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Jesus and Mary Chain set for festival

SXSW Preview

Joe Gross
jgross@statesman.com

The Jesus and Mary Chain will play sometime March 13-18 in Austin during South By Southwest Music festival, the band announced last week.

The Mary Chain — a core of brothers Jim and William Reid and various sidemen — was one of the most influential British rock bands of the 1980s.

Their fusion of wind-tunnel feedback, bubble- gum melodies and druggie, couldn't-care-less affect proved important to a few rounds of not-so-macho guitar-rockers, especially anyone who were called "shoegazers" (see also My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Ride). On this side of the pond, The JAMC sound and vision could be heard and seen in a large chunks of "indie pop" bands.

Sonic Youth absolutely hated to be compared to them (fair enough, as they were doing completely different things).

Essential records for people of a certain age included "Psychocandy" (1985), "Darklands" (1987), the odds-and-ends set "Barbed Wire Kisses (1988), and for some, "Automatic" (1989) and "Honey's Dead." The singles collection "21" is a pretty entertaining overview.

The Mary Chain hasn't played in North America since 2007, during which they played a handful of shows and appeared at Coachella. There, they proved no time had gone by since the height of their fame some 15 or so years earlier by standing still pretty much the way they stood still on, say, the "Automatic" tour.

One should expect them to stand still again.

No word on why they will be here or news of a new recording.