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My Bloody Valentine at the National 

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After ending a 16-year hiatus last year, British quartet My Bloody Valentine has been engaged in only a select number of stateside appearances, choosing specific festival and venues diligently scouted out to facilitate the band's unusual sound requirements. For whatever reason, the National passed inspection, making it the band's only mid-Atlantic performance. Despite only having two albums to its name — largely caused by songwriter Kevin Shields' notorious perfectionism and tendency to scrap whole albums worth of material — My Bloody Valentine redefined the power of noise in pop music. Utilizing lush guitar distortion, haze-infused reverb and pitch bending, the crushingly loud shoe gazers — a term inspired by their lack of movement and disinterest towards their audience during live performances — are regarded today as one of the most influential bands of the '90s. With scalpers, eBay auctions, and tickets on Craigslist the only means of getting into this sold-out show, name your price when My Bloody Valentine performs at the National on Thursday, July 30, at 7 p.m. 612-1900. — Mike Hilleary
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