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.

MP3: Ride – “Chrome Waves”

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.

And speaking of Fogarino, he talked to The Times about his opinion on stylistic doppelgangers Editors (he finds them flattering). The rest of the band also talks to the UK paper about stuff and such.

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 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.

Chart talks to Fields.

Daytrotter is offering both an interview and downloadable studio session with Low.

Pitchfork points the way to a new video from Voxtrot. They’re in town October 9 at the Mod Club with The Little Ones and 1990s.

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.

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Kurt says:

    Sorry chief, but Going Blank Again is rubbish. Boring, turgid and uninspired. Ride should have split up after Nowhere…

  2. Frank says:

    ha ha ha.


  3. toby says:

    I don’t know if you were a fan of Moose, who are also mentioned in the Guardian article. I just did short interview with Moose singer Russel Yates to find out what they have been up to. It’s posted over at my blog <a href="http://finestkiss.wordpress…">the finest kiss</a>.

  4. Saturna says:

    I think Going Blank Again is fabulous, especially Leave Them All Behind, but Nowhere definitely takes the cake in my opinion.

  5. Thierry says:

    That’s really sad news about Bottom of the Hudson.

    By the way, have you checked out Nicole Atkins’s tour diary here?
    I don’t recall you posting about it, but maybe I’m wrong.

    I CAN’T WAIT for that album to come out!

  6. Gary Campbell says:

    I’m with you Frank. Going Blank Again is one for the ages.

    While there are indeed some exceptional songs on Nowhere, the whole album doesn’t hold together as well as its sequel and gets lost a bit in the middle with Decay and Paralysed.

  7. Gary Campbell says:

    … Actually, I did some more thinking, and I believe the high point in Ride’s oeuvre was the "Today Forever" EP. I could listen to that on repeat ad infinitum.

  8. scott says:

    Agreed. Going Blank Again holds up better and definitely more of an original sounding record than Nowhere.

  9. SPEAKER MAG says:

    We’ve linked you over at and would love it if you could return the favor. Much love.

  10. juepucta says:

    This is the one with Vapour Trail.

    If you hate this one you have no heart – or ears :P


  11. Roland says:

    Did you see that blurb on Pitchfork about a shoegazing documentary that’s supposedly coming out? Can’t wait!

    Re: silly quotes: Well, Andrew called shoegazing "the most unpopular genre ever" when I talked to Mahogany, but we all know that we all love it anyhow.

  12. dB says:

    Nowhere is Ride’s finest hour as a cohesive album…though "leave them all behind" is their magnum opus.

  13. Frank says:

    I think the issue I have with Nowhere as an album is that the version everyone is familiar with, the 11-track CD, wasn’t the original album. On LP and cassette it was only eight tracks long, culminating in Vapour Trail. "Taste", "Here And Now" and "Nowhere" were originally released as the "Fall" EP and only appended for the CD edition. If it’s cohesive, it’s only by accident. GBA, on the other hand, is a perfectly concieved and sequenced ALBUM, start to finish.

    but for singles/individual songs, the high points on Nowhere are higher. this is true. Especially if you add on the Today Forever EP as the latest reissue did.

  14. Calum says:

    Adam Franklin is touring now, also. Toronto October 2?th…

  15. Frank says:

    yeah, saw the gap in the touring schedule that logically would have had him up here but didn’t see any actual confirmed date or venue.

  16. says:

    Adam is up in Montreal with Besnard Lakes (the 27th I believe) and playing Toronto on the 25th it’s looking like….I need to check the tour schedule as its being 100% confirmed as I type.

    Went up and down the west coast with Adam a few weeks ago. Being a huge Swervie fan and now the fortunate label in charge of the new record, we’re very excited about the live shows. Adam and band were great!