It’s that time again, folks…Kalamashoegazer 7 is upon us, this Saturday, October 12th at Louie’s Trophy House Grill. The all ages shoegaze and dreampop festival starts at 4 p.m. (doors at 3) with Helical Scan from Grand Rapids, followed by Crash City Saints from Kalamazoo, Whales from Chicago, 800Beloved from Midland, Glowfriends from Kalamazoo, Brief Candles from Milwaukee, and closing out with Airiel from Chicago, headlining.
Admission to the show is $10. Advance tickets are still available at Corner Record Shop in Kalamazoo and Grandville, Michigan, and also at Louie’s Trophy House Grill in Kalamazoo. Tickets may be purchased on-line from http://www.brownpapertickets.com, however there is a small service fee. Any person attending the show that presents an advance ticket at the door will receive a free copy of the Limited Edition Kalamashoegazer 7 cassette, that includes one rare and previously unreleased track by each band that is playing the festival. If there are any cassettes left, they will be available for purchase at the show for $5 each. (Cassettes are LTD to 200 copies.)
Here’s a brief description of the history of the festival and the bands playing it this year…
Kalamashoegazer was started in 2007 by April Zimont and her brother, Mark Morris of the glowfriends. They had been touring out on the West Coast in the early 2000′s when the found out about a burgeoning underground shoegaze scene that was going in southern California. After a show they played at the Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd, April was handed a flyer by someone outside the venue for a “shoegaze night” at Club Violaine. For several years, when they were out that way on tour, April and Mark attended Violaine’s events, which involved DJ’s spinning obscure shoegaze/dreampop/ambient/noise music, along with usually 3 or 4 bands playing that night as well. Fans gathered, danced, traded music, and a good time was had by all. The idea of bringing something similar to Michigan, to invite shoegaze fans from all over the midwest to gather together in Kalamazoo for one entire day celebrating “the scene that celebrates itself” was born.
Helical Scan – The opening band this year is a new band from Grand Rapids, MI, called Helical Scan. Noisy, dreamy, and melodic, Helical Scan have somewhat of a 90′s thing going with a sound that is uniquely their own. Fans of Sonic Youth, Ride, and Slowdive will enjoy the scattered and beautiful waves that Helical Scan create.
Crash City Saints – CCS are one of Kalamazoo’s longest running bands, led by Joshua Garman. The band has seen as many line-up changes as the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and drama to boot. They released an amazing record on a Japanese record label a few years back, and are having a new one mixed and mastered right now by Elliott Frazier of Ringo Deathstarr. The band is currently playing with it’s most solid and consistent line-up thus far, and the songs have got enough reverb and distortion to melt your mind.
Whales – Chicago based band Whales are a Kalamazoo favorite and have a great following here. If you haven’t seen them yet, you’ve likely heard the buzz about them, and ought to do yourself a favor and check out this super sweet, fun, noisy band. Raw, almost punk-like energy that comes out of nowhere and then drifts into blissful melodic and dreamy segments and back again…this band will totally catch your attention live. Their new full length album, “Size and Scale” will be released at the show.
800beloved – The ever elusive 800beloved, from “some suburban Michigan town” is lead by Sean Lynch, who writes unconventionally perfect pop tunes that are darkly melodic and enchanting. This band’s music practically has a smell to it that will take you back to the 80′s or at the very least, the awesome head space you were in when you first heard the Psychedelic Furs or the Cure. If that sounds amazing to you, this 800beloved will totally be your cup of tea.
Glowfriends – Kalamazoo’s own glowfriends are 6 piece dreampop band who make some pretty music that is sometimes really quiet and delicate and sometimes really loud and abrasive. Go figure. The pop sensibilities are all there, the songs are catchy and melodic, yet somehow not predictable, male/female harmonies abound, guitars soar and distort their way through every emotion possible in a 40 minute set. Kevin Dixon from Brief Candles just recorded and produced glowfriends new album, “Gather us Together” which will be released on vinyl sometime in 2014.
Brief Candles – From Milwaukee, WI, Brief Candles are another fan favorite in Kalamazoo…something cathartic happens when they play here, and everyone is ready to dance and throw down to their powerful sound. The band is touring for their newest EP, “Newhouse” which was just released on Guilt Ridden Pop. If you’ve seen them before, it’s likely they’re a top reason you’re going to Kalamashoegazer, and if you haven’t seen them yet, prepare yourself…this band is amazing live.
Airiel – Legendary shoegaze band, Airiel, from Chicago, are the headliners this year, and we’re thrilled to have them! The band has been around since 1997, and are much loved in the shoegaze scene world wide. Fans of Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, etc. will not want to miss!