shoegaze

Shoegaze (Genre Dissection) & Big Boi Review

Jim and Greg dive into the influential UK genre known as Shoegaze and review the latest record from Outkast's Big Boi.

Subscribe via iTunesDownload This Episode
special

Ask the Critics

To kick off the first show of the new year, Jim and Greg answer some of your questions.

Mark from Chicago and John from Lexington, SC want to know how Jim and Greg choose reviews and how they listen to those albums? Jim explains that we first narrow down a list of albums that are either interesting or making news. Then it comes down to what would make a good mix for the show. So if the feature segment is all about soul, we might like to get a little punk at the end. Greg answers part two, and explains that he tries to listen to an album as many times as possible and, most importantly, in as many different scenarios as possible. He hears music very differently whether he is driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago or doing dishes at home.

This leads to question #2. Nathan in Chicago is looking for suggestions on how to heighten the digital music experience. Can we do better than just headphones in an iPod? Jim and Greg admit they are not always seeking the most hi-fi experience, so they turn to Bob Gendron, copy editor for Music Direct and contributor to the Chicago Tribune. Bob recommends Nathan get a pair of Grado SR-60i headphones. Priced at $79, they give nice bang for the buck. But if Nathan is a high roller who wants his mind blown, Bob refers him to the Audeze LCD-3.

Chris from Corvallis, OR emailed interact@soundopinions.org for recommendations on songs to learn to play on ukulele. All the uke players around Sound Opinions H.Q. say that Paul McCartney is a great place to start; the simple pop melodies are perfect for the four-stringed instrument. Greg adds a vote for Weezer. YouTube is filled with ukulele love. Check out the footnotes below for some more of our favorites:

Got a question for the critics? Call 888.859.1800 or email interact@soundopinions.org.

genre dissection

Shoegaze

Today Jim and Greg dive into "Shoegaze." In the late '80s and early '90s, this sound developed in the U.K. and was typified by lots of guitar, lots of atmosphere and lots of noise. But while the height of Shoegaze only lasted a few years, its influence looms large today. As Jim and Greg explain, the artists of this movement were students of rock history. They looked at the guitar as something more than a traditional blues instrument. Those hunks of wire and wood could act as a sound machine. You can trace a line from bands like The Velvet Underground and Dinosaur Jr. to key Shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Ride and Slowdive. And their desire to marry rock drive with otherworldly ambience is what carries the genre into the present moment. It's also important to note that while the term“shoegazer”began as derisive-musicians staring at their shoes are no fun to watch-seeing these acts live was really a special, albeit loud, experience.

reviewVicious Lies and Dangerous RumorsVicious Lies & Dangerous Rumours available on iTunes

Big Boi Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumours

We may not have heard new Outkast since 2006's Idlewild, but one-half of that groundbreaking Atlanta hip hop duo has a new record out. Big Boi's first solo album, Sir Lucious Leftfoot…The Son of Chico Dusty, came out in 2010 to positive reviews. Now he's followed it up with Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumours. How does the new record stack up? Well Jim calls it“hip-hop at its best.”Big Boi's been playing the rock festival circuit and he's nothing if not ambitious with his collaborations on Vicious Lies. Everyone from indie band Wavves to more traditional hip-hop guest Kid Cudi makes an appearance on this record. For Jim, the songs succeed or fail on the strength of the guest, which makes this only a Try It album. Greg agrees. Big Boi's solo records mostly remind him of how much he misses Outkast. Can't those two guys get back together already? Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumours gets a double Try It.

JimGreg

Featured Songs

  1. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Don't Ask Me No Questions, Second Helping, MCA, 1974
  2. The Smiths, Ask, single, Rough Trade, 1986
  3. Paul McCartney,“Somewhere,”unreleased live performance, 2008
  4. My Bloody Valentine, Only Shallow, Loveless, Creation, 1991
  5. The Velvet Underground, Sister Ray, White Light/White Heat, Verve, 1968
  6. The Byrds, Eight Miles High, Fifth Dimension, Columbia, 1966
  7. Cocteau Twins, Lorelei, Treasure, 4AD, 1984
  8. My Bloody Valentine, To Here Knows When, Loveless, Creation, 1991
  9. My Bloody Valentine, I Only Said, Loveless, Creation, 1991
  10. My Bloody Valentine, Blown a Wish, Loveless, Creation, 1991
  11. Lush, Thoughtforms, Mad Love EP, 4AD, 1990
  12. Lush, Lovelife, Split, 4AD, 1994
  13. Ride, Dreams Burn Down, Nowhere, Creation, 1990
  14. Ride, I Don't Know Where It Comes From, Carnival of Light, Creation, 1994
  15. Slowdive, Sing, Souvlaki, Creation, 1993
  16. Slowdive, Richard, Hide Your Eyes, bootleg, 2011
  17. Slowdive, Shine, single, Creation, 1991
  18. The Besnard Lakes, Albatross, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, Jagjaguwar, 2010
  19. Big Boi, Mama Told Me (feat. Kelly Rowland), Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Purple Ribbon/Def Jam, 2012
  20. Big Boi, Apple of My Eye, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Purple Ribbon/Def Jam, 2012
  21. Big Boi, Descending (feat. Little Dragon), Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Purple Ribbon/Def Jam, 2012
  22. The Beatles, Any Time at All, A Hard Day's Night, Parlophone, 1964
  23. Alicia Keys, Listen to Your Heart, Girl on Fire, RCA, 2012
  24. Beck, I Just Started Hating Some People Today, I Just Started Hating People Today (Single), Third Man Records, 2012
  25. The Golden Palominos, Boy (Go), Visions of Excess, Celluloid, 1985

Footnotes

twitter.com Follow Bob Gendron gradolabs.com Grado SR60i headphones audeze.com Audeze LCD3 headphones ukulele.org Ukulele Hall of Fame youtube.com Paul McCartney on uke youtube.com“Mr. Sandman”on uke youtube.com“Toxic”on uke youtube.com“Psycho Killer”on uke allmusic.com Shoegaze allmusic.com My Bloody Valentine 4ad.com Lush's label page ridemusic.net Ride's website wikipedia.org Slowdive definition avclub.com Shoegaze: Where to Start outkast.com Outkast bigboi.com Big Boi's website wbez.org Jim's Big Boi Review bigboi.com Big Boi's album page youtube.com Waaves,“Baby Say Goodbye” kidcudi.com Follow Kid Cudi