Album: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
. . .
It says here that 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was the height of Spoon’s commercial success and critical acclaim. Of course, I might just be saying that because it’s my favorite Spoon album, but at the very least, it was their first top ten album in both the Billboard Album charts and the Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics poll, coming in at #10 and #7 respectively.
At the very least, it was simultaneously their most eclectic — each track is stylistically different from the preceding one — and their most consistent: they’re all pretty killer. And it opens with the utterly dynamic “Don’t Make Me a Target,” an anti-George W Bush song (remember him? bad dude) that was a leftover from Gimme Fiction that was reworked for Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.
“Don’t Make Me a Target” opens with a stabbing descending guitar riff from Brett Daniel over which Jim Eno plays a slow, measured beat creating the dynamic tension that matches the intensity of the lyrics.
Here come the man from the Star
We don’t know why he go so far
And keep on marching along
Beating his drum
Thugs and sticks and bats and balls
For nuclear dicks with dialect drawls
They come from a parking lot town
Where nothing lives in the Sun
On the choruses, the guitar lets up but the drums don’t as Daniel pleads.
Don’t make me a target
Don’t make me a target
As the song progresses, he asks that more and more, even as the song adds Eric Harvey’s piano into the mix, with Harvey taking a couple of solos on the remarkable long instrumental section that dominates the back of the song. It’s not just Harvey who takes a solo, Britt Daniel also throws in some nasty licks as well, and what the hell, there are even some handclaps(!). What I love about the instrumental break isn’t that its longer than expected, but that it’s really rhythmic: while Harvey & Daniel might throw some solo in, it’s drummer Jim Eno who is the lead, taking them in and out of it with ease.
In the end, he drops out entirely as Daniel chants “don’t make me a target” a few more times, which is how you actually know it’s the end of the song. But just the beginning of the record.
“Don’t Make Me a Target”
“Don’t Make Me a Target” live on KCRW, 2007
“Don’t Make Me a Target” live at Primavera Sound, 2014
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