slint -- _spiderland_: classic or dud

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in the right state i have appreciated it. but i don't really like it. and in many ways i wish it had never been made. somehow i've never felt so satisfied and relieved after selling a cd as i did after selling this, which even made me cry once, last summer. i will try to explain further after some of your responses. one well-articulated "dud" will make me feel better.

sundar subramanian, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

No way is this a dud. Classic in both the "touchstone" sense as well as just how frikin good it is. To be honest, I always thought "Tweez" was a better album in many ways, and that the s/t EP topped both. But "Spiderland" is indeed a classic, as is slint. "Washer" is a lovely broken hearted track to collaps and be morose to, but Goodnight Captain is the one to crank the volume on, turn off the lights, and let work its magic. Some music commands respect -- like I don't want to talk to other people while it plays because I'm listening so intently. Spiderland is just such music.

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

It's too late for a well-articulated dud, and I have work to finish, but "Dud" it is. In my worse moods, this CD seems responsible for everything that went wrong in music during the last decade. OK, this is the Sgt Peppers => Prog argument and so inadmissible, but the thing is that the emphasis on knottiness and technique, and the emotional sourness and dourness, and the really-not-that-interesting dynamics and time signatures stuff are all present and correct on this too.

Not that I've listened to it in almost four years, though.

The vocals when they appear are bad, too.

Tom, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I actually heard this record for the first time a few days ago, and I have to say I was pretty disappointed. I had been reading a bunch of old Big Black interviews where Steve said that he loved Slint so much that he would lend them money just to have the privilege of producing their stuff, and I really don't get it at all. Perhaps there is other Slint stuff I would like? What do you guys think of "Tweez"?

Dave M., Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Undoubtedly classic and I was surprised they hadn't come up for discussion before.

I think Tom is wrong here. Or rather, I think he’s missing a whole lot of fun. To my ears this indie scene (from slint to Aerial M to the For Carnation to Palace Brothers plus zillions of other spin off projects) seems very strong - bands finding audiences for all sorts of projects, lots of cross-fertilisation, forward looking, the emphasis on cheap production tools. I like a lot of these bands, and even when I’m not so wild (Tortoise don’t do much for me if I’m honest) I respect what they’re about. Their influence has probably peaked but compared to the mess that was British indie well, that’s a whole other thread really.

Of slint’s very limited back catalogue I like the final EP (Glenn/Rhoda) best at the moment.

Guy, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

On reflection "missing" is wrong. It’s more the normal swing-away critical pattern. The ‘90s have to seem as awful as the ‘80s once seemed. Fair enough, and many ‘90s bands have ended up on my top shelves where they will remain for another decade or so.

Guy, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

No, "missing" is right, cause your second post assumes I liked this stuff during the 90s: not the case.

The scene as described - side-projects, cross-fertilisation, forward looking etc - is indeed *exactly* what a good scene 'ought' to be which is probably why I spent so much time c.94-97 trying to find stuff I liked in it. Apart from the occasionally superb Palace, little joy. The music from Slint on in has always seemed dry and uninvolving.

It's to do with my limits as a listener as much as anything: I'm not a musician and so can't technically appreciate a lot of what's going on, and I tend to listen to music for moments rather than flows (not exclusively cf. my interest in minimalism) - aside from the tape drop- out gag on "Djed" little of the post-Slint stuff has grabbed me on that basis.

Tom, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Classic. The album in question is an austere, shapeshifting masterpiece, and surely one of the most original of the 90s. The first few notes of "Washer" and the sombre geometry of the repeating guitar riff are some of the most haunting things I've ever heard. It's interesting they get described as uninvolving, a bit like a recent Guardian critique of Kasuo Ishiguro that calls him dry, cerebral and unemotional. I'm just left completely baffled, because his books move me more than almost any other author. I guess you just either get off on sombre geometry or ya don't ;-)

The influence thing with Slint has become a bit of a joke, though. When prog-metal bands like Geiger Counter namecheck them, they're namechecking their preciousness and deliberate complexity. Isolate these things and they are no more than quixotic. Add them to rich and mysterious songs, and you've got a winner.

