Friday Night: Spoon At House Of Blues
Spoon has two types of songs: Songs that cut and songs that groove. But they all sting.
The songs that cut are choppy and a little clenched, like "Small Stakes" or "Got Nuffin'." The songs that groove are about as fluid as I think it is for music to possibly be; whenever they play "I Turn My Camera On" or "Don't You Evah," I can't help picturing someone doing the robot on one of those moving walkways at an airport somewhere.
The important thing is that Spoon does not do anything suddenly, onstage or off. Almost 20 years since Britt Daniel and Jim Eno formed Spoon in Austin in 1993, they played to a full house at House of Blues Friday night -- their first show in the area since 2009, and first here since their most recent LP, Transference, came out in January 2010.
Spoon etches tiny details into their songs like glass, like Eric Harvey's stately piano chords that opened the evening and "The Beast and Dragon, Adored" or Eno kissing closer "Black Like Me" with a single Maraca. Eno's drums are a model of Krautrock efficiency and economy -- the band took its name from a Can song -- and even rockers "Jonathan Fisk" and "Got Nuffin'" are defined as much by what he leaves out as what he puts in.
Rob Pope's disco bass filled in the cracks; on "Camera" he might as well have lit up the floor tiles like in Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" video. (That would be a cool effect; someone at HOB should look into it.)
But if the other three Spoons never do get enough credit, it's definitely Britt Daniel who is steering the ship. He's about as flashy as his drummer; about the most worked up he got Friday was the extended feedback duet with his amplifier during the last song of the encore, "My Mathematical Mind."