Do This! Vapour Trail at Seattle’s Living Room

My first DJ gig in Seattle was a weekly shoegaze/dreampop happy hour at the Baltic Room.  This is like, 10+ years ago.  It was a great time, the bartenders were cool, members of local bands like C’est La Mort, Kinski, The Turn-ons and Voyager One would come by and I had a chance to show off my record collection.  Some of the best times of my life were seeing Lush, Moose, Boo Radleys, Pale Saints, My Bloody Valentine – well, it was Los Angeles in 1991, so the list could really go on forever.  They all came, and would sometimes play early and late shows, both of which I would attend.  The unfortunate yet catchy micro-genre called “Shoegaze” would change the way I listened to music forever.

We are excited to see that Vapour Trail, “an evening of atmospheric sonic introspection and swirly visuals,” is not only moving from Sunday to Tuesday evenings, but happening twice a month as well (1st and 3rd Tuesdays.)  I usually DJ at Seattle’s Eagle Tavern on Sundays (it’s one of those nights where I can get away with anything,) so I haven’t gone yet.  But now I can’t think of another excuse, not even today’s snow, not to show up; it’s two blocks from my house.

I’m looking forward to hearing what the DJ’s (Retina Burn, James and Jessica) have to offer.  Because there are a lot of imitators out there, the genre hasn’t really grown much.  Bright spots like TCA favorites, Mahogany, Ulrich Schnauss, or Serena Maneesh are continuing the exploration of sonic music in different ways, and able to be unique in their approach.  But I’m pretty sure they’ll touch down right where any good shoegaze night – called Vapour Trail – should, with some of the bands listed above, and hopefully some others I might have missed over the years.  I’m not much on using my Shazam, and I’m a chatty bastard, so heads up Vapor Trail DJ’s, I’m coming to join the party!

Vapor Trail happens on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday’s of every month at Seattle’s cozy Living Room from 9 P.M.  Follow Vapour Trail on Facebook.



  1. Yeah, well.. “Shoegaze” never really “grew” because it’s NOT a genre, it’s an adjective. Never was, if you were there when it was happening. You shouldn’t keep spouting this stupid myth. Think about it, you’re just referring to what was called “alternative music” in the early 90’s before shite like Blur and Oasis started grabbing label money and headlines.

    I think the Reid brothers would knife you if you ever put them into a category with Ulrich Schnauss, or refer to them as Shoegaze. Yet they’re commonly referred to as prime examples of the “genre”. It simply astounds me that people jump on this bandwagon.

    On the positive tip, whatever effect these bands had on pop music at the time was absorbed into the narrative. I mean, now you have bloody METAL bands that reference ‘shoegaze’ sounds. On the other hand, it’s willful ignorance referring to synth pop like M80 as the inheritors of bands like Ride, Boo Radleys and My Bloody Valentine. BTW, all GUITAR based bands.

    If anything, these electronic based bands are the worst of the lot becaues it takes absolutely no skill to program a synth with some reverb and delay. At least A Place to Bury Strangers builds their own pedals.

    • I appreciate your points. I think the Reid brothers would knife me for looking wrong at them! I love them, and fuzzy early 90’s alternative music as well. Thanks for reading and for your opinion. I listen to all types of music, but I have a particular fondness for dreampop and the like because it brought together so many elements I loved before it got popular. JAMC, Cocteaus, Beach Boys, The Sonics, and even a lot of metal were all part of my musical upbringing. And I LOVE A Place to Bury Strangers. It makes me happy to read their name in your comments. Take care – Phil

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