Peter, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Tom - does the ‘moments’ thing affect how you listen to dance music? I could imagine it giving you a very hard time with House…

Guy, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I first heard slint after four or five years of only listening to dance music and it was the repetition and flow that drew me in…

Guy, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Interesting question - because I do love house music. I think it's unchanging or near-unchanging flow - 'current' let's call it, heh - that I like rather than the changing dynamics and tempos and patterns in eg. jazz or post-rock. None of this is exclusive of course.

House at its best tends to give you moments plus current anyway - breakdowns, diva cries, emotional catharsis and the pulsebeat. "Your Love" (Frankie Knuckles) for instance with that looping keyboard pattern (current) and then Jamie Principle coming in with "I cant let go" (moment).

Some of the Chicago-ish stuff does balance those things. Smog's Red Apple Falls and "All Your Woman Things" have murderously repetitive guitar patterns - reminiscent of Arnold Dreyblatt in the attention paid to the droning string buzz - and then Callahan's lyrics provide the focal point. Similarly some of Jim O'Rourke's solo stuff has gorgeous pop moments - I forgot Bad Timing in my first post.

Tom, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I find the Lou Reediness of Smog and Yo La Tengo vocals problematic, and this has stopped me going beyond an album with each. But you’re making them sound interesting. Can you do a search here?

Guy, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Back when _Spiderland_ came out, folks around the college station I worked at made much merry over it. I think I played something from it once. The end. I have it in my collection somewhere and there it sits, staring at me. Yet I ignore it, really.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Send it to me, Ned, then I can relisten to it and try to figure out what all the fuss is about...I never got it the times I've heard it, either.

Sean Carruthers, Saturday, 28 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

well, i am a musician of sorts. i think i am able to appreciate flow and "sombre geometry" (as i suspect tom does as well, given the appreciation he and i share for ryoji ikeda, pan sonic, and charlemagne palestine, or even pil and joy division for that matter) and i feel almost exactly the same way towards _spiderland_ as tom does. if only once i was in the right environment where i could appreciate it on its own terms and sort of see why everyone who put down my tastes thought it was a masterpiece. aside from that though, for a long time, it just seemed so, well, dry and uninviting, the epitome of an unappealing aesthetic. like something in me recoiled at the idea of getting into it on the terms required. the feeble vocals were the biggest turn-off. musically, it seemed dry-sounding, very plodding, pointlessly knotty and technical. . . the repeated figures just didn't seem interesting enough to be worth repeating.

and there's something else to it at the root of my distaste for post- rock, something bigger, an emotional quality i have trouble articulating. in a weird way, despite its lesser attachment to pop song convention, the music strikes me as more "conventional" in a bad way on some level than the husker du or sonic youth that preceded it. i don't know how to put it any better right now. i'm still trying to figure it out since i really like a lot of classic postpunk and indie/alternative rock and even enjoyed a fair bit of emo and hardcore. i'm probably always harping on this but it's a sense of alienation from a culture and aesthetic tradition that i thought i could relate to at one point.

tom: never write yourself off as a listener because you're not a musician. musical technique is just a tool to create something worth listening to.

sundar subramanian, Saturday, 28 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

That "Captain" song (last thing on the album) is really great. I love songs that build slowly into one huge, crushing moment, and that does it just about perfectly. What I love about it is how it takes the noise and power of metal and focuses it on a such a brief slice of time. That song is beyond classic, even if it did spawn June of '44 or Sweep The Leg Johnny or any of those bands (whihc I've never heard, but you know.)

The album as a whole, though, I've never quite warmed to. A couple of other good moments (maybe "Breadcrumb Trail" if I'm remembering the title right) but not very consistant.

