Thursday, April 26, 2007

Spoon w/ the Oranges Band @ Sonar

Rob couldn't make it due to obligations with his other job, but GL and I still trekked up to Baltimore last Saturday to see one of Spoon's stops on this relatively brief tour.

Hometown boys the Oranges Band opened up; their lead singer/head hauncho Roman Kuebler played bass with Spoon on tour a while back, so there was some history there. I've now seen the Oranges three times, and Roman once solo, and this wasn't one of their best performances. They've got something of a new lineup, with a new bassist (who is pretty good, but, as GL noted, less attractive than the last) but they appear to have lost their lead guitarist, reducing the band to a three piece. The extra guitar helped out a lot, and you could tell Roman was occasionally caught in the middle of playing a rhythm part and a cool lick or something. Still, they remain one of my favorite bands, and "OK Apartment" was good, as was the always-rockin' "Mountain". Surprising that they didn't do either "Open Air" or "Ride the Nuclear Wave" though, and I was really hoping to hear how "Jenny, I'm Sneaking Out" is coming around. But alas...

Spoon came on to a sold out, jam-packed Sonar -- the first time they had ever sold out Baltimore. There was some bizarre issue with the lighting, which appeared to be manned by a 14 year old downing a cooler of Mr. Pibb. They never really figured it out, which seemed to irk Britt Daniel, but it never really affected the band's performance.

If memory serves, the first song was a new one and decent, but "Jonathan Fisk" (the third or fourth selection) was where the band finally hit their stride. Daniel was all about his guitar and what kind of feedback-infused noise he could coax out of his amps. It all sorta started here and really took off: live favorite "Small Stakes" surged with that sinister, repeating keyboard part, "The Way We Get By" elicited a huge roar, and the band pushed the tempo on "I Turn My Camera On". They came back from the encore to do two new songs -- one was Daniel, solo and one nicked a line from Arthur Lee ("well the snot has caked against my pants / it has turned into crystal" from "Live and Let Live" on Forever Changes, for those of you keeping score at home). Included in this was Spoon's two minutes of pop perfection, "Anything You Want", and the blistering, thumping "My Mathematical Mind." The latter ended up being a perfect close to the night; as drummer Jim Eno kept his typically sparse and solid beat, Daniel ranted, yelped, and got down on his knees to pull just a little more feedback out of the amps.

*BONUS: On an unrelated note, Aquarium Drunkard has unearthed a Stephen Malkmus solo track that I always really loved. It was on the bonus EP to his sophomore solo album Pig Lib, and opens remarkably like a Cure song -- and also remarkably like Malkmus's former bandmate Spiral Stairs' song "Falling Away" (recorded by his band Preston School of Industry). Here it is:

Stephen Malkmus - "Fractions and Feelings"

1 comment:

Chris said...

thanks for the oranges update, i haven't seen this new less attractive bassist yet... and was also looking see when Jenny was actually coming out.