[Abby’s Road] Emptiness Inside


It’s that time of year. Dreidels are spinning and trees are being trimmed. Advent wreaths a-glowing, this only means one thing: happy people. Refreshing.

Recently, it seems that everywhere I go, be it the crowded Ubahn, grocery store, Christmas markets, even on the -12c, iced-over footpaths begging to twist an ankle I am surrounded by smiling, pleasant humans. Even strangers are meeting my eyes and greeting me on the street. This NEVER happens (to me anyway) in Germany. Ordinarily I’m lucky if I get a cantankerous “entschuldigen” when someone knocks me in the ass with their shopping trolley at the supermarket. You’re just going to have to take my word on this one.

So, with all of this love flying around, one would think that even the congenitally pissed off and soulless would catch the fever. You know, shoot an un-creepy wink and a grin at an unsuspecting passerby or leave an extra-hefty tip for a waiter or waitress. OR…perhaps be elated when one of the most influential bands of recent history as far as independent music is concerned announces UK dates in early 2013 and reports a long-awaited album release is imminent; especially if you are a fan. But no..no. I’ve gone too far…I’ve asked too much. GAH.

I deserve it. My frustration I mean, as I pay attention to social media and blogs, especially when it comes to My Bloody Valentine. Admittedly, I probably receive one too many email blasts, Facebook updates, you name it, as I want to be informed. Foolishly, I assume the majority of folks receiving these messages, messages one must SUBSCRIBE to, are, like me, fans of the band and overjoyed about said announcements. Nope.

I have no idea what it’ll take to make these cranky bastards happy, actually.

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For those of you who follow the shenanigans of Kevin Shields and company, it’s no secret that their listening public have been waiting for the follow-up to 1991’s Loveless, a record that topped the best of 90s lists (even best of ALL TIME lists) from NME to Pitchfork and oodles of smaller blogs and periodicals as well, forever. And yes, it becomes comical when over the years, whispers of a release are squashed by conflicting reports from band members or a friend of a friend of the band’s blog. It has become normal. Nothing to get angry about, however. Just keep on listening to the amazing back catalog (reissued in 2012…something that  – finally – came to fruition) and enjoy what it is that sucked you into MBV fandom in the first place. Good things come to those who wait. Done.

Seems easy, no? Yet last week, on the crest of MBV adding a 2nd London date to their March UK tour (after the first sold out in 4 minutes) and the most genuine announcement to date about a new LP being released, sorry souls continued to make crotchety comments, the likes of “You realise you’re an ongoing joke?” and “Just release a new album instead of adding more shows.” Or my personal favorite, “If you value your hearing, you’ll stay away.” Nice. Jesus.

Being the diplomatic girl I am, I understand that everyone is entitled to an opinion. That said, all of the cranky men and women complaining about MBV not releasing a new record (yet) will be the same sods who criticize the hell out of it when and if it is ever released, crying about how it doesn’t come close to Loveless, blahblah. And the confusing circle of idiocy continues. C’est la vie.

I, myself, am ecstatic about the news. Of course I am. Anyone who has read what I’ve written over the years (thanks, by the way) knows this. It’s not that I take their critics’ words personally, but really? If you have nothing nice to say as a fan, how about keeping your giant trap shut? That’d be nice. Truth be told: you make me tired. And it makes you look silly…sillier than a 39 year old gushing about her most favorite band in the world on a music blog founded and maintained by people half her age.

Phew. That felt good.

So. Think of me fondly as I fly the friendly skies to Manchester on 10 March to partake in the religious experience that is a My Bloody Valentine gig. It is pretty spectacular. Loud, never noisy, and glorious. To all the haters: jealous much?

Happy weekend.

[Abby’s Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]

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