Certain Songs #1218: My Bloody Valentine – “To Here Knows When”

Album: Loveless
Year: 1991

Of course, if Loveless was all bombs bursting in air all of the time, then it probably would have gotten tedious, no matter how unprecedented those bombs happened to be.

That’s why Loveless also featured a few songs that were far more atmospheric than the bangers that mostly dominated it. Of course, “atmospheric” is a relative term on a record that is dominated by tidal waves of massed sound, which is why “To Here Knows When” almost trails off into the ambient realm.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1217: My Bloody Valentine – “Only Shallow”

Album: Loveless
Year: 1991

Two years in the making, and totally and completely obsessed over by Kevin Shields until every single ounce of spontaneity had been wringed from every microsecond of music, Loveless is a record that took me some time to love as much as I respected.

Usually, I like my rock ‘n’ roll a tad more human than the unearthly sounds that made up the vast majority of Loveless, so while I appreciated all of the different guitar sounds that Shields had uncovered, I’ll admit to never being quite as whelmed — much less overwhelmed — as the rest of the known universe.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1216: My Bloody Valentine – “Sueisfine”

Album: Isn’t Anything
Year: 1988

The other song that brought me into Isn’t Anything was perhaps the the most conventional song on the album: the short sharp shocking buzzsaw of “Sueisfine,” which — if you didn’t pay that close attention — could almost be mistaken for something you’d actually heard before.

But of course, with drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig never quite committing to a straight out punk beat, or finishing his snare rolls where you would expect them to, Kevin Shields has plenty of room to pile on shiny guitars, noisy guitars and hazy guitars, all swathed in a boatload of distortion and feedback.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1215: My Bloody Valentine – “Lose My Breath”

Album: Isn’t Anything
Year: 1988

While it is of course a matter of holy writ that Loveless is My Bloody Valentine’s classic, and one of the most influential records of all-time, it didn’t entirely come out of nowhere. Which is one of many reasons to not sleep on its predecessor, 1988’s Isn’t Anything.

After a few singles and EPs, Kevin Shields figured out his guitar shit, and My Bloody Valentine found a sound that wasn’t like anybody else’s. And in 1988 that sound freaked me the fuck out. What even was this?

(more…)

Certain Songs #1214: Murray Head & The Trinidad Singers – “Superstar”

Album: Jesus Christ Superstar
Year:1969

“Don’t let me stop
Your great self destruction
Die if you want to
You misguided martyr
I wash my hands
Of your demolition
Die if you want to
You innocent puppet”

That is, of course, what Pilate says to Jesus just before “Superstar” fanfares itself in on the Jesus Christ Superstar album, and to me, it’s always seemed like an essential prologue to a song that has always been the most public face — if not the best song, which is of course “Everything’s Alright” — of a pop-culture juggernaut that’s been going on for nearly fifty years now.

(more…)