Gazin’ II!


Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

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34 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Catherine Wheel was my “HOLY CRAP, THEY SANG *THIS* SONG TOO???” band there for a while. I realized that I had spent the 90’s listening to them without ever having purchased an album of theirs… I’m sure I could name their songs and bring back at least two flashbacks for every single person around my age reading this comment…

    Instead, I’ll just say that Phantom of the American Mother was one of the first songs that I absolutely positively had to share in the earliest days of Mindless Diversions and just hearing them now makes me hungry for the opening chords of “Mad Dog”.

    Dang, that’s a good band.Report

  2. Swervedriver was really my introduction to shoegaze. Raise was certainly quite hard-rocking, but there was still a trippy/atmospheric undercurrent to it, and by the time they got to 99th Dream, the dream-pop was really coming out. Though they were very effects-reliant, they were still able to pull it off live (theirs was one of the best shows I’ve seen, which nearly resulted in me and my friend getting our asses kicked by bouncers).

    It was with that friend that I later formed a shoegaze band (it wasn’t the intent, but it was the result). Sadly, that band didn’t last long enough. A little while after we ended, Adam Franklin and Bolts of Melody played the club where we regularly played and we had an in with the owner. I’m sure we could have gotten on that bill. Hell, we had a song titled Adam Franklin.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

      I’ve been kind of bingeing on Swervedriver since I wrote the post. I was always a Mezcal Head guy but there are some really good songs on Raise.

      My copy of Ejector Seat Reservation, though, sounds crappy. I don’t know if that is due to the fact that it was some dodgy import (I’ve got a vinyl Loveless like that, it sounds awful) or if the album was really recorded that badly.Report

  3. Chris says:

    Ah, Hüsker Dü, The Verve, Stereolab, Catherine Wheel. I feel like I’m in college again. All that’s missing is this:

    • Chris in reply to Chris says:

      Oh man, I should not have listened to that song. I had a roommate who was a huge Red House Painters fan (huge), and not long after that album came out, and was therefore firmly planted in the CD player (for the kids: CDs were magical silver discs that, when struck by lasers, magically produced music and AOL). Right about that time, this girl who I really, really liked, much more (I now know) than she liked me, dumped me, and I spent a whole weekend listening to that song, drinking Jim Beam (it was Kentucky), and deciding that I was going to spend the rest of my life alone. Now it’s all come back to me!

      Woeful is this human lot.
      Woe! woe, etcetera . . . .

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        Don’t go blamin’ the shoegaze for The Mope. That’s the Red House Painters’ fault. You brought that on yourself.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Eleven minutes of saccharine mope (why doesn’t she love me?! whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?). Eleven… minutes:

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        Speaking as someone who thinks that the Smiths’ live version of “I Know It’s Over” on Rank is almost 8 minutes of the most exquisite mope ever committed to record – Jeepers, that is depressing. At least Moz is funny too.

        I don’t know if anybody but me would find this amusing, but I thought this was pretty hilarious:

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        Forgot to add…I think it took that semi-acoustic “Alison” above to make me realize how SAD that song is.

        “Alison, I said we’re sinking
        There’s nothing here but that’s OK..

        Alison, I’m lost.”Report

      • dhex in reply to Chris says:

        “Forgot to add…I think it took that semi-acoustic “Alison” above to make me realize how SAD that song is.”

        i think dagger is even worse. i don’t know if it’s about an abusive relationship, about a mutually destructive one, or just suicide.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        Dangit, I don’t listen to shoegaze records for the lyrics!

        Yeah, “Dagger” is rough. I assume a mutually-destructive relationship. That acoustic performance of it is pretty great.

        Also, I actually prefer this remix of “Shine”, but this is a low-quality rip, seek out a better-quality copy if interested:


    • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

      My God, I love that song and the only version of it that I was able to find when I need to find a version of it was The Cars.

      Until that point, I found myself hoping that there was a b side version out there, somewhere, that used the real lyrics. The version they couldn’t play on the radio.