Mark, Saturday, 28 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I think I like the sole Rodan album more. Still, I'd say Spiderland is damned fine, "Good Morning, Captain" is fab.

joseph, Saturday, 28 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I drag this record out every year to try and find out what everyone's so excited about. I never do. Maybe I should just give up. The cover's a total classic, though. In fact, I think that's the reason I bought it. Cute band alert! Way to go, Wil Oldham!

Arthur, Sunday, 29 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Whilst sharing reservations mentioned above about the scenes that 'spiderland' clearly inspired its still an album of austere beauty. Dark, brooding and menacing.

Stevo, Sunday, 29 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

two months pass...
man,i only got into slint after hearing a few people mention their name a thousand times(steve albini,paul dempsey from something for kate and stuart braithwaite from mogwai).they are the juice.i've read this in many places,but their mix of hardcore,post-punk,jazz,prog rock and noise is what indie-rock is.The shifting arrangements and the narrations are what make the music pieces,not songs,PIECES.where tweez was a bit more hardcore tinged,spiderland is prog-rock/noise influenced with maybe a beat poetry thing going on.good morning,captain is a sad story,if my band fault could likened to them,i would honoured.

shoeb ahmad, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

one year passes...
I suppose not hearing "Spiderland" when it first came out might blur why so many people love this record.

In a time where bands were either doing clones of early Butthole Surfers, still trying to be hardcore as fuk, trying to move to the Northwest, or trying to morph something new into the Husker Du model-- this record shows up. It just wasn't like anything else.

It is the only record from "1991" that I still find myself pulling out of the stacks.

earlnash, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

six months pass...
Peter - I like the ishiguro/slint comparison. Two of the things that I love most in the world, and now I'm wondering if there is some important similarity there. For want of a less vague word, I'd have to say 'subtlety'. There's something utterly refreshing about an artist who knows what to leave out (which is a cliche, but I feel not many bands have understood that as well as slint did, and not many writers as well as ishiguro does)... 'Spiderland' forces the listener to appreciate the worth, significance and meaning of every single note. The criticism that this has inspired an army of bands with what, in the wrong hands, is a questionable approach to making music - being puritanical, perfectionist, and restrained - is well directed, but its really not slint's fault that so many of their followers have turned out to be a bit bad at what they were so good at. Some of the bands who claim to have assimilated the slint ethic are just lying as well, Mogwai being the obvious example. They're not even talented enough to copy slint, let alone continue the path they began. It reminds me of when bands like Urusei Yatsura or placebo claim to have been influenced by sonic youth, when they're clearly lacking the vision and dedication and integrity required to really understand what made sonic youth so great. Slint have spawned some great bands though - Shipping News perhaps the best.

sam wiseman, Monday, 10 March 2003 18:03 (nineteen years ago) link

its really to artculate why i really love this album. and i don't even like post rock.

basically they came out with a way of doing quiet/loud dynamics within the 'song' framework that is quite original. so classic for just that.

I will try and come up with more bcz I haven't heard in a long long time.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 10 March 2003 18:13 (nineteen years ago) link

i started off (like many of the above) as a side b guy.

but side a ... nosferatu man is such a great song. i think it's the best song they ever wrote.

the "quiet/loud" dynamic thing is mentioned quite a bit but i don't understand why slint defines it. some of their songs are quiet, some are loud, a couple are both. many other bands in rock have done quiet/loud earlier and better.

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 10 March 2003 18:18 (nineteen years ago) link

Sam - are you saying Slint are good because of their ability to sleuce out all the uneccesary bits, all the ego, all the dross, all the stuff that shows off the band rather than the songs, so they have these refined songs with no unnecessary bits - pure old streamline...

Cozen (Cozen), Monday, 10 March 2003 18:25 (nineteen years ago) link

earlnash, do you have any other records from 1991? 'loveless'? 'laughing stock'?

john fail (cenotaph), Monday, 10 March 2003 18:29 (nineteen years ago) link

''the "quiet/loud" dynamic thing is mentioned quite a bit but i don't understand why slint defines it. some of their songs are quiet, some are loud, a couple are both. many other bands in rock have done quiet/loud earlier and better.''

