Spiritualized


First, yes. Yes we have heard the new album. Is it as good as some people are saying it is? Depends, really. On its own merit, it’s an incredibly powerful piece of work–as personal as Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space–and some of Jason’s best songwriting. But compared to the rest of the catalog, it’s a bit different. Unlike the other albums, it actually sounds like it was written on Earth–sort of. A more accurate description would be “it sounds like it was written just as someone was leaving Earth.”

I tell my friends Songs in A+E sounds best if listened through the eyes of a man knocking on Death’s door. There are all sorts of themes related to death (and conversely, life) on the album, and it’s absolutely beautiful. Whether he’s pleading that he’s not ready to go yet or accepting of getting his wings and lyre (or horns and pitchfork), Jason Pierce takes a really long look at life and death and the result is brilliant.

There’s a fantastic (and ultra-fucking rare) interview with Jason from the middle of last month–a must read for Spiritualized fans–and he pretty much lays it out there when recalling his 2005 near-death experience with a rare form of pneumonia.

“Being in intensive care was actually OK for me. You just have to surrender yourself to the doctor. It’s hard to think about your own death so the concern is invested in the people around you, not your own kind of thing, ’cause you’re lying there thinking, ‘This is all right. Well, not all right but… I’ve been here before.’ In intensive care wards there’s five or six of you in the same room,’ he continues, ‘and everyone’s got optics and life support machines and they’re all bleeping at different times and different frequencies. The only things I can remember are the noises around me. The not-really-true memories, you forget all that kind of shit. One by one, everybody else in the room died and I remember thinking, ‘Well, somebody’s got to get out of here alive.'”

There’s a new BBC video with Jason talking about making the video for “Soul on Fire,” which was filmed in Iceland and–well why don’t you just watch him describe it himself.

Songs in A+E comes out in early June. Do yourself a favor and buy it.

Spiritualized–Soul on Fire (Acoustic Mainlines, San Francisco)
Spiritualized–Baby I’m Just a Fool (Acoustic Mainlines, San Francisco)

Web site–Spiritualized.com

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Okee dokee. Where to start? Saw Spiritualized’s Acoustic Mainlines show in San Francisco on Sunday. It was spectacular… though I don’t know if that would hold true for everyone. I’m guessing most people liked it, as the two non-Spiritualized cats I went with certainly enjoyed it.

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Sorry, inside pic taken with cell phone.

Bimbo’s was pretty much a perfect place for the show, the crew assembled round tables on the floor with six chairs per. Or Purr! Ha get it? Someone shoot me now! Hint: order Maker’s Mark on the rocks with a coke back. You get gigantic glasses of Maker’s Mark. And that is a goooood thing.

I managed to grab THE setlist from the show, and I say THE setlist because it was Jason’s setlist. Yes, our eyes feast on the same thing. Soundwave liked it, too.

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I’m not really going to write any proper review for the show. It just doesn’t seem right to. Yes, it was awesome. Yes, it was different than a rock/electric Spiritualized show. Yes, it was nice to see Jason in that sort of atmosphere. Other than that, the “new” stuff (stuff I didn’t know) was great, especially Soul on Fire and Baby I’m Just a Fool.

But here’s the above picture with comments.

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I’m still looking for the legendary Salford show in a format I can download, but in the meantime, you can hear an Acoustic Mainlines show from a festival here. In the meantime, here’s some stuff thats sort of relevant.

Ben Gibbard – “Hold On”
A pretty horrible live cover by the Death Cab frontman. Way to go, Ben. You big jerk.
Particle – “I Think I’m in Love”
Surprisingly good live cover. Keeping it true to the material.
The Electric Mainline – “All Too Much”
The Electric Mainline – “Let Me Drift Away”
These guys stole their name from Spiritualized and sometimes steal the sound too.
Spacemen 3 – “Hey Man”
From Sound of Confusion
Spiritualized – “So Hot (Wash Away All of My Tears)”
Live – 1993

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Spiritualized is coming back to the US.

Did you hear what I just said?

I said SPIRITUALIZED IS COMING BACK TO THE US!!!!!!

I’m usually one cool, calm, collected cat, but nuh-uh… not today. Yesterday I bought four tickets to the upcoming Acoustic Mainlines show on November 11 in San Francisco (also playing in LA the 12th and 13th – tix on sale in two days). It was one of the greatest days ever of my life (which happens to be life number 3 of 9).

In celebration of the show, I find it absolutely necessary to post this Acoustic Mainlines show from July at the Indian Summer Festival in Glasgow this past July.

I was very hesitant about the whole acoustic mainlines deal, as the live show is so damn good electricified, but I’m quickly turning the corner. Having not seen them with strings and a gospel choir for ten years (I was lucky enough to be at the Royal Albert Hall show), I’m eagerly anticipating this set.

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Let’s all remember that Jason Pierce almost died a few years ago from a hard-to-explain illness and this is his first time back since that trying time. Jesus, that would have sucked.

