Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Popular music is a limited form. This isn't surprising given its origins in the blues and the hillbilly music of Appalachia. Those origins are a narrow seam of the purest gold, but I increasingly feel that they have been virtually mined out.

Maybe it's just a consequence of getting older, but these days I feel that I've heard it all before. The same old chairs are being shuffled around the room. To be honest nothing over the last six years or so has really grabbed me. By 'grab' I mean the 'oh fuck' moment when you hear something for the first time and realise you've found what you were looking for without knowing that you were looking for it.

Loveless by My Bloody Valentine was released back in 1991, and remains the one album that I never ever get tired of. The word 'genius' is much too casually bandied about, but Kevin Shields emphatically has it.

Nothing since 1991, but so what? If you achieve perfection why sully it with anything less than perfect?

I can't really describe Loveless. It's elusive, melodies buried, vocals lost in the swirl, lyrics enigmatic.

Greil Marcus said that rock music is about 'power, beauty, and excitement'. Here it is in all its glory, its romance, and its despair.

Turn off the lights and turn up the volume. This was drifting from bedroom windows in 1991 for good reason.


MJ said...

5:30 am Pacific Time.

Ta very much for the wake up call.

garfer said...

Invigorating aint it.

Who needs a cold shower.

pissoff said...

I need a cold shower (among other things). Actually, I need a pair of boxing gloves and a face to punch. Any takers?

Herge Smith said...

They're great.

But the thing is Garfer, there is still loads of great and exciting bands out there, we're just not looking for them that's all. Whenever I think I'm just getting old and think I've heard it all before something comes along and gives me hope.

There's nothing like great live music to keep you feeling young and alive.

Herge Smith said...

He actually did some tunes for Lost in Translation, which, although a questionable film had beautiful music, Kevin Shields, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Aren't Jesus and Mary Chain your fav's Garfer, they're your grumpy kinsfolk ain't they?

garfer said...

What you need is a Buddha April. You can sit in the lotus position before it each morning and contemplate the mysteries of existence.

Failing that you can just punch the crap out of the Buddha.

I'm sure you're right Herge. The best way to appreciate music is live in small venues.

I'm sure summat will crop up. After all, I'm sure Revolver must have sounded like something from another planet when it was released.

garfer said...

The JAMC were excellent, but had an unfortunate tendency to disappear up their own fundament.

Herge Smith said...

They were great, all feedback and attitude.

That's what you want in a band, feedback and attitude. Mind you, I could do without the 30 minutes of feedback - earplugs Garfer, don't forget to use the earplugs.

KAZ said...

I 'heard it all' before you.

Pete Townsend was saying on the radio recently that he felt sorry for the younger bands because it was so difficult to think of something new.
He implied that they'd done it all.

garfer said...

The JAMC were influential. They also had Bobby Gillespie (now Primal Scream) on drums.

Townshend should have used some earplugs Kaz.