Like their old man, both of my teenage sons are serious music heads. That means we talk about tunes very often. One thing both of them are into is the shoegaze sound and a discussion about a top 50 album list that Pitchfork did a few months ago on that scene came up recently. We debated how things some record should have been ranked in different places, how some bands should have been on there and what bands were missing.
One of the glaring omissions from the list for me was the Teenage Filmstars 1992 album Lift Off mit der Teenage Filmstars aka Star.
The history of the band is a bit odd one to follow. The brain behind the group was a fellow named Ed Ball, who released a couple singles under the name in 1979 and '80. Collaborating with him were members of the Television Personalities who Ball was also a member of. He then split from that band to start his own thing called the Times, who released 13 albums between 1980 and 1999.
After hearing My Bloody Valentine's Loveless album, Ed decided it was time to resurrect the Teenage Filmstars. He dived headfirst into a vortex that not only included the patented swirling guitars and other dizzying effects that the shoegaze stamp is but also heavy dollops of 70's glam rock and 60's brain frying psych to make things sound even more like a squiggly dream. The result was this album.
What are you listening tonight?