“Spoon and the Cognitive-Dissonance-By-Good-Enough Trap”

Well, it’s another year, and another set of familiar faces atop pitchfork’s “Best New Music” listing. So why don’t I feel jazzed when I hear a new Spoon song in a bar? The old guy next to me is nodding his head to it with his beer. Is it just that I hold them to too high of a standard now? This is exactly of what I once accused pitchfork in their dealing with Sonic Youth.

Ok, I’ll admit my real qualm with Spoon releasing a new album: you don’t make any money off albums anymore, these days. What’s in it for them? It’s like a suspicious friend who does you too many favors. Why not jam with some new people, develop a new sound, and put out an album under a new moniker? There’s just something fishy about what they’re doing with They Want My Soul. And not that the songs are bad, at least not all of them. That’s not it.
I was introduced to Spoon in spring of 2003 by a girl with exceptional music taste, and definitely got a lot of listens out of Kill the Moonlight, Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. In 2010, when Transference came out, Spoon still seemed like a galvanizing, rifting act capable of making waves in a relevant realm of pop culture.
Today, ah. The whole things strikes me as anthem, macabre. Pastiche. A tribute to the past, songs for the old people who are the last ones to leave the Italian Family Dining Ristorante on a Wednesday night.
And I’m all for getting psyched up about a new album, and supporting the group. Which begs the question as to why I have no interest in buying the new Julian Casablancas. I guess I’m just jealous of his success, and I root for the underdog.
Or maybe it’s something more. Maybe we just get so RELIEVED when our favorite artists put out a new album and it’s not TOTAL SH**. The good samaritan in us, the azure hue. The thing about my New Pornographers is, though, they actually do blow my mind every time they put out an album, even with Together, which featured the heart-rending “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk,” and no different with this new one Brill Bruisers, which plays like a bisector of culture, a bisector of parties, a trippy shortcut into the cosmic world of sarcastic sneers. My ballgame, all the way.
Nobody ever CRAVES relief. I CRAVE Mr. Little Jeans, and John Talabot — artists that actually strive forward in achievements of sound itself. This is a celebration I want to make by divulging $10 toward the new album. With Spoon, I just get the desire to boycott the reading of pitchfork, lest I should end up exactly like everybody else out there.

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