Listen-Along: “Loveless”

loveless-1

1) Only Shallow


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf8j1bUgwJ8&feature=kp

Tucker Phillips: The most important snare hits there ever were, or will be. I think I just now realized that this isn’t Kevin singing.

Jackson Scott: I imagine that intro is what the rest of the 90’s heard when they listened to Nevermind for the first time.

TP: That intro started bands. THOSE DRUM HITS CAUSED BANDS TO HAPPEN.

JS: Tucker, that’s Billinda singing.

TP: I know that now :'(. I’ve never really listened to this on headphones before.

JS: How did you not know that before?

TP: God that riff sounds like the guitarpocalypse.

JS: How many of you are staring at your feet right now?

TP: I’m in my socks, thank you very much.

JS: …me too.

Michael Frett: I’ve been staring at my shoes for a good three minutes now…

JS: Have you started seeing things yet?

MF: Guys, that riff is insane. GUYS. THAT RIFF.

TP: YOUR GRANDMA’S PINK ALBUMS DON’T HAVE RIFFS LIKE THOSE, I TELL YOU WHAT.

2) Loomer



JS: That guitar sounds seasick.

TP: This riff at the beginning sounds like what I imagine the satanists in Rosemary’s Baby are playing through the wall. There’s so much going on here.

JS: You hear that sound that the guitar is making where it’s all WOOOGLLY? KEVIN SHIELDS INVENTED THAT.

TP: I wonder how much of it was a happy accident and how much of it was fussed over.

MF: The man can woogle a guitar.

JS: I think it’s a modified whammy or something, isn’t it?

TP: This could be a grand piano for all I know.

3) Touched



TP: MBV do black and white film soundtrack. Candy Claws owe their life to this 1 minute song.

4) To Here Knows When



TP: This is one of my favorites. The main melody is just so gosh-darned winsome. And then you’ve got the waterfall crashing down on you.

JS: This is mind-numbing.

MF: It’s like someone took an 80s pop song and totally drowned it in awesome.

TP: That sounds about right. MBV were actually a goth-rock Cure-wannabes thing at some point. They have a lot of early stuff that people don’t talk about a lot.

MF: I can definitely hear the Cure influence.

TP: BOY. BOY. OH BOY.

JS: Isn’t Anything was their first LP.

TP: They’ve got like 10 pre-Anything EPs. It’s a dark, dark hole to fall down.My-Bloody-Valentine-Geek-323744

JS: I saw some super rare one in some record store once but it was like $40.

MF: Why such a dark hole?

TP: Not enough wishy-washies.

MF: I mean, it warranted the repeating of “dark”. So it must be dark.

TP: You’ll have to do your own investigating on that one.

JS: It is amazing how many rules My Bloody Valentine broke with this record.

TP: It’s hard to think about since they were so early in the scene. Like, other bands broke the same rules but only after they’d already been broken.

JS: But even now though.

TP: God, that ending riff.

JS: But, like, this is basically a glitch album.

TP: I hear ya.

MF: I just love the crazy stuff people can pull off on a guitar. That reverb and whammy combo.

TP: Cue vacuum cleaners.

JS: It’s predominantly distortion and extra-musical texturization. Na mean?

TP: Yes. No. I don’t know.

5) When You Sleep



TP: This might be my favorite. I say that about all of them. But this might be my favorite.

JS: That’s how you know.

MF: I still think “Only Shallow” is my favorite.

TP: There are many favorites to come, young Michael.

JS: “Only Shallow” is one of my favorite songs of all time.

MF: I like the thundery riff thing Mr. Shields had going on.

TP: I feel like, at their best, Yo La Tengo just start to barely capture what’s going on in this song. And I love YLT.

JS: Most years on Valentine’s Day this is my facebook cover photo. Kevin Shields must hate Valentine’s Day.

TP: I realize the My Bloody Valentine’s Day thing is a joke but goddamn if this isn’t one romantic song. Swooning.

6) I Only Said



TP: Guys. I think this might be my favorite.

JS: That rifffff.

TP: It’s abandoned everything it means to be a guitar riff and ascended to another plane.

MF: I really like that simple bass line in the background.

JS: Didn’t even notice that before. Nice catch. It’s like the first time I realized the bass line in the first song on Is This It?

TP: I feel so bad for the bassist and the drummer. Just kinda…doin’ they thang. A lot of these songs have a EXCUSE ME THAT CHANGE IN VOLUME real sense of calm inside a storm.

JS: Hypnotic.

TP: Comfort-rock.

JS: That sounds too much like soft rock.

MF: Easy to get lost in.

JS: Loveless has a very physical quality about it. A certain tangibility.

TP: But also crazy dream guitars.

JS: A tangibility you can… touch.

TP: Tangible tangibility, yo. My poetry zine.

JS: My dreams don’t sound like this.

