4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Mogwai Is Too Good for Background Music

Grad school meant hours and hours of reading by myself. Music kept me company, but it had to be a certain kind of music. Lyrics would distract me from my studies, so almost anything with vocals was out. The same went for anything too up-tempo. Classical and jazz were usually okay, and I found some electronic stuff I liked, but I’m a rock guy at heart. So I ended up listening to a lot of mostly instrumental bands that alternated slow, atmospheric sounds with loud, raging guitars and drums. At some point I realized that at least half the music I was listening to sounded like Mogwai.

For the past 15 years, Mogwai has been the undisputed leader of its corner of the rock universe. The Scottish band’s music often gets lumped in with the so-called post-rock scene of the mid-’90s, but when Mogwai turns up the volume (and Mogwai is famous for getting punishingly loud in concert), there is nothing “post” about its rock: Mogwai can pummel you like the heaviest metal you’ve ever heard. (It sounds all the heavier when the loud part comes along after a song has been drifting along quietly for six minutes.)

And Mogwai has been around long enough to inspire legions of other bands, all employing a similar mix of mostly instrumental sounds, mostly traditional rock instrumentation, and a sense of high drama when it comes to volume levels. A lot of these bands even borrow another page from Mogwai’s playbook by giving their most powerful instrumental songs goofy titles. It was mostly these bands, more than Mogwai itself, that I played when I was studying. Mogwai is just too good to be background music.

MOGWAI: Belly Up Tavern, Sunday, June 3, 9 p.m. 858-481-8140. $27.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

A People’s Cuban Christmas Tale, Hirie and Tribal Theory, Snow N Glow Holiday Festival

Events December 2-December 4, 2021
Next Article

Chef Budda Blasian Soul Food is getting a food truck

The family-operated pop-up has thrived on word of mouth, and sumptuous fried chicken

Grad school meant hours and hours of reading by myself. Music kept me company, but it had to be a certain kind of music. Lyrics would distract me from my studies, so almost anything with vocals was out. The same went for anything too up-tempo. Classical and jazz were usually okay, and I found some electronic stuff I liked, but I’m a rock guy at heart. So I ended up listening to a lot of mostly instrumental bands that alternated slow, atmospheric sounds with loud, raging guitars and drums. At some point I realized that at least half the music I was listening to sounded like Mogwai.

For the past 15 years, Mogwai has been the undisputed leader of its corner of the rock universe. The Scottish band’s music often gets lumped in with the so-called post-rock scene of the mid-’90s, but when Mogwai turns up the volume (and Mogwai is famous for getting punishingly loud in concert), there is nothing “post” about its rock: Mogwai can pummel you like the heaviest metal you’ve ever heard. (It sounds all the heavier when the loud part comes along after a song has been drifting along quietly for six minutes.)

And Mogwai has been around long enough to inspire legions of other bands, all employing a similar mix of mostly instrumental sounds, mostly traditional rock instrumentation, and a sense of high drama when it comes to volume levels. A lot of these bands even borrow another page from Mogwai’s playbook by giving their most powerful instrumental songs goofy titles. It was mostly these bands, more than Mogwai itself, that I played when I was studying. Mogwai is just too good to be background music.

MOGWAI: Belly Up Tavern, Sunday, June 3, 9 p.m. 858-481-8140. $27.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The masterful Meistersinger singers

The best six hours I've spent in an opera house
Next Article

“John Adams drank a pint of cider every morning. Should we do any less?”

In the splash zone of the high cider pour
Comments
1

I saw them in Coachella a few years back. They were AMAZING!!

May 31, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close