The recording is so-so, but by far the best of the Acoustic Mainlines sets I’ve found (which honestly isn’t that many). Kind of interesting that you can hear the thump thump thump from a nearby dance tent during some of the really touching parts. That’s festival life for ya.

Spiritualized: Acoustic Mainlines
Indian Summer Festival in Glasgow
July 15, 2007

Sitting on Fire
Lord Let it Rain on Me
True Love Will Find You in the End
Cool Waves
Soul on Fire
Walking With Jesus
The Way I Feel
Feel So Sad
Anything More / Ladies and Gentleman We are Floating in Space
Broken Heart
I Think I’m in Love
Lord Can You Hear Me?
Oh Happy Day

Or hell, just download the whole thing with two clicks (limited):

Part One
Part Two

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As a devoted member of the Church of Jason Pierce, the religious implications of the holiday season don’t really mean much to me. However, I am totally down with gift-giving and holly jolly ho ho ho cheer. (And the occasional Hot Toddy by the fireplace.)

So to you all out there I give you the greatest gift of all–my favorite live Spiritualized show.

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I got this from a friend who trades discs, and I’ve never seen it anywhere else so I assume it’s a bit rare. It’s a rip from a radio broadcast, so the quality is superb (though there are a few DJ chats…but they’re not in English so it almost adds to the experience).

However, the greatest part of this concert is its from 1993, meaning its right between the releases of the greatest album ever created, Lazer Guided Melodies, and Pure Phase. The result? Tons of tracks from those two albums, and several long versions of old favorites. A good departure from the wealth of 1997 and beyond Spiritualized shows out there on the Web.

While I used to think it virtually impossible for any one person to have one single favorite song, the version of “Walking With Jesus” here stands out above just about any other recording I’ve ever heard. Clocking in at a solid 11 minutes, it wails and wails gloriously. Crazy horns, dude. My favorite version of my favorite song by my favorite band. Please, bury me with this track.

Shine A Light runs into Electric Mainline here, but Pierce takes this version of EM into outer space. I’m constantly impressed how these different takes on songs sound so good.

Enjoy.

Stats of the show:
Jason’s attitude – probably doped up, but sounding great
Long Song – Shine A Light/Electric Mainline (15 minutes)
Notable Exclusions – Run, If I Were With Her Now
Spacemen 3 Song: So Hot (Wash Away All of My Tears), Walking With Jesus (though I consider that a Jason song)
Version of Electric Mainline: Early, blissed-out

Spiritualized live February 5, 1992

(edit: EZArchive ain’t so easy… new process frightens, confuses me…looks like they don’t host downloadable files that are high quality.)

Listen:

Spiritualized – Sway
Spiritualized – Angel Sigh
Spiritualized – Take Good Care of It
Spiritualized – Medication
Spiritualized – Walking With Jesus
Spiritualized – Shine A Light/Electric Mainline
Spiritualized – So Hot (Wash Away All of My Tears)
Spiritualized – Smiles

Download (limited):

http://download.yousendit.com/EC59D07662D5E227

UPDATE 4/7/08 – new linkage for you tardy students

http://download.yousendit.com/A0DD5E2E4068CC97

UPDATE 4/25/08 – even newer linkocity for you tards

http://download.yousendit.com/4367AC225FAC2A7A

ChairmanMeow  

(also titled: Holy Shit, EZArchive works again!) 

We cats have been on a little break ever since our filehost, EZArchive, decided that having a Web site that worked wasn’t that important. Well, it works now. Hoozah!

How often do three of your favorite bands’ favorite songs all have the same name? The correct answer is once. If you said anything else, go back to stupid camp because you are stupid. And stop by fat camp next door, because seriously, you’ve let yourself go a little.

So here we have the second Cat Fight! Three songs enter, one song leave. The theme? They’re all named “Shine a Light.” The downloads are all live-ish, and the actual individual performance was not taken into account. This is about the song at its core…it’s heart…it’s entrails…it’s tasty, tasty entrails. So please, when listening take that into account.

The Contestants

Wolf Parade – Shine a Light  wolfparade.jpg

Wolf Parade are from Canada, and they love to entertain. This is one of Dan’s tunes, meaning it rocks a bit more and has less yodeling than Spencer’s songs. This is a CBC Radio 3 Session version of the song, so it sounds pretty studio-ish. I know what you are thinking… they have radio in Canada? Yes, they do.

Best part of the song: It may sound contradictory to what I wrote before, but Spencer yelping in the background while Dan grinds out lyrics sounds particularly badass.

Worst part of the song: The end… I just don’t get it.

Best lyric: The second time he says, “I keep my head uptight, I make my plans at night, and I don’t sleep I don’t sleep I don’t sleep til it’s light.” Cuz that’s how I roll too.

Spiritualized – Shine a Light jason-pierce-spiritualized.jpg

Okay, this contest really isn’t fair. I mean, who is going to beat Spiritualized? The answer is no one. If you answered anything other than no one then you are stupid and should go back to stupid camp. This version is from 1997, at the Garage in Highbury, London. 1997 was pretty much a peak for the band, when they had three amazing albums to choose material from–Ladies and Gentleman, Pure Phase, and my favorite, Lazer Guided Melodies. I swear to fucking god that this song will be played at my funeral.

