. To Here Knows When is one of the best examples of a song with melodies shining like gems amidst a colossal wave of feedback. Live though the PA simply couldn't cope with load and the melodies were swamped. You were left with this droning roar of feedback bereft of the subtle beauty which I'd loved about their records.

Concerts are always a very subjective experience; for me it didn't work but I'm glad it did for you, nutter!
posted by dmt at 8:32 AM on March 2, 2005

I'd still like another listen to the first Chapterhouse album though.

The two opening tracks, Breather and Pearl, still stand up really well. My favorites of that era along with Ride's Leave Them All Behind and Unfamiliar.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:31 AM on March 2, 2005

Did you know Swervedriver started as a Stooges cover band called Shake Appeal? That always seemed funny to me.

Too bad there aren't more odds and sods on the Slowdive set.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:09 AM on March 2, 2005

If it's odds and sods you want, be sure to check out the music/downloads section of the site. There are live versions of every studio song, b-sides, etc. It well and truly rocks.
posted by Otis at 11:38 AM on March 2, 2005

I stumbled upon some old Slowdive videos here a month or so back.
posted by furiousthought at 11:48 AM on March 2, 2005

i'm pretty sure you can find a huge number of slowdive demos and rarities on file sharing networks... there was a usenet posting of about fifty tracks I'd never seen before six months ago. I found them interesting to listen to but most of tracks were not that memorable and had very low audio quality (my guess is the demo material was done on a 4-track or 8-track tape setup and was for demo purposes only.)

I'd love to see a lot of 4ad material compiled and reissued too. Back in the day there were a lot of 4th generation cassettes floating around of Pale Saints and His Name is Alive stuff that I'd love to have now.

I also wish that there were some well-mastered CD releases of early Stereolab shows. Seeing them with Unrest at the Black Cat circa late-1992 was the only show in my memory that held a candle to MBV. Those were some great times.

And to the naysayers I have to say that while the 'shoegazing' movement had some shoddy spots, there is nothing today to match the lineups of bands going through DC 1989-1993. I have a 930 club schedule somewhere that has spiritualized, the boo radleys, ride, the pale saints, pavement, MBV and lush all playing there (a capacity 600 club at the time) in ONE MONTH. Gosh I miss music without irony.
posted by n9 at 11:52 AM on March 2, 2005

Good timing - a good dose of MBV, Slowdrive, Lush, etc. is on its way to my MeFi Swapmates.

You've been warned.
posted by krtzmrk at 12:37 PM on March 2, 2005

MetaFilter: With all due respect, you're insane.
posted by krtzmrk at 12:39 PM on March 2, 2005

n9, I remember that! I saw Pavement, Lush, and Ride... missed MBV sadly...
posted by chaz at 1:05 PM on March 2, 2005

erm...the slowdive compilation omits not only *dagger*, but also *primal*.

sorry, but i cannot possibly take these sanctuary guys seriously.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:03 PM on March 2, 2005

Slowdive's Pygmalion is quite possibly one of the best records ever made. Thanks for all the links, this brings back fond memories.
posted by purephase at 3:20 PM on March 2, 2005

I was pretty excited the other day when my girlfriend randomly discovered somebody on her residence/campus network had, like, every My Bloody Valentine song ever. Totally!

Also, is it bizarre that on headphones the Smashing Pumpkins' "Machina" album sounds influenced by My Bloody Valentine? All these layers of really warm, shimmering guitar low in the mix that you have to work to hear. All sorts of hidden layers. And all the critics hated that album for being "overproduced". Corgan always liked layered a billion guitars. I guess that's why websites like Pitchfork always call MBV the "best band ever" all the time, even though I'm always surprised when I meet a person (not on the internet) who has heard a single song by them.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 4:11 PM on March 2, 2005

For a poor student stuck in New Hampshire, I did manage to see Ride (with Pale Saints), Revolver (with Drop Nineteens@ CBGB), Lush, the Boo Radleys (loud!), Swervedriver, and Slowdive (their first US show, I think, with Blur and Fatima Mansions(!)). Good times, good times. Never did see MBV's legendary wall of feedback. Can't imagine they'll try that again if they decide to reform.

If you're interested in Boos/Lush/Ride/Slowdive rareties, check out the stuff my friend Brad has for trade. An impressive collection.

Does anyone recall a band named "GNE", which I think stood for Great Northern Electric? I have a hazy memory of spinning a 12" from them during my college radio years back around 90, 91. The song might have been called "I Want You." Not sure they were shoegaze, and I'm sure they weren't at all good, but I think they were of that era.

And let us not forget Blind Mister Jones, who brought the flute to the party.

Stripey shirts and bowl cuts for all!
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:36 PM on March 2, 2005

Oh, and Skating Club is a former member of American 'gazers Difference Engine.

And finally, Secret Shine, anyone?
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:45 PM on March 2, 2005

Did you know Swervedriver started as a Stooges cover band called Shake Appeal? That always seemed funny to me

Shake Appeal were great! Being from Oxford I saw them a great many times, and played many gigs with them with my band at the time. They originally had Adam Franklin's brother Grahame as lead singer. He used to roll around all over the stage in a very Stooges fashion. I'm pretty sure one of their tracks is on anold Oxford compilation fomr a gig when all the local bands played the Apollo theatre in Oxford in aid of Curfew magazine.

However, the best Swervedriver spin off bands were Jimmy's band The Low Down Dogs, with local singing legend Tom (whose father owned the local beer shop - very good parties), and Adi Vines death metal project Satan knew my father.

And although they appeared all fey and other worldly Ride would drink you under the table. Especailly Mark.
posted by ciderwoman at 1:58 AM on March 3, 2005

Swervedriver still figures prominently in the soundtrack of my life. I always listen to a track or two from Ejector Seat and Mezcal Head at least once a week. The site is awesome, btw, they have an ever-increasing number of live gems available there. As great as the records were, they were unbelieveable-sounding live.

Saw Mark Gardner play a solo acoustic show in Chicago a while back. Pretty good, I thought. Seems like he's got a lot more confidence in his voice now than he did back in the Ride days. Vapor Trails never sounded so good as it did with just him and a 12-string acoustic.

Thanks for posting this thread. I could go on and on about all these bands... 'cept I see no mention of Curve. Are they technically not a shoegazer band since they are not guitar-driven?
posted by psmealey at 6:31 PM on March 3, 2005

i'm probably the only person in the world who remembers this, but i always thought that "Delaware" by the Drop Nineteens was about the best shoegazer record the world had ever seen.

should anyone start digging, the "Your Aquarium" EP was also very good, but the second full length was so terrible that i never heard it even a third time.
posted by radiosilents at 2:18 PM on March 4, 2005

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