I can only think of dead C but since the songs were kind of loose in the first place...gimme names.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 10 March 2003 18:29 (nineteen years ago) link

i find the shouty "intense" bits quite embarrassing to listen to now. i much prefer the straight scary story angle which i think was more fully realised in the for carnation at least the compilation cd which brings together the fighs ongs & marshmallows stuff. the later triphop / floydy for carnation well it's still good & quite masterfully done but it's not so ELUSIVE which was the strong point for me. were bitch magnet doing slint at the same time as slint without ripping off slint?

bob snoom, Monday, 10 March 2003 19:02 (nineteen years ago) link

were bitch magnet doing slint at the same time as slint without ripping off slint?

The photo of the hand on the inside of Umber is over a cassette copy of Tweez.

hstencil, Monday, 10 March 2003 19:08 (nineteen years ago) link

sooyoung even got david grubbs to join them so they could channel that bluegrass outcast music.

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:12 (nineteen years ago) link

well yeah, and to replace Jon Fine when he got kicked out (twice!).

hstencil, Monday, 10 March 2003 19:14 (nineteen years ago) link

i think britt walford plays on the last record too...

to answer bob snoom's question: bitch magnet were contemporaries of slint, the bulk of their output (2 LPs, 2 EPs) was released (i bleieve) prior to the release of spiderland (at which time, sooyoung and lexi started seam).

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:18 (nineteen years ago) link

I've had the My Bloody Valentine album for years and I know it is heresy around these parts, but it has never been a favorite. MBV are definitely a unique sounding group and Loveless is a good album, but it has never been obsession to me like Slint.

As for Talk Talk, alas I still have never heard them. They are on a mental list of mine with groups like Seefeel, Bark Psychosis, Derutti Column, A Certain Ratio, The Sound, Kitchens of Distinction, Comsat Angels and other UK arty guitar groups I haven't heard, but would check out if I came across their records.

I've got a pretty good sized stash of lps/cds, but I am the first to admit, I haven't heard everything.

Around the same time I posted that comment, I really wasn't listening to that much guitar rock, especially from the 90s, that has changed in the past few months.

I don't know about the "shouty" parts being embarressing, at least for me part of the problem with much of the music of this type is that it never explodes, it kind of stays in one mood. I think in the lust for being taken "seriously" people banished the rock, which to me is a sad thing.

Beyond the dynamics of the music, the way that Slint arranged the guitars were was very lyrical and with quite a bit of harmonizing between the two players. I know that a couple of bands (Ativan & Pencil) playing from Bloomington in Spiderlands wake definitely built from the way the guitars were orchestrated.

earlnash, Monday, 10 March 2003 19:34 (nineteen years ago) link

i think britt walford plays on the last record too...

Now I know you're insane, gygax!

Somewhere in my parents' house is a tape of the Diablo Guapo demos with Britt on drums.

hstencil, Monday, 10 March 2003 19:36 (nineteen years ago) link

haha i just checked AMG and it says he plays guitar ("shannon doughton"... the nickname that albini gave him)... am i crazy?

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:38 (nineteen years ago) link

1st slint=little big black.
2nd slint=a light year leap. excellent, though, maybe someone should travel back in time to prevent it from being made do to the damage its influence did.
post slint=horrible, horrible, horrible.

Bosse-De-Nage (Bosse-De-Nage), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:42 (nineteen years ago) link

plays guitar? In Bitch Magnet? WTF?

The Shannon Doughton name is actually from someone Britt went to school with.

hstencil, Monday, 10 March 2003 19:43 (nineteen years ago) link

Stupid question in the back of my mind for years: Seam's Lexi, man or woman? (I didn't get to see them until after his/her departure.)

