Wishbeard: Up & coming local dreampoppers

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I saw that local rising stars, Chastity Belt, were playing an upcoming show at Columbia City Theater, and took a look to see who else was on the bill. Seeing an unfamiliar name, Wishbeard, on the lineup, I clicked on the link to check out their sounds. I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. They have a mellow, vaguely shoegaze/dreampop vibe about them, with winding guitars, dreamy keyboards, and an eerie brightness to their sound. At times, they remind me of Lemolo, another great, local, dreampop band. And there is just the subtlest edge of post-punk in places, with the opening tune, Strawberry ’79, bringing to mind a less prophetic/intense version of Savages. I can envision some great late night drives around Seattle to their music.

You can hear their debut EP, It’s All Gonna Break, over on bandcamp. And you can check them out live on February 1st at the Columbia City Theater in SE Seattle.

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Those seminal sounds

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Ok-this is going to be a flashback post.

Every music fan has a time period, era, or genre of music that they identify with-music from your formative years, your youth, music that got you through a rough patch, whatever.

I certainly had music that I discovered as a kid that changed my perspective about what music could sound like. I remember hearing “The Tide is High” by Blondie on the radio in the car when I was like 5 or 6 and thinking it was sounded so different and fascinating. On a trip to visit relatives on the East Coast in the early 80’s, I remember a cousin who I thought was very cool at the time, was listening to early albums by U2, B-52’s, Talking Heads and R.E.M. I had never heard any of those bands or that kind of music. During high school, I finally started to expand my musical palette a little bit beyond whatever was on the generic radio station. But it wasn’t until I was out of high school and in community college that my true time of musical discovery happened, 1991-1993 to be exact. Right when the whole “alternative” scene was bursting. Not only was I discovering the music that would set the course for the kind of sounds I’d continue to enjoy in the future, but it also coincided with me coming out of my shell, and discovering who I was myself.

Looking back now, these albums seem like pretty basic alternative fare-Alternative Rock 101, you could say.  But for me, these are the albums that I played and played and played-the music that defined (and continues to define) and provided the soundtrack to my life.

What songs, albums, genres shaped you? Leave a comment below, or discuss on my Facebook page.

Smashing Pumpkins – Gish

Pavement – Slanted & Enchanted

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

Ride – Nowhere

Sonic Youth – Dirty

R.E.M. – Automatic for the People

the Breeders – Pod

Mudhoney – Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge

Beat Happening – Jamboree

Some Velvet Sidewalk – Avalanche

Pixies – Surfer Rosa and Doolittle