Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Rhthm and Soul
Spoon have achieved that rare and enviable position in modern music where you can truthfully say that sound like no one else, and no one else sounds like them. From this, you can conclude that only Spoon sounds like Spoon, ergo only Spoon albums sound like Spoon albums and it therefore follows that all Spoon albums sound alike. QED.
This is not intended as a criticism, not at all. Since 2001’s Girls Can Tell they’ve been honing their craft, building lean, indie rock skeletons and infusing them with and hip-shaking soul and by now they’ve got the process down to an art. Their latest Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, out today and henceforth known as Ga5, doesn’t stray far from the blueprint with its jagged, stacatto guitars, pounding piano, impeccable drums from Jim Eno and Britt Daniel’s cryptic lyrics and ragged vocals. More than on previous records, certain songs seem like direct descendants of past works but rather than rehashes they sound more like refinements. If you’re looking for distinctions, it’s arguably looser and more upbeat as well as a bit poppier compared to Gimme Fiction but even these variances stay well within Spoon’s tight musical tolerances.
If there is a downside to Spoon’s consistency, it’s that while they always meet expectations and never disappoint, they don’t astonish either. I will always welcome a new record but I don’t think I’ve ever counted down the days to one. By the same token, I don’t ever get into those intense moods where I need to listen to Spoon, the way I do some other bands. You might take this as meaning that I take Spoon for granted, and I probably do. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them or that I won’t be in the audience when they’re at the Phoenix on October 15, dancing awkwardly. This really isn’t much of a review but come on. It’s a Spoon album. You know what you’re getting and you know you’ll love it so why ask why.
September 11 brings the release of Hideout, the new album from San Francisco’s Film School. With 3/5 of the lineup that recorded last year’s eponymous album replaced, it’s sure to be a different affair and based on the first MP3, it’s a positive step. It’s still got the driving, hypnotic droniness of that album but new bassist Lorelei Plotczyk’s vocals add a new, softer counterpoint to Greg Bertens’ voice that I like quite a bit. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the record.
Billboard gets some hints from Robert Smith about what to expect from the next Cure record, which will be out in October and not be previewed much on their Fall tour which hits the Air Canada Centre on September 27.
Another Smith from the UK, Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, talks to MTV UK in an interview from mid-June but which I never posted. The Boston Herald has a more recent chat and either way, it gives me an excuse to remind you that they’re at the Mod Club this Saturday but since it’s sold out, said reminder doesn’t really do anyone much good. Ahem.
Added and then removed from the lineup for V Fest Toronto, The Hives will still be coming to town this Fall – the only catch? You have to see Maroon 5. Well I suppose you don’t technically HAVE to stay for the headliner, but otherwise that’s an awful expensive ticket for just the opener. Your call. That show’s at the ACC on October 4.
CMJ has details on the Pixies tribute album coming out this Fall and all its myriad configurations. Normally the formats would be so confusing I wouldn’t bother but the lineup is tasty enough that I’ll keep paying attention. For now.
As CD sales plummet, The Guardian considers the resiliency of vinyl in the music marketplace.
So yesterday I pulled the trigger on a Macbook Pro – one of the 15″ jobbies. My Windows machine is creeping up on four and a half years old and for desktop replacements, the Mac simply looked like the best option. After a lifetime on Windows – and I’m never personally had any problem with it, particularly XP – it’s a little strange and fearful to be moving to a new OS to say nothing of how much trouble it’s going to be getting everything I’ve got currently, both data and hardware organized (I’m keeping the desktop as a storage unit for now). I’ll let you know when it arrives since I know there’s nothing Apple acolytes (Mac-olytes) like more than patting themselves on the back whenever another PC user crosses over.