Results for My Bloody Valentine

interviews

Teenage Fanclub

Few bands from the early '90s are still going strong. But Teenage Fanclub is an exception. The Scottish power pop band formed in 1989, and, for most of its existence, has maintained the same lineup: guitarists and songwriters Norman Blake, Raymond McGinley, Gerard Love and Francis McDonald. Now they're also joined by keyboardist Dave McGowan. Jim and Greg talk to the band about their roots, their longevity, and the rarity of a band having three chief songwriters. They also ask them about the recording and reception of Bandwagonesque, the band's third record and the one that brought Teenage Fanclub its first taste of success in the States. In fact, Spin Magazine voted Bandwagonesque the #1 album of 1991 - favoring it over Nirvana's Nevermind, R.E.M.'s Out of Time and My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. While in the Sound Opinions studio, Teenage Fanclub performs songs from its new album Shadows, plus an oldie from 1995's Grand Prix.

Go to episode 260

Top Albums of 2005

The“Best Records”list: It's“a sacred thing”in pop music fandom, says Jim, requiring a discerning ear and laser-like focus. Thankfully, our hosts are here to help. After sifting through hundreds of records, and countless days spent listening (perhaps to the discontent of their wives), they‘ve managed to pick out their absolute favorites. Here’s what Jim and Greg say they'll still be listening to in 2006.

Go to episode 2
specials

1991

It's hard to believe, but it has now been two decades since 1991, a year Jim and Greg believe to be as influential and significant as 1964, 1976 and other great rock years. 1991's artists, albums and events made way for big changes in the music industry, and the sounds of that year continue to be referenced today. Just look at recent guests Teenage Fanclub and Superchunk, who both released major albums in 1991 and are still filling our playlists in 2011. While Bryan Adams and Garth Brooks topped the charts, they don't tell the true story of this year. For Jim and Greg, 1991 was all about:

  • Nirvana and the birth of grunge
  • My Bloody Valentine and the growth of shoegaze
  • Lollapalooza and the rise of the Alternative Nation
  • N.W.A. and the reign of gangsta rap
  • Massive Attack and the birth of trip-hop
Go to episode 270

Revisiting 1991

1991

Though it seems like just yesterday for many, it's been 25 years since 1991. Along with 1964, '67 and '76, 1991 was a landmark year for music. You can hear its influence everywhere from neo-grunge band Bully to Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar. While Bryan Adams and Garth Brooks topped the charts, there are even more musicians that made groundbreaking strides back in '91. For Jim and Greg, 1991 was all about:

  • Nirvana and the birth of grunge
  • My Bloody Valentine and the growth of shoegaze
  • Lollapalooza and the rise of the Alternative Nation
  • N.W.A. and the reign of gangsta rap
  • Massive Attack and the birth of trip-hop
Go to episode 538
genre dissections

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.

Go to episode 371

Krautrock

Jim and Greg devote this episode to dissecting the '70s German art-rock movement known as Krautrock. The Krautrock bands themselves, however, preferred the term "kosmische Musik" (cosmic music) to describe their spacey, pulsating freak-outs that combined psychedelia with the electronic innovation of classical composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen. Kraftwerk pioneered the use of electronic instruments to achieve an industrial sound. Neu!, initially an offshoot of Kraftwerk, introduced a hypnotic drumbeat called "motorik" that has been copied by bands for decades. (Check out our 2010 interview with Neu! founder Michael Rother). Jim particularly highlights the inimitable metronomic drumming of Can's Jaki Liebezeit, who died on January 22 at age 78. For Greg, the band Faust was the prime example of the movement's willingness to experiment.

Jim and Greg also trace the incredible influence of Krautrock on music that followed. In the rock world, the German bands have been a touchstone for indie rockers like Stereolab, shoegazers like My Bloody Valentine, post-rock bands like Tortoise, and much more. But the influence is perhaps most pronounced in electronic dance music. It's hard to imagine Detroit techno, Eurodisco, or ambient techno existing without these cosmic forerunners.

Go to episode 583
reviews
Sam's TownSam's Town available on iTunes

The Killers Sam's Town

The final album up for review is Sam's Town by Las Vegas pop group The Killers. We at Sound Opinions H.Q. must admit that we were highly entertained by Jim and Greg's summation of their latest effort. To quote Jim:“I despise this album with a hatred that I rarely have felt for anyone or anything.”We hardly need to hear anymore, but we're happy to. Both he and Greg understand that The Killers have always been about ripping off '80s New Wave and pop music, but neither can comprehend why they are now throwing bombastic, monster ballads into the mix. Lead singer Brandon Flowers manages to combine the over-singing styles of both Robert Smith and Bruce Springsteen. Greg blames producers Alan Moulder and Flood for simply not knowing better (though the two are also responsible for My Bloody Valentine's almost-perfect record Loveless). Sam's Town is a huge Trash It from both critics.

