Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Music: Whhhheeeeeeennnnnneehhhh – Whoooooooooooooohoo – Whhhheeeeeeennnnnneehhhh – Whoooooooooooooohoo . . .

This is nobody's fault but my own, but whenever somebody mentions My Bloody Valentine, the middling also-ran '80s slasher about a psycho miner that violently hates Valentine's Day, I can't help but start audibly wailing: "Whhhheeeeeeennnnnneehhhh – Whoooooooooooooohoo – Whhhheeeeeeennnnnneehhhh – Whoooooooooooooohoo . . ." I sound like some demented police siren.

It's a serious condition. Seriously. Quit laughing.

This wouldn't be a problem really except, for reasons totally obscure to me, everybody seems to have decided the coming MBV remake – in 3D nonetheless, the gimmick that made Friday the 13th Part 3 so indisputably the best in the series - will be exempt from the general directive requiring horror bloggers to be hating hard on remakes.

Worse yet, the original MBV is going through a widespread reappraisal by horror fans. Until recently, the flick enjoyed a big fat 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's IMDB rating hovered between 2 and 3. These days it has a 14% on Tomatotron and whopping 5 and change on the Database of All Earthly Knowledge. Never one to miss out on the latest geek circle jerk, Quentin Tarantino made sure to drop the title as his favorite slasher flick of all time or until Return to Horror High is ripe for rediscovery.

(I should point out that these are still utterly crap ratings and before people start wetting themselves over the prospects of a new MBV, they should reflect on the fact that this film needed a critical rediscovery simply to reach the dizzying ratings reserved for such genre landmarks as 2004's Van Helsing.)

All this means that people have actually been giving this flick some attention. Consequently, like some kid unwittingly left in front of a seizure inducing Japanimation show, I find my sell innocently surfing the horror-blog-o-sphere to suddenly burst into "Whhhheeeeeeennnnnneehhhh – Whoooooooooooooohoo – Whhhheeeeeeennnnnneehhhh – Whoooooooooooooohoo . . ."

Needless to say, this caterwauling is driving my poor wife mad. In an effort to get at the root of the problem, I've dug out the suppressed memory that causes this neurotic-compulsive behavior: the video for shoe-gazing legends My Bloody Valentine's tune "Only Shallow."

Now that I've fully recognized why I wail like a spastic electric banshee whenever the title of the movie comes up, we should put the results of this autotherapy to the test. Quick, somebody, mention you-know-what in the comments of this entry!

(Just for giggles, there's a wonderful youtube video featuring MBV – the band, not either version of the movie – that highlights one of the weirder features of this icy, moody, artsy, withdrawn group: They were unbelievably loud. Louder than more ostensibly rockin' outfits could ever hope to be. In his excellent 33 1/3 book on Loveless, Mike McGonigal describes the experience of seeing My Bloody Valentine live as the equivalent of standing in front of a jet liner's roaring engine. For an audio/visual illustration of that metaphor, here's a live clip of MBV playing "Only Shallow" live. You don't have to listen to the whole thing. Just listen for the point where, almost as soon as the band kicks in, this bootlegger's video recorder gets utterly overwhelmed by the band's noise.

Ouch. Somebody may have just blown out their camera's mic.)


Anonymous said...

My Bloody Valentine is still insanely loud. Author and badass Ed Lin just caught one of their shows in New York:

The night ended with “You Made Me Realise,” which devolved into a 15-minute maelstrom of sound that swallowed up the entire room. It was so loud the noise sent ripples through the air that formed a beat pattern when one breathed in. The floor was shaking, my organs were shaking and if the financial sector hadn’t already crumbled, it would have been flattened. Listening to my recording of the show, it sounds like a jet flying around indoors. I can only compare it to one other real-life experience, being on the NJ Transit platform when an Amtrak train whips past, only one would have to be directly on the tracks and the Amtrak would have 10,000 cars. People spontaneously raised both arms up in the air, maybe out of a primitive instinct to worship the divine earthquakes that just leveled one’s immoral city?

The Igloo Keeper said...

The first time I did acid I spent 12 hours listening to Only Shallow over and over again. Then I saw God.Great night.

PS Just say no. Or say hi at www.igloooftheuncanny.blogspot.com