Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I Am A Shoegazer

It is probably not a startling relevation, to the music bloggers that are acquainted with me, that I am a diehard fan of the music style called shoegazer. More on that style of music in a minute... What may come as a surprise (or maybe not) is that I am also a shoegazer... That is, I gaze a lot at women's shoes and I judge a lot about a woman by her selection of shoes. Ok, I am not weird or a male version of Imelda Marcos, but it has been my experience that the way a woman complements her attire with her selection of shoes pretty much reveals what kind of lady she is. Well, you tell me which lady you would like to get to know better....





Ok, Ok maybe that isn't the best example and probably proves only one thing-that D needs to get laid really, really bad...

Let's get back to the music shoegazer side of me..

They say the term shoegazer was coined by the infamous New Musical Express due to the fact that certain types of band members tended to gaze at their shoes or more appropriately their effects pedal (stomp box) while playing deep in concentration. Hence, music played while shoegazing.... Another way to think of shoegazer bands is to envision no lead guitarist but rather two distorted fuzzy rhythm guitars constantly interweaving to develop a melodic but full 'muddled' wall of sound. Also, shoegazer vocals tend to be subdued, flowing on top of the weaving intertwined guitars. The key though is underlying the distorted guitars, a smooth sense of melody is found.

The renowned labels such as 4AD and Creation were the major merchants of this sound during the early 80's. As all good things in rock music, the sound emerged from the UK. Think bands like Lush, Chapterhouse, Pale Saints, Ride, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and you will be in the world of the shoegazer.

So, that brings me to Lab Partners (not crazy about the name) from Dayton, Ohio who released 2005's Wicked Branches on Portland's cool Reverb Records label. Not a bad effort and they do a decent job of bringing together the sound of Ride, some Chapterhouse and maybe even a little Spacemen 3. No, this is not a new sound but a sound that will please the shoegazer in all of us.. Check it out...

Blood Moon (mp3)

Burning Fields (mp3)

And here is some classic shoegazer.....

If You Want Me (mp3-Chapterhouse-Whirlpool)

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4 comments:

WK said...

hey fern dog,
it was good seeing you in AC for a brief time, did you ever go back? I got your message that you were gonna be there on tues. night but didn't see you. Let me know how it went.

c said...

my grandfather's wealthy brother told me a long, long time ago that i should select my husband based on his footwear.....so you may be on to something. i never knew where the term shoegazer came from - thans for the background. good to see you back in action "d"

and fj delgado - what can i say, your duke boys beat up my alma mater last night. oh well.

peace, boys :}

D said...

c, your grandfather's wealthy brother is a smart man. and one thing he missed is not only should you consider the class of footwear but also the size. It is true that there is a direct correlation between that and some other body part. I know that is a fact since I wear a size 11.5.... :-)

Yeah, I miss Grey Will Fade somewhat so my blogging friend (and now Boss) Mr. FJ Delgado offered me a guest spot on his cool, wild & crazy blog. Keeps me occupied and out of trouble I guess...

D

The Monitors said...

'shoegazer''s my new favorite type of music, though it's difficult to distinguish it from post-[punk;rock;etc..] and/or ambient sometimes. Hell, why not just call it "alternative" like iTunes prefers to? Because Apple can go to hell.

anyway, check out Dreamend from Chicago, they're on GraveFace Records...coming to DC9 in late March. See you there.