Small stakes leave Spoon with the maximum blues.
Some years ago, the Brighton-based band British Sea Power asked, “Do you like rock music?” Responding on an album entitled by the same question, they seemed to suggest that they did, but only when that music was enlarged, grandiose, and Arcade Fire-aping. On Friday, performing at the Kentish Town Forum, the nominally Texan band Spoon presented their own answer, making the case for rock music in a manner enhanced by various tricks, but still definitively in touch with, to use their own phrase, “small stakes”. Continue reading RoarI’lllistentohearit
In the autumn I saw Parquet Courts in concert. The adulation they received from their young fans got me thinking about underappreciated American rock bands. Allow me to elucidate—with reference to the works of The Walkmen, Dirty Projectors and more. Continue reading Great Underappreciated Songbook
The recent debate between David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors and Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, on the state of indie rock, brought to the public’s eye an issue I’ve been grappling with for a little while. In an age of such discontent, even a radical moderate such as myself can find some solace in the sometimes-disproportionate anger of politically-conscious hip hop. Continue reading Beats, rhymes, and the radical centre
Here are some albums from 2014 that I enjoyed in 2014. Ranking everything in one list would be arbitrary, so I didn’t. There’s a Spotify megamix containing some of the songs I mention, and some I don’t, here. Continue reading 20 in 14
…because they’ve got plenty of their own.
Four years ago, people found Transference off-putting: long, melancholy songs riding on seemingly-endless grooves before cutting out mid-phrase; sparse demos peppering a nocturnal landscape of blank-eyed art rock. They were mistaken, of course, but let bygones be bygones. Continue reading Spoon don’t need your soul
The world is plagued with pardoners, shucks and saviours, and they’re all bearing down on Britt Daniel. Continue reading No time for holy rollers
Regular readers will know how much I admire the music of Spoon. Any year without new music from Britt Daniel’s outfit is a marginally less enjoyable one; this one, I hope less so, thanks to his side-project with Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade, which is known as Divine Fits. They release an album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, at the end of August, and you can try a track out for size (geddit?) above. “Would That Not Be Nice” nods lovingly at the vocal manipulations of Transference, and the stripped-down garage rock guitars of Kill The Moonlight. There’s also a healthy shot of the Costello-does-soul vibe from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, via the long-limbed bassline. But you shouldn’t think of it as a career-spanning Spoon redux, compressed into four minutes. Continue reading How does it fit?
A while back, I wrote of Spoon and My Morning Jacket, who have been busy keeping rock music alive in an era of laptops, turntables and synthesisers. But now that those bands have become deconstructionists and funk-explorers respectively, who fulfils the role of the revivalist? Continue reading Mahgeetah: rock music in America