“Day Sleeper”: Gaze-strumental

Zero to 180 is still trying to determine why “shoegazer” is some sort of epithet, as this subgenre of indie/modern rock is but a modern update of the psychedelic sound, as much as it might pain old-timers to hear.  Violating its must-be-at-least-20-years-old policy yet again, Zero to 180 feels compelled to offer as evidence a glorious shoegazer instrumental by Brooklyn’s own, Longwave, that clocks in at just under three-and-a-half minutes, in keeping with the letter and spirit of this music history blog.  You’re only cheating yourself, by the way, if you take the tonearm off the record before reaching the song’s effects-laden climax — a musical moment I never tire of hearing:

“Day Sleeper”     Longwave     2002

Day Sleeper” would be the title track of an EP that would be released twice – first in 2002 on Fenway Recordings and then again the following year in the UK on 14th Floor Records.

CMJ New Music Report would have this to say in its May 17, 2003 edition:

“Band discovered opening for The Strokes.  Fenway Records originally released the killer Day Sleeper EP in October, 2002 which really helped build an early fanbase.  Fans of The Strokes, Interpol, BMRC [Black Rebel Motorcycle Club], Vines will love this — but so will Joy Division, (old) U2, and Bauhaus fans.  Album produced by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips).  Band totally down for in-stores at your stores.”

CMJ  would also report on the Day Sleeper EP around the time of its release in their November 11, 2002 edition and — against Zero to 180’s express advice – not go with the title track as the song to push before radio audiences.  Rather, CMJ would select the EP’s second selection “Everywhere You Turn” as the “focus” track.  I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Freedom of choice:  “Day Sleeper” EP available in two designer colors

Longwave EP-aLongwave EP-b

Judging from the number of YouTube views, but a small fraction of the world’s population seems to know of this outstanding instrumental that deserves a worldwide audience.  Write your elected officials and demand that a sliver of the public radio airwaves be set aside for new and interesting sounds in contemporary music instead of endless angry talk.  I will never understand why the quality of radio is so unbelievably bad in the Nation’s Capital, a market that is ill-served in the extreme.  Isn’t the “free market” supposed to come to the rescue?  WFMU saw fit to play this song, but then again the notion of a “free-form progressive commercial station” would only make the heads of radio executives spontaneously combust.

Band photo – courtesy of Discogs.com

LongwaveLongwave offers this EP for purchase on Bandcamp – click here to investigate further.  Intriguing to see that Japan has also gotten the word.