I was asking Gene to turn up the levels on his vocals, but yesterday’s foray into his song the End and the Beatles overlaid a hundred times, put me in mind of My Bloody Valentine. This is one of the most loved albums of the 90s, and he wisely buries the vocals underneath the overlaid and overdubbed guitar and whatever other noises he uses. (NOTE: After writing this I was reading some interviews with Kevin Shields, the Valentine’s lead guitarist and main writer and he says the sound is a result of open tuning and a wang bar that he pulls on while he plays. Sounds lewd, but he also says there are very few overdubs, that the band values simplicity. Of course, here’s Shields’ idea of simplicity, as applied to the recording of the song “Only Shallow:” “That’s just two amps facing each other, with tremolo. And the tremolo on each amp is set to a different rate. There’s a mike between the two amps. I did a couple of overdubs of that, then I reversed it and played it backwards into a sampler. I put them on top of each other so they kind of merged in.” Quote from a story by Alan DiPerna originally published in Guitar World.)
I was torn about whether to use the Lost in Translation version, with those visuals, or the album cover only version. The music makes its own images, but if Scarlett Johanssen gets in the way, close your eyes. This is beautiful too.