By Jessica Suarez
Photo courtesy of Merge Records
Austin, Texas, band Spoon plays Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., Friday night beginning at 9:30 p.m. Spoon's music has a cracking intelligence beneath the surface of all their love songs.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday October 24, 2002
In a better world, a picture of Spoon would be in every high-school girl's locker. They have everything a hormone-driven female wants in their favorite band: the boyishly attractive lead singer with a road-weary voice, the cover-your-notebook lyrics. (One example from "Me and the Bean": "I am your shadow in the dark / you are the blood inside my heart.") And the accessible pop hooks.
Problem is, Spoon's music has a crackling intelligence beneath the surface of all their love songs, an angry-young-man posturing just under their smooth, self-confident melodies. It's probably a little too much for a high school girl to take.
No problem; give a high-school girl a few years, she'll come around. See for yourself at Spoon's show at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., tomorrow night.
Lead singer and songwriter Britt Daniel knows his songs have found their way onto many college girls' mix tapes. But he doesn't mind.
"That's very flattering, but I couldn't say why," Daniel said. While making mix tapes seems to be a choice hobby for lovesick music nerds, Daniel makes his own compilations for the band while they're on tour.
"We made these CDs that we play before we go on. Rolling Stones, Stooges, Natural History," he said.
Recently, Daniel worked on a two-song limited edition record with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst. Britt says that despite their age difference (Spoon was releasing material while Oberst was still in middle school), he still had something to learn from Oberst.
"He's young but he's not naive, and he's a genius. He's one of the greats," Daniel said.
Daniel said that even though he's collaborated with many musicians, he especially enjoyed songwriting with Oberst.
"It was a thrill. I've known him for years, and when I met him, Bright Eyes was just this little thing; I hadn't heard any of his music," he said.
Daniel and Oberst each wrote one song for the record, then came together to create the final product. Daniel still lives in Austin, Texas, where the band has chosen to stay.
"Really just out of convenience. Everybody lives here, and not everybody can move. The drummer's got a real job and a house," he said.
The band's last album, Kill the Moonlight, seemed to bring the band closer to the sound of their second full-length, A Series of Sneaks. That album was released on Elektra before the band was inexplicably dropped from their label. Daniel doesn't like to talk about the problems the band had before the released Girls Can Tell, their third album. But he does sound like he's gotten a bit weary of things like bands moving just to have a better chance of getting signed.
"It always does seem like a sucker move, when people move the whole band. I think it's better to just stay in one place. Obviously, there are exceptions. Usually, you can get done what you need to get done where you are," he said.
"I don't know that being in L.A. is going to help anyway. It's such a wasteland."
Spoon is comfortable where it is. And they should be. While their triumphant rise from major-label hell, Girls Can Tell, was on many critics' favorites list, their last album, Kill the Moonlight, seems to have impressed critics more, receiving positive reviews in Rolling Stone and the New York Times, among other publications. But it does set the standards very high for their next album. Does the pressure bother Daniel?
"We worry about it. But we just want to make sure it's good for us," he said. "Once we like it, it's kind of out of our hands."