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Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: My Bloody Valentine

Posted by Amoebite, April 7, 2009 11:04pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth
Coachella Lineup     My Bloody Valentine

Day #22 - Artist #22 - My Bloody Valentine:
My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine formed in 1984 in Dublin, Ireland, and spent a few years of metamorphosis working out the kinks with lineup changes and varying musical output before developing their innovative sound. It wasn't until 1988 that the "caterpillar" became a "butterfly," with the band releasing a pair of EPs and their first album Isn't Anything on Creation Records (future home to Oasis). My Bloody Valentine became the torchbearers of the Shoegaze style of music popular in the late '80s/early '90s that sent sparks into the alternative revolution of the 1990s. Unfortunately, by 1993 the band would unravel into a "lost period" of scrapped recording sessions by songwriter Kevin Shields (similar to Brian Wilson/Beach Boys and Axl Rose/Guns N' Roses) that lasted until the band's reunion in 2008. 

Here's a quick overview by guitarist/singer Kevin Shields himself:


When talking about My Bloody Valentine, the conversation almost always ends up being/ought to be/might as well be, about their magnum opus, Loveless. It doesn't seem logical, but the album Loveless has a more extensive WikiMy Bloody Valentine - Lovelesspedia page than the whole band's page by far.

What can be said about this indie rock/shoegaze masterpiece, originally released in 1991, that hasn't already been said? This album is the indie rock musical equivalent of a 74 page Master's Thesis. Wait...maybe it seems that way because I just uncovered an actual 74-page 2006 Master's Thesis by a Florida State University Graduate Student analyzing Loveless

While that might give you an idea of the complexity of Loveless, it's more than just an academic composition, it's the Pet Sounds (Beach Boys masterpiece) for the College-Rock generation. It's an album with unprecedented experimentation, approach, technique and manifestation, yet it doesn't ever forget its pop foundation and timeless emotion.

The album opens with one of the most abrasive yet beautiful anti-guitar riffs of all time and at the height of its tension, drops into a verse so aesthetically soothing you can almost feel physical weight being lifted off your shoulders. You don't know what's waiting just around the corner for the next 48 minutes, but you know you feel good. 
My Bloody ValentineThe handful of shows performed since MBV's 2008 reunion have received outstanding reviews, which will make their Coachella performance one not to miss on Sunday April 19, 2009. Besides a trio of shows in Santa Monica and San Francisco late last year, and quick dates in NYC and Chicago, the upcoming performance at Coachella will be their triumphant return to the West Coast and the American music scene since dropping out of sight in the early '90s. MBV's live shows are legendary for their eardrum shattering volume output (two decibals over the threshold for pain and eardrum damage) and LA Weekly writer Randall Roberts described it best when he said, "To truly appreciate what MBV is doing, you actually have to damage yourself!" At Coachella we'll see if we can get any closer to answering Roberts' question: "Why must something so pretty be so dangerous?"

My fellow Amoebite Jessica attended MBV's Santa Monica performance last fall and summed up her experience in one sentence: "I felt like my brains were going to fall out of my nostrils!!"

Possibly to avoid a lawsuit, the concert promoters have been providing earplugs at the performances. I don't know about you...but I'm bringing noseplugs!

"Only Shallow" from the album Loveless (1991):

"Soon" from the album Loveless (1991):


"Thorn" from the EP You Made Me Realise (1988):



"You Made Me Realise" from the EP You Made Me Realise (1988):


(To see all the Coachella posts in this series, click here. And thank you to those that commented on previous posts. Please feel free to comment on what you like, don't like, and leave a suggested donation of $10.) 

Relevant Tags

Coachella 2009 (26), My Bloody Valentine (30), Loveless (2), Isn't It (1), Only Shallow (1), Creation Records (1), Pet Sounds (1), Shoegaze (21)