While you're at it, is Sooyoung up to anything these days?

mookieproof (mookieproof), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:50 (nineteen years ago) link

Lexi is a woman.

hstencil, Monday, 10 March 2003 19:55 (nineteen years ago) link

sooyoung moved to san francisco, ca. he plays keyboards in a band called eE. i saw him AND ash bowie totally randomly (and non-music related) in the same day.

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 10 March 2003 20:10 (nineteen years ago) link

"Good Morning Captain" was one of those songs it took me a year to track down after hearing on late-night radio. But it's shrunk on me since... Not a dud, exactly, just I haven't gotten back into it for a decade...

Pete Scholtes, Monday, 10 March 2003 20:13 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't think I've ever liked anything labeled "post-rock."

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Monday, 10 March 2003 20:16 (nineteen years ago) link

(mookieproof i like your handle)

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 10 March 2003 20:19 (nineteen years ago) link

(i mean the email prefix name handle thingy part)

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 10 March 2003 20:19 (nineteen years ago) link

thanks, gygax! (blushes)

mookieproof (mookieproof), Monday, 10 March 2003 20:48 (nineteen years ago) link

i really like spiderland
it was one of those albums that i had heard so much about that at first it seemed a little underwhelming,because i had heard about it in relation to bands who had since expanded upon the ideas,but eventually i grew to really like it
the same thing happened with the jesus and mary chain
i was listening to a fair bit of post rock when i got it though,whereas i haven't really listened to much along those lines in the last year
i've been meaning to give spiderland another listen though,to see if i still like it...

robin (robin), Monday, 10 March 2003 21:13 (nineteen years ago) link

it's great. i love the whispered "help" on Good Morning Captain. And the "I MISS YOU"'s at the end are as moving as music gets. it's worthy of the fuss...

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Monday, 10 March 2003 22:33 (nineteen years ago) link

http://www.freakytrigger.co.uk/2000_05_28_hated.html#285562

toby (tsg20), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 11:02 (nineteen years ago) link

b-b-but..."good morning captain" is great BECAUSE it's a sappy tear-jerker. there's nothing complex about the end, but it's so brutal and beautiful. i couldn't give a wanking goat about funny time signatures, or anything...

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 11:28 (nineteen years ago) link

tanya does not like music therefore any of her 'opinions' do not count.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 12:19 (nineteen years ago) link

Never saw this before:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb46UMdmGqY

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 18 March 2015 05:36 (seven years ago) link

https://www.loumag.com/articledisplay.aspx?id=59820590

history of Louisville punk

After Skull of Glee, Steve Rigot played in In the Vines, Common Law Cabin and Women Who Love Candy, among other bands. He is an artist (painter) and lives in Southern Indiana.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/music/2010/04/26/it-was-a-suicide-mission-from-the-very-start-a-chat-with-the-endtables/

http://louisvillemusic.org/blog/2015/03/20/steve-chili-rigot-dies/

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 25 March 2015 16:54 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...

haha
http://i.imgur.com/Bl5i66N.png

La Lechera, Wednesday, 22 July 2015 22:34 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

http://imgur.com/gallery/X83MF

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 27 April 2017 06:48 (five years ago) link

http://imgur.com/gallery/4Tvfr

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 27 April 2017 06:51 (five years ago) link

I bet that last band photo is their first band, Languid and Flaccid. Not Todd Brashear on bass there - I think it's Ned Oldham but not positive.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 27 April 2017 15:13 (five years ago) link

yeah, last photo is Ned on the right. but the fifth does not depict Ned; the fourth does, as well as Craig Brown and Chris Hawpe, Ned's tightest buds at the time.

apart from the last photo, its all from a J. Graham Brown School yearbook, probably '81-'84.

veronica moser, Thursday, 27 April 2017 15:45 (five years ago) link

Slint have finally sold out. pic.twitter.com/VRvIGmm76U

— Loud And Quiet (@LoudAndQuietMag) May 3, 2017

Neil S, Thursday, 4 May 2017 21:01 (five years ago) link

o m g

Fluffy Saint-Bernard (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 4 May 2017 21:16 (five years ago) link

seven months pass...

