Beautiful Noise: A Shoegazer Documentary

My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride, The Cocteau Twins, The Boo Radleys, Catherine Wheel, Lush — all of them are consistent faves, if not musical essentials in my world. If it has layers of billowy clouds of effects-drenched guitars, breathy, amorphous vocals, and oodles of atmosphere, I’ve probably gone gaga over it, and will continue to do so.

Just browse through Opus’ music review archives and you’ll inevitably come across a number of reviews tagged with “shoegazer”. It’s probably the one musical genre that I could, without a doubt, call my favorite. Other musical interests have waxed and waned but my love for these sweet, swirly sounds has always remained.

And though shoegazer pop never quite got the critical and popular acclaim it was supposed to, its influence can be felt all over the current musical landscape. One could argue that were it not for the shoegazers, groups such as Radiohead, Sigur Rós, The Flaming Lips, Smashing Pumpkins, Mogwai, and a whole slew of post-rock acts would probably sound far, far different than they do.

Eric Green apparently feels the same way about the genre as I do. But rather than write about it, he’s making a movie about it. Entitled Beautiful Noise, the documentary explores the history of the shoegazer genre, as well as its continuing influence, not just on the current wave of gazers but also on popular music as a whole.

To that end, Green has amassed an impressive list of interviewees, including Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), Robin Guthrie (The Cocteau Twins), Robert Smith (The Cure), Neil Halstead (Slowdive), Martin Carr (The Boo Radleys), David Pearce (Flying Saucer Attack), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), and Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips) — to name a few. It certainly looks like the man’s done his homework over the past two years or so.

No release date has been for the film, though according to this Pitchfork article, it does seem to be nearing completion. Needless to say, I’m already clearing away some space on the DVD rack for this one.

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