Spoon – Transference

Spoon - TransferenceSpoonTransference (Merge)

Here is our real-time review of our first impression of Spoon’s seventh album. Enjoy.

[13:18] Jake: heard the new spoon?

[13:19] Phil: I have not!

[13:19] Jake: me neither

[13:19] Phil: Plugging in now

[13:20] Jake: queued up

[13:20] Phil: Yeah, I am playing now

[13:20] Jake: me too now

Before Destruction

[13:21] Phil: First song is surprisingly lo-fi, even for Spoon

[13:21] Jake: wow. vocals sound like they’re recorded in a living room

[13:21] Jake: acoustic guitar too

[13:22] Phil: Probably were. I know they used first takes and demos quite a bit on this album

[13:22] Jake: oh, there’s the fidelity

[13:22] Jake: wow, those organs and bg vocals sound druggy

[13:22] Phil: I dig that creepy organ. I am pretty sure it’s the same one my grandma had

[13:22] Phil: cue the Samba beat!

[13:24] Jake: i like this. but i think it sounds intentionally obtuse.

[13:24] Phil: Yes, like their earlier albums

[13:24] Phil: before Girls Can Tell or Kill the Moonlight

Is Love Forever?

[13:25] Jake: this one’s a little catchier, but still f-ed up.

[13:25] Jake: i like it

[13:25] Jake: when i saw them live last year (or whenever), their sound guy was doing all kinds of crazy ass dub shit

[13:25] Phil: I’m surprised because I know you’ve had an issue with the songs not being there enough to make up for the lack of production

[13:25] Jake: this is cool though. seems more full.

[13:25] Jake: there’s lots of texture.

[13:26] Phil: I think you need to revisit Kill the Moonlight and Girls Can Tell then

[13:26] Jake: it’s all about the organ and that extra layer of acoustic guitars.

[13:26] Phil: Ha, ok. I can see that

The Mystery Zone

[13:27] Jake: are those “10cc” keyboards?

[13:27] Jake: or actual voices?

[13:27] Phil: Hmmm…could be a Chamberlain

[13:27] Jake: creeping me out…in a good way.

[13:27] Phil: keyboard with actual tape loops of violins and voices

[13:28] Jake: i’m digging this so far.

[13:28] Phil: Oh yeah. Jay Bennett had one

[13:28] Phil: I’ll let Brit know you approve next time I see him at the Doug Fir (probably this weekend)

[13:28] Jake: ha

[13:28] Phil: Yes, I am a big fan so this is right up my alley

[13:28] Jake: different from a mellotron?

[13:29] Jake: i think i am going to have to revisit those earlier albums

[13:29] Phil: Yes, you are

[13:29] Phil: I love those albums

[13:29] Phil: “Small Stakes” is one of my all-time favorite songs

[13:29] Jake: this is really good.

[13:29] Phil: There you go! You are now a Spoon fan!

[13:29] Phil: Next up: Radiohead

[13:30] Jake: i have been since ga ga ga ga.

[13:30] Jake: openly

[13:30] Phil: Ha

[13:30] Phil: “Openly”

[13:30] Phil: I like that

[13:30] Jake: i was dubious before

[13:30] Phil: Loftus turned me on to Spoon around Girls Can Tell

[13:31] Phil: Chamberlin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamberlin

[13:31] Phil: related to Mellotron

[13:31] Jake: ok

Who Makes Your Money

[13:32] Phil: Seriously, if you like this then you need to go back to those other albums

[13:32] Phil: cut from the same cloth

[13:32] Jake: i will.

[13:32] Jake: this song’s just ok. some interesting stuff going on. but not enough.

[13:33] Phil: I dig that vibrato on the vocals though

[13:33] Jake: hurdy gurdy man!

[13:34] Jake: i like that middle part

[13:34] Jake: was this produced by scratch perry?

[13:34] Jake: they love those crazy effects on the vocals

[13:35] Phil: Produced by Spoon

[13:35] Jake: i was just kidding

[13:35] Phil: Yeah, but I was clarifying

[13:35] Phil: I had to look it up

[13:35] Phil: to see ifn they did work with a producer this time around

Written in Reverse

[13:36] Phil: I like screaming

[13:36] Phil: in pop music

[13:36] Phil: not that crazy shit in metal

[13:36] Jake: yes

[13:36] Jake: paul mccartney

[13:36] Phil: right

[13:37] Jake: i also like the “single note” piano line

[13:37] Phil: abso

[13:37] Jake: this is good.

[13:37] Phil: Yeah, this is a BUY album

[13:37] Jake: very beatley. 1968 paul.

[13:38] Phil: ‘zactly

[13:38] Phil: I love that sound

[13:38] Jake: badass guitar tone

[13:38] Jake: fat bass

[13:38] Phil: great guitar tones (as always)

[13:38] Jake: nice

[13:38] Jake: sloppy coda.

[13:39] Jake: i like that. like an afterthought.

[13:39] Jake: “hey, wait, i’m not done yet.”