JimGreg
Go to episode 45
MBV album art

My Bloody Valentine MBV

We highlighted My Bloody Valentine in our Shoegaze genre dissection a few weeks ago, and after 21 years of scattered promises, it seemed to be a pretty safe bet that a 3rd MBV album would never see the light of day. But then on February 2, 2013, MBV was quietly released on their website. Is it even possible for the band to escape from the long shadow of their legendary sophomore album Loveless? Greg says not quite. He thinks that the first few songs rehash Loveless‘ glory, but don’t meet its standard. The second half shows the band moving into the future. He anxiously awaits that future, but in the meantime, MBV is a Burn It. Jim thinks the band lost momentum during this two decade hiatus. And while it is no Loveless, MBVis much better than he feared it would be. He gives the record a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 376
MicrocastleMicrocastle available on iTunes

Deerhunter Microcastle

Next up Jim and Greg review Deerhunter's third album Microcastle. Jim describes the lead singer Bradford Cox as being obsessed with Brian Eno and My Bloody Valentine, so listeners can imagine they are kindred spirits. Jim thinks these two discs are brilliant and gives them a Buy It rating. Greg agrees that you can hear Cox's love for experimentation in this sound. He didn't hear much expression lyrically, but luckily the sound makes up for it. For sheer ambition alone, Greg gives Microcastle another Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 154
dijs

Greg

“De-Luxe”Lush

Greg gets the first Desert Island Jukebox pick of 2008. Inspired by the collaboration between Markéta and Glen, he started thinking about other songwriting teams in rock history. Most bands have one central songwriter, or perhaps a team, but very few have more than one person contributing their own songs. One of these exceptions is the band Lush. The U.K. band came out of the shoegazer scene of the late '80s/early '90s, but didn't get as much attention as their peers. Songwriters Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson created a sound that Greg describes as falling somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and The Cocteau Twins. The fragile female vocals paired with a cyclonic gust of guitars can be best heard in the track, "De-Luxe," from the band's 1990 album Gala.

Go to episode 111

Jim

“Vapour Trail”Ride

One release Jim is excited about this fall is a reissue of the debut album by Ride called Nowhere. So he chooses a track from it, "Vapour Trail" to add to the Desert Island Jukebox. Along with My Bloody Valentine, Ride established the groundbreaking shoegaze sound, proving that it is possible to do something new with guitar, bass and drums. And Jim puts Nowhere up there with Nevermind, even if it never received the same kind of acclaim.

Go to episode 249
lists

Turkey Shoot

It's Turkey time! Let out all your holiday frustrations on some well-deserving musical turkeys. Here are the albums that most let Jim and Greg down in 2013 as part of our Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot:

Go to episode 416
features

Hooked On Sonics: Neil Halstead of Slowdive

Neil Halstead Our latest installment of our Hooked on Sonics series features Neil Halstead – singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the English shoegaze band Slowdive. Slowdive recently reunited and released their first album since 1995. Halstead describes being blown away when he heard the leadoff track from an EP by a shoegaze progenitor: My Bloody Valentine's "You Made Me Realise." Combining Byrds-like harmonies with a sonic assault, the song forever changed his musical life.

Go to episode 608

SXSW '06

This week on the show, Jim and Greg share their recent experiences at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Our hosts joined over 10,000 other festival registrants to attend music industry panels, conduct interviews, and most importantly, see new bands. In the four days they were there, Jim and Greg heard a lot of music. They share some of the best with you.

  • First is The Dresden Dolls. Jim went to see the Boston group and fell in love with their blend of German cabaret performance style and '80s synth-pop melodies. You can hear a little bit of "Modern Moonlight" off their upcoming release, Yes Virginia.

  • Next up, Greg discusses one his finds: Art Brut. He enjoyed this British band's straightforward melodies, catchy choruses, and witty monologues so much that he saw them twice in Austin. This critic even scrawled“New Kings of Rock”in his notebook following one performance. Jim joined him to see the band at the Pitchfork/Windish party, where they shared a bill with RJD2, Spank Rock, and one of Greg's other discoveries, Swedish indie pop quintet Love is All. Art Brut, who just recently played a sold-out show at the Metro, entertained the entire staff so much that they were invited to appear on the show the week after the festival wrapped. Listen for that interview in the weeks to come.