https://i.imgur.com/7ZWA34Y.jpg

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 14 December 2017 05:52 (five years ago) link

Ahead of their time in so many ways

circa1916, Thursday, 14 December 2017 05:56 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

https://wwpilates.com/

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 17:25 (three years ago) link

thank you, that really hits the middle of a venn diagram of stuff my wife likes.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 17:37 (three years ago) link

aw that's cool good for him

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 17:39 (three years ago) link

would exercise with todd

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 20:48 (three years ago) link

that's pretty cool

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 21:20 (three years ago) link

Love that he kept “wild and woolly”

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 21 February 2019 06:04 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

2 lengthy interviews with/by Britt from a few months ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNs1GUWZefw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZKAN03mnhg

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 10 July 2020 06:28 (two years ago) link

I listened to that in march… and… I was present for the birth of Slint, attending their second, third and fourth shows, and then one in lville a year before the release of Spiderland… I cannot properly express my pride that guys that were only a few years older than me could possibly create music that unique, and he in particular is unlike any drummer to have ever walked the earth… I was in lville for most of the past week, and the awe with which they are regarded there is palpable… and…

I gotta say that interview is exceptional for showing how unusually inarticulate he is about what he has done (and probably everything else, as each of the times I have interacted with him he has been like that) relative to the hundreds of musicians i have interviewed. He is all show, and can't figure out how to tell or is incapable of telling.

veronica moser, Saturday, 11 July 2020 21:18 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

I like Spiderland but have literally not listened to it in years. And then today in the car my 16-year-old son plugs in his phone and puts on "Good Morning, Captain." He likes to play me stuff he's found, and to see if I know it. He is now apparently a big Slint fan. I think he got into it via his Microphones-inspired excavation of '90s indie. Anyway, 16-year-olds still getting excited over it nearly 30 years on says something for it.

That is so cool!

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 14 September 2020 11:16 (two years ago) link

tipsy: did you recommend the documentary "Breadcrumb Trail" for your son?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 14 September 2020 12:12 (two years ago) link

No, and I haven't seen it either. Maybe we can watch it together.

I feel like seeing how young they were (and already most members were in their 3rd(+?) band) might be very motivating to someone of a similar age.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVdU_bLD2-M

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 14 September 2020 15:17 (two years ago) link

Or you could read the book :)

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:26 (two years ago) link

There is an IG story on the Slint account that shows a screenshot of David, Todd, Britt, Brian on a Zoom call with Corey Rusk.

*thinking.emoji*

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 21 September 2020 22:00 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

^^^They were reminiscing while eating Taco Bell mexican pizzas which are being removed from the TB menu, haha.

Spiderland turns 30 on Saturday 3/27/21. Long interview-piece that doesn't shed a tremendous amount of new light for people with this thread bookmarked at Rolling Stone if you're so inclined/bored:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/slint-spiderland-interview-1144942/

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 25 March 2021 21:42 (one year ago) link

man, to me, a louisvillian who was witness to birth of this band but was way too intimidated by those guys to dare to speak to them at the time, this article is off the charts informative relative to, say, the grantland piece seven years ago. I'm super jealous of Shteamer, not just re: the amount of access and consisdration those guys granted him, but the fact that he seems to be able to do these wonky-ass deep dives for rolling goddamn Stone, an outlet not known to indulge in massive retrospectives on artists unknown or irrelevant to Jann Wenner or Joe Levy, for that matter. God bless Jason Fine!

veronica moser, Friday, 26 March 2021 19:16 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I watched Breadcrumb Trail last night. It's on YouTube.

I think this must be the only instance on the parents having a decisive effect on the music, in allowing those guys to rehearse what would become Spiderland in their basement.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 10:48 (two weeks ago) link

Also not only are they bored of rock but they seem bored of that kind of post-hardcore scene by the time they made Spiderland. I realise how the vocals, which is the thing that immediately elevates this record, are as underehearsed as the music is so overehearsed -- akin to the making of Trout Mask Replica, that stuff sounds so together.

