August 4th, 2014 3:12pm

They Do Not Make Me Complete

Spoon @ McKittrick Hotel 8/3/2014
Knock Knock Knock / Inside Out / Small Stakes / The Beast and Dragon, Adored / Do You / Don’t Make Me A Target / Outlier / Who Makes Your Money / Rent I Pay / Got Nuffin // I Turn My Camera On / You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb / Black Like Me

There were a lot of moments in this special Spoon show where I was just thinking about how they are almost definitely the best existing rock and roll band. Yes, there’s a few rock bands who are still together who are in the same league as artists, but they aren’t quite “rock and roll,” and I think that matters a lot. Most of the best rock bands of the past two decades are in some way embarrassed to be rock at all, and either do whatever they can to distance themselves from cliches, or introduce some element of irony to it all. Spoon don’t do either of those things. They hold on to a lot of the best elements of rock that have fallen away – raw sexuality and swagger, direct passionate emotion, pure physicality – and filter it through a distinct and modern approach to arrangement, performance, and production, so it all feels fresh. Their magic is being able to simultaneously convey wild spontaneity and total formal mastery. It’s a rare and special gift, and they pull this off just as easily in the more abstracted space of a studio recording just as well as they can on stage.

Spoon “Inside Out”

“Inside Out” is a song about gravity, both metaphorically – Britt sings about being locked into a woman’s romantic orbit – and musically, as the elements in the arrangement all respond to the implied gravity of the bass line. Spoon do this a lot, but the negative space in this track feels especially vast. But still, despite that, it feels remarkably intimate. Maybe it’s because Britt sings so much of it like a soulful whisper. Or perhaps it’s the way the bass pulses in a way that feels like hearing someone’s heartbeat through their chest. Sort of distant, but also so close.

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