Can you find Ash Bowie? Picture by Brad Searles, kindly borrowed from Bradley’s Almanac
Of all the mental hallmarks from the hugely important year that has been 2008, a personal favorite is the Marshall-stack battalion at My Bloody Valentine’s first US reunion show this past September, an amp wall so menacingly and meticulously arranged onstage that it seemed like, as a friend there pointed out, “It could scramble molecules.” Certainly felt that way once Kevin Shields and company first kicked into “I Only Said,” one of Loveless‘s more beloved whale-song pedal washes that, come to think of it, had the miraculous effect of making my nerve-endings ooze. Yep, sorta like that election thing except completely inconsequential, no iPhone snaps or vacation-carousel reverie will do that night, or those amps, or Kutsher’s lobby carpeting, justice. (Sorry.)
Nor will these 256 kbs MP3s from Bradley’s Almanac of My Bloody Valentine’s entire ATP set: “How could my tiny clip-on stereo mic possibly funnel what MBV delivers?” acknowledges the ‘Nac’s bootleg-guru Brad Searles. It can’t, and that’s precisely the point. Consider these either souvenirs or sour-grape juice—the vocals really were that low in the mix, and the crowd’s outbursts was surprisingly contained. So really, yeah, you didn’t miss a thing, I swear. See?