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The Rambler :: blog

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

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To be honest, that Loveless thing I wrote was more a poke at Kevin Shields, and even more a reaction to the fawning Guardian article. (Did no one else wince at how glibly both reporter and interviewee related how Shields had simply pissed Island's money up the wall, for zero return?) Mythology is a tricky, sometimes unpleasant beast, that must always be treated with the greatest suspicion.

Jon brought up the Pastels - one of the few tracks that MBV have managed to put down in the last 12 years (that the Guardian fails to mention) was 'Magic Nights', featured on the Illuminati: the Pastels Remixes album (there was also a cover of 'We Have All the Time in the World' on a Vox freebie CD years ago).

I don't know Dreams Top Rock to be honest (one day I'll start talking about music I do know about...); the only Pluramon track I have was on the Wire Tapper 6.

Listening to 'Come in Alone' right now, I guess I just want to follow up some of what Jon says: of course there is a cumulative strength to the record, and there's that top-end harmonics/tinnitus thing that I dig (cf Glenn Branca), but - and this comes from such a whey face as mine - I just wish it would kick off a bit more. One of my favourite shoegaze passages is actually the end of Ride's 'Leave them all behind', that minute-and-a-half of solid noise. Perhaps because he was so concerned with 'getting it right', Shields could never really let go of the controls and see what happened.

But this boils down to something deep in my own aesthetic taste: I prefer frayed edges, disintegration, mistakes, imperfection to polished sheen. What makes the South Bank - that monolithic, modernist, series of concrete blocks, the closest thing I can think of architecturally to Loveless - beautiful and moving are the water stains. The way this futuristic vision, a fantasy of cultural and imperial might, modernistic anti-time, is being marked, tarnished by simple rain water every week is really quite poetic. Shields should maybe have relaxed a bit more and let the damp open up some cracks.


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