‘spill over EELS

EELS is a band formed by singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett, better known as E.
There’s at least 9 albums to choose tracks from and 2 solos recordings, plus an album as MC Honky… if you could be so kind – I’d like a ‘spill over view of his output.

Do you like EELS? (the band – you comedians)
if so , the down right depressing side? or the jaunty pop sensibility side? .. but still with a dark soul.

We have a couple of spare days – will we have a unique ‘best of’ that the record company would be pleased to produce or a totally odd collection that a blog full of weirdoes would be happy to listen to – the choice is yours.

Post your nominations to: Susan’s House c/o the Comments section below – thanks ‘spillers.

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49 thoughts on “‘spill over EELS

  1. Nice idea for a post, Shane! I’ve always felt Eels were a band I should be into but never quite got there. Only really know Novocaine For The Soul (which I didn’t much care for, great title notwithstanding) and Last Stop: This Town (which I really like). So I vote the latter at least!

    • excellent Bish – I only need one – (if that’s all you like).. and then hopefully if I get some more we might convert you.

      I did this for the White Stripes and Bright Eyes in the early days of the ‘spill and it went down quite well (except for a slight dispute about putting the results up as a playlist.. as in, why would anyone go out and buy an album by the bands now all the best tunes were up? … but I went and purchased 5 more albums as a result, so it wasn’t all bad for their bank balances)

      anyway- we’ll see how it goes – I’d promised I would do this for Amy a while back… so here it is!

  2. YAY! How many nominations do you want? Donds already for Last Stop: This Town and Novacaine for the Soul. My number one would have to be P.S. You Rock My World, but I’ll happily come back with more.

  3. I am quite new to the eels. I actually discovered them from RR, but I think my favourite of theirs is P.S, You Rock My World.

    I really like it as it has positive message even though it sounds quite sad.

    I think it should definitely be on any Best of the Eels album!!!

  4. barbryn!!!

    We nominated PS You Rock My World at the same time (almost)!!!

    So I am going to have another one!!! Love of The Loveless is also one of my very favourites of theirs!!!

  5. At the risk of being thought of as a Radio 2 listener, I loved Daisies Of The Galaxy. Excellent songs, joyfully produced. I didn’t like Souljacker and wasn’t as impressed with Beautiful Freak as I think I should have been. Blinking Lights and other revelations is closer to DotG and so more attractive.
    There are a few too many E songs that use the same chord sequences but the vocal overlays etc usually make that fact not too obvious.
    Saw them a few years ago and they insisted on being very rocky/noisy which I wasn’t expecting, and didn’t seem to suit them.
    So, it seems I prefer the musically sweet side (whether or not the lyrics are depressing).

    I rather like the sweet sourness of this one:

    • There was a thread on the Guardian a while back where famous people nominated songs that made them cry. This, wonderfully and bizarrely, was chosen by former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who shot up in my estimation as a result.

      • But he’s still the weasely mofo that sacked David Nutt for telling the truth, so he’d have to turn orthodox Deadhead for me to start admiring him!

      • I would IMMEDIATELY be put off any song if I thought a former Home Secretary (of whichever colour) liked it…

  6. I have fond memories of the RR theme of “Great Middle Eights” and DarceysDad’s struggle to overcome gloom and bewilderment, about exactly what the topic meant. He nominated “Novocaine for the Soul” . It led to a coveted A-listing, and the then guru noting the following week:

    “Watching Darceysdad wend his way through last week’s thread was like watching one of those Sunday night ITV dramas. The kind where an unfortunate individual, with the help of some good friends, triumphs against the odds to do something amazing, like starting their own opencast coal mine. But instead of nuggets of coal, Darceysdad unearthed the secret of the middle eight. It was touching to see.

      • Ah, Middle Eights week! That was in the midst of my opening RR fervour. Didn’t get anything listed that week but was one of my fave topics.

      • I wish i was around for that one. But some blessed soul got Can’t You Hear Me Knocking A-listed for that one, not sure even i would have managed that.

      • Memories eh ? I had a great week blogging (including being one of DsD’s support team) and then got cross about the A-list – my only ever Guru-grouch and very silly it was. It was the absence of any of the great jazz standards / showtunes that made me a moody pig that week. But I remember the fun more than the grumpiness.

        I do like the artwork too !

  7. Electro-Shock Blues is my favourite Eels album. I think it’s a masterpiece, one of the best concept albums (for want of a better word) ever recorded, somehow managing to be heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. I’d nominate pretty much everything off it – and a fair few have been zedded on RR already – though it really needs to be heard as an album. “Climbing Up To The Moon” is probably my favourite not yet mentioned.

