Album: Gimme Fiction, 1995
Justification: OK, I’m just going to come out and say it: Spoon aren’t great live.
And it’s not because they can’t play – clearly they can. And it’s not because they don’t have great songs, because clearly they do. This one, for example, and damn near everything else they’ve ever done. But I’ve seen them three times now and every time they’ve, well, sucked.
Part of it is that oh-so-annoying thing that certain somewhat precious bands do to show that dammit, they’re in control and they’re not going to play the things people know, regardless of how keen the audience are, which means that sets lack any singles: a particular insult given how great their singles inevitably are (which is my way of saying that I was looking for a clip for ‘The Way We Get By’ first, and then figured this was probably better known than ‘Jonathan Fisk’) and part of it is that so many of the songs they do need other elements (like once you take the brass out of ‘You Got Yr Cherry Bomb’, there’s really nothing there). But the albums are flawless.
That said, when I first heard this my head kept morphing it into Big Black’s cover of ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’. There’s a mash-up I’d like to hear.
THIS TIME IN 2010: Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians were quirking out with ‘Balloon Man’.