November 4, 2013
It was the NOISIEST show I have ever been to in my life. And no – this was no metal or hardcore punk show. This was shoegaze – the ‘90s genre known for its musicians so focused on their instruments, it looks like they are staring at their shoes. You know it’s gonna be loud when there’s a sign at the door that says “Use the provided earplugs.”
But ‘90s shoegazers My Bloody Valentine conquered the crowd with their onslaught of fuzzy, feedback-flooded guitars, bone-smashing bass and brain-clobbering drums. It was beautiful. It was loud. It was the last time I will ever see My Bloody Valentine. Once was enough, thanks. But it was worth it.
In homage to the album cover of their 1991 masterpiece – “Loveless” – I present 3 time-lapsed photos of the band at last night’s show at the Aragon Ballroom.
My Bloody Valentine – “Loveless”
Tags: aragon ballroom, Chicago, my bloody valentine
February 28, 2013
Sometimes it takes a while to digest new records. That’s why each month, Sonic Cereal reviews albums in retrospect. Here’s a look at the best records of February 2013 that get the Sonic Cereal stamp of approval. No major pop releases this month, so we’re focusing on the indie. Don’t let these pass you by.
1. My Bloody Valentine – “m b v”
The 21-years-in-the-making followup to the classic 1991 record “Loveless” finally came. Feb. 2 was Christmas for hipsters and audiophiles alike. And its release was announced online the day-of. “m b v” was all anyone could talk about for two weeks. Then they’d moved on to other music. But “m b v” is worth the extra listens.
My Bloody Valentine’s signature sound of fuzzy and echoey guitars hasn’t changed a bit. It isn’t nearly as heart-thumping as “Loveless,” but it’s this month’s must listen. It never really rocks out like the opening track of “Loveless” – “Only Shallow.” But the reticence is refreshing. Only available on the band’s website, it’s worth your $13.
2. Frightened Rabbit – “Pedestrian Verse”
The Glaswegian indie rockers return with a fourth set of jams with a folk twist. This time there’s a bit more distorted guitar than usual lurking underneath lead singer Scott Hutchison’s Scottish-accented singing voice. Frightened Rabbit is currently on tour through June.
3. Concrete Knives – “Be Your Own King”
This is the American debut album from a French five-piece that counts the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV On The Radio as their influences. They don’t really sound like either band, which is a good thing – it means they are original. Keyboards and occasional bleeps abound along with groovy guitar lines. Band members often sing together, offering up a chorus of Polyphonic-Spree-like happiness. A strong debut.
ALSO WORTH A LISTEN
Johnny Marr – “The Messenger”
The debut solo effort from the former guitarist of The Smiths.
Foals – “Holy Fire”
Sub Pop-approved British indie band now on tour through June.
KMFDM – “Kunst”
Now-legendary Chicago via Germany industrial band’s 18th album.
Iceage – “You’re Nothing”
Danish punk band with a dirty guitar sound.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “Push the Sky Away”
The downtempo – well they’re alway’s downtempo – 15th album from the Australian rockers.
Shout Out Louds – “Optica”
Swedish indie pop band’s 4th album.
Jamie Lidell – “Jamie Lidell”
Beat-heavy bliss from a Brit who lives in Nashville, TN.
Eels – “Wonderful, Glorious”
10th album is underwhelming.
STRFKR – “Miracle Mile”
Are you hip enough for this beepin’ band from Portland?
Tags: concrete knives, frightened rabbit, my bloody valentine, rewind