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Glyph

Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

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34 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael M. says:

    Haven’t heard the new album yet, but my favorite Spoon song remains “They Never Got You.”Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Michael M. says:

      The new one is really good. I didn’t even include a couple of my favorite tracks from it, because they didn’t have videos, and I try to always grab eye candy if I can.

      The only song I *wasn’t* crazy about on there (not that it’s bad, but it is a very standard blues chord progression – they play/sing the hell out of it, but it’s just…you *know* it already, and it doesn’t sound “Spoon”) I found out was a cover (“I Just Don’t Understand”, by Ann-Margret, covered by Beatles); that made it better for me.

      There’s a couple tracks on it that are more keyboard-heavy (they brought the keys guy from Divine Fits on board) that I really like – like New Wave Spoon.Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    If you were from Austin, you’d write a lot of songs about cars too. Austinites have three conversations (and I include myself in this): “It’s hot.” “The traffic sucks.” “Austin BBQ is awesome.”

    Occasionally the BBQ conversation is substituted with “Breakfast tacos rock.”

    I remember a time when Spoon played here pretty often. I’m going to show how uncool I am and admit that I saw them more than once without realizing who the hell they were. “Oh hey, it’s that rock band with the guy who’s voice is kind of whiny in just the right way.”

    Also, “I Turn My Camera On” is one of the best songs of the century so far. It sounds like it could have come out of the 60s or the 80s, while sounding completely now at the same time.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

      I’m not sure if they have a lot of *songs* about cars, but they sure have a lot of cars in their videos.

      But I guess for a rock band as classicist* as they are, “girls” and “cars” are kind of de rigeur signifiers.

      *And I mean, they really, really are. They took their name from a Can song, but what I hear in there is Kinks, and Stones, and Beatles; I read an interview with Daniel (around the time of Moonlight, IIRC) where he said he’d been listening a lot to the first Cure record, and while I wouldn’t have made that connection on my own, it made total sense to me. Pop stripped down to its barest essence, and turned just-ever-so-slightly trippy in the studio.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        Yeah, I was just using it as an excuse to take a dig at Austin.

        And like I said, 60s and 80s and now.

        Though one of the things that’s interesting about them is that they toiled in obscurity with basically the same sound they still have today in the 90s, and only broke big when the retro guitar rock fad of the early Aughts emerge. So they were ahead of their time by being retro.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        I’m actually glad this was a semi-impromptu post; I was mulling a highly-conceptual post, revolving around the metaphor of “spoon as archetypal primordial tool for separation and containment”, and interrogating the very concept of inclusion/exclusion; that probably would have turned out laughably tortured and pretentious.

        Even more so, I mean.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        Hah… now I want to read that post.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chris says:

      @chris

      I’ve heard of Breakfast Burritos but never Breakfast Tacos.Report

  3. Avatar krogerfoot says:

    Spoon is one of those bands that just nobody seems to have anything bad to say about, not that I’m looking.

    I have enjoyed several microns of celebrity adulation over the years as Britt Daniel has occasionally name-checked my forgotten band as an influence.Report

      • Avatar krogerfoot in reply to Glyph says:

        Well, as I feared, looking up the name-checks only confirms that the influence extended only to emboldening Daniel to wear sunglasses.

        “AVC: When you first started playing, you used to wear sunglasses onstage. Was that because you were uncomfortable in front of an audience?

        BD: Actually, I think I wore sunglasses because I thought it was cool, and then I realized that it’s not the only way to be cool. Of course, I still wear them if we’re outside and it’s real bright. But I think I saw Ben [Hotchkiss] from The Real Heroes, and he was in a band called The Duckhills where he wore sunglasses onstage. I thought, ‘Wow, this guy looks awesome.’ It made a big impression. And of course, I was really into Lou Reed.”Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Don’t feel bad, man. You also inspired my blender to wear a wig.Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to throw this up here in the comments section because it’s such a great song and my favorite Spoon video.

    Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    @glyph

    You forgot my two favorite Spoon songs:

    Report

  6. Avatar trizzlor says:

    Spoon is so consistently good it’s hard even to establish a hierarchy of their albums, which is basically the most important part of music fandom that doesn’t involve ears. I was really surprised that some reviewers thought the new album was a “return to form” after Transference, when everybody knows that “Ga, Ga, Ga …” was the kitchen-sink misstep, Transference the thoughtful outlier, and the newest a return to well-worn territory. Ranking the Spoon albums is right up there with ranking the Beatles albums, in terms of controversy among my friends. The downside is that I’ll typically listen to their release non-stop for the month when it comes out, and then never really return to it. Something about the sparse melodies and lyrics makes it hard to wear but also not that engaging over time. Has there been an album that’s really lasted (oh, I guess I’m doing the ranking again)?Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to trizzlor says:

      The downside is that I’ll typically listen to their release non-stop for the month when it comes out, and then never really return to it. Something about the sparse melodies and lyrics makes it hard to wear but also not that engaging over time. Has there been an album that’s really lasted?

      This is true, I often do kind of “forget” about them for long stretches – they’ve been gone long enough this time (though I thought the Divine Fits album was decent) that a new album seemed like an “event”, and I’ve been revisiting the older albums for the first time in a while, playing one after the other (it could really all be one big album).

      (And of course, anyone knows that Fiction is best, followed by Moonlight 😉Report

  7. Avatar trizzlor says:

    Also, it’s pretty fun to watch Britt Daniel turn everybody he works with more Spoon-like; sometimes subtly and sometimes entirely.Report

  8. Avatar Zac says:

    Kill the Moonlight is definitely their best album. I’m a little surprised nobody has mentioned “Stay Don’t Go”, which is probably my favorite track off that album after “Jonathan Fisk”.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Zac says:

      A man after my own heart. I wavered between calling it for Fiction over Moonlight – I think “Summon” and “Camera” just *might* give Fiction the edge (plus, “Beast”! “Monsieur Valentine”!)…but I do love Moonlight and the tracks you named.

      In fact, “Stay Don’t Go” has some of my favorite lyrics by them (plus a cool arrangement/production – lots of bands make you want to play air guitar, but Spoon makes you want to play air tambourine).

      At times you find that the truth is the best way out
      Ooh, and I sometimes tell the truth, it’s the best way out
      It’s the wrong words that make you prick up your ears
      When later alone
      Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Zac says:

      Aw hell. Apologies to @trizzlor , but:

      Moonlight A+
      Fiction A+
      Soul A
      Ga B+
      Transference B
      Girls B-Report

    • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Zac says:

      Well, if we’re getting into it, I think Moonlight and Fiction are indisputably excellent albums, with my only criticism of Moonlight being that’s heavily front-loaded and starts to blur together after “Paper Tiger”. Beyond that, I would have – in decreasing order – Transference (the whole album feels very cohesive and mature, and “Written in Reverse” is an absolute banger), Soul, Ga (way too goofy and overproduced for my tastes, but you can’t argue with those hooks), and Girls. With one caveat that “Everything Hits at Once” is absolutely gorgeous and (together with “Believing is Art”) seared into my mind as the “driving away from a bad break-up” songs so much that it casts a positive shadow on the rest of the album. Moonlight is the album I would give a girl on a first date; but Fiction is the one disc I would take on a month-long ocean voyage no outside contact (which happens to be how I first listened to it).Report

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