Amoeblog

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." 





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).

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. 


*****
Now allow me to get all listicle and give you the Top 13 Ride Songs:
“Vapour Trail” from Nowhere (1990) 


I first heard this on WMNF in 1990 when a DJ played the entire record. I later taped the video onto a VHS cassette when it was played on City Limits (Much Music) and it inspired my brother to go into graphic design.

“Taste”  — form the Fall EP (1990) 

 

Sounds like a poppier My Bloody Valentine, right? A pretty terrible video, though, although Mark's hair inspired me to grow out my bowl. Also, I did a sketch of him four our high school literary journal -- ha!


“All I Can See” — from the Ride EP (1989)

When the Smile compilation came out I played that record so much that it immediately conjures up the harsh winter of my freshman year in the dorm.

“Cool Your Boots” — from Going Blank Again (1992)


Going Blank Again was the first record I bought without having heard anything off of it. I was on a ski trip in Colorado and I didn't even know Ride had a new album out so I had to grab it before I returned to rural Iowa, where I'd be screwed. I was not disappointed. Bonus points for Withnail & I samples.

“Crown of Creation” — from Carnival of Light (1994)


I'd suspected from the beginning that Ride were Byrds fans. Carnival of Light would seem to be pretty strong evidence for that suspicion. This song title comes from a Jefferson Airplane album, the album also included a Creation cover, and a photo of Andy Bell showed him wearing a Buffalo Springfield shirt. Still, 1968 was a much more forward looking year than 1995 would turn out to be.


“Twisterella” — from Going Blank Again



“Only Now" — from Carnival of Light




“1000 Miles” — from Carnival of Light 




“Close My Eyes” — from the Ride EP


Bonus points for mentioning the band's name in the song.


“Dreams Burn Down” — from the Fall EP 



“Leave Them All Behind” — from Going Blank Again



“Like a Daydream” — from the Play EP (1990)


Long-sleeve T-shirts and early hints at Byrds love

“Sennen” -- from Today Forever EP (1991)


It sounds completely like Robert Plant's "I'm in the Mood," which is kind of amazing.

*****

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Oasis and Blur in One Room Together! Long Lost 1994 Interview Rediscovered

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 31, 2010 01:27pm | Post a Comment
blur oasis

Thanks to the folks at the Rad Report, we have learned that an amazing interview by Aaron Axelson with famously battling bands Blur and Oasis in the same room at the same time here in San Francisco at Live 105 back in 1994 has just been unearthed, and thanks to the crazy technology of the web, is now available for all our listening pleasure!

Interestingly, Pulp was also in town at the same time, opening for Blur at the Fillmore, while Oasis was playing at...wait for it...Bottom of the Hill! Wowza! And their opening band? Ye olde Brian Jonestown Massacre! Take a trip back in time to the early Stateside days of Britpop and give the interview a listen right here! It's pretty silly. You can check out the full story via Axelson on the Live 105 blog.

Britpop band Oasis splits in Paris

Posted by Whitmore, August 28, 2009 07:25pm | Post a Comment

The Brothers Gallagher are at it again; but perhaps this time their long turbulent relationship may be finally over.
 
Reports from London state that guitarist Noel Gallagher has left Britpop pioneers Oasis for once and for all, saying he "simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer," and adding he is leaving the group "with some sadness and great relief."
 
Oasis was due to perform at the Rock-en-Seine Festival near Paris on Friday, August 28th, but a message flashed to the crowd shortly before the band was to take the stage saying as a result of an altercation within the band, the Oasis gig has been canceled. Many in the audience initially thought that the announcement was a joke. First reports from the backstage scene, of course by way of Twitter, said that "Liam smashed Noel’s guitar."
 
Gallagher's statement also sent "apologies to all the people who bought tickets" for the remaining shows on their European tour in France, Italy, and Germany saying group "does not exist anymore."
 
Speculation has been growing about the band’s future. Liam revealed just a couple of weeks ago that he and Noel were no longer on speaking terms and while on tour traveled separately, only seeing each other on stage.

Oasis had sold more than 50 million records worldwide. They have had eight #1 singles in the UK and have amassed fifteen NME Awards, five BRIT Awards, nine Q Awards and four MTV Europe Music Awards.

Pulp - The pre-Britpop days

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 10, 2007 04:15pm | Post a Comment
I was wondering whilst trying to fall asleep the other night why I haven't ever looked up any Pulp videos on Youtube before. Then I remembered that I had a dvd called Hits, so what else could there be? A few seconds later, a vacuum tube in my mind sparked to life and I recalled (to myself) that Jarvis is at best pretty ambivalent about the early years, so I was excited to find a few early videos.


PULP'S BEGINNINGS 

Pulp was formed in 1978 by 15-year-old Jarvis Cocker, a student at a Sheffield City Secondary School.
In 1980 they, amazingly, recorded a Peel Session. I only just found out that it's available on CD, so I haven't heard it, but it's supposedly pretty in-line with Sheffield's reigning synth-rock sound of the time.


In 1982 the still virginal Jarvis recorded It.


The record reflected a change in direction toward a folky, jangly sound with wide-eyed lyrics about love and being shy all sung rather off-key but kind of managing to sound like early Leonard Cohen.

The following year saw the single "My Lighthouse."

 










And, at the encouragement of someone at the label to record more commercial stuff in the style of Wham!, they followed it with the rare, and not half-bad Everybody's Problem.














THE DARK YEARS

Two years later, frustrated by unfulfilled dreams of success, Jarvis grew rather gloomy and Pulp entered their "arty" phase.

   

  
          Little Girl With Blue Eyes                         Dogs Are Everywhere (1986)            They Suffocate at Night (1987)




 

"This was a leap into semi-professionalism. It was made by someone who claimed to have done the lighting on Chariots Of Fire, which impressed us a great deal at the time. In typical Fire fashion, we could only afford one roll of film, so he had to keep winding the film backwards and forwards for different bits of the song. I constructed the set in an abandoned warehouse across the road from the factory I was living in at the time. I converted an inspection pit into a kind of sunken bedroom, then filled about 200 freezer bags full of coloured liquid for another bit elsewhere. For some reason there was a horse skeleton in the building so that ended up in the film too." -Jarvis Cocker


They released the single "Master of the Universe" and the album Freaks in 1987 to resounding commercial and critical disinterest.

 

Jarvis dissolved the band and moved to London to study film.


AFTER THE SUMMER OF LOVE

Two years later a new line-up formed.

 

In 1989, clearly steeped in Acid House and sounding a bit like World of Twist they recorded Separations, which their label promptly released a mere three years later. 




 
Pulp opening for World of Twist at their homecoming concert in 1991


In the meantime, they made videos for "My Legendary Girlfriend" and "Countdown."



and three singles:

   

NME named "My Legendary Girlfriend" their single of the week and Pulp, having ended their relationship with Fire Records, continued with Pulp Into: The Gift Recordings.

 









Their next record, 1994's His 'n' Hers, hit #9 in the UK Charts and the All Music Guide gave 4 1/2 stars to what they erroneously described as "Pulp's debut" when, in fact, they'd by then already released four albums and two compilations of non-album material.

A short time later, this German-based website devoted to Pulp (the only one in existence back then in those early days of the internet becoming popular) ceased to exist, its owner disgusted with Pulp's new,  commercial turn.


*****

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