It was 1993 when Brandon Capps and a few like-minded friends started coordinating the first Beautiful Noise "shoegaze" festivals around Arizona. But 20 years ago, shoegaze wasn't a compliment. It was an insult, a pejorative tossed at the kind of guitarist who stared down at his pedals, waiting for the right moment to trigger the phaser or fuzzbox.
Twenty years later, shoegaze doesn't carry the same sting it used to. In fact, it's pretty hip these days. Last year, Brooklyn label Captured Tracks re-issued the complete recordings of Capps' old Phoenix-based band Half String to indie-blog acclaim and a series of reunion shows.
And now Capps has reignited the festival to celebrate its anniversary at Hollywood Alley in Mesa.