TP: YOU’RE DREAMING WRONG.

7) Come In Alone



TP: This is probably the one that’s my favorite the least. It’s still my favorite. But, you know, not as much.

MF: I’m digging this.

JS: Those drums. Sound unreal.

MF: It’s more straightforward than the other songs, though.

JS: Mere pop.

TP: A trifle. I demand more ART from my ART.

JS: Top 40s at best.

TP: Pish posh.

JS: Bish Bosch.

MF: But, I like this Pish Posh, though!

TP: Hey, like I said. It’s my favorite.

JS: Loveless is like Bish Bosch with 100% less fart noises.

TP: There could be fart noises. We just wouldn’t know.

MF: Kevin Shields in the studio: “Quick! Reverb and overdrive this fart sound!”

8) Sometimes



TP: Let ol’ Kev play you a purdy song on his guitar. Maybe the only time guitars sound like guitars on this thing?

JS: I love whatever chord that is.

TP: Check out THIS….same chord. HOW BOUT THAT BUSINESS.

JS: Do you think My Bloody Valentine knew?

TP: That they were making what they were making? Hard to say.

JS: Yeah.

TP: They were probably so deep in at some point.

JS: Also, the more I listen to this the more I hate Nevermind. I know that’s not fair, but…

TP: YOU LEAVE IN UTERO ALONE THOUGH

JS: In Utero is something special.

MF: This actually made me want to listen to Nevermind more. So, you know, totally opposite side of the aisle on this one.

TP: MY BLOODY VALENTINE: SOMETIMES YOU WANNA LISTEN TO SOME STUFF BUT OTHERS DON’T. It’s tattooed on the back of Kevin’s skull.

MF: Also, they seem like such an awkward comparison. This one’s all “FEEDBACK DREAMSCAPES,” while the other’s all “HERE’S SOME POWER CHORDS FOR YOU!”

JS: I get the retrospective attitude toward Nevermind, but how can, if you were aware of Loveless, think that Nevermind was the most original piece of rock music ever?

TP: I don’t. :^)

JS: You don’t what?

TP: Think about Nevermind ever.

JS: Understandable.

MF: I don’t look at Nevermind as the most original piece of rock music ever, though. It was just an important grungey punk album.

TP: This is an important Nirvanate. But we must move on.

9) Blown a Wish



TP: This lady’s voice right here.

JS: #angels. Billinda, be my valentine.tumblr_mr4dbrpfVp1qbesnao1_500

TP: “k”. And they lived shoegazily ever after.

JS: Oh hey Bilinda, I was just practicing for when I saw you in the hallway.

TP: The most musical inhale ever is happening in this song right now.

MF: I like them cathedral guitars. They’ve got an other-worldly echo.

JS: Otherworldly or… more worldly than anything else.

TP: You guys the vocals thing that is happening right now is pretty great.

MF: I loved that vocal thing going on in the end there.

10) What You Want



TP: You think Kevin ever sits down and watches baseball? Couple a brewskies close at hand?

JS: I’m sure. Why baseball? Do you think Kevin Shields ever sits down?

TP: It’s the shoegaziest sport.

MF: It was what he want. I’m liking those ascending chords.

JS: What’s inside Kevin Shield’s shoes?

TP: More shoes.

MF: All the more to gaze at.

JS: My favorite part about this album is how it is always in motion.

MF: It doesn’t really break at all, does it?

JS: No.

TP: Just “Touched”. But it’s only a minute. A lot of people have 0 love for “Touched” but I think it fits in well.

JS: This is one of the most kinetic albums I’ve ever heard. I like “Touched”.

TP: I cannot wait for this next song. It’s unfair to this song.

JS: That decay. Again.

TP: But that coda doe.

JS: Coda. Doe.

TP: I’d listen to a whole album that sounded like this.

JS: Me too.

11) Soon


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LseSx_hPJyQ

TP: GOD. DAMN.

JS: “Loveless” the song.

TP: I have to imagine (and I can’t know) that the 90s would have sounded a lot different without this song. Or at least, a lot of 90s music I love would never have happened.

JS: The 90s is kind of the best decade.

TP: AMEN.

JS: Followed by the current decade.

TP: AND WHICH TWO DECADES HAD MAJOR MBV RELEASES IN THEM? The clues are falling into place.

MF: 1960s, then 1990s, then now. Tis my list.

JS: 80s hip-hop and hardcore punk.

TP: I want that lighter guitar riff on my gravestone when I die.

JS: #dynamic

MF: Acidwash Edge. That’s the vibe I’m getting from it.

JS: I’m starting to see in all pink.

TP: Seek mbvical attention.

JS: Everything is woozy.

TP: This sounds like MBV remixing MBV.

MF: “Soon (The MBV Remix)”

JS: Showstopper.

TP: Good way to stop the show.