Tuesday, March 6
In the past five years, indie rock has ceased to be “indie” and has become quite lucrative for the industry. This has led to a saturation of such bands. Most of them end up mediocre. They seem to be imitating the small fraction of bands that have made a name for themselves by truly standing out. These bands include The Pixies, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill and Spoon, to name a few.
It was Spoon that recently visited Bloomington. Traveling on the bizarre Jack Daniel’s Studio 7 tour, Spoon stopped at the Bluebird. The show, which was free to private guests, was part of the giant promotional tour for Jack Daniel’s. Other booze and tobacco companies have put on similar promotional tours, such as the Kool Cigarettes tour with the Roots and the Camel Cigarettes tour with Kings of Leon. It seems bizarre, because none of these bands seem the type to do corporate promotional tours. Maybe Nickleback or Three Doors Down, but Spoon? Come on.
Issues of ethics and integrity aside, Spoon sounded quite good.
Lead singer/songwriter Britt Daniels took the stage with a mischievous grin and burst into song. The band, if you haven’t heard it before, is an experiment in restraint and minimalism. The drummer pounds out a simple beat and the rest of the band follows with equally simple guitar, bass and keyboard parts. But with Spoon, simplicity is simply gripping. Not since the Ramones have such seemingly simplistic pop songs been so good. It’s almost avant-garde in a way. Unlike the Ramones, Spoon doesn’t play simple songs because its members only know two chords, it does it because it wants to.