Reissues: Spoon

Gimme Fiction (Merge)

Texas Platters

Given a decade's hindsight, the role of Gimme Fiction in Spoon's narrative has only grown in stature. Following a major label debacle with Elektra Records that would've doomed acts with less tenacity, songwriter/principal Britt Daniel and company solidified an enviable spot in the indie firmament by landing on Merge with 2001's Girls Can Tell. Kill the Moonlight followed the next year, but three years separate it and Gimme Fiction, which amplified the band's strengths into something wholly singular. Despite overtures toward mod-rock radio conventions of the time, lead single "I Turn My Camera On" finds Daniel's falsetto and drummer Jim Eno's narcoleptic disco beat sanded down to their starkest essence. "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" exemplifies the bandleader's ability to squeeze universal sentiment from opacity. If classic rock's timeline extended past Nevermind, piano-driven grinder "My Mathematical Mind" would be ripe for the canon by now. Howie Weinberg's remaster airs out the sound appreciably, though the album's profound lack of superfluity leaves few audible hairs to be smoothed out. The bonus disc of home demos – including two songs that didn't make the cut – give insight into Daniel's songwriting process, particularly "Sister Jack," which began life as a somewhat doleful piano ballad.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Spoon
Spoon's <i>Hot Thoughts</i> Remodels the Locals' Art-Funk
Spoon's Hot Thoughts Remodels the Locals' Art-Funk
Britt Daniel and Jim Eno talk about the rise of R&B in the band's sound

Tim Stegall, June 2, 2017

SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews
Hot Thoughts (Record Review)

Greg Beets, March 17, 2017

More Music Reviews
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
The Beatles
The White Album (Super Deluxe) (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, Dec. 7, 2018

Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
Tom Petty
An American Treasure (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Dec. 7, 2018

More by Greg Beets
Texas Platters
All the Pain Money Can Buy 20th Anniversary Edition (Record Review)

Nov. 30, 2018

Texas Platters
Short of Popular (Record Review)

Oct. 26, 2018



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle