Entertainment: My Bloody Valentine tour in Canada & US
There's definitely no shortage of aging big-name synth-pop and rock acts from the 80's touring to our locales this fall. Recent (slightly lacklustre) performance by Depeche Mode in Centre Bell, upcoming Pet Shop Boys show in Olympia, Simple Minds October stopover in Montreal's Métropolis.
All of these bands capitalized on post-punk creative explosion back in their formative years and succeeded in translating some challenging music ideas into crossover potential and made it really with wider audience. They also somehow managed to stick around for as long as they did.
Despite the longevity, pretty much all of the aforementioned outfits struggled to maintain credibility. Having stopped pushing their sound to new areas long time ago, all of them had problems even with updating it for younger generations. Last DM album that didn't sound desperate was 97's Ultra. Hiring an army of hot dance-music producers to enliven their newer material didn't help to change the situation. After prolonged period of musical disasters Pet Shop Boys finally hit the right note with the audience and critics by releasing this year's "Electric", which pretty much resets everything to their old stylings with additional sharper production by Madonna-endorsed pop-wizard Stuart Price. Simple Minds is more of a tribute band to their old selves.
Even with this abundance of incoming icons of the yesteryear it was somewhat unexpected to hear an announcement of My Bloody Valentine touring their new record with 2 stops in Canada. Another alt-music powerhouse of the late 80's crop, they had a very different and unique career trajectory. Having produced two era-defining albums "Isn't Anything" and absolutely untouchable "Loveless", they decided not to release anything for more than 20 years.
In hindsight MBV refusal to stamp "Loveless" copies on a yearly basis is what preserved their cult status. However, even when the band regrouped for a series of live performance somewhere around 2008, no one really expected them to come up with anything even-remotely resembling the past glory. I would even go as far as to say that no one expected anything new at all. Especially after successive false-start rumours reappearing in the music press on a constant basis.
Nonetheless Kevin Shields & Co did just that this year. Their new "m b v" record is not "Loveless' by any stretch of the imagination, but it comes close and will definitely go down as one of 2013's best. MBV determination to keep on experimenting (albeit not to the same earth-shattering effect as before) deserves additional praise. Their widely publicized attempt at marrying Shields' trademark densely layered quitar drone and feedback with rhythm structures resembling outsider's take on experimental strains of UK's late 90's drum and bass sound is not groundbreaking anymore. Many have attempted this surgery with the varying degree of success. Most impressively so by Blackest Ever Black act Raime. However it takes a lot of courage for the act in the league similar to MBV to embark on the journey more befitting younger experimental producers.
It seems not necessary to advertise the necessity to grab this opportunity to see the band live this coming November if you ever fantasized witnessing their mythical live rendition of "You Made Me Realize" featuring ear-melting 15-minutes+ white noise interlude.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday 09 2013 at 12 PM Easter Time here.
Shows in Canada:11/05 Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
11/06 Montreal, QC - Métropolis