It’s been five years since Robert Pollard put Guided by Voices to rest, but this October he’s assembling a “classic lineup” to reunite for Matador Records 21st birthday celebration. Who is included in this classic lineup remains to be seen, and given the constantly revolving cast of characters that was GbV, there could be endless possibilities. The awesome news doesn’t stop there though: Joining GbV “the Classic ’93-’96 Lineup” will be Pavement, Sonic Youth and Belle & Sebastian. That’s right, GbV, Pavement, Sonic Youth, and Belle & Sebastian will all be headliners. The “supporting” acts keep getting better and better too, with Spoon, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Superchunk, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Guitar Wolf, Chavez, Girls, Fucked Up, Harlem, Cold Cave, Shearwater, Kurt Vile, and Jeffrey Joe Jensen (phew!) all on the bill, with more acts being announced July 5. All of this madness will go down October 1-3 at the Palms in Las Vegas. More on the mind numbing awesomeness of Matador at 21 here.
Tag Archives: Spoon
The last big American music festival of the year has it’s lineup, and the Austin City Limits festival will be headlined by…The Eagles? Yep, it appears ACL will be headlined October 8-10 by the chillest band of the 1970s, along with Muse and Phish, with The Strokes, M.I.A. and the Flaming Lips taking the second string headliner bill. The rest of the lineup is filled in with big guns including LCD Soundsystem, Spoon, Vampire Weekend, Norah Jones, Band of Horses, Monsters of Folk, The National, and the Mountain Goats and lesser but good guns including The Black Keys, Broken Bells, Yeasayer, Beach House, Matt and Kim, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Girls, Local Natives, Devendra Barnhart, The Morning Benders, and White Rabbits. You can check out the whole lineup here.
TUiW spent the past weekend in Indio, CA for this year’s Coachella festival. Here’s our recap of Sunday:
The L.A. band got a lot of support from the locals at Coachella, who packed the tent well in advance of their set. Local Natives worked through tracks off of their stellar debut Gorilla Manor, and brought even more energy to tracks already filled with plenty. Album stand outs “Sun Hands” and “Airplanes” sound even more gorgeous live, as the band’s stellar harmonies floated over a more raw, live sound. With a great debut and a tight live performance, the future looks awfully bright for Local Natives.
Owen Pallett brought his quirky, formal style of violin and looping (complete with a multi-instrumentalist accompanying him) and focused mostly on tracks from Heartland, his really good new album. The show also featured Pallett’s amiably goofy stage presence, like when he referred to the stage he shared with Jonsi and Bradford Cox as the “gay ghetto” and then asked his accompanist if he had tried “cornholing.”
Though they were beleaguered with technical problems, Deerhunter put on a fantastic live set, thanks in large part to the enthusiasm of frontman Bradford cox. During one particular technical setback, Cox improvised a Coachella songs, pondering the number of people who OD’ed or had faulty condoms. He also gave a shout-out to fellow Coachella performer Julian Casablancas before closing with “Disappearing Ink,” on which he admitted to ripping off Casablancas’ vocal style. The rest of the set was full of fantastic, fuzzed out jams, with the highlight being a great version of “Nothing Ever Happened.”
Yo La Tengo
It was oddly delightful to see Yo La Tengo, a band that has toiled so long in relative obscurity, play the main stage of a major festival. Their brief set functioned as a kind of greatest hits and the band tore through songs like “Autumn Sweater” and “You Can Have It All” (complete with some stylish dance moves) while saving enough time for one of their trademark noise freakouts at the end. All in all, it was an immensely satisfying set from a great band.
Continuing the theme of unexpected bands triumphantly taking their rightful place as festival headlines, Spoon played a great set to an adoring audience. While the show didn’t reach further back than Kill the Moonlight, it featured all of Spoon’s newest essentials, even if the crowd didn’t seem as into the songs from their newest album. Also, Bradford Cox joined the band on guitar for “Who Makes Your Money.”
For what we’d estimate was a sizeable minority of Coachella-goers, this was it. The reason we shelled out $300 and drove 20 hours to a desert in the middle of nowhere in California. So was it worth? Hell yes. From the first strains of “Silence Kit” to the triumphant finish of “Cut Your Hair,” Pavement was back with an energy and a fire that betrays the slacker storyline. Playing a range of music from across their career (but centered on Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain) Pavement was, simply, everything we dreamed they’d be.
Thom Yorke and Atoms for Peace
They weren’t Radiohead, but Thom Yorke’s new band injected new life into 2006′s good-not-great The Eraser (which they played through from start to finish). Yorke was bouncy and energetic (and had a bit of an unofficial dance-off with Flea) and all the stuff he played was great, but the highpoint was when he played “Airbag” on just an acoustic guitar and then moved to a piano for “Everything in Its Right Place.”
A somewhat disappointing end to Coachella, Gorillaz much lauded stage showed was stripped down, with the band appearing as themselves as pictures and weird video clips playing behind them. The music was alright, but without the much discussed holograms or even a video of the cartoon’s singing, it was a fairly typical set. There was no Lou Reed appearance, as was the rumor floating around, but De La Soul (who performed on their own earlier in the day) and a video of Snoop Dog appeared to rock out with Damon Albarn and co.
Going to SXSW but don’t know anything about the bands playing? Well stay tuned here for our comprehensive guide, but you can also download a couple of free samplers to get you up do date, with tracks from Spoon, The Walkmen, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Local Natives, Surfer Blood, Broken Bells, and more. Find one here and here.
