Saturday, August 3, 2019

Cutlery: Dave Mathews/Spoon

purchase [ Dave Mathews]

Cutlery goes beyond spoons - but that seems to be the SMM focus for some reason. So's some more spoon.

Somewhere back a few years ago, I was sure that I fell in love with a Dave Mathews band piece. I have never been able to find that song a gain but the more I listen to the bandm the more I am sure it really was a Dave Mathews piece that I fell in love with.
My search for Cutlery has lead me once again to Dave Mathews.

The Dave Mathews band is much more than Dave. Sure .... he's the focal point, creative muse etc, but - like many "bands" -  he's one part of the greater: incredible bass  and equally great lead guitar here.

And this song is kind of a complex piece:
The songs incorporates shades of Peter Gabriel - certainly there are Genesis-type musical progressions. (Doesn't this evoke Gabriel?):

Maybe I'm crazy
And laughing out loud makes it all pass by
And maybe you're a little crazy
And laughing out loud makes it all alright

The rest of the lyrics are equally oblique. I mean, what do you make of this?:

Spoon in spoon
Stirring my coffee, I
Thought of this and turned to the gate
But on my way, crack lightning and thunder
I hid my head and the storm slipped away, well

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Cutlery: The Dreaded Spoon

purchase [ Bruce Hornsby & Ricky Scaggs]

One of my all-time favorite albums is Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Scaggs' album of the same name.
I ran across it on a Delta flight and went out and bought it soon after I landed, it sounded so good.
The album is pretty well geared to Bluegrass - no surprise considering Scaggs' influence and a certain bent in Hornsby's style over the years.

The Dreaded Spoon is by no means the best of the pick from the album. For the most part, the song themes are decidedly Western/cowboy.
From <Come on Out>:
    Come on out, with your hands up...
From <Hills of Mexico>:
    And we all got full of stickers from the cactus that did grow
    And the outlaws there to rob us in those hills of Mexico ...

Written by Hornsby, The Dreaded Spoon is a song about his father: a kind of catharsis in that the song relates a childhood memory of family visits to Dairy Queen. The spoon perennially resides in the glove compartment but comes out for his father's ice cream treat. Hey - my dad had his own quirks - as do I. Besides, there are a lot worse uses of spoons than scooping up frozen desert!

The lyrics are a paean to American junk food - spoonfulls of the kind of stuff they say you shouldn't be eating: curly fries and fritters, cakes and Sunday pies (any different than Monday pies?).
One critic panned the song; another called it hilarious.

And ... why not ...

Come On Out :

Sunday, July 28, 2019


Well, this could be interesting as of the moment I type this, I know nothing of the band Spoon, and have never knowingly listened to a note they have played. Yet, given the paucity* of songs/bands in this theme, I think this is time for a crash course immersion. Plus, one of my on-line buddies rates them. Good a time as any.
(*I've elected to avoid "fork in the road" and similar, unless, y'know, I don't.)

So, where to start? Wiki is a bit dry a source, discounting opinion for facts, whereas I always prefer opinion to take precedence. Allmusicgroup can be a good place to start, they saying some sound statements about the band, pointing me towards where I should look next. And, you can have your Pitchforks, your Stereogums and your Consequences of Sound, when  in need, it is always the Guardian that remains my trustiest source, a daily print newspaper. (Go me!) Here's a good taster. And it seems they are indie.  Or what the last generation but one called rock, for fear of being mistaken for their dads, who called rock'n'roll rock, for fear of being mistaken for theirs. Young(ish) men with guitars. With plus marks for naming themselves after this piece of gold-plated Can.

Don't Buy the Realistic/1994
Shall we have a song, now that I have passed the buck around their bio and backstory? Above seems to be the one where they snuck in on a general consciousness, even if not mine. A distinct whiff of the Pixies, a taste of Cobain even. Certainly not unpleasant, and something the 37 year old in me might have found reminiscently punky. Let's move on.

            Loss Leaders/1997                                                     
Wow, this I love! Lemonheads meet Teenage Fanclub, right up my boulevard. Is this typical, in that the bio doesn't hint at this? A quick peruse around this early EP and amazon have relieved me of a few more bob.

Lines in the Suit/2001
Ever more anglocentric to my ears, this has echoes of Squeeze and Joe Jackson. The band had had, by now, their short tenure on Elektra, the once great label in a hiatus, failing to see the, now obvious to my ears, worth in the songwriting talent of Britt Daniel. And I am getting to see why it is his and Jim Eno's band, the drums a solid anchor, pegging the momentum just this side of right. The next song should be the hit single, 'The Way We Get By', which I will slip in like this, as less to my my taste, evoking, of all things, E.L.O. Mm, I hope this isn't what they mean by progress....

Ghost of You Lingers/live 2014 (original 2007)
This seems to be the song, yes? There are a zillion live versions on youtube, yet I am reminded somehow of the Motors, a mostly forgotten UK band who went from this to this, but, however good their polished version was, it was the earlier grit that now gives back more to me.  But I fully appreciate this briefest of dips into their oeuvre is cursory at best, and I may be missing a pearl or two.

Rent I Pay/2014
Back after a prolonged hiatus and this seems neither fish nor fowl, trying to find a middle ground between the indie guitars and post-rock keys. (And post-rock is what this generation call rock to differentiate from indie, nailed it! Please don't bore me with the intricacies of sub-genres.) Why did it just stop before it began?

Do I Have to Talk to You/2017
So, to their last release, from 2017, although a greatest hits 'dropped' just a day or so back, intriguingly duplicating only one of the songs I picked, suggesting either Britt Daniels, who chose the songs, or I, got it wrong. I think the best I can say about the song is I like the drums, back high in the mix. But the song is thin, sounding like a late Macca outtake, high praise, I guess, in some circles. Which sort of sums up my overall disappointment, the encroaching Beatleoia of it all. OK, I'm old and out of touch, but, jings, your early stuff was good.

An interesting exercise in all, and guaranteed more to appall than enthrall, but such is life. Who reads this stuff anyway?

This is the one to get, if you consider 'Telephono' a free gift courtesy the joy of 'Soft Effects'.