    Blinking Lights… is also a masterpiece. Favourite tracks: “Things The Grandchildren Should Know” (I know this has a nailed-down place on shane’s playlist!) and “In the Yard, Behind the Church”. Evidently, I prefer their sweetly melodic, hard-won wisdom side.

    Also: “Mr E’s Beautiful Blues” and “Susan’s House”.

    I’m not so familiar with their last couple of albums, but love “I’m a Hummingbird” (which would make a great fantasy cover in the hands of Tom Waits).

    Finally, I’d recommend E’s memoir, Things The Grandchildren Should Know, to anyone with a passing interest in Eels, music, literature, families, or life in general.

  8. I think I get them confused with the Verve. Is that even a band? I know novocaine for the Soul from the radio back in the 90s I think. Who did Bittersweet Symphony?

    SHANE!! I just listened to the Blue Scholars for the first time. (I know, I know, I’m a loser) They’re excellent. It was very funny they quoted Godard and I thought “Hey, they just quoted Godard” and then he said, “That’s right, I just quoted Godard.” Anyway…I love the album. So smart and compelling and film-y. Thank you and sorry it’s taken so long to get around to listening.

    • Bittersweet Symphony was the Verve -they are english

      the eels are from the U.S… think you might enjoy, if you sat down with them.

      this sung from the perspective of a child:

      “Saturday Morning”

      Saturday morning
      And who’s gonna play with me
      Six in the morning baby
      I got a long long day ahead of me

      The parents are sleeping soundly
      The neighbors are dead as wood
      I’m getting up and coming over
      We gotta rock the neighborhood…

      glad you are enjoying blue scholars – thought the film-y would fit.

  9. Good to see ‘Spilled over back. Nice one.

    More recent stuff? Last consistent album was Hombre Libre. Would go with “Beginners Luck” & “My Timing Is Off”. From End Times we got the masterful “Line In The Dirt”, which starts off;

    She locked herself in the bathroom again
    So I am pissing in the yard
    I have to laugh when I think how far it’s gone
    But things aren’t funny any more

    Older stuff not mentioned:

    “Railroad Man”, about feeling out of time and place, “I Like Birds”, about his Mother I think & “Flyswatter” as who wouldn’t enjoy singing along to ” Field Mice, Headlice, Spiders in the kitchen”?

  10. Bloody hell shane – excellent idea, but it’s going to be a mutha to narrow it down to one song.

    I got into Eels circa Beautiful Freak. E just has that Springsteenesque prolific ability at composition, but he is maybe better than The Boss at exploring the deeper/murkier recesses of the mind and spirit – more David Lynch in tone. Like Bruce he can write fantastic pop songs and I have opted to go for one of them as Sakura has already nabbed PS You Rock My World!

    There are definitely some of E’s albums that represent a better starting point for the uninitiated: Beautiful Freak/Daisies/Shootenanny or the excellent current Lp Tomorrow Morning would be a better option say than Souljacker or End Times, but once you get into it these albums also have a lot to recommend.

    I was at the T In The Park festival a couple of years ago and convince my girlfriend to go watch them in one of the big tents. It was during the Souljacker era and was wilfully difficult listening and she hated it! We were in Lisbon last year and caught them on the last date of their European tour, which was spellbinding – great set with E in something approaching good humour and a blisteringly tight band. Never again will Her Indoors pass up the opportunity to go see them!

    If you want to go for the immersion course, check out Parallel Worlds Parallel Lives which is a documentary E did about his father – Hugh Everitt. It turns out that Dad was a physicist who came up with the “many worlds” theory, whose work was finally recognised shortly before he died – it is a fascinating watch! If you want a good read, try Things Your Grandchildren Should Know – which is E’s autobiography and is well written funny and moving.

    Anyway, you can tell I’m a fan, so here’s a really beautiful unrequited love song!

  11. Aw shucks, Shane & DP!! Nice of you to remember.

    As well as Novocaine… I also got Hospital Food zedded, so I’m rather fond of that.

    Completely agree with Shoey about A Line In The Dirt and Railroad Man. I too like the ‘up-ness’ of DotG, and the outstanding ‘down-ness’ of Electro-Shock Blues.

    No love for Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas, anyone?
    You just gotta love the way E sings “Baby Jesus: born to rock!”

    But if you really push me to name just one song, it’s this:

    Just stops me in my tracks every time, normally to rest my head on the desk in front of the speakers and do NOTHING but listen.

