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Spoon: All the Right Moves

story by tim mcmahan



Lazy-i: Nov. 9, 2005

w/ Bright Eyes, Dave Dondero, Willy Mason
Nov. 11, 8 p.m.
The Orpheum
409 S 16th St.

Rock and roll can be a fickle beast, especially for nationally known indie bands.

The career bell curve starts when a band breaks through from its underground status thanks to a hugely successful record. They support the CD on the road for a couple years, then release a follow-up and slowly watch as their audience slips away along with whatever trend their music represents. Spoon, on the other hand, has bypassed this trend by meticulously building its fan base -- record-by-record, tour-by-tour -- since the band formed in 1994.

That fact isn't lost on Spoon frontman and primary singer/songwriter Britt Daniel. "I've seen it grow gradually going back to our second album ('98's Series of Sneaks)," said Daniel from his home in Portland between tour dates. "Every record has been a little bit bigger both in sales and in the amount of press. It hasn't hit a peak yet, and I don't want it to."




The same can be said about the band's sound. Spoon has evolved from the sneering, angular punk heard on their '96 Matador debut to the more traditional Beatle-esque songcraft of '01's Girls Can Tell, to the keyboard-driven minimalism of '02's Kill the Moonlight. It all comes together on the dark, theatrical Gimme Fiction, released in May on Merge Records, perhaps Spoon's most thought-out collection of late-night rockers.

"We head in a different direction when we go into every record," Daniel said. "You work on each song individually, but it isn't until you put them in a row that you get a feeling of what the album will be."

Despite growing both creatively and commercially, little else has changed for the band. Sure, the venues are bigger now and they're riding from gig to gig in a tour bus instead of a van, but Daniel says that's about all that's different. "I don't feel like I've changed that much. I'm still doing music for the same reasons I did when we started."

Even his Omaha gigs have a similarity to them. Back in April 2001, Spoon opened for Saddle Creek's The Good Life. Friday they'll be opening for Saddle Creek's Bright Eyes, the only date on Spoon's current tour that they're not headlining.

"I've actually been a member of Bright Eyes," Daniel said, adding that his connections to Omaha go way back. "For a number of years I would make stops in Omaha just because I like the town and wanted to catch up with the people there. I'm looking forward to getting back."

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Published in The Omaha Reader Nov. 9, 2005. Copyright 2005 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.






"I don't feel like I've changed that much. I'm still doing music for the same reasons I did when we started."