The Top 10 Shoegaze Bands of All Time, or, The Godlike Genius of Shoegaze

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 20, 2015 06:11pm | Post a Comment
I'm still buzzing from the Ride show at the Warfield. "Cool Your Boots" has been running through my head non-stop for a week (although there was a break, at least in my sleep, when I had a dream which involved listening to Cedric Im Brooks). Since the show I've been listening to a lot of shoegaze (and a little chimp rock -- anyone remember that?).

Long sleeves, stripes, and androgyny
Long sleeves, stripes, and androgyny -- the alternative was San Diego Sizzler Chic

I've also met a couple of people since getting back from San Francisco with whom the subject of music arose. Two of them were on their way from Coachella to Brokechella and were talking about "soul" (in the sense that Maroon 5 are soul, I suppose) act, Fitz & the Tantrums. No one had heard of Ride or had the haziest notion of what shoegaze means. When I told them that Ride had played at Coachella they looked incredulous. 

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Ride rolls into the Warfield -- and their thirteen most massive tunes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 13, 2015 10:42am | Post a Comment
I'm currently down in San Francisco (well, Richmond actually) to see Ride play. Ride, for those keeping score, were the best of a crop of bands known way back in the early 1990s as shoegazers. Like most British bands that survived into those dark years of the mid-1990s, when a collective craze for slow motion guitar solos and untucked shirts overcome white Britannia, Ride too went horribly wrong (i.e. Britpop) in the end before calling it a day in 1996. They only released one bad album (and it was awful) but then Andy Bell formed Hurricane #1, a truly horrendous (way) sub-Seahorses audition for Oasis. Bell went on to play in Oasis and then that other Liam Gallagher band who can't have been all bad as they covered World of Twist's "Sons of the Stage." 

Ride band

This is all a roundabout way of saying that the prospect of a Ride reunion made me, understandably I think, rather nervous. They released a clutch of fantastic EPs, three great albums, and only one steaming, stinker -- but it was their final album, and a direction Bell pursued with his following bands so would he insist that Tarantula haters like myself got it wrong and try to prove his point by subjecting audiences to "The Dawn Patrol" and "Starlight Motel" or worse, "Just Another Illusion"? All of my fears were put to rest when I listened to them play a short set on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic," which included five songs from their brilliant debut, Nowhere, and its equally classic follow-up, Going Blank Again. They sounded great. I meant to dust off my old Ride T-shirt with the mud stains and holes but perhaps wisely forgot (it's really holey).
Ride band

Shoegazers were sometimes criticized for hiding their lack of songs behind walls of feedback... but listening to "Morning Becomes Eclectic" for the first time in fifteen years as I waited for Ride to play I was treated to a barrage of forgettable, tuneless, garblers in Native American headdresses singing whoa-oh-oh-y car insurance jingles (or at least that's what it sounded like to me). You know, Coachellacore or the stuff that plays during Spotify ads when sensible users remove their earbuds. Ride, on the other hand, wrote some of the tightest (I'll never use that word again to describe music, I promise) melodies, sang the pretties harmonies, channeled The Byrds, Love, and Buffalo Springfield, and then added a healthy squall of guitar noise that make me wonder why all the "nu-gazers" are so bland and limp (...oh yeah, Slowdive). 
Ride played at Coachella the other night, apparently. They're playing at the Warfield tonight. They're playing in Pomona at the Fox Theater tomorrow. 

10 Albums You Should Know Before Going to Coachella

Posted by Billy Gil, April 7, 2015 03:08pm | Post a Comment

10 albums you should hear before going to coachella

Like Tame Impala? Nuts for Drake? Sure, they're great. But a big part of Coachella also has been the chance to see legendary bands reunite and take the stage, as well as long-established artists alongside the newcomers. Here are 10 great albums by reunited or established artists you should know before heading to the desert next weekend.

AC/DC Back in Black

ac/dc back in black lpThe album that started the Brian Johnson era of AC/DC (following the death of lead singer Bon Scott) is their biggest and has many of their best-loved hits, including “You Shook Me All Night Long” and the title track. It’s good to know the rest of the songs, even if you’re not especially sober by the time AC/DC goes on (which is probably how they’re best heard anyway).


Ryan Adams Heartbreaker

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Tennis System Chat With the Amoeblog Before Their Jan. 15 Performance at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 15, 2015 12:59pm | Post a Comment

tennis system amoebaL.A.’s Tennis System play a brand of psychedelic, dreamy rock ‘n’ roll that should please any fan of the shoegaze movement, yet they’ve got their own thing going, as new album Technicolor Blind trades between rocketing guitar noise and shimmering ambience.

Led by Matty Taylor, along with drummer Hector Gomez and bassist Zach Bilson, the trio has shared the stage with such like-minded acts as Ty Segall, Wavves, Japandroids and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Taylor started the band in Washington, D.C. in 2009 and released the 2011 noise-rock album Teenagers before heading to L.A. and changing up the band’s lineup and sound a bit.

Now they’ve found their niche within the Part Time Punks crowd and have been wowing audiences with their volume-heavy shows and excellent second album, released last year. They’re one of the latest bands to record a track as part of Converse Rubber Tracks, which gives up-and-coming bands studio time and exposure. Tennis System performs live at Amoeba Hollywood today at 6 p.m.

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Coachella 2015 Lineup Announced; AC/DC, Jack White, Drake Headline

Posted by Billy Gil, January 6, 2015 11:45am | Post a Comment

The lineup for Coachella 2015 has been announced, and there are some surprises in there.

First up, we've got AC/DC headlining day one (Friday April 10 and 17). (Day one gets even more "dad rock" when you notice that Steely Dan is also playing.) Jack White headlines day two (April 11 and 18) and Drake is on top day three (April 12 and 19). 

Other highlights include a recently reunited Ride and Drive Like Jehu. See the whole lineup below, and check out some Amoeba videos from the artists playing the show.

coachella 2015 lineup ac/dc drake jack white


Lykke Li - Live at Amoeba Hollywood, Aug. 25, 2008

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