Like any respectable literature, I’m going to throw too many names at you.
Back in early April, a friend shared with me a press release that Manufactured Recordings would be reissuing a trio of classic, overlooked shoegaze records: KG’s Come Closer, We’re Cool, Alison’s Halo’s Eyedazzler and Bethany Curve’s Mee-Eaux. I was vaguely familiar with Bethany Curve, but had never heard of the other two. Considering my friend’s excitement over Alison’s Halo getting a vinyl reissue (and a double-LP treatment at that), I took a dive into the album and their available recordings scattered across the internet.
In their time, Alison’s Halo only released on 7” single and this record, yet they toured with heavy-hitters of the underground shoegaze scene including Medicine, Curve and the Verve. Eyedazzler is a retrospective collection of the band’s music from 1992-1996. The record saw a CD-only release in 1998, and has now been re-released digitally, on a limited-run CD, and as a double-LP vinyl reissue. This record holds its own, using very classic song structures from the ethereal 90s and pumping them through delay and distortion to create a beautiful wall of sound, which sits upon Catherine Cooper’s subdued but definitive vocals. This album deserves its place in shoegaze royalty.
I now consider it one of my favorite records ever, and Manufactured Recordings has taken great care to package this record into something worth tucking-in at night. I recommend this record for warm, wet days inside.
Favorite track: Snowbleed
get the record at www.alisonshalo.com
check out the full roster for the Shoegaze Archives project at discogs
The C Word
Hi, we are moving back to the country in today’s Beyond the Hook colucast or (column/podcast) and my name is Jon McKenney WPGM intern. I hesitate to use the c word when referring to music because many people refuse to give country music a chance. I’ve heard it said a bunch of times, “oh, I like all music except country” or “country, god no!” or I can’t stand the twang, or it’s a bunch of hillbillies, or the cowboy clothes or the lost love, or truck driving, or drinking songs.” But that is a very snobbish attitude. Give country music an honest try. If you like rock and roll, blues, or folk, then you’ll like country. It’s American Roots Music. Country and the other genres I mentioned are like identical twins; it’s almost impossible, at times, to tell where one ends and the other begins. Country married R&B and Rock and Roll was born. I don’t want to beat a dead dog but many rockers have sung country and if you don’t believe me just ask the Beatles.
Beyond The Hook # 4 by Jon McKenney
Hi this is Beyond the Hook and I am Jon Mckenney..
I had never heard of today’s featured artist until I started asking around to see what music some younger more traditional students listened to. I received a number of replies but today’s colucast (column/podcast) stars a female singer, that generated the most excitement. The person who originally suggested today’s performer is a graduate student and assistant at The ROCC; which by the way offers a free lunch every Thursday 12 – 1 at Sullivan gym; Abedom Gebreyesus. He said something like this, “I’ve got one! You should do Tems.” To which I said, “who?” He replies, “bring some culture into USM radio station and put Tems in there!!!” Then a couple of days later I was at the WMPG on campus radio station and I asked if anybody had ever heard of Tems and only one person answered. A work study student: Kayla Bogart, the youngest person in the room said, in a burst of excitement, “oh she’s great, I was just listening to her this morning.” Well, that settled it; Tems, otherwise known as Temilade Openiyi, is in the house.
Hi my name is Jon McKenney and welcome to the first installment of “Beyond The Hook.”
A hook, sometimes called a riff, is a repeatable phrase or melody that draws you in and hooks you. I am an English major, and I am working as an intern, here at WMPG, that requires a writing component and my first assignment is to hit the ground running and produce a colucast or a (column /podcast). The beauty of the job is: I can write about a topic that I am passionate about so I will be forcing you to listen to my opinion. If you don’t like it or disagree or on the off chance that you do agree let me know.
The ‘grunge dad’ himself, DJ Shaxx, caught up with local band Weakened Friends. Catch his edited radio show here:
Molly Nillson’s Imaginations reviewed by Jake Folsom.
Last Friday, Berlin-based Swedish singer-songwriter Molly Nilsson released ‘s her seventh LP, Imaginations. Molly Nilsson’s style is consistent – independent, straightforward, minimal synth-pop. She produces & releases all of her material through her own label, Dark Skies Association, creates her own music videos, organizes tours and designs all the album artwork. If you look up any of her live performances on YouTube, most of shows feature Nilsson alone on stage singing over pre-programmed tracks. While big “indie” labels like Secretly Group and Sub Pop consistently push out a catchy brand of rock & pop free of “corporate influence”, Molly Nilsson reminds us that it’s still possible for an artist to self-produce great music.
Neu! Neu! 2 & Neu! 75
By David Pence
Last year saw the reissue of three records that have thrown a long shadow across the landscape of rock. These three albums were made by Neu! (pronounced noy and meaning “new”) in Dusseldorf and Hamburg between 1972 and 1975, after Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger had abandoned the fledgling Kraftwerk to work as a duo. In the ensuing three decades, the influence of Neu! has reached bands like Pere Ubu, Joy Division, Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth, and Stereolab.
The Mighty Hannibal
By Dylan Morrow
West Coast soulster the Mighty Hannibal aka James T. Shaw is a master songwriter and fine vocalist. He is also a great storyteller as exemplified both by his lyrics and in the liner notes accompanying this 28 song collection (there is a nice story about Ray Charles the pilot in here). Apparently this man has made some interesting career moves (for example as a “Master Advisor and Maintainer of Women’s Affairs”) and seen some bad times as attested to in the gospel/funk of “The Truth Shall Make You Free” (containing the line “drugs is just a new name for slavery”). In this instance hard times and heroin made for some interesting music. This collection contains tracks ranging stylistically from 1950’s r&b clatter “Big Chief Hug-Um an’ Kiss-Um” and “My Name is Hannibal” to the deep mournful 70’s soul of the deceptively titled “Party Life”. There is something for the kids with ” Motha !
By Chris Darling
Well, in this huge world of music, with “umpteen” artists debuting their work way before their time, few artists I’ve come across match the readiness and musical knowledge of native Mainer, Sean McGowan. Throw in the sonically pure steel-string guitar prowess & Sean’s masterful delivery and this Solo Guitar (DEBUT) release River Coffee displays, and your in for a treat.
This debut release from Sydney, Australia’s Ides of Space arrived at WMPG late last year and promptly blew my teenie little indie mind. Completely skipping a gawky musical adolescence, this quintet managed to show up on the first day of school with a nearly flawless balance of lush, shoe-gazing melody and carefully controlled bursts of thunderous, fuzzy guitar.
By Valerie Cartonio
This is the third release for this band out of Tempe, Arizona. Last year they walked away with a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Pop/Rock Recording of the Year. Recently, “Clan/destine” was nominated for Best Duo/Group of the Year.