Frank Yang, of the late Chromewaves.net, has a new blog called Space Echo, where he does what he couldn’t really do on his previous music blog: feature older music. With Chromewaves, he was writing about new music coming out. He hustled to stay on top of the latest noises, but eventually burned out and shut the blog in 2013.1 This gave Yang the freedom to check out what he had been missing in the decades before he started really taking in music and then writing about it.
I felt free to go back and explore and educate in private, and let me tell you – being able to listen to nothing but Bowie and Eno albums without having to write a single word about it was divine. I delved into the scenes and movements that laid the groundwork for the music I loved most and… I loved it even more. And now, seven years on, the bulk of my listening is of artists I rarely if ever blogged about; some I didn’t even know existed.
Content as Yang is to go back even further than the shoegaze scene’s beginnings, he loves the shoegaze genre. In his latest post, he writes briefly about the history of Curve, why they don’t get as much attention as some of their peers and how their releases were so hard to find before they showed up on Bandcamp. He showcases the video for “Horror Head,” which is, most probably, my favorite shoegaze track. I love Toni Halliday’s ethereal vocals and the bass line that jumps all over the fretboard. I was smitten when I saw the video on 120 Minutes on MTV and went out and bought the Doppleganger CD. Its strange artwork of mutilated dolls reminded me of the doll terror in Barbarella. This was in the days before I could work and compact discs were something that I didn’t often have the money to buy. The disc was the last album I bought before moving from Virginia to Albuquerque, NM, in the eleventh grade.
When I purchased it, Doppleganger was an almost total disappointment. I literally only liked the one song for which I had acquired it. I played the h*ck out of “Horror Head” and left the rest of the disc alone after a couple of initial listens. It made me sad because I knew what the band was capable of and yet they didn’t seem to be living up to their promise. I was also bummed because the drive from Virginia to New Mexico is a long one and I didn’t have new music to keep me company.
In Albuquerque, I bought a goth magazine at some record store near UNM in downtown, and it had a feature on Curve. When I read the article, I couldn’t believe that singer Tony Halliday’s parents were actual legit pirates of the Caribbean.
I used to pass by the locker of a girl who had a Curve poster taped to the door and she would say things like, “aww, he got his hair cut” and other remarks that would make me blush. I was too chicken to talk to her because I had no idea who she was. She kind of reminded me of Halliday, though, who was the prototypical early nineties alterna-girl.
Years later, watching this video still evokes a lot of memories.
→ "Curve - Horror Head"
It was a bummer for me when Yang stopped posting to Chromewaves, as I was a regular reader. ↩︎