Beastie Boys at SXSW 2006

  • In between running from show to show, Jim and Greg took a brief moment to sit down with The Beastie Boys. The hip-hop pioneers were down in Austin to promote their recent concert film, Awesome; I Fucking Shot That, and spoke to Jim and Greg about making the movie, sampling, copyright laws, and the longevity of their career.

  • Back to the rundown of our hosts‘ favorite Austin discoveries. Jim’s next pick, The Black Angels, actually hails from the Texas state capital. After reading Jim's book on psychedelic rock, members of the band contacted him and explained that they were right up his alley. They were right. Jim, who caught some of the dark, Velvet Underground-influenced music in the sterile environment of Austin Convention Center, was totally blown away. To describe the band, he quotes their website which begs the listener to "Picture a red moonlit night, deep in the heart of Texas, with the ghosts of Nico and Timothy Leary being called back from the dead to guide you on a journey through Heaven & Hell and back again." Whoa, man…

  • Greg loves coming to Austin to see bands that may not get to the States otherwise. One such band is Serena Maneesh. The Norwegian group is one of many contemporary bands compared to My Bloody Valentine. Often referred to as“shoegazers,”these musicians are often literally standing, staring at their shoes, while producing a heavy, overdriven, almost symphonic guitar sound. Serena Maneesh is certainly channeling this influence — however, as Greg explains, this band is also quite performative. Our host describes how the lead guitar player, theatrically dressed as a gypsy showman, was joined by an“Amazonian”bass player. Only during SXSW can you see this in Texas, notes Jim.

Tim Fite at SXSW 2006

  • We next hear some audio of Jim recorded down in Austin. He is describing one of his favorite acts: Tim Fite. Some may remember Fite's previous incarnation in Little T and One Track Mic and their one hit, "Shaniqua." But after getting signed to Atlantic and touring with Outkast, Little T went nowhere. Now, Fite has reinvented himself as a 1920s southern preacher/rapper who combines an O Brother, Where Art Thou? sound with irreverent lyrics and hip-hop. Gone Ain't Gone is forthcoming on Anti-/Epitaph, making Fite label mates with Neko Case and Blackalicious.

  • The Swedish band Love is All (mentioned above) is another of Greg's discoveries. This Swedish indie-pop group is one of many European bands who are rediscovering American music. This band is particularly influenced by musicians like James Chance and the Contortions and Lydia Lunch who fused both jazz and punk. Love is All became Greg's go-to CD while he was driving around the city of Austin.

  • Listeners can now hear what Jim and Greg really sound like at SXSW: definitely over-tired, and perhaps over-served. Our hosts caught up with Sound Opinions H.Q. immediately after going to see Rhys Chatham at Austin's Central Presbyterian Church, an experience they described as slightly mind-blowing. The avant-garde guitarist has basically been living in exile in Paris for the past decade, but emerged in Austin with a newly-formed guitar army: eight guitarists including Doug McCombs of Eleventh Dream Day and Tortoise, Ernie Brooks of The Modern Lovers and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Jim reports that Chatham recently received a grant allowing him to realize his long-fantasized 100-member guitar ensemble.

  • One of the SXSW events Greg always tries to attend is Alejandro Escovedo's Sunday night show. This year Grady was one of the opening acts. Greg found their huge, overpowering sound on par with that of Chatham's guitar army. He also compares their sound to that of ZZ Top's early days. Listen for yourself as Greg plays a sample of their 2004 release Y.U. So Shady?

  • White Whale is Jim's final discovery. He caught the band at the Merge showcase, a label that usually delivers for this critic. He was again not disappointed. White Whale, whose members have been in a number of other indie rock bands including Butterglory, Three Higher Burning Fire and The Get Up Kids, impressed Jim with more than just its name. He found their sound to be a mix of Nick Drake and Pink Floyd, and also reminiscent of Elephant Six bands like Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel. So far their music can only be heard on Myspace.com, but White Whale may turn out to be another SXSW success story.

