From The Desk Of The Black Watch’s John Andrew Fredrick: My Bloody Valentine’s “Isn’t Anything”

For almost 25 years, John Andrew Fredrick and a revolving cast of characters have been issuing records as the Black Watch. The California-based indie-rock institution is back with 11th album Led Zeppelin Five (Powertool), and it’s the first LP to feature the rock-solid lineup of Fredrick, guitarist Steven Schayer (ex-Chills), bassist Chris Rackford and drummer Rick Woodard. When Fredrick isn’t busy writing and recording songs, he’s teaching English at the University of California, so we thought he’d a be a natural choice to guest edit the MAGNET website. Fredrick, with some assistance from Schayer, will be doing exactly that all week. Read our brand new Q&A with Fredrick.

Fredrick: The obligatory MBV idolatry. And everyone loves Loveless more. I love Loveless, too; but not as much as I crave this seminal record. I saw them at Club Lingerie in 1988. Nine other people, Mr. Schayer included, witnessed this wee Anglo/Irish band take the stage like they meant it and loudly. I mean, loudly loud. The most fierce thing I have ever seen. And, snorkeling off the Channel Islands as a Boy Scout, I have seen a moray eel up too close for comfort. Isn’t Anything isn’t just anything to me: It’s everything. I don’t mind that it spawned all those imitators like the Lilys, Swirlies, Ride, Lush, Chapterhouse, Moose, Swervedriver and Slowdive. I love all those bands. Thank God for Kevin Shields, whether or not he forever tinkers in his boffinish way, expecting delay, unable to top his own legendary legend or even remaster his masterpieces. I turned down free tickets to see the reunion gigs. I don’t really know why. They are/were my all-time favorite band next the Beatles. I’m burnt on wondering/dreaming if there will be more bloody music. I have a copy of the Ecstasy And Wine CD on CD and the pre-Bilinda vinyl that I never listen to. I have a sunburst Jazzmaster, and I have sold no fewer than three Jaguars in order, over the last 15 years, to make my rent. I have a coat with a furry hood that I rarely wear in L.A. but break out when we go over the pond. MBV is sex. MBV are pre-teleprompter Brian Wilson. MBV are God. I still believe in God. I wanna stay alive as long as I can, just to see if Kev will come through.