  12. Hey – wait for me! I’ve got a hundred and one things to do today but I feel I owe it Mark E to find a few precious minutes to join in the ‘fun’. Fun is of course not a word often associated with this particular body of work but I absolutely love Eels and would love to write copious words about why and what I love so much about them/him.

    I think that all my favourites have already been mentioned and while I’m very fond of E’s “down right depressing side”, I don’t think he’s ever quite surpassed this little ditty:

    • Anyone with young(-ish) children who’s ever watched the Shrek films will (perhaps unwittingly) already know and love Eels.

      And a couple of tracks from Shrek 3 as well …

  13. excellent thread, and good to see the love. i’m hampered with some of these things by often only knowing songs by their position on a CD rather than by title, but i agree with lots that’s been said. PSYRMW is one of the songs that i can count on the fingers (could i maybe even say the thumb?) of one hand that actually changes your life (there’s another thread for you if it hasn’t been done already…). quite simply, for me it makes practical sense of how to live in a world where horrible things might happen to any of us at any time, and when i’m feeling bad about this i can literally repeat the two couplets in my head (i mean “everyone is dying and maybe it’s time to live”, plus “a careful man tries to dodge the bullets while a happy man takes a walk”, of course) and every single time think ‘ok, he’s absolutely right, let’s move on…’

    more needs to be made of the size of the achievement of blinking lights as a whole – never mind the ace songs, the overall cycle is stunning.

    my leftfield suggestion is “woman driving man sleeping”, which i think is a strange and unique track that isn’t really like any other song i know but is very, very evocative.

    [This is actually barbryn posting on behalf of his brother, who says "i'd love to start taking part but i think it might turn out to be like voluntarily addicting myself to crack or something..."]

    • thank you BB’s brother – brilliant analysis and descriptive talent (perfect for sharing the crack- I’d say) –
      ‘Woman Driving, Man Sleeping’ engulfs you in it’s journey and becomes slightly dream like in it’s jump to ‘the apartment house’.. but what happens? what becomes of them?… in it’s 3 and a half minutes I’m intrigued .. a favourite here too.

      Ta for popping in.

  14. OK, last one from me…

    This is my favourite track off Shootenanny!. A lovely interplay of music and lyrics – when have you ever heard the words “We’ll blow off our heads in despair” sung so sweetly?

  15. Shane, don’t have any E solo stuff. What am I missing?

    Based on suggestions, have already added some more Eels to my portable music device. FYI, not that it matters much on this one, but if you’re planning to Box, some of us low level users have recently been removed from the RR Folder. Apparently, Tin was getting some heat from the authorities about the number of sharers.

    • I did just send you an e-mail – (but think it’s an old one)

      A Man Called (E) was his first album and really sets you up nicely for what was to become eels, it’s quite playful in places – there was a 2nd one that I don’t have… and the ‘bad dude in love’ that his dad payed for 500 pressings, or something.. but it not mentioned in his autobiography… and maybe one more… but I never really searched them out – once in a while I just buy another album and find brilliance… I have 7.2 hours or 135 songs of his.. just on the computer. and for me that’s a phenomenal amount by one artist (small nut to crack for a G.D. addict – but this is me and my what’s new relationship with music!)

      I’ve lost D.o.t.Galaxies somewhere in my filing system and haven’t got Hombre Lobo yet or end times.. but will keep and eye out after listening here.

      But then you’ve got MC Honky – I Am The Messiah, me and my friends find a total blast (but we were either locked up or drunk at the time so critical facilities could well have been medicated)

      …can I still send you stuff in a shared – folder?

      I might have to re-think how I will do the results!

  16. Well, thanks a million shane – I’ve spent the whole day listening to Eels and I now feel thoroughly depressed! I made the mistake of putting all the Eels tracks I have on random shuffle on my iPod and the God of iTunes picked the following as the first three tracks:

    Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor
    It’s A Motherfucker
    Suicide Life

    I nearly ended up on the bathroom floor myself …

    • whoops, sorry –

      my random was kinder – but then I need it to be at the moment!

      Fitting In With The Misfits – E!E from A Man Called (E)
      I Write The B-Sides – Eels from 22 Miles Of Hard Road [EP]*
      Symphony For Toy Piano In G Minor – E!E from A Man Called (E)**
      Sonnet No.3 (Like A Duck) – MC Honky from I Am The Messiah***
      This Is Where It Gets Good -Eels from Tomorrow Morning

      *funny
      **36 seconds long – but perky!
      *** stupid – in a good way.

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