Wednesday, July 16, 2003

THE NO ROCK REVIEW: Our West Coast (CA, not Cornwall) correspondent Becky Bamboo has been working like a floor-mopper at an Amsterdam peep show (and we stress the 'like', not 'as'), but in her few seconds off she's gotten to go to a couple of shows. First:

Spoon! I jetted out of work last night at 8:30 to head up to the city to see Spoon at the Fillmore. I missed the first opening band (Rogue Wave, a local band who, from the name, sound like they should be opening for Jack Johnson) but caught the second, Natural History. They also opened for Spoon last time they came through just a few months ago. (Note: it may have actually been sometime last year but Iím getting old and time seems to be accelerating.) On second listen they again struck me as very derivative of Spoonís sound, but without the catchy songs and moments of beautiful minimalism that Spoon does so effortlessly. I did like them a little better this time, but Iím not convinced they have the tunes to be a serious rival. I enjoyed watching them for two reasons though: first, their drummer is freakishly hot in a Clark Kent sort of way and second, the bass player had so much shit in his front pants pockets that he looked like Torgo from _Manos, Hands of Fate_. He had the Torgo hair and beard going too, which only made the resemblance stronger. I wonder if he did it on purpose. While we were waiting for Spoon to come on, the unstamped, underage boys in front of me asked about my shirt (I was wearing my Handsome Family t-shirt with the picture of the little girl holding a shotgun). I told them they were a great band and they said theyíd check them out. Then they noticed my bag (the one with the Patsy Cline 45 in the clear front pocket) and started raving over that. Ah, the adulation of teenage boys. I felt like a slightly pervy babysitter. Anyway. I love Spoon. I love the driving, jerky rhythm of their songs. I love the way every song goes on just long enough. And I love the way Britt Daniels sings as if words are unfamiliar shapes in his mouth. Live, every song sounded like a hit single and each elicited enthusiastic applause from the audience. The set was drawn mostly from the last two albums, but the occasional early song fit in seamlessly. Britt told us that we were the most people for whom theyíd ever played and the whole band seemed a little giddy at having a sold out show at the Fillmore. I didnít get to be until 2 a.m. and when my alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. I had a hell of a time getting out of bed. But Iíd do it again in a second.

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