Best part of the song: The entry into chaos. You’d understand if you were a heroin addict. What’s that? You are? Sweet.

Worst part of the song: n/a

Best lyric: “When I’m tired and all alone, Lord, shine a light on me.” Well, that’s about all he says actually.

The Constantines – Shine a Light constantines.jpg

The finest rock ‘n roll band in America (North, that is) turns out another insanely good rock ‘n roll tune. I don’t know what this song is about, all I know is while listening to it I want to scratch up the curtains, piss on the rug, and slit the dog’s throat. Any song that makes me want to do that and makes me feel like I have a right to do that is A-OK in my book. They’re so fucking blue-collar that your fingernails get dirty just listening to the song. I’d say they belong in Pittsburgh if I didn’t hate Pittsburgh so much. You and me both, Sienna Miller.

Best part of the song: The intro. It’s a great hook that leads into a mellow beginning. Kind of like someone punching someone else in the face and then cooing, “Now I told you not to do that. Okay?”

Worst part of the song: The abrupt ending. Bry Webb just tears it up and then takes off. It’s not awful, but it’s not the best part of the song. In fact, I don’t even know why I included “Worst part of the song” in this post anyway. What a jerk I am.

Best lyric: “Don’t talk to me about simple things. There is no such thing. All a man can build is his vision, and I love my man for trying.” Blue-fucking-collar.

The Winner

They’re all winners! Just kidding, this isn’t the Special Olympics and I’m not taking that gutless route. The clear winner here is Spiritualized, in fact it was never a contest. I tricked you. All of you. Except for you, you knew what I was doing.

Second place is a tie! Just kidding, I’m not taking that gutless route. The Constantines wrap up second place, because if I don’t, I know the Buffalo Pipefitters Union #243 will kick myass. Blue-fucking-collar.

Flopping in third place, or as I like to call it, last place, is Wolf Parade. Now don’t get me wrong, I love their Shine a Light. I really do. But as in life, someone has to finish first, and someone has to finish last. Except in basketball tryouts. I wasn’t last on the depth chart, I was first to leave. Now give me another glass of delusion, please.

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Well, technically 48 minutes and 5 seconds, but who’s counting?

This is Spiritualized live at the Portsmouth Pyramid from sometime in 2001 as part of the Let it Come Down tour. It’s one big chunk of music–just one 44MB MP3.

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Set list is a bit different from other shows I’ve heard as Jason starts off with an “abbreviated” 14-minute version of Cop Shoot Cop, a typical show closer. From there it’s possibly the best live version of Let it Flow, a rare performance of Out of Sight (I don’t think it was played much outside of this tour, for shame), No God Only Religion, Take Me to the Other Side (Yes!), and Come Together. The recording ends there, so I’m not sure what else was in the show.

If you have shows that you’re willing to part with, send me an e-mail…I’d love to get as many as I can. Will trade the blood of your enemies, first-born children for quality bootlegs.

Spiritualized @ The Pyramid
Portsmouth, England    October 7, 2001

1. Cop Shoot Cop 
2. Let it Flow (@ 15:45)
3. Out of Sight (@ 23:10)
4. No God Only Religion (@ 29:34)
5. Take Me to the Other Side (@ 34:17)
6. Come Together (@ 41:48)

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Spiritualized News:

Jason is playing some dates in the UK. As far as I know, this is only the second bit of live performances since his illness (the other being a Daniel Johnston tribute). Certainly some of the best info I’ve heard since our lord went under.

The dates are as follows:

October

Friday 20th   Salisbury Arts Centre                      01722 321744
Sunday 22nd  Brighton Komedia                           01273 647100
Monday 23rd  London, Queen Elizabeth Hall        08703 800 400
Tuesday 24th  Colchester Arts Centre                    01206 500900
Wednesday 25th  Leicester, The Y                                 0116 255 7066

November
Wednesday  22nd Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre                01539 725133
Thursday 23rd Gateshead, The Sage                               0191 443 4661
Friday 24th Manchester, Lowry                               0870 787 5796
Saturday 25th Edinburgh, Queen’s Hall                   08700 600 100

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He’ll playing acoustic sessions with a strong quartet, gospel singers, and Spiritualized guitarist Doggen who will man a Fender Rhodes. I’m so happy I just ate out of my litterbox. They’ll play old stuff, old Spacemen 3 stuff, and new Spiritualized stuff.

I saw them do an acoustic in-store at Amoeba Records in San Francisco last tour, and it was fantastic. The guy playing the vibraphonekazoo was crying during “Hold On.” Crying. Check below for some acoustic Spiritualized to get an idea of what’s in store.

The latest on the next album… early 2007. Jason’s take on the new album: “The work of the devil… with a little guidance from me.”

Spiritualized – Stop Your Crying (Live at KCRW)
Spiritualized – Hold On (Live at KCRW)
Editors – Camera (Obscured by J Spaceman)

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