Friday, August 29, 2008

Series of Sneaks day (one of the best)

A Series of Sneaks by Spoon

The second studio album from the Austin, Texas based indie rock band spoon. 'A Series of Sneaks' was originally released on May 5, 1998, then re-released on merge with extra tracks taken off of 'The Agony of Laffitte' ep in 2002. The album was very highly regarded, and ended up being on almost everyones top 10 list.

From wiki:

Brief History

The band was formed in late 1993 by lead singer/guitarist Britt daniel and drummer Jim eno. The original lineup also included Greg Wilson on guitar and Andy Mcguire on bass. The name 'spoon' was chosen to honor the 1970's German avant-garde band “Can” who had a hit song titled 'spoon.'

Coming off the recent success of “Soft Effects,” Spoon was signed to Elektra Records in 1998 On their first major label deal, the band released 'A Series of sneks in may 1998. What looked like the bands biggest break ultimately turned out to nearly break the band – the album did not sell as fast as Elektra had originally hoped. In response for the deal, Elektra's A&R man Ronn Laffitte, was also fired. Angry with laffitte (who had promised a promotional funding) and the rest of the executives at Ekektra(more precisely, CEO Sylvia Rhone), Spoon recorded a vindictively written two song concept single entitled “The Agony of Laffite”.

The band addresses Laffitte with lyrics like:

"It's like I knew two of you, man / The one before and after we shook hands"

Track listing w/ extra tracks

  1. "Utilitarian" – 1:51

  2. "The Minor Tough" – 2:43

  3. "The Guestlist/The Execution" – 2:03

  4. "Reservations" – 2:36

  5. "30 Gallon Tank" – 4:00

  6. "Car Radio" – 1:30

  7. "Metal Detektor" – 3:39

  8. "June's Foreign Spell" – 3:00

  9. "Chloroform" – 1:10

  10. "Metal School" – 2:54

  11. "Staring at the Board" – 0:54

  12. "No You're Not" – 1:43

  13. "Quincy Punk Episode" – 2:17

  14. "Advance Cassette" – 2:54

  15. "The Agony of Laffitte" – 3:27 (extra track)

  16. "Laffitte Don't Fail Me Now" – 3:45 (extra track)

Britt singing metal detektor

Length 20s

Metal detektor lyrics

Metal detektor ringing as i’m walking through the door
with every chance i take i can feel it start to break
to start to break some more
it's going down some more
i’m gonna break the bank of texas and walk out
it's a lie no more
all through with playing the wall
i’m gonna break the bank of dakota and walk right back out
it's going down some more
not gonna fake it no more
just gonna break the bank of texas and walk right out and
make the sound of getting kicked when you're down
i’m gonna break the heart of chicago and walk right back out
metal detektor ringing as i walk on through the door
metal detektor ringing as i’m walking through the door

''Junes Foreign Spell" Lyrics

Distracted by each career milestone
Though they're all in his hands
He set up his best ones for weeks
And the questions all get answered before they're asked him
Tells you sit right back
He's talking through his teeth
And i don't believe the things he'll say but
I’ll call him up and give him flack
And it's sad but true the sounds that don't come back
And i can see him tap producer fix his lines
And that makes me feel like a rat
I feel like a rat
So i’d like you to set it straight now on this one
All fixed up now for june’s foreign spell
All sad 'bout it now june’s bitter soil again
Oh no can't take this another year
Drop two steps back and take the place of who that came before now

"Metal School" Lyrics

I packed all my things in a nylon bag
I kept my eyes open wide
And got out the day the stock went black
What was so alluring's now faded
And just stylistic and jaded
But i’m just glad to get outta there for metal school
If i could take back what we both assumed
Would you spin it back to me on the lazy sue?
We could exist to be where we found it
And just wrap our fingers around it
That's why i’m gonna give it all up
Put all that back and enroll in metal school

Pitchforks Review

I hope you'll forgive me if I mention the Pixies more than ten times in this review, but it's only because their specter hangs over everything Spoon does-- though not as some sort of platonic ideal that mere mortals can only dream of achieving; more like Obi- Wan Kenobi, a benevolent teacher who has since passed on, but whose dutiful students are now out saving the galaxy. A Series of Sneaks, Spoon's major label debut, has the tossed- off vibe of the Breeders' Pod, throaty howls directly from the Black Francis School of Singing, and the perverse, magical language of Surfer Rosa all distilled into fourteen compressed- air blasts of chunky guitar pop that make up one of the catchiest albums of the year so far.