Austin-based Spoon have been critical darlings for a long time but in 2007, they released Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and broke out as much as is possible for a band to do in this day and age. Somehow simultaneously finding Spoon at their most experimental and most poppy, Ga x5 could have saddled the band with unmeetable expectations for where they went next. Their newest record, Transference, sounds a lot more like Spoon, fusing stripped down punk rock with sinewy R&B while freshening up their sound more synths and a decidedly harsher production, resulting in a record that sounds like it listening in on Spoon’s rehearsals and half-finished demos.
Which is not to say the record doesn’t have its share of surprises. Opener “Before Destruction” sounds suprisingly lo-fi and is even sparser than usual, setting the tone for a record that trades in the horns and quirky lushness of their last record for a much barer and immediate sound. But its followed by“Is Love Forever?” which, with its out-of-control, driving guitar and breakneck pacing sounds like classic Spoon. Stompy first single “Written in Reverse” has Britt Daniel alternating between a Princely falsetto and unhinged shouting, while “The Mystery Zone” is a nice example of the spacey, echoed-out atmospherics that Spoon can dish out when they’re in the right mood. “Trouble Come Running,” meanwhile, may be the catchiest song on the entire record; perhaps a breakup song with at solid 1960s pop feel with some terrific background harmonies.
That said, its not entirely business as usual for the band. “Who Makes Your Money” is a slower, near-ballad with enough synths and vocal effects to fit right in the ongoing 1980s revival (with an especially nice guitar part in the middle). That’s not as much of a shock as “Goodnight Laura” a McCartney-esque piano ballad that almost comes out of nowhere in the middle of the record (and the Spoon catalogue). “Goodnight Laura” is perhaps the rawest song on the album, feeling a little like walking in on Britt Daniel in the middle of working on a new song and while its a little more direct and heartfelt than I like my Spoon, its a reflection on just how good Britt Daniel’s songwriting is that they kind of carry it off. While the record does go on a little too long, especially towards the back half (an unusual problem for Spoon) it still comes to a satisfying conclusion with the 70s funk slow-burner “Nobody Gets Me But You.” And its a little weird seeing a band as set in its ways as Spoon jumping on the lo-fi and 80s synth bandwagons, even if they’re doing it in their own idiosyncratic way.
Transference isn’t Spoon’s best album, or even in the top 5, but that’s not really too harsh a criticism of band with the stellar catalog that they have. The problem with writing about Spoon is that they’ve been so good for so long its difficult to write anything more than “nice job guys, keep up the good work.” They’re getting to the point where each release is so good that its becoming boring. But as long as their music remains as immediate and bracing as on Transference, they will still demand attention.
Jonah’s Score: 71
Tangled Up In Wires Grade: B
Festival Season is underway with the release of the lineup for this year’s iteration of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and its a doozy. Jay-Z, Muse, and Gorillaz are the headliners, but the real action is happening with some of the lower-tier artists including Thom Yorke ????, Sly and the Family Stone !!!! and Pavement >>>> (apparently Thom Yorke ???? is what he’s calling his solo show these days). Other bands include LCD Soundsystem, Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, The Specials, Fever Ray, MGMT, Dirty Projectors, Beach House, Phoenix, Spoon, and dozens more awesome bands. I’ve got to say, going to Coachella was never reasonable when I was an East Coaster, but given this line-up and the fact that I’m only a day and a half away by car, I’m definitely considering it.
2009 was a great year for music, but it looks like 2010 could be even better. Big releases from Vampire Weekend and Spoon kick off a year that will also see releases from TUIW favorites Los Campesinos! and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. There are also rumors of new records from the likes of The Arcade Fire, The National, and maybe even Radiohead. Check out our list below and a longer list here:
VAMPIRE WEEKEND – CONTRA
FINAL FANTASY – HEARTLAND
RJD2 – THE COLOSSUS
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS – REALISM
BEACH HOUSE – TEEN DREAM
Beach House – “Norway” (MP3)
SPOON – TRANSFERENCE
LOS CAMPESINOS! – ROMANCE IS BORING
CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG & BECK — IRM
MIDLAKE – THE COURAGE OF OTHERS
YEASAYER – ODD BLOOD
Yeasayer – “Ambling Alp” (MP3)
HOT CHIP – ONE LIFE STAND
TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS – THE BRUTALIST BRICKS
GORILLAZ – PLASTIC BEACH
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS – THE BIG TO-DO
SHE & HIM – VOLUME 2
DUM DUM GIRLS – I WILL BE
DR. DOG – SHAME, SHAME
The National – Title TBA
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM (finished)
OF MONTREAL – FALSE PRIEST (WORKING TITLE)
THE WRENS – FUNERAL (WORKING TITLE)
BAND OF HORSES – NIGHT RAINBOWS
Sometimes there’s a bunch of little bits of music news to report, but not in one post. That’s where Mini Music News Update comes in! In today’s update:
- It looks like the Paste-loving juggernaut of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel will dominate yet another year in 2010. In 2008, it was their debut as duo She & Him with their record Volume 1, in 2009, it was Mrs. Ben Gibbard guesting on M. Ward’s “Never Had Nobody Like You,” and now, according to MTV, they’ll have a new She & Him record, Volume 2, in Spring of 2010. The record is finished, but there is no release date or tracklist yet.
- The Gaurdian has an interview with Blur/Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn talking about the new Gorillaz record, which will be titled Plastic Beach and will feature guest spots from Lou Reed (!), Mos Def, Barry Gibb, and Bobby Womack. Oh and he’s making an opera with Alan Moore. Check out the interview for more.
- Below is the awesomely mopey cover for the new Spoon record, Transference, out Jan. 19. The first single, “Written in Reverse,” will hit the web tomorrow.