Lazy-i: September 4, 2002
w/John Vanderslice, Sound of Rails
Thursday, Sept. 12
Daniel and his band, Spoon, have become stripped down -- sonically
their latest CD, Kill the Moonlight, Daniel's usually dominant
guitar has been swapped with keyboards and the songs have been taken
down to their core melodies and rhythms. The result is an eclectically
modern rock sound, a sort of analog techno.
Anyone who caught Spoon
last year when they came to Omaha in support of the wildly successful
Girls Can Tell LP knows that a big part of Daniel's stage
presence is the way he slings his axe. What will he do when he returns
to Sokol Underground Sept. 12?
"There are only
three songs without guitars and they weren't really made to be played
live," said a laid-back Daniel from his Austin, Texas, home
just days before leaving on tour. "Anyone that has made a somewhat
produced record knows what I'm talking about. We made records in
the past where we just recorded the live show. This time we're translating
the songs to the stage."
The unique sound on
Kill the Moonlight grew out of insecurity with the CD's original
recordings. "Usually, out of pure fear, we end up drastically
changing the songs," he said. "We recorded a version in
October and listened to what we had done and didn't like what we
were hearing. We said, 'We gotta change this,' I ended up writing
new songs and we rerecorded almost everything. I wouldn't be surprised
if some of our fans don't like this as much as our last one."
That would be hard to
believe. In contrast to Girls Can Tell's highly structured
pop rock ditties, Kill the Moonlight is 34 minutes of bouncy
melodic hooks that border deceptively on minimalism. Take a second
listen, or a third, and the songs' complexity begin to unfold. Daniel
hasn't turned his back on pop, he's merely found a way to make pop
sound fresh again, in an indie sort of way.
Maybe that's not the
best way to describe it. "Indie" is a term that Daniel
has been dissing in the press lately, in one instance going out
of his way to say he doesn't like indie rock.
"I think I've been
misquoted on the whole indie rock thing," he said. "What
I said was Guided by Voices never sounded like indie rock to me,
though they're definitely placed in that genre. I understand why
we've been categorized as indie and I'm not offended. Sometimes
the term symbolizes underachievers. It means something different
Regardless, Kill the
Moonlight, like Girls Can Tell before it, was released
on reputable indie-rock label Merge, a fact that Daniel is proud
to point out. And that's not the only indie release he's promoting
these days. Post Parlo Records will release a Spoon/Bright Eyes
split EP later this month. All the songs were recorded in singer/songwriter
Conor Oberst's basement last April.
"I came in with
a song that was completed and one that was only halfway written
that we worked on together," Daniel said. "Conor's lyrics
are fucking amazing.
What does he remember
about the recording sessions? "Conor is vegan, so I ate a lot
of soy burgers and drank a lot of soy milk," he said. "Conor,
on the other hand, didn't eat anything at all. I felt like a fat
Originally published in The Omaha Weekly
Sept. 4, 2002. Copyright © 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
wouldn't be surprised if some of our fans don't like this
as much as our last one."