[13:39] Phil: Like “Dreamer of My Dreams”

[13:39] Jake: totally

[13:39] Phil: “One more time!”

[13:39] Jake: even laughs at the end!

I Saw the Light

[13:40] Jake: “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” has sold 318,000 to date: http://www.billboard.com/events/spoon-kicking-off-transference-tour-at-sxsw-1004058332.story

[13:40] Phil: Hmmm…

[13:40] Jake: that’s a lot for an indie album.

[13:41] Phil: Yeah

[13:41] Jake: bummed they’re playing the aragon here.

[13:41] Jake: that place sucks.

[13:41] Jake: too big.

[13:41] Phil: Oh yeah

[13:42] Jake: crappy sound.

[13:42] Phil: I saw them at the Abbey

[13:42] Phil: it was awesome…and hot

[13:42] Jake: yeah.

[13:42] Phil: I almost passed out

[13:42] Jake: perfect

[13:42] Phil: but it was appropriately crowded and crazy

[13:42] Phil: Aragon is not so much fun

[13:43] Phil: You could go see them at the Royal Oak Theater in Detroit

[13:43] Phil: Maybe buy a guitar before the show

[13:43] Jake: ha.

[13:44] Jake: instrumentals are filler as far as i’m concerned.

[13:44] Phil: Shit! Two Seattle dates and none in Portland

Trouble Comes Running

[13:45] Phil: Garage Rock!

[13:45] Jake: that’s a lo-fi guitar part over in my left ear

[13:46] Phil: “Here it come running again…”

[13:46] Phil: Is this a Vantrells song?

[13:46] Jake: “are you pickin’ up what i’m puttin’ down?”

[13:46] Jake: yes i am.

[13:46] Phil: Maybe Twister…who am I trying to fool?

[13:47] Jake: pre-Matt Vantrell. no lead guitar.

[13:47] Phil: Ha, right

[13:47] Phil: Some of this could have been recorded on a Tascam 424

Goodnight Laura

[13:48] Jake: a piano ballad

[13:49] Phil: Yes

[13:49] Jake: not a lot going on here.

[13:49] Jake: kinda pretty i guess

[13:49] Phil: A break

[13:50] Phil: Uh oh, let’s not get soft in the middle!

Out Go the Lights

[13:50] Phil: Mid-tempo

[13:51] Jake: front loaded

[13:51] Phil: Well, we have 15 minutes to go…

[13:51] Phil: might just be a mid-album lull

[13:51] Jake: here’s johnny’s 2002 piece from that abbey pub show: http://www.gloriousnoise.com/articles/2002/spooning_on_a_sunday_night.php

[13:51] Phil: Oh, great!

[13:54] Jake: those comments are awesome.

[13:54] Phil: Reading now

[13:54] Phil: ha

[13:54] Jake: “Nu Order” is brilliant.

Got Nuffin

[13:55] Jake: i know this song. bought the single.

[13:55] Phil: Yep

[13:55] Phil: here it is again

[13:55] Jake: it’s good.

[13:56] Jake: man, i listened to “ga ga ga ga ga” so much that year that H was a baby.

[13:56] Phil: Interesting that they’ve gone back to this style

[13:56] Phil: driven by the rhythm section with guitar bursts

[13:57] Jake: did you think “ga ga ga” was a big departure?

[13:57] Phil: I don’t think any of them are big departures, but songs like “Cherry Bomb” don’t really show up on anything else

[13:57] Phil: that kind of production

[13:58] Jake: yeah

[13:58] Jake: “The Underdog” was a big production number, but the other stuff sounds like this stuff

[13:58] Jake: gimme fiction was their emotional rescue

[13:58] Phil: Ha, I was thinking the same thing

[13:58] Phil: mixed with Eddie Grant

Nobody Gets Me But You

[13:58] Phil: I want to go roller skating

[13:59] Jake: speaking of eddie grant…

[13:59] Phil: I need to wash my Lee jeans

[14:01] Jake: yeah, front loaded.

[14:02] Jake: still though

[14:02] Phil: A bit, yeah

[14:02] Jake: i am not disappointed

[14:02] Phil: Oh no. The first half is tight

[14:03] Phil: These songs are OK, even

[14:03] Phil: just not as strong

[14:03] Jake: strange that they’re not anything to promote

[14:03] Jake: merge hasn’t even released promos.

[14:03] Jake: no videos, no promo mp3

[14:03] Phil: Huh

[14:04] Jake: no quirky social media gimmicks

[14:04] Phil: that we know of!

[14:04] Jake: ha

[14:04] Jake: we’d know.

[14:04] Phil: and weird closing to the album

[14:04] Jake: yeah

[14:04] Phil: OK, well, that’s it…

[14:05] Jake: but solid for sure. bet it gets better with repeated listens too

[14:05] Phil: In short: a front-loaded slight return with some real dirt-under-the-fingernails production and creepy organs. I like it.

[14:06] Jake: yeah, i’m excited to pick this up.

[14:06] Phil: Indeed

[14:06] Jake: i bet it sounds better in the air

Video: Spoon interviews mastering engineer Howie Weinberg

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