'Spoon' singer goes solo

By Jessica Suarez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Girls start crying when they hear Britt Daniel, from the band Spoon, sing. It seems unbelievable, but at a show in New York last summer, girls cried when Daniel played one song by himself on an acoustic guitar. They held hands and smiled and wept like, well, little girls.

It's hard to tell exactly what brought on this outpouring of emotion. It could be Daniel's songs, which are effortlessly beautiful; their uncomplicated melodies are layered in guitar and piano, backed by Jim Eno's (Spoon's only other permanent member) drumming. More likely it's Daniel himself. He is coolly distant while performing, almost obnoxiously self-confident. Couple this with his voice, deep and raspy; then that voice with his lyrics, which are sometimes sentimental to a fault. Perhaps it's the conflict between his onstage personality and his songs that bring girls to the breaking point. Or maybe it's just because he's hot. Whatever it is, Daniel doesn't understand it either.

"Crying about what? Over me? I have never seen girls crying at my shows. That's cool. It's new," said Daniel.

There are many things for fans male and female to be excited about when it comes to Spoon. First off there's the band's last album, Kill the Moonlight, which, while more experimental than Girls Can Tell, was equally as excellent. Both were albums critics could appreciate and even casual music fans could like.

Fox's "The OC" must have also seen the crossover appeal in Spoon: the band's song " The Way We Get By" was featured on the show's soundtrack. "The OC," however, has yet to appeal to Daniel.

"I've never seen 'The OC.' We gave our permission for it. They had to give us a little money to play the song on the show, and they asked us if we would allow us to put it on the soundtrack," Daniel said.

Daniel is also pretty blunt about the departure of a former member of Spoon, touring keyboardist Kevin Lovejoy. During the band's show at Club Congress last year, Daniel announced that Lovejoy was leaving the band to join Michelle Branch's tour. He now tours as part of John Mayer's band, but there is um, no love lost between Daniel and Lovejoy.

"He's not in the band anymore. He's a very talented keyboard player, but he's not exactly a good person," said Daniel. "It's not because he's playing with John Mayer or anything. He's just not a good person. He wasn't a very decent person to us."

Daniel will perform a solo all-ages show 9 tonight at Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave., but not because the other members of Spoon have unexpectedly departed. Daniel said his small solo tour and his solo performance at this year's South by Southwest music festival were due to an expected arrival.

"There were a lot of reasons why the band didn't play this year. One of them was that our drummer, his wife just had a baby. So she had just had it the week before. She was actually due during South by Southwest, so we thought it was a good reason to take off," Daniel said.

Expect Daniel's solo shows to consist of material from Spoon's previous albums and a little from the band's upcoming album, The Beast and Dragon are Adored. But don't expect the show to simply be Spoon lite.

"It's very different. It's just more ... it's lovely. I usually just write out a list that I don't follow in any order but just to remind me of what songs I can play," Daniel said.

Still, if seeing Daniel perform just one song alone can send girls into hysterics, imagine what a whole solo performance can do. You might want to bring a change of clothes.