Concept

Shootenanny!

Summary
Shootenanny! ˈʃuːtənæni is the fifth studio album by American rock band Eels, released in 2003 by record label DreamWorks. While lead singer Mark Oliver "E" Everett was working on the double disc Blinking Lights and Other Revelations project, he had the idea to make a "succinct, direct and no bullshit" record, inspired by the writing style of blues singer-songwriter Muddy Waters. Before the recording of the album, Everett and drummer Jonathan Norton were in conflict. Norton left Eels after a Last Call with Carson Daly performance during the Souljacker tour, later telling a journalist his decision was "a business thing". However, he participated in the recording sessions for Shootenanny!, working as a freelancer rather than a member of the band, with tensions still intact. This would be the last album with new recordings from Norton, although earlier sessions featuring him would appear on the Blinking Lights album two years later. Recording of the album took place for 10 days during late November 2002 with minimal production. The album was recorded onto two-inch tape and edited digitally using Pro Tools. Shootenanny! was recorded and mixed by Greg Collins, who recorded "Climbing to the Moon" on Electro-Shock Blues. The album's name comes from a neologism, coined by Everett, for "a social gathering at which participants engage in folk singing and sometimes dancing [a hootenanny], but mostly the shooting of guns." "Saturday Morning" was released as a promotional single with the B-sides "Her", "Waltz of the Naked Clowns", and "Sad Foot Sign". Shootenanny! was released on June 3, 2003 by record label DreamWorks. The album peaked at number 145 on the Billboard 200, the first album to chart since Beautiful Freak in 1996. Shootenanny! received a generally favorable response, though some critics were divided. Greg Kot of Entertainment Weekly called the album "downright moving at its best". A negative review came from Chris Dahlen of Pitchfork, who wrote: "Musically and lyrically, E is spent – out of ideas, out of innovation, unable to cough up anything but by-the-numbers pop in the fourteen originals he wrote for this disc.
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