MARK GARDENER (of RIDE)
Few bands did more to revolutionize the alternative music scene more than Ride. Their contributions to Creation Records output were critical and their music was massive in England, the U.S. and the world. They were perhaps the best of the original “shoegaze” bands and their influence on rock music continues to be felt. Guitarist and singer Mark Gardener was one of the key songwriters of the band. With his current solo recordings and his production work, he continues to create compelling music. Gardener has prepared a special set of Ride tunes with the support of Sky Parade to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the band's landmark second LP, 'Going Blank Again' exclusively for the Festival.
Los Angeles pop-gazers Sky Parade (headed by Tommy Dietrick, ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre / Smallstone) carry the tradition of Primal Scream and Spiritualized's space-age-psych-rock anthems with a joyride of dense churning guitars and glistening melody. In 2009, Tommy and Joel recorded and performed alongside Robby Krieger of legendary band, The Doors, in a side project titled, Treehouse. Sky Parade's latest release, Trails Of Light, was issued this past March and collects together remastered, remixed, and unreleased songs.
WEEKEND are, without a doubt, one of Slumberland Records' finest-ever signings. Their debut LP, Sports, with its buzzsaw mix of MBV/Mary Chain overdrive and Joy Division/Killing Joke darkness, topped most critics'Best Of lists for 2010 (including the likes of Pitchfork, Spin and Rolling Stone) and their Red EP did the same last year. Their performance at the Fest marks the band's first appearance since disappearing into the studio to record their eagerly anticipated 2nd LP (due out in the Fall on Slumberland)...so Fest-goers will be the very first to hear the unveiling of a whole new batch of songs...!
Virginia-based noise-pop outfit Lorele made waves in 1992 with their debut single "The Bitter Air", which to this day is regarded by many as a defining moment in the history of their label, Slumberland Records. Their 1995 full-length, Everyone Must Touch the Stove, broke the shoegaze/noise-pop barrier and is thought to have mapped the coordinates of sound to what would become known as "Math Rock". The band have recently wrapped up a new album mixed by Guy Fixsen (My Bloody Valentine, Moonshake, Lush, Ecstasy of St. Theresa, Moose, Boo Radleys, Chapterhouse, the list goes on and on…) which is due out in September on Slumberland. This festival marks Lorelei's first-ever West Coast appearance.
Formed in 1991 Half String created a lush, guitar-driven brand of noise pop that sounded far removed from Tempe, Arizona and the commercial desert jangle sound usually associated with the local bands of that era. While the group shared an aesthetic with much of the British shoegaze scene, and occasionally recalled the spirit of early 4AD and Factory Records, they carved out a beautiful noise of their own. Half String's recordings were released through Independent Project Records, and now Captured Tracks has issued a restrospective double-LP (Maps For Sleep) as part of the label's Shoegaze Archives. Half String have chosen this occasion to reunite, performing for the first time since 1997.
Astrobrite is the candy-colored shoegaze-pop project fronted by Scott Cortez, who's known for his snowblinded guitar driftscapes in Lovesliescrushing. Astrobrite began in 1994 as a solo project and later expanded into a touring supergroup, at times incorporating members of Lovesliescrushing, Mahogany, Majesty Crush, Dark Red, Paik, Xebec, Coaltar of the Deepers amongst other musicians. In 2001, Astrobrite's first album Crush was mixed/mastered by Alison's Halo henchman Adam Cooper and released by Claire Records. It has recently been released on vinyl LP (for the first time) on BLVD records, with the rest of the band's back catalogue soon to follow. This will be Astrobrite's debut West Coast performance.
Southampton, UK-based outfit, The KVB, fuse the darkwave dreams and dread of The Soft Moon with the fuzz-laden growl and drum machine of mid-period Mary Chain (here, a nod to the band's oft-overlooked "Reverence" LP). With an impressive run of releases on Downwards, Free Loving Anarchists, BEKO DSL, ~taqueOT, and Clan Destine, The KVB's unique fusion of shoegaze soundscapes, melody and menace, see the band poised as "the next big thing" now on both sides of the pond. And the Part Time Punks Shoegaze Festival will mark the band's first U.S. appearance.
