Around and about the fall of 2001, I subscribed to CMJ New Music Monthly, based on two things that I knew to be true:
- The first issue I ever got, back in December 1994, contained a compilation that I still rank as one of the best, if not the best, compilations ever.
- The issue I got before deciding to subscribe also kicked a ton of ass, introducing me to a lot of singles (including a Marilyn Manson song I actually liked, and “Weekend,” by the Black-Eyed Peas, pre-hype) and bands I thought that perhaps I might want to check out further.
I kept my subscription for a while but eventually felt like the samplers–the biggest reason I subscribed at all–were increasingly off the mark for me.
This is a long way of saying that all the way back when, I discovered a great song called “Lines in the Suit,” by a band no one really seemed to know named Spoon. I loved the way the guy sang–almost talky, a bit raspy–and somehow the weird tromp-glomp of the guitar-drums-and-sometimes-piano stuck in my brain. I started including it on mix CDs left and right, and Girls Can Tell was one of those albums that I would watch for whenever I browsed at record shops. Eventually, when the next album came out and everyone was very very Spoon-smitten, finding their albums became easier, but I never bought any of them, for some reason.
Soon my lack of Spoon become comical–almost embarrassing. Here was a band that was seemingly adored by every critic, and even some of my internet pals(still a new thing to have just a few years ago). Their album covers (especially for Gimme Fiction) seemed nearly ubiquitous in all the publications I read, and even most record stores (note to self: figure out who their publicist is if I ever want to “make it big”). My lack of (much) caring about the fact that their intriguing singer (named Britt. Britt!) lived in my new home of Portland was odd, too.
By the time 2007 was coming to a close, it was clear that Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was another critical success, and I had, predictably, been intrigued to the point of curiosity but not to the point of purchasing. I also had decided that no, I wanted to be all chronological about it, and get the album I should have gotten years before, start with that awesome song “Lines in the Suit,” and work forward. No, I would not bow down to (Ga)5–I would experience it all in order, diligently, methodically.
And then my girlfriend got way into that song “The Underdog,” I started hearing it on the radio, and it was great, in all its Billy-Joel-but-fresh sounding glory.
So, yesterday, I gave up. I used a bunch of eMusic downloads, downloaded both Cinco Ga’s* and Girls Can Tell, and I plan to enroll in Spoon School. So far Ga was too much for a post nature-walking day, but “Lines in the Suit” was still crispy as just poured cereal wth lyrics like “It could have been good by now–it could have been more than a wage, yeah” and that repeated use of “At such a tender age now.”
*I know I know, it’s just too much fun.
Video for “The Underdog”
Britt Daniel so totally sings “Veronica,” on Veronica Mars