Spencer Davis Barkley

The indie rock TO, a friend involved with the Mission Creek festival in Iowa emailed me this morning with a heads up about their exclusive scoring of a newly sanctioned mp3 leak of “Run,” from the new Gnarls Barkley album The Odd Couple, due out whenever the whole thing leaks, since I’m guessing only about 37 people nationwide will bother to buy it (or anything like it) in a physical form.

Gnarls Barkley – Run

I was a marginal fan of “Crazy” and found the surrounding album less worthy, although impressive as usual for Mr. DM’s production and for its crossover value as a headz-record that would easily grace the beginning of football games. It smelled like teen internet, yet more speedily co-opt-able than Nirvana.

So where does this new song notch? The verses, immediately reminiscent of the lead-in to the chorus of The Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’,” almost although broach annoyance, but the short bridge remains the song’s best moment. Yet this sounds … unfinished, ish, maybe not the leadoff single and maybe not as expanded as it should be. There’s nowhere to breathe, as there was in the spacey stroll of “Crazy.” I definitely didn’t need the kids’ singing. I did enjoy the albeit pedestrian breakbeat, which might be lifted off of something like a Sonics or Them track (but why bother? Beck’s Them-necrophilia defiled Odelay to no end; BH is still lucky Van the Man hasn’t kicked his scientologist ass) and yet there’s so much Nuggets and Pebbles and etc stuff out there on obscure labels and out-of-print vinyl that I doubt Danger would lazily risk the trouble of a high-profile lift, although he might now have the cash. He definitely built this from old garage rock records and TV themes, Hal Blaine’s drums if he’s smart. And he is.

But I’m not sure I’ll be listening to it much. I might be a little tired of Mr. Green. Here’s to the day DM enlists Sharon Jones.

Gnarls Barkley always makes me think of a dreamy, electro-alt-universe version of the stuff on great soul comps like Sock it To Em JB – 20 Fabulous Tracks Inspired by James Brown, those that chronicle the dynamic and somewhat short-lived era area, mostly confined the local hotbeds (Oakland, Texas, Indianapolis, Cleveland), when funk was still an unnamed infant and sprang from soul (Dyke and the Blazers ) and blues acts (Jimmy Reed) while each song’s pop structure worked under three minutes. White dudes like the Sonics and Them would try and emulate them, and inadvertently invented garage rock and maybe punk, at least in the Sonics’ case.

Mr. Dynamite – Sh’mon

Maurice McKinnies and the Champions – Sock-A-Poo-Poo 69

Young Fresh Fellows – High Time (Sonics cover)


One thought on “Spencer Davis Barkley

  1. Mr. Parnell:Thanks for the Malkmus song, one coul have easily let that pass by. Very nice. That indie rocker is aging rather nicely.


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