My Bloody Valentine is one of those bands that people get really obsessed with. I can still remember the first time that I ever heard them. After that first listen to Loveless I was forever addicted, forever devoted to the magnificence that is My Bloody Valentine...however, they broke up the same year that I finally discovered them. So I slowly came to terms with the fact that I would never probably see them live. I knew I would never see The Smiths perform live, but at least I had many Morrissey shows that more than made up for it. My Bloody Valentine is also one of those bands that brings people together, like we share this common unbreakable bond. You just know which of your friends are fans and you don't really even have to talk about it. Since you know what it is like to be a fan you can figure out what it is like for others. If you are a My Bloody Valentine fan you have most likely listened to Loveless and Isn't Anything many times by yourself in your bedroom. You have probably listened to these records right before you go to sleep. They have probably helped you overcome bouts of depression and just made you happy to be alive. They have spoken to you in a way that only really good music can, even though you can't really explain how. You have also probably listened to Loveless with your boyfriend or girlfriend during one of those special moments. I know I have said this before, but I really can't imagine my life without these albums. They are that good. They are that important.
I never thought in a million years that I would have the opportunity to see My Bloody Valentine perform live, but after I went to the amazing Yaz reunion earlier this year, I had a newfound hope of seeing some of my other favorites. That Yaz show completely blew me away. They were absolutely fantastic and I was so grateful that they reunited for their many fans who never had the chance to see them before. They also seemed to be enjoying themselves greatly which made the show even better. I made a mental note of all those bands that I never got the chance to see. Kate Bush and The Cocteau Twins were at the top of the list, but so were Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. I think I had somehow managed to see most of my other favorite bands at some point in my life. My Bloody Valentine did finally reunite for a brief tour this year. I bought my tickets months ago but had convinced myself that it would get canceled. I even got a call from Ticketmaster explaining that the show would be starting a 1/2 hour earlier. I was fully expecting them to announce that the show was canceled. I had also somehow thought I had tickets to Wednesday night even though this whole time I had tickets to Thursday. I was luckily able to switch the tickets at last moment since I was already going to see Sigur Ros on Thursday night. I had some high expectations. I was also just excited to see them finally and knew that I would enjoy the experience regardless of how great they were. I knew it would be this amazing group experience that I would be sharing with all these other My Bloody Valentine fans that had been waiting all these years just like me. And while we were definitely in attendance that night, there was also an amazing amount of Twentysomethings there. I went the first night so I sort of thought that the Thursday show was maybe the night for the original fans. But it just made me happy that all these people were as excited to see them as I was. It really didn't matter if they had liked them for 5 years or 20 years. My Bloody Valentine still has that same incredible power over you.
The music is not just your ordinary shoegaze music. It is loud and distorted and sometimes almost too much to handle, but it is always somehow beautiful. They have always been sort of a combination of Sonic Youth and The Cocteau Twins. Dinosaur Jr. mixed with Ride. I had been warned that this show was loud, and I don't ever remember being at a show where they pass out ear plugs when you enter the venue. They unfortunately picked some horrible venues to play in for this short tour. They played at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco, probably the worst venue I have ever been to. I felt bad for my San Francisco friends, but I obviously would have been there if I still lived in San Francisco, and I heard the show was still fantastic. The venue down here was not much better. They played at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. I did love the amazing architecture. It seemed a little bit trapped in time, like the venue had been recently uncovered and not altered since the 60s. The venue has a great history with bands like The Jam and David Bowie playing there. You could feel the history, but I still would have much rather seen them at the Orpheum or the Wiltern. This was without a doubt the loudest show that I have ever been to. It was like a wall of distorted sound with out any breaks. You could not really even move the whole time that they played. You could feel the music around you and it pinned you down. There was no way to escape. The songs just seemed to melt into each other. Sometimes you could barely tell which songs they were playing or when one had stopped and another had started. I did have to wear my earplugs for almost the entire show. But still managed to have a great time and love every minute of it, even if it was uncomfortable and painful at times. The earplugs did not really do anything -- the music went right through them. I was still happy to be there and to be hearing these songs live that I had only heard before in the privacy of my own bedroom. For not playing together for about 15 years they did sound amazing. I still don't really understand how that sound comes from only four people. And while I wish the drums could have been a bit less loud, it was an amazing show. Seriously, my body was shaking and I could feel each drum beat pulsing through my veins. I will forever remember this show and cherish the fact that I could be a part of it. And I think that my eardrums and entire body will never forget the amazing sonic assault that it was a part of.
We also have some My Bloody Valentine reissues to look forward to. Loveless and Isn't Anything are reissued in the UK this week, which means the Rhino domestic reissues can't be that far away. I have been looking forward to these reissues almost as much as I was looking forward to this show. Rhino has really put out some fantastic reissues over the last couple of years. The New Order reissues will be out in a couple of weeks too! And we will hopefully see these My Bloody Valentine reissues before the year is up, but I imagine it will not be until next year at this point.
Here is the My Bloody Valentine video for "To Here Knows When"...
and here is the video for "Only Shallow"...
also out today...
4 by Dungen
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Welcome to Goon Island by XX Teens