Frontman Britt Daniel expresses a distinct affinity for off- kilter rhythms and meters, as well as the "white space" between instruments that became hallmarks of the Pixies' sound, but on A Series of Sneaks he takes them to their logical extremes, cramming an endless stream of hooks into a ridiculously small amount of time (only two of the album's tracks exceeds three minutes). Each song is like an aquarium full of Superballs, with every sound bouncing around at a skewed angle-- instruments ping-ponging between speakers or popping up occasionally to punctuate a sentence. And then there are the vocals: where Black Francis bellowed weird science about incest and aliens, Daniel speaks of oblique teen angst in staccato barks, his voice thick and pouty as he sashays through jerky rave- ups like "Utilitarian" and "The Guestlist/ The Execution" as well as smooth Pavement- worthy aches like "Metal Detektor" and "Advance Cassette".

It's been said that the best albums aren't those which are perfect, but those which hint at the possibility of perfection. A Series of Sneaks is such an album; occasionally it feels more like a collection of rough sketches than actual songs. I salivate at the thought of the album that could have been produced had Spoon actually finished writing their songs, but Spoon's offhanded enigmatism is much more preferable, and paradoxically that much closer to perfection. Final verdict: 9.4

Stylus review

The work week oozes forward like so much molasses in a New England January. Staring blankly at your watch won't help; it's not Friday and it won't be for a bit longer, I'm afraid. So, moving on. . . the album we'll be dissecting on this lovely non-Friday is Spoon's A Series of Sneaks, which, for those who don't know, originally came out four years ago on Elektra. And being, as I've mentioned twice already, that today isn't Stylus's classic-review day, you're not allowed to automatically assume that we've branded Sneaks with the Stylus seal of superlativeness. Well I don't know about the rest of the staffers, but when I first heard this album I hit the ground hard, truly believing that the disembodied, itinerant spirit of the Pixies had finally found a suitable host in three guys from Austin, TX.

It's not that Sneaks sounds all that much like the Pixies per se, which it does at times, but that the unbridled drive to recast classic sounds with deconstructive calculation burns brazenly in both bands' music. Unexpected production touches like the echoey percussion hits following "Utilitarian"'s first chorus reveal that Spoon are more interested in fucking with formulas than following them. I'm not implying that these guys don't make use of sonic shibboleths such as staccato guitar chords on 4/4 downbeats, punkish 3-chord patterns, handclaps and some well-placed feedback, but as most of y'all already know, even the most hackneyed of tropes can be made sublime in the hands of someone who knows what he's doing.

And Britt Daniel does. Spoon's chief executive songwriter draws mostly from the timeless musical arsenals of Elvis Costello (esp. This Year's Model), Big Star, Bob Pollard as well as the significantly harsher Gang of Four, and actually manages to craft tunes of the same caliber as his influences. "The Minor Tough" sets a pensively throbbing bassline against Andy Gill-ish guitar shards and subtle organ undertones, plus it shows off two of Daniel's favorite devices: short passages of 7/4 time and gobs of stuttering tremolo guitar. Shit gets further fucked up on "The Guestlist/The Execution", largely due to those classy mid-chorus drum interludes, not to mention the fact that the song's catchy as hell.

Short, too-- Daniel obviously learned the value of brevity well from Pollard, because "30 Gallon Tank" is the only tune that cracks four minutes (and just barely at that). However, while people love to hate on Bob for his frustratingly incomplete "song fragments", Spoon knows how to start, develop and finish a coherent musical thought in an incredibly short period of time. Take "Car Radio"-- 90 seconds long and an album highlight, with three chords and a cocksure stuttered rawk chorus it was lodged in my brain for weeks after I first heard it. Unlike half of Alien Lanes, I never felt shortchanged after listening to it (half the time, I'd just play it again). The 54-second "Staring at the Board" proves that the soul of Spoon's wit was no fluke, because under its drunken demotape veneer lurks an undeniable pop charm that'd fill out the last minute of a mix CD just fine.

As instantly identifiable as Spoon's influences are, you'll never mistake their music for anyone else's, and that's due in no small part to Daniel's distinctive vocals. He pulls off the traditional hi-range indie croon in tunes like "Metal School", but can also deepen his voice when the music dictates, as it does on album closer "Advance Cassette". Most post-punks prefer to (or, if you like, can't help but) stay within the same mid-high octave and a half, so it's nice to hear some depth worked successfully into an indie context. Lyrically Daniel's a rolling stone, constantly going on about highways, cars, and other forms and auxiliaries of travel. Nothing groundbreaking, but personally I dig the line "Car radio/It's what I got/Voice of authority from here until Empire State".

And so it goes. A Series of Sneaks is in a word, stunning, the product of a guy that's done his musical homework exceedingly well, learned the craft inside-out and brought his own indelible mark to the pantheon of great post-punk songwriters. After Elektra axed Spoon, they headed for my neck of the woods to sign with Merge and released the far more restrained Girls Can Tell, which smoothed out Sneaks' lovable edges for a more accessible, less confrontational sound. While that record's certainly got its charms, as well as its die-hard backers, I don't know that Spoon will ever be able to surpass the raw reinvention of this, their finest record. All praise due to Merge for having the magnanimity to let new fans in on the quality.