Remarkable how there's just no setup, no manager, no nothing. It's just these kids, Brian's parents, the odd person from Touch & Go, Steve Albini, and Will Oldham (the one person missing from the doc). But everybody is hands off.

And they are so young. You need to repeat that over and over again. Simultaneously the reason they sorta hadn't left home -- which allowed for acres of rehearsal and development of the music -- and the quality of the lyrics/singing goes into that. Explains the break-up too. Too young to make that kind of music. Brian felt the pressure with no setup to take it off.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 10:59 (two weeks ago) link

I just found Brian's parents fascinating. Britt is just insane.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 11:01 (two weeks ago) link

I was going to say it's an odd documentary but it's actually pretty generic - it's the content that's odd. Like you say, Britt is such an unusual character, profoundly introverted and seemingly unaware of his obvious talent. I had no idea that was him on the first Breeders album, for instance. I'd normally roll my eyes at yet another James Murphy talking head but he's instructive in that he can hardly articulate what it is about Britt that is so compelling and otherworldly.

Brian too, seems completely at odds with what he produces. The scene where his accident is discussed passes like a dream.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 14:13 (two weeks ago) link

Quite a few that have Britt stories. Albini talking about the time Britt was house-sitting. Drew Daniel when they stayed over at his then place. Then the guy who talked about his erotic cakes.

Wish Kim Deal was in it too.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 14:45 (two weeks ago) link

And yeah I just forgot about the accident. Kinda weird nobody had died.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 14:47 (two weeks ago) link

It's hard to describe how exciting it was when they started playing shows in 86/87: the Louisville scene was in full flower, but it was hardcore hardcore, hardcore… the Misfits 100% ran that town, and when I heard that two guys from Maurice, one from Sq

veronica moser, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 15:24 (two weeks ago) link

It's hard to describe how exciting it was when they started playing shows in 86/87: the Louisville scene was in full flower, but it was hardcore hardcore, hardcore… the Misfits 100% ran that town, and when I heard that two guys from Maurice, one from Squirrel bait and one from Dot 39 (not well known anymore) of course you'd think it was gonna be the most merciless metal-punk to have ever existed… and then they play the Tweez shit at shows and the hardcore kids, despite individual claims to the contrary in decades later, were either bored or bewildered… myself and like five other kids, including a former ILX leading light, on the other hand were absolutely dumbstruck, in awe of what was unfolding (yeah, yeah I'm tooting my own horn here)…

and so then the Tweez shit in particular earns the Trout mask comparison…it is very very hard, maybe impossible to discern what stylistic templates they may have used… the only thing is that Pajo was well known as a technically accomplished player a shredder in fact… and it was clear to me that Walford was unlike any drummer to have ever walked the earth… by dint of the truly extraordinary preternatural, native ability of those two guys, they made music that has almost nothing to do with any previous shit ever… I would only say that Tweez is Pajo's, Spiderland is McMahon's, but its all Walford's. Spiderland more or less came to me like everyone else, although I they did a show in lville in 1990 where they played that material beofre the record was released (or possibly recorded).

said this before, but I was pants-shittingly intimidated by those guys, and when I encountered Walford in the 90s, each time among mutual friends he did not exactly have the interest or ability to set people at ease.

veronica moser, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 15:44 (two weeks ago) link

"and so then the Tweez shit in particular earns the Trout mask comparison…it is very very hard, maybe impossible to discern what stylistic templates they may have used"

Only say that bcz in both cases the band spent what seems like an enormous amount of time rehearsing before they got into the studio to record.

