Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spoon News - Me and Matty Pickles and White Rabbits

An update on a hardworking band.

Pictured above is Britt Daniel and White Rabbits' Stephen Patterson during the recording of WR's sophomore LP, It's Frightening. It's probably just a coincidence, but the album title is a bit confusing if you also happen to be a fan of the Scottish indie band Frightened Rabbit... but I digress. According to White Rabbits' label tdb Records (home to Radiohead), they had this to say about the record making process:
After enlisting tourmate, friend and songwriter Britt Daniel (Spoon) as producer, the pair began the process of exchanging demos between Brooklyn and Portland. White Rabbits recorded It’s Frightening over the course of four weeks... The sessions were recorded by visionary engineer Nicholas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter) at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY... Upon the completion of tracking, White Rabbits traveled to Austin, TX to mix the record with studio wizard Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail Of Dead) using his exceptional ears to transform It’s Frightening into a uniquely rewarding headphone experience.
Also on the production end, Spoon drummer Jim Eno has had an equally busy off-season. Local buzz-worthy Austin act Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears just released their debut full-length this week with the guided help of Eno. Touring together for the major leg of Spoon's 2008 North American tour, a certain chemistry between the two bands was formed. This carried over to Eno's recording studio where the band laid down the tracks for their debut LP Tell 'Em What Your Name Is. According to NPR, the album has all the right ingredients:
The production, handled by Spoon's drummer, Jim Eno, is spot on, mixing just the right amount of space and clarity for the instruments with a '60s mono, barroom blues ambiance.
And finally, after a short hiatus, Spoon played a sold-out "pseudo-homecoming" show on March 6 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland. Afterwards, the band re-entered the studio to begin recording a follow-up to 2007's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. For a good interview with Daniel, the Texas Monthly asked for information on the new album. While things are a bit tight-lipped about the progress or release date, it appears that Jon Brion and Mike McCarthy are on board. Daniel reported that only two songs have currently been recorded:
We recorded two songs last fall, one that’s pretty good and one that’s not. One’s a rocker that Mike McCarthy tried to make sound like Joy Division. The other is kinda middle of the road, a song we tried to make new wave and probably shouldn’t have.
It was revealed that the album title is tentatively named Me and Matty Pickles. Is this just another "album title/blogger game" (see Wolf Parade's At Mount Zoomer)? Unfortunately, we won't find out until 2010 (when Daniel thinks the album will drop). Thanks to Pitchfork's hardworking research team, we at least know that Matty Pickles is the frontman of the Brooklyn outfit The Subjects (thanks for the kind correction, natasha). If you didn't know of the band then, you will now.

However, in the mean time, we should all take solace in the great music that Spoon has had a hand in making. Go here to check out the highly anticipated White Rabbit's It's Frightening (will be released May 19), and go here to buy a copy of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears' Tell 'Em What Your Name Is. And lastly, since Me and Matty Pickles is still an operation in progress, I thought it was fitting to share Spoon's aptly titled songs (both versions recorded during the Telephono and Girls Can Tell recording sessions, respectively, but never released). Maybe we'll finally see this appear on Spoon's new album (probably not)? Enjoy:

MP3: Spoon - "Operation in Progress" - 1996
Spoon - "Operation in Progress" - 2000


natasha said...

The Subjects are from/reside in Brooklyn! (not Austin). Their debut full length is available on Pretty Activity Records (with the ease grace precision and cleverness of human beings)