Tag Archives: Spoon

The Hymns and The Flying Burrito Brothers

Yesterday I was introduced by *sixeyes to the band Hymns, and their album Travel in Herds comes out today! Buy it for 12 bucks from their label.

I’ve been letting the Hymns’ MySpace loop constantly. I downloaded three mp3s here to keep me until I can make it to my local record store.

Hymns are a summer-is-a-comin’ band. Roll down the windows even though it’s not quite warm enough yet. Dance around the kitchen in a sunbeam. You know, just what you needed in mid-March.

They’ve been compared to various shades of country rockers, Spin says something like early Wilco. I think it sounds like Spoon and Ha Ha Tonka collaborated to cover Flying Burrito Brothers songs, maybe produced by The Dandy Warhols. Thus, I’d like to take this chance to hype the recent release of the previously unearthed Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969, which we should all buy from fledgling label Amoeba Records (yup, same as the store).

Download some tracks from Amoeba or one from Aquarium Drunkard.

Pitchfork calls this recording of the early FBBs opening for The Grateful Dead, “the rock equivalent of the Jackson Pollock discovered at a flea market, or the first-edition William Faulkner found in the dollar bin at a used book store.” If you need to remember why you need the FBB in your life right now, watch these videos:

Sin City
Dark End of the Street
Christine’s Tune
Six Days on the Road

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Spoon

Tonight, March 8, Spoon will be on Austin City Limits; what a great fit. Check for showtimes here.

They recently did a Black Cab Session that is quite good. I wasn’t sure their music would translate, but I was mistaken. Watch it here.

Spoon‘s tour dates are as follows, * with The Walkmen and White Rabbits:

April 2 – Kansas City, KS – Uptown*
April 4 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre*
April 5 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s*
April 6 – Detroit, MI – Emerald Theater*
April 7 – Pittsburgh, PA – Carnegie Music Hall*
April 9 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
April 10 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory*
April 11 – Baltimore, MD – Sonar
April 12 – Norfolk, VA – Norva*
April 13 – Durham, NC – Carolina Theatre
April 14 – Atlanta, GA – Centerstage*
April 16 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution*
April 18 – Nashville, TN – Vanderbilt University (Rites of Spring)
April 19 – Indianapolis, IN – Vogue

Buy their cds.

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The Polyphonic Spree

The Polyphonic Spree‘s new video Crawl is worth a watch. It’s an intimate look at the band and frontman Tim DeLaughter, who has more charisma in his little finger than [insert lame comparison into this cliché here].

Watching Tim from his Tripping Daisy days (I cannot stress enough that the albums I Am an Elastic Firecracker and Jesus Hits Like an Atom Bomb are your listening homework if you don’t know them already but are even remotely into the Spree or The Flaming Lips) through The Beginning Stages of… and into worldwide success with the Spree, you can’t help but sense that he consistently does the dangerous work of exposing his soul to the world. That must be necessary to make music so expansive and touching. He always projects genuine elation, but the elation seemingly must be ripped out of (his) pain and (our) apathy to be sustained. I think this makes him one of the hardest working men in music.

At Tripping Daisy and Spree shows, Tim always seems to be standing on the monitors, surrounded by something. Sometimes it’s props like bubbles or plastic bits from a fake snow machine. But sometimes it’s light doing interesting things in concert with the sound, such as a flickering fluorescent bulb or a sunbeam breaking through the dreary clouds during a raucous version of It’s the Sun (both shows in Denton, Texas, at two very different venues).

I find the Spree’s recordings difficult to listen to since I know how bitchin’ they are live. In fact, it’s safe to say I like the Spree best at their margins, out of the studio doin’ their own funky thing. At the end of one show, they allowed the harpist time to perform a full song solo, and it was truly fulfilling in a basic sort of way, like eating bread. The improv moments during shows are some of the most fun bits, like when Tim broke spontaneously into a Tripping Daisy chorus while the rest of the band waited patiently. And their covers are fierce. Grab Nirvana’s Lithium, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s LHCB, and Wig in a Box here at Deaf Indie Elephants. You can buy covers of Lithium, Tripping Daisy’s Sonic Bloom, and The Psychedelic Furs’ Love My Way on the EP Wait. And I always love a little Ride Captain Ride.

Side note about the rockin‘ movie (and soundtrack) Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The Spree’s cover of Wig in a Box appears on a benefit album of the same name, along with other covers (by Bob Mould, The Breeders, Frank Black, Sleater-Kinney, Spoon, Ben Folds, and voice by Stephen Colbert long before I knew who he was) of Hedwig songs such as Rufus Wainwright’s pleasant rendition of The Origin of Love.

Tim does an interview with You Ain’t No Picasso, where he talks about his life philosophy and also a subject dear to my heart, albums: “I love making albums. We are in a world of singles and more people are interested in picking little jewels off the record. But for me as an artist, to have my creative worth and feel worthy, it’s got to be more of a concept. It’s got to work all together as one unit in one listen.” And for me as a listener, I can’t grow love for artists or their bodies of work via singles or mp3s on shuffle. Only albums will do.

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Favorite Albums of 2007

I am so incensed by the exclusion of Into the Wild’s soundtrack from year-end lists, I am creating a 2007 best albums list. Everyone else thinks they’re righting the world’s wrongs, too, but so be it.

stellasplice’s favorite albums of 2007:

Boxer ~ The National
MySpace Site Buy

Music for the Motion Picture Into the Wild ~ Eddie Vedder
Buy and Listen

The Shepherd’s Dog ~ Iron & Wine
MySpace Site Buy

Because of the Times ~ Kings of Leon
MySpace Site Buy

Marry Me ~ St. Vincent
MySpace Site Buy

Glory Hope Mountain ~ The Acorn
MySpace Site Buy

Buckle in the Bible Belt ~ Ha Ha Tonka
MySpace Site Buy 

Oh, My Darling ~ Basia Bulat
MySpace Site Buy

Music for the Motion Picture Once ~ Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard
MySpace Site Buy

Rust Belt Blues ~ Oliver Buck
MySpace Site Buy

The Stage Names ~ Okkervil River
MySpace Site Buy

These two were quite good, but I unfairly wanted them to be Wolf Parade and The Shins, respectively, so I never could fall for them wholeheartedly:
Random Spirit Lover ~ Sunset Rubdown
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? ~ Of Montreal (though it is my fav. Of Montreal disc)

I love the following artists. However good their 2007 discs may have been, they did not measure up to the artists’ previous releases, so they have been relegated to addendum status:
The White Stripes
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
José González
Spoon
The New Pornographers
Beirut (he swallowed up Alaska in Winter, too)
Modest Mouse
The Shins
Elliott Smith
The Polyphonic Spree

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