Tag Archives: Not the Beths

FMD – Shoegaze

During the pandemic, when I had lots of time by myself, I listened to a bunch of shoegaze bands. It just seemed like a good soundtrack to being sheltered at home and all the crap happening in the outside world. Of course most of that was the shoegaze classics like My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, Slowdive, Ride, etc...

One nice things about streaming services (I prefer Apple Music to Spotify, which itself is another FMD topic) is that they will offer up other albums based on what you are listening to and I've been introduced to a lot more shoegazey bands that I missed when they originally came out. Two such bands and albums are Chapterhouse's Whirlpool and Mercury Rev's Yerself is Steam, both of which came out in 1991 so kind of right when bands like Ride, MBV, etc were starting out.

Yerself is Steam
is a lot more aggressive with screaming guitars and overall weirdness. It's an acquired taste but the opening song Chasing a Bee is 7 minutes of get your guitar freak on bliss.

Whirlpool is an album that I can't stop listening to. It would be what most would consider a "classic shoegaze album" with soaring guitars, pop sensibilities, and dreamy vocals. One can hear snippets of Smashing Pumpkins' Gish, Lush, Ride, Swervedriver, and there's one song that could easily fit into Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation album. Some of these bands aren't really influences as they postdate or are happening at literally the same time as Chapterhouse is recording. It's a wonder to me why this album isn't more well known and beloved.

Anyway if interested in this type of music, definitely check out these two albums, especially Whirlpool.

Do you have any other albums of a similar vein that I should be checking out?

FMD — Happy 75th Birthday Neil Young

Neil Young is 75 years old today which is definitely worthy of a FMD post. One of those artists I discovered when I was a teenager that I have loved consistently ever since. Although he hasn't put out anything lately that I have found super compelling, he's also been releasing a bunch of stuff from the archives that have been amazing. I can continue to listen to both live recordings and album releases from each decade since the 60's and do so frequently.

Happy Birthday Neil, this note's for you.

FMD – Fun times with Pandemic Music?

Any new musical discoveries during this pandemic/quarantine? Trying to discover new music or leaning on old standbys? Earlier this week I was working at home, all alone and it was pouring rain outside. So I listened to Elliot Smith's debut, Roman Candle. Perfect for an isolating raining day.

My love for Van Halen's first album is well known and I thought, since Eruption is such a great intro to You Really Got Me, what other songs would it be a great intro to. The cool thing with streaming music services, is that it's really easy to find out so I created a bunch of playlist pairing a song with Eruption.

I discovered, to no surprise, that Eruption before a quiet song just doesn't work. I thought perhaps the daring difference would be kind of cool, but nope, it's just too discordant. Also pairing Eruption with any other classic rock song works pretty good. Eruption leading into Welcome to the Jungle doesn't miss a beat.

It also works pretty well with some GBV songs, particularly Motor Away and I am a Tree. It really works with a song called Soul Barn, which is an amazing toss-off song buried on a demo release. In all cases, if the production were better, all these combo's would be really cool

Any way, long way to say so stay safe and listen to music, it can really be a balm in these trying times.

Drop 'em if you got 'em.

FMD — The Clash

So last week I was going to write up something on the 40th anniversary of the release of London Calling, arguably the Clash's greatest album and one of the greatest albums of all time. Unfortunately illness and busyness got in the way of writing something up proper. I'd still like to do something so maybe one FMD I'll really do the album justice. It's a great album that still holds up. Check it out.

Also for some reason today is International Clash Day. Not sure why February 7th is considered International Clash Day, but here you go. Apparently, "it began as a tribute to The Clash’s music and legacy [and now] has evolved into a banner celebration of the issues and message they stood for. The Clash were unapologetically confrontational and champions of the oppressed, always striving for the possibility of a better world."

The Clash was a great band, with great songs, and a great message. So go put on some Clash, raise your voice, fight for the oppressed, Lord knows we need some raised voices these days.

Drop 'em if you go 'em boyo.