In my excitement to find out more about The Killers I didn’t end up watching the rest of that episode of Austin City Limits. Sunday night I watched the next act, an Austin-based indie band called Spoon. In the AllMusic entry for The Killers they had Spoon listed as a similar artist, so I thought I might like them too. They are pretty different though. Whereas The Killers have a definite Cure and Oasis influence, Spoon has more of a Elvis Costello sound, though more like “Watching the Detectives” than “Alison”. I think they sound at least a little like X though not rockabilly like X could be, more like “Blue Spark,” at least with the songs they were performing which came from their current CD Gimme Fiction. On other albums they have a little different sound, but I like the spooky funky blues sound of these songs, particularly “The Beast and Dragon, Adored” and “My Mathematical Mind”. Those titles make them sound geekier than they really are.
So I did some more research with AllMusic to find out their best songs, then over to Amazon and iTunes to see what is popular. Then I would play the free samples to see if it sounded interesting. While some on Amazon say that maybe half of an album might be filler, it was hard to pinpoint the strongest songs. It seems to me that they must make pretty cohesive albums without too many really standout singles. But I didn’t want to buy three CD’s so I thought the best approach would be to buy a few from each one on iTunes. Besides the two I already mentioned from their current album, I also bought “The Delicate Place.” In the concert they had a guest guitarist, named M. Ward (who has his own following on Amazon), come on and make some neat feedback and sustain noises, giving additional texture to “Beast and Dragon” that isn’t on the album, but it’s a very good song either way.
From Kill the Moonlight I bought a really neat, fun song called “The Way We Get By”. Susan heard a few seconds of it and said it sounded like the Monkees. I’m not sure about that, but it is very catchy, like maybe like one of the upbeat later Beatle songs (“Eleanor Rigby”?). And the Monkees were a Beatles ripoff, so maybe Susan is right.
From Girls Can Tell I bought “Everything Hits at Once” which is very popular and AllMusic likes, but it doesn’t have that sound that I like on the other songs. “The Fitted Shirt” from that album has more of a grunge sound and is pretty good. “Me and the Bean” was my third purchase from that album and is good but conventional.
Anyway, being an indie band, Spoon has a tendency to come up with a neat riff or a great lyric and then just repeat it until the song hits 2 or 3 minutes. Some of the songs are more complex, but they really lean on the centerpiece parts. I might get a few more songs if I can do some more sampling. I’ll also look for some of their CD’s at the library since I’d really rather hear entire songs (or albums) before committing.