Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Work has been busy, busy, busy today. Adventurers, please don't beat any of your family members. That's more work for Steanso.
Here's an article from CNN's entertainment section about Austin's very own Spoon. I really liked Spoon's last album, Gimme Fiction, but when Steanso and Crackbass ventured out to La Zona Rosa to see them live a while back (see my February 3rd, 2006, entry for a perfunctory review of their February 2nd show) their live show didn't really blow me away. Granted, they had a fair amount of difficulty with their sound system and some other equipment that night, and by the time they got their problems resolved and really settled into their groove, they were in about the last 3 songs of the show. I couldn't help being kind of disappointed with the fact, however, that Spoon is clearly a band which is more impressive in the studio than they were on stage. Spoon used a lot of different instrumentation and different sounds on their album, but on stage they had a more stripped-down, four man band approach. There's nothing wrong with that, and some bands manage to transition very well in that regard (playing the songs slightly differently so that when there's less instrumentation the songs don't sound empty or like they're missing something), but Spoon didn't always quite manage to fill the voids left by the instrumentation on the album (despite the fact that they relied upon sequencers in a fair number of songs in the live show). Still, it's good to see some local guys making good on the national music scene. For a town that markets itself as the live music capital of the world, Austin often seems woefully underrepresented on the national music scene. By way of a little side note, I think Frank "Little Nicky" Skowronski once told me that one of the guys from Spoon used to work at AMD (or maybe he still does- who knows how long the Spoon train will keep on rolling). Maybe that's just wrong, though.
Anyway, Gimme Fiction is a good album and I may not have seen Spoon's best live work, so I'm still a Spoon supporter. Go, Spoon!!!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree. I saw Spoon at La Zona Rosa a few years ago. and I was underwhelmed & disappointed even though I really liked their albums.

Rosa

Steanso said...

Yeah, it's Rosa!!!! I hope everything is going well for you, Rosa!! Maybe you can form an East Coast affiliate (or at least an East Coast news bureau) for The Adventures....
Anyway, we all miss you!!

The League said...

This sort of worry keeps me from wanting to see everyone from Brian Wilson to Radiohead.

Steanso said...

Having seen Radiohead, I can tell you that you've got nothing to worry about there. They manage to recreate their songs very well in a live setting, and despite the wide variety of sounds on their albums, they don't rely on sequencers much, if at all, whenthey play live. Instead, they bring lots of different instruments on stage (I remember xylophones, various stand-alone drums, and an assortment of various organs, and I'm sure there were other instruments I'm not remembering), and they play slightly different arrangements of their songs (but still good versions) when they need to change things up from the studio album. The Radiohead show that I saw at the Woodlands was really good, and they played with an awful lot of energy.

weedo said...

I saw that same Radiohead show in Houston with Jas. Well, we drove down separately, but we were at the same show. I totally agree with him. I love Radiohead so much that I took the chance and they did not disappoint. They amazingly are able to replicate their studio albums live. Blown away. There were so many friends that I wish could have seen that show.

I saw Brian Wilson last year on his Smile tour, and he also put on an amazing show. I was pleasantly surprised there too. With all of his mental and physical health problems, I was a little skeptical about what we were going to get with this show. There was immediate good vibes amongst the group of me, Eric, and Griego (despite the mud) when we found out we were front row at the Backyard for this show! They had a weird numbering system so we had no idea. Then Brian Wilson comes out does about 20-30 minutes of accoustic numbers with about 6-8 members of his band (two accoustic guitars and everyone singing beautifully). Then he switches to full electric, adds another 2 members, does the entire Smile album, and then does encores with hits from Pet Sounds and other Beach Boys albums like Surf's Up. He had an 8 or 10 piece band, all of them very good musicians, and most of them were fine singers on top of that. They were even able to replicate the lush vocal harmonies that made the Beach Boys famous (another thing I was most skeptical about). Brian Wilson had his own keyboard (which he played part of the time), there was another keyboard player (also musical director), a really good female back ground singer (who was also a classic knockout blonde), a bass player, a drummer, percussionist, and two or three guitar players. As I said most of the musicians could sing so they were really able to replicate the Beach Boys sound. I was not disappointed, and was also blown away by this show. One of the top 10 shows I ever saw (Radiohead was another).

If you have a chance to see either one. Take it. You should also get the re-released Smile album from Brian Wilson that came out last year.

Hey Jay Stuemke! I hope everything is going well. Great to hear from you.

weedo said...

Oh and of course The Theramin was brought along and used on Good Vibrations (they did not sequence it) at the Brian Wilson show.