      Ah, the 90’s.Report

  4. dhex says:

    flying saucer attack is the bizness. i got to them via the third eye foundation, whose album “ghost” is basically the junglist massif drowning. (also one of the best albums of the 90s)Report

  5. Chris says:

    Oh man, I just went back and listened to all the songs in the first post (I was computerless in Tennessee when you posted it), and what’s weird is how much shoegaze I listened to without ever really thinking of it as shoegaze. Or really knowing that such a thing existed back then. Apparently I am a shoegaze fan, sort of like Kyuss makes me a stoner doom metal fan without even knowing it.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

      Gabba Gabba Hey, One of Us…

      What’s funny, was I thought for many years it was sort of a niche interest…Lord knows I chased down anything kind of related to shoegaze, but then again I do, when I find something I like.

      But when I sat down to write these posts, I realized how thoroughly the style has permeated subsequent guitar and electronic music. I mean, Billy Corgan has pretty explicitly said he was inspired by Loveless when he made Siamese Dream (and you can hear that, IMO), and that thing sold like four kabillion copies. Next week’s post is more modernish shoegaze descendants, and I had to leave a bunch of artists out…if shoegaze is a niche, it’s a pretty huge one in pop music now.Report

  6. Krogerfoot says:

    I’m glad you got to Swervedriver. Raise is a great, dark, and above all disciplined record. No guitar solos, no harmonized choruses. “Harry and Maggie” on Mezcal Head shows what you can do when you’ve got a majestic riff and you’re not afraid to use it. That band was just snakebit, if I member creckly. Didn’t their first US tour end when their drummer abruptly got off the bus and flew back to England?Report

    • Glyph in reply to Krogerfoot says:

      I don’t know about the drummer thing, but I know Ejector Seat Reservation wasn’t even released here, then Creation dropped them right after it came out in the UK:

      Like I said, my copy has crappy sound, but there are some really good songs on it:


    • Glyph in reply to Krogerfoot says:

      The other thing about Swervedriver….GREAT driving music. I drove across the country and back one time before I had an MP3 player, so I had to bring the big CD folder, and I made sure to include Mezcal Head, because I had always wanted to blast “Duel” while driving through the desert at excessive, illegal, and frankly, LUDICROUS speed.

      It was exactly as awesome as I’d hoped.Report

      • Boegiboe in reply to Glyph says:

        There was a period of time in undergrad when I fell asleep each night to Mezcalhead. I love that album.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        @boegiboe – I can see that. I may have mentioned that my brother once found me asleep on the floor of my room with Psychocandy still blasting. That thick fuzzy noise can be very soothing.

        Plus, on the final track of (the US version of) Mezcal Head, “Never Lose That Feeling” segues directly into the terrific space-rock of “Never Learn”, with the jazz horns and everything:

        Yeah, that would be a great way to drift off…Report

      • krogerfoot in reply to Glyph says:

        My only chance to see the re-formed Swervedriver was when my band played a festival with them a few years ago. (I guess it was more of a conference, so “we played with them” is a sneaky way to put it.) They were supposed to start a few blocks away from where we had just finished our set, but a giant cloudburst opened up right as we got our gear offstage. Never got there.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        I never got to see Swervedriver. 🙁

        In fact, I haven’t seen most of the bands in these first couple posts: I’ve seen the JAMC, Lush, Stereolab and MBV, and that’s about it.

        Never saw Galaxie (saw Luna, and Dean solo). Never saw S3 (but I’ve seen Spiritualized). Never saw Hüsker Dü or Sugar (but I’ve seen Bob Mould solo).Report

    • D Clarity in reply to Krogerfoot says:

      The tour (for Raise) didn’t end, but the drummer (Graham Bonnar) left the tour bus while they were waiting at the Canadian border to “go get a sandwich” and never came back. I’ve had friends that would quit jobs the same way, like, “Uh….I need to go get something out of my car”. Passibe aggressively awesome.

      They weren’t really the same band after Bonnar left, he was a great rock drummer.

      The thing about Raise was that it was sort of a best hits collection of their early EPs but it still seemed to have a coherent theme and flow.Report