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My Bloody Valentine, New York, Sept. 22

Posted by on Sep 23, 2008 in Music | 2 comments

I’ve been assaulted at the Roseland Ballroom by two men and two women who call themselves My Bloody Valentine.  But I’ll get back to them after light discussion of the opening acts.


Wow, I’m not really into you guys at all.

Le Volume Courbe kicked off the show.  It’s really a vehicle for singer Charlotte Marionneau backed by a nu-folk band.  Her vocals come off like a flat night for Bjork fronting the Flying Burrito Brothers.  If that sounds interesting, it really wasn’t my intention to make it sound so.


Distorted acoustic guitars and flute?  What’s next? Distorted handclaps?

Wounded Knees were next.  The band includes Head Bloody Valentine Kevin Shields’ brother, Jimi.  Two heavily distorted acoustic guitars, a distorted flute and drums.  But nothing really worked until. . .


Ever hear of dinosaur rock before?

J. Mascis walked on, plugged in and all of a sudden, everything sounded great!  He’s got a gut now and seems to waddle a bit, but he’s Wounded Knee’s missing ingredient.  Funnily enough, Mascis used to be in a band called Deep Wound, before Dinosaur Jr.  Hmmm.



My Bloody Valentine are striking because the two singer/guitarists Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher (real name) live up to the shoegazing ethic by not really moving much despite the tectonic waves of sound issuing forth.  Bassist Debbie Googe and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig were as kinetic as Shields and Butcher were restrained.  In fact, I was struck by how Butcher often wouldn’t even play her guitar, not touching it at all during “To Here Knows When,” which she sings.  About a dozen strobe lights encouraged followers to keep their eyes averted from the Bloodys.  I’ve read that they’ve been crappy live, but hell, they sure sounded like they wanted it tonight.


Raise your hands if you’re deaf!!!!!

The night ended with “You Made Me Realise,” which devolved into a 15-minute maelstrom of sound that swallowed up the entire room.  It was so loud the noise sent ripples through the air that formed a beat pattern when one breathed in.  The floor was shaking, my organs were shaking and if the financial sector hadn’t already crumbled, it would have been flattened.  Listening to my recording of the show, it sounds like a jet flying around indoors.  I can only compare it to one other real-life experience, being on the NJ Transit platform when an Amtrak train whips past, only one would have to be directly on the tracks and the Amtrak would have 10,000 cars.  People spontaneously raised both arms up in the air, maybe out of a primitive instinct to worship the divine earthquakes that just leveled one’s immoral city?

At one point Googe’s bass amp blew out a circuit and Shields had a fit, forcing a technician to fix the problem, although the overall volume dipped only 1% or so during the mishap.

No encore.  Just a simple but sincerely muttered, “Thanks,” and something about blowing out the PA system from Shields at the end.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Chang

    Dear Lord God Ed Lin For President,

    Firstly, thanks for the CD!!! It rocks! I’ve got it rocking now!

    I tried to give MBV their time back in the day. But I never cold quite get into them. Now that I am older and wiser I will give them another shot. Downloading Loveless as I type this.

    J. Mascis makes me want a Fender Jazzmaster. IF we are not totally fucked by the financial crisis, I will be getting myself one.

    Permission to rock on?

    – Chang/Brittney Sparse/CRT


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