Kalamashoegazer 5 shines the spotlight on the musical genre

Hometown Festival: The glowfriends are, from left to right, Jenn Hendrix, JW Hendrix III, April Morris, Mark Andrew Morris and Holly Klutts-Morris.

KALAMAZOO – April Morris remembers when she and a friend had a cup of coffee at a downtown cafe.

While discussing the merits of English shoegaze band Slowdive with his companion, a barista leaned over the counter and “said, I’m so over this shoegaze thing, you won’t care in three years. . ” It was 1999, and things didn’t quite turn out the way the cafe slinger had imagined.

“And here I am booking the fifth Kalamashoegazer Festival,” Morris said with a laugh as he recalled the interaction 12 years ago.

April and her brother Mark Andrew Morris, two-fifths of local pop happiness group the Glowfriends, began hosting the local festival in 2007 to unite a music scene they saw as fractured and regionalized.

“I think there have been a few things over the past 10 years that people have called a shoegaze awakening, but I don’t think that has ever fully taken hold,” Morris said.

If you are going to

Kalamashoegazer 5


Shoegaze, bliss-pop, psych, space-rock festival


The Strutt, 773 W. Michigan Ave.


2 p.m. Saturday


$ 10, all ages




  • Gospel Gossip, shoegaze / psych, Minneapolis
  • glowfriends, pop happiness, Kalamazoo
  • Canyons of Static, ambient rock, West Bend, Wisconsin.
  • Brief candles, shoegaze, Milwaukee
  • Whales, shoegaze, Nashville
  • Crash City Saints, post-punk, Kalamazoo
  • 28 Degrees Taurus, psych / shoegaze, Allston, Mass.

In addition to doing some surprising late ’90s races on the UK pop charts with bands such as Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and The Catherine Wheel, the genres of shoegaze, bliss-pop and space-rock have been relegated to underground and cult rank. status among music fans and artists.

That’s not to say that there aren’t many people celebrating a musical form that mixes psychedelic rock, folk, electronics, and post-punk into an intoxicating mix of often swirling and heavy guitar music. comments.

“People who really like (it) like this music so much. It really means something to them, ”said April Morris.

It means enough for them not only to form groups but also to create festivals bringing together like-minded people from all over the country.

The original Kalamashoegazer festival, for example, was based on an idea the Morris siblings stumbled upon while touring California with their musician father.

“I was sort of walking around and this guy handed me a flyer for (a place called) Club Biolane, and I was looking at the flyer and it was listing all these bands: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride, Swervedriver,” said April Morris.

Kalamashoegazer has become more than just a way for glowfriends to meet and hang out with old and new friends, the festival has in fact started to spread across the country and become something of a known within the national shoegaze community.

“I think it’s definitely starting to take on a life of its own. For example, we (the glowfriends) were in Boston awhile ago, a place where we don’t have a lot of contact and people asked us questions, ”Morris said.

“The name is so catchy. I think that’s why people remember it. I feel like more people remember Kalamashoegazer than our group, the glowfriends, ”said April Morris.

Maybe after this year’s festival more people will remember glowfriends because the band will be releasing a vinyl EP at the festival. The three-track vinyl is in collaboration with the Canyons of Static group. The two glowfriends songs, “Want You To Know” and “What It Is”, will be paired with a track called “The Calm” from Canyons of Static.

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