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Shoegaze : Genre: A 33 1/3 Series - Ryan Pinkard


By: Ryan Pinkard

Paperback | 3 October 2024

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What the hell is shoegaze? A scene? A movement? A sound? Back in the Nineties, many would have said the so-called genre was entirely fabricated. The term itself, an offensive piss-take given by the notoriously catty and scene-obsessed British music press, was plainly rejected by the absurdly small collection of bands to which it supposedly applied.

Today shoegaze is undeniable. As a descriptor and as a source of influence, it is used in more ways and by more bands than anyone could have dreamed of 30 years ago. Between those periods of invention and ubiquity, the term, along with the bands it first described, all but disappeared off the face of the earth.

In this ambitious oral history of a genre that has eluded definition for three decades, Ryan Pinkard unearths the first wave of shoegaze, following the core bands, their sounds, their influence, and their journeys in and out of obscurity. His analysis is woven through dozens of original interviews with artists, label heads, and critics. What he discovers is the unlikely odyssey of this esoteric, experimental music form, which nearly became a mainstream entity, only to be viciously killed off, forgotten, and rediscovered by a new generation that regards it as one of the most influential alternative music events since the Velvet Underground.

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