TROPIC OF CANCER
Los Angeles synthgazers Tropic Of Cancer have released three 10" singles through the much revered Downwards label, as well as a recent EP on Blackest Ever Black, The Sorrow Of Two Blooms. Following a lengthy European tour with HTRK last fall, UK press described Tropic Of Cancer's sound as "melting gothic ambiance with shoegaze grit, resulting in a blissed-out drone," and their latest EP finds the band expanding and enriching their sound. The band's sparse, synthgaze soundscapes invoke Factory Records' producer, Martin Hannett's coldest, crispest productions, while singer Camella Lobo's vocals ensnare and unfold in shades of Nico, Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine. These are the songs for the loveless.
Northern California's Whirr (formerly Whirl) make an effects-laden noise that is as blatantly loud and heavy as it is beautiful, giving the sounds of 90's shoegaze a widescreen update for the post-millennial era. The young sextet's wall of lush guitars, breathy vocals, dreamy synth and thunderous drumming propel listeners into a near-cinematic realm where instantly catchy melodies and emotional, enveloping atmospheres hang in perfect balance. The group's debut album, Pipe Dreams, was released by Tee Pee Records this past March.
Self-described as, "hopeless, charming, noise-pop devotees you can introduce to your parents," California's Moonbeams' wistful melodies behind a wall of beautiful noise bring to mind the hazy yet hummable work of Flying Saucer Attack, Spacemen 3, and the home recorded lo-fi purism of the Elephant 6 Collective. The bandʼs recorded output is almost impossible to track down (a limited 7" and 12-song CDr), though a new record via Hop Skip Jump is promised to drop sometime this summer. We're convinced the band will be headlining the Fest in a couple years, so be certain to catch their Los Angeles debut on June 24.
Sharing their namesake with a song by predecessor noise pop group The Lilys, Tennis System are keeping the legacies of Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and the Jesus and Mary Chain alive with their expansive, catchy-as-hell pop songs. Matty Taylor and Misha Bullock are masters of loud and dirty anthems, but rising above the noise that blankets them are Taylor's beautifully sung, dreamy lyrics inspired by both love and art, from the drawings of Egon Schiele to the writing of Aldous Huxley. Teenagers, the group's second LP, was released by Kill/Hurt in December of 2011.
BRAD LANER (of MEDICINE)
Guitarist, songwriter, and producer Brad Laner has been one of the most prolific men on the Los Angeles indie rock scene since the 1980s, releasing literally hundreds of records with various bands and under a handful of identities, but it wasn't until 2007 that he got around to putting out his first record, Neighbor Singing, under his own name. Born in 1967, Laner began making music with the group Debt of Nature in the early '80s, releasing five cassette-only albums and appearing on several compilation albums. Laner recorded with several other groups before joining the celebrated noise rock band Savage Republic, appearing on their final two albums, Jamahiriya and Customs. In 1991, Laner formed the group Medicine, whose fusion of raw, thickly distorted guitar work and graceful pop melodies earned them favorable comparisons with the ringleaders of the British "shoegazing" scene and a contract with the prestigious U.K. label Creation Records. Medicine's first album, Shot Forth Self Living, appeared in the U.K. in the summer of 1992, and was released in the United States a few months later by Rick Rubin's American Recordings. Medicine broke up after the release of their third LP, 1995's Her Highness, but Laner assembled a new version of the band in 2002 to reestablish the name after another group began calling itself Medicine, and a new album appeared in 2003, The Mechanical Forces of Love. Medicine's complete recordings have recently been reissued by Captured Tracks as part of the label's Shoegaze Archives series.
KXLU, home of the Part Time Punks radio show, will be simulcasting the Fest from 8pm - 2am on 88.9FM in LA and/or www.kxlu.com everywhere else!