April 18, 2005

the sunset and the electric bill

photo by dronepop

* Popmatters interviews Spoon's Britt Daniel. [via]. excerpt:

PM: What were you guys listening to while you were recording this? 'I Turn My Camera On' kinda sounds like the Clash covering Prince, you know?

BD: Yeah. Umm... what were we listening to... I don't know what Jim [Eno, drummer and, with Daniel, one-half of Spoon's core] listens to. He listens to music on his iPod and nobody else gets to know what it is. I know he brings his iPod in his car... I never know what Jim's listening to. There were parts of making the record that I went through a pretty intense 1999 phase. And there was a big Revolver phase, where I would go to bed listening to Revolver on headphones every night.

PM: That definitely shows.

BD: Yeah. Those were the two records that I kinda became obsessed with at various times. I was listening to the Cure, the Clash, a lot of Prince, the Damned... you probably don't hear that as much.

PM: I like how you always keep your runtimes very economical, and your sequencing is always really engaging. Obviously you still have faith in the concept of the LP as a cohesive statement. So what do you think of all the digital technology these days, and iTunes, and people absorbing albums in piecemeal?

BD: Well... [pauses] it's gotta be done. People are gonna do it, and I do it too. I still think that there's something really special about putting on one album at a time. I understand that it happens and I know it's gonna happen and I know why it happens, but it's a little bit sad to me that people don't listen to music in the environment that they did where they had to put on a record and listen on two sides. You put it on, and it was such a hassle to go in and put that record on that you're not gonna go flippin' around a whole lot. You're listening to it the way the band intended for it to happen. Some people don't listen to music the same way, but I think that the people that are real music fans will listen to records that way, 'cause they want to know what the band intended. And they'll keep listening to them like that. The people that only listen to one song from a record and flip around that much, if that's the only way they listen to music, they're probably the kind of people that like music as something to drive to, you know?

* Clusterfuck Nation. excerpt:

"The stock markets and the oil futures markets sank in tandem last week as the global economy responded to increasing strain by wobbling. Oil dipped below $50 a barrel. Don't expect it to linger there long, as the summer driving season approaches. (Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start.)

"Americans will travel compulsively even in a darkening economy. They may not go to Europe right now, with coffee at five bucks a cup there, but they will keep driving around the US because the suburban wastelands where most Americans live are so unendurably depressing that their denizens will pay almost any price for gas to get away for a while -- if only to hyper-artificial destinations like Las Vegas and Disney World. In any case, virtually all American cities (or metroplexes, since the city part is now the least of them), are so designed that stupendous rates of daily motoring are unavoidable.
"Since then, the world has enjoyed another extraordinary era of stability between the major nations. Notice, I don't use the term major powers. Many would argue that US military power is beyond challenge. A minority view states there enough small arms in the world so that any gang of miscreants with $50,000 worth of rocket-propelled grenades, shoulder-launched missiles, and Semtech plastic explosive can make the US Army do a hurt dance. The long term trend is for America to exhaust itself engaging with these fire-ants, and to withdraw from the ant-hills back into the safety of North America.

"That process is now underway, and the economic implications are rather dire. The spring of 2005 has that 1914 feel. In Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, the current hiatus has settled nothing. The various tribes and factions are still pissed off at each other and at us. America is still left with its huge oil import addiction and a suburban way-of-life that no amount of 'energy conservation' can appease. The tectonic stresses of economic distortion have been building under the surface of the Wal Mart / China partnership. For those of you contemplating a vacation in Las Vegas, don't bet on the status quo."

* "I'm a tidy sort of bloke. I don't like chaos. I kept records in the record rack, tea in the tea caddy, and pot in the pot box." -- George Harrison


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