  • Greg's final pick is a band called Katahdin's Edge. He caught the group after originally trying to see a Finnish band who couldn‘t make it into the country. He was blown away, and despite getting thousands of free CDs for his day job, Greg was compelled to put down his own money for a Katahdin’s Edge album. This trio from Providence is an example of how jazz and rock can fuse in a great way. Rather than take an academic approach to jazz, Katahdin's Edge had a rock and roll, party edge that Greg really appreciated.

  • Greg was also caught on tape before and after seeing the biggest hype of this year's festival: The Arctic Monkeys. This has been quite the year for the young British band. In January they broke records for first-week sales in the U.K. with their debut release Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. In addition, they‘ve been proclaimed by many in the press as the greatest band to emerge from the U.K. in years. That’s a lot for a new band to live up to, but Greg was pleased with what he saw. While the Arctic Monkeys may not be what their hype claims, the music was well-rehearsed, packed with rhythm, and downright“ferocious”according to our host. Plus, the lead singer already seems to have the rock and roll attitude down.

Go to episode 18
news

Music News

Often when Jim and Greg discuss RIAA lawsuits in the news, the stories seem to paint a dreary picture for the average music fan. But this week things are looking up for the little guy. Last year Jammie Thomas was convicted of music piracy in the country's first file-sharing trial. But, now the judge is asking for a new trial. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis believes he didn‘t instruct the jury properly and didn’t insist that the prosecution prove files were actually downloaded. In addition, he thinks the $220,000 fine is completely excessive. The judge is also urging for better copyright laws, something Jim and Greg have been saying for years.

The consumer does not fare as well in the next news story. Both Wal-Mart and Yahoo! Music have announced that customers who purchased music with DRM protection will not be able access their purchases for much longer. In Yahoo's case, it is because their music store, and consequently their DRM server, is shutting down. And, while Wal-Mart was wise to eliminate DRM files, Jim and Greg don't understand why customers who purchased songs prior to this shift should penalized. For every step forward in the digital music industry, there are at least two steps back.

Jim and Greg next give their takes on the recent My Bloody Valentine reunion show. The influential U.K. band played Chicago as their first tour in 16 years, and both Jim and Greg were there to witness it, though one has to wonder if they saw the same show. Both critics agree that the band's 1991 album Loveless was a masterpiece, but Jim wished they had played some new material. He also didn't see evidence that the band has kept up with the times, calling their dated loops and samples cheesy. Greg was much more impressed and thinks the members of MBV deserve one free pass in terms of not having new material. He was also blown away by their sound - almost literally.

Go to episode 149

Music News

Music fans and industry analysts have long been wondering when The Beatles would go digital. Many suspected that a deal with iTunes was in the works. But no one could have predicted that the band's foray into the digital universe would be through a video game. Apple Corps has announced a deal with Viacom's Rock Band to feature the Brits in the hit-selling game series. The Beatles see this as a way to reach a new generation of listeners, but Jim doesn't think the game has much to do with music and is certain that members of the group could reach more fans merely by lowering ticket prices.

There have been two major reunion announcements that both daze and confuse Jim and Greg. The first is an almost confirmed rumor that Led Zeppelin will be going out on tour sans lead singer Robert Plant. This would leave only 2 of the original members, and no one, including the band's former promoter, is sure how they can call themselves Zeppelin. In other bizarre reunion news, the Jackson 5 will be coming to a town near you, only Jackson 4 might be a more appropriate name. Michael will be sitting this one out.

The final news story this week signifies another nail in the coffin of the music industry's glory days. One of the true music-loving record executives, Alan McGee, has announced that he is retiring from the biz. McGee founded Creation Records, which launched acts like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain. More recently he has been managing acts like Oasis and The Libertines. Now on his Facebook page he states, "I think I'm a man of the times, kind of like Tony Wilson really. We don‘t really have a place in the music industry anymore because we actually like music." And Jim and Greg believe that’s the truth. Most of the higher-ups are money men, rather than music men. They are certainly going to miss McGee's passion.

Go to episode 154

Music News

This summer concert season marks a number of make-ups and break-ups. First is the news that The Police will be wrapping up their successful reunion tour. The group had one of the top grossing tours of 2007, but will be ending their“journey”in the place it began: New York City. Also making news is the Gang of Four, which is now down to the Gang of Two. But on a happier note, New Jersey's The Feelies will be reuniting after 17 years for not one, but two shows this summer. Jim and Greg are also excited about the highly-anticipated reunion from groundbreaking British band My Bloody Valentine. The question is - will any of these reunions result in new music that matches these bands' former glory? Fans will have to wait and see.

Go to episode 128