Trout Mask was a live album, only engineered (despite the produced by Frank Zappa). Similarly Spiderland was only engineered and as Paulson talked about there wasn't a lot of he needed to do.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 16:03 (two weeks ago) link

t's hard to describe how exciting it was when they started playing shows in 86/87: the Louisville scene was in full flower, but it was hardcore hardcore, hardcore… the Misfits 100% ran that town, and when I heard that two guys from Maurice, one from Squirrel bait and one from Dot 39 (not well known anymore) of course you'd think it was gonna be the most merciless metal-punk to have ever existed… and then they play the Tweez shit at shows and the hardcore kids, despite individual claims to the contrary in decades later, were either bored or bewildered… myself and like five other kids, including a former ILX leading light, on the other hand were absolutely dumbstruck, in awe of what was unfolding (yeah, yeah I'm tooting my own horn here)…

When I wrote my 33 1/3 book about Spiderland, I really loved hearing Sean Garrison (aka Rat)'s perspective on those early days. Veronica I'm sure you already know this, but for everyone else on the board if the name's not recognizable - he was the singer for Maurice which was very much a metal band. He described to me this kind of slow-motion bewilderment/awe at what Pajo and Walford were doing. The last song Maurice wrote was a Slint song (I can't remember without looking it up but I think it was "Pat"), and Rat basically gave up - he couldn't figure out how to sing over the music they were making.

and so then the Tweez shit in particular earns the Trout mask comparison…it is very very hard, maybe impossible to discern what stylistic templates they may have used… the only thing is that Pajo was well known as a technically accomplished player a shredder in fact… and it was clear to me that Walford was unlike any drummer to have ever walked the earth… by dint of the truly extraordinary preternatural, native ability of those two guys, they made music that has almost nothing to do with any previous shit ever… I would only say that Tweez is Pajo's, Spiderland is McMahon's, but its all Walford's. Spiderland more or less came to me like everyone else, although I they did a show in lville in 1990 where they played that material beofre the record was released (or possibly recorded).

Agree, Tweez is Pajo/Walford, Spiderland is McMahon/Walford. Also, Tweez is high school and Spiderland is college--which feels very obvious in the lyrics if not the music itself. McMahon and Walford wrote a good chunk of the album while living in dorms at Northwestern, away from Pajo and Brashear. (The other two had influence on the songwriting too but not to the same degree.)

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 21:56 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks for your 33 1/3 book, I devoured that when I was 17. And great write up too Veronica

hrep (H.P), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:14 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks HP, I appreciate that.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 03:32 (one week ago) link

awesome posts veronica and pgwp

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 04:00 (one week ago) link

So should I listen to this band for the first time

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 04:20 (one week ago) link

um yes

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 04:42 (one week ago) link

No save it till your in you’re 80’s, consuming all music post1960’s in existence beforehand so that you can properly appreciate britt’s drumming on good morning captain (all the talk of the documentary pales in comparison to the shots of a 16yo looking Britt playing the track in a crusty basement)

hrep (H.P), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 05:01 (one week ago) link

So very very glad David Pajo is still around and working after his sadly public suicide attempt. I couldn’t believe that Slint was where he started knowing him from Tortoise and Papa M first. What a career, spiderland to millions now living to Royal trux to zwan, while playing live with interpol, the yeah yeah yeahs and now hang of four. Is there any career in rock music that mirrors the broad + influential + not super well known (from my impression) he has?

hrep (H.P), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 05:07 (one week ago) link

Jim O'Rourke maybe? Pajo's Zwan bandmate Matt Sweeney is also kinda a rough analogue

Vexatious litigant (morrisp), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 05:34 (one week ago) link

This thread has been a great read, thanks all. And I have to read your 33 1/3 book, pgwp.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 08:04 (one week ago) link

Thanks so much for the posts, yes. Veronica was so lucky to see them at that time. And for the impression to linger after all these years. We all hope to catch art at the highest levels while it's on the make and people aren't quite sure. People usually get to it when you are already told it's good by some.

"So very very glad David Pajo is still around and working after his sadly public suicide attempt."

Very sad about it when I saw this on his wiki yesterday.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 09:37 (one week ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7wh270Oc9c

veronica moser, Saturday, 28 January 2023 19:21 (one week ago) link


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