Band Members:

Britt Daniel (Vocalist, guitarist)

Jim Eno (drummer)

Rob Pope (bass)

Eric Harvey (keyboard, guitar, percussion, backing vocals)

Supposed Influences (according to allmusic)

The Modern Lovers

Elvis Costello
The Sound
Gang of Four
The Velvet Underground ( I'm saying so)



"Telephono" (1996, Matador(re-release in 2006 on Merge))
"A Series of Sneaks" (1998, Elektra( re-release in 2002 on Merge))
"Girls Can Tell" (2001, Merge)
"Kill the Moonlight" (2002, Merge)
"Gimme fiction" (2005, Merge)
"Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" (2007, Merge)


"The nefarious EP" (1994, Fluffer)
"Soft Efects" (1997, Matador)
"30 Gallon Tank" (1998, Elektra)
"Love Ways" (2000, Merge)
"Don't You Evah" (2008, Merge)


"All the Negatives Have Been Destroyed" (7"/CD5, 1996)
"Not Turning Off" (7", 1996)
"Anticipation" (7", 1998)
"The Agony Of Laffitte"(CD5, 1998, Saddle Creek)
"Anything You Want" (7"/CD5, 2001)
"Everything Hits Once"(CD5, 2001)
"Car Radio" / "Advance Cassette" (CD5, 2001)
"Text Later" / "Shake It Off" (split 7", 2002)
"Someone Something" (7", 2002)
"Jonathon Fisk" (CD5, 2002)
"Stay Don't Go" (CD5, 2003)
"The Way We Get By" (CD5, 2003)
"I Turn My Camera On" (7"/CD5, 2005)
"My First Time, Vol. 3" (digital single, 2005)
"Sister Jack"(UK and US, 7"/CD5, 2005)
"The Underdog" (UK and US, digital single/7" promo, 2007)
"You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" (Europe and Australia, digital single, 2007)
"Don't You Evah" (digital single (Diplo Mix), 2007; CD5, 2008

Spoons myspace
Allmusic's spoon page

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

frequent red room

this room
seems white

I get in
my car



if they
want a ride

"get in
my car

it's okay
don't worry"

Take the
person to
my house

tell the person
to go
to the room

to the right
of the front door

and say
they can stay

bringing them

they fall

get my

Friday, August 1, 2008

Narcissistic dabbling animal jesus

Meeting in the park
crossing the street very cool like
thinking I'm so awesome
everybody loves me

Don't know who I'm soon to uhhhhhh . . .
converse with
but don't care

because everyone loves me
at first sight

The wind currents are pretty strong today
the wind deity is at good work
think i'm gonna live on the edge
and visit the cascading fountain

Leave those dumb guys hangin'
I'm actually doing them a favor
responding to an anonyomous sender
of a suspicious note

wait what's happening
I can actually stand on water
I'm jesus

This is why I'm so loved and adored
I'm gonna start a new religion
featuring me as the guy bringing the end
I'll call it ''briging the endiananity''

Should make some flyers
that would help
a lot
what should it say

I know . . .

''Join my group, or face personal hell
that effects others

bringing crows and others,
jesus will be there

CONTACT: top of tower, middle of city
no number"

Oh shoot
dabbled in my greatness
for a bit too long

Gotta fly
where was it again

right the park

Okay just got to
get past this building and I'm there

Okay this is it
this used to be a just a boring park

untill I came
and revitalized

Thr letter said '
'meeting at the big red tree''

what a bunch of weird folk
but jesus loves all

Wait, I don't see anybody here
just a tortise and some snake
that looks like he's from the begining of the mesozoic period
the jurrasic I think it's called,
damn he's long with four heads

a monkey with a plush packiderm
that's weird
I should send an elephant after him
that would be funny

Maybe this is just a meeting for my religion
these followers must've seen me before
and just knew that I was and still am

Humans have the wrong idea
he's not a guy
he's me
but what do they know
they're just manikins to jesus

Back to the unusual suspects
I hope their not my followers
they're freaks

And I'm not merciful

about my followers
you got to know my back history
and look good
so I can be full of fanaticism

over how good you look

While I bask
in the trees
watching you

trying to keep the apocolypse
from happening

. . . . . . .

Oh god they're getting near
gotta fly
I'll go to a fountain

Yes finnaly a fountain
I'll wow the homosapiens
with my jesus capapilities

Wait what's happening
I can't stand on the water


This is not happening
this must be a jesus protected fountain

Yeah that must be it