This is my first Monday Music of the new year and I’m carrying on with my plan to cover one of my favourite bands every week.
I started with Canada’s Cowboy Junkies to close out last year. Now, I’ll make the not so distant journey to Idaho, USA, the birthplace of another of my favourites:
Built To Spill
Built to Spill was formed in 1992 by Doug Martsch. The original members were Martsch, Brett Nelson and Ralf Youtz. Members have come and gone over the years between then and now, but Martsch remains at the centre of things. The band has released 8 full studio albums and a number of other recordings and collaborations, have been one of the most recognisable indie acts in the USA, and tour extensively.
I first discovered the band when I was in Seattle. It was Independence Day, 2001. I had just arrived at the start of a three week Greyhound adventure that would take me from the Emerald City all the way to Austin, Texas. I arrived minus my luggage thanks to a mix-up in Cincinnati airport. I decided to roll with this and catch a $25 limo ride to the Youth hostel where I was staying, which was very close to waterfront. It was the 4th, so I decided to head out into the world and enjoy the first evening, starting with margaritas by the water. I then found my way to a little bar near the hostel and got talking to a few locals. In the background was a beautiful song, with so many layers and such affecting guitar work that I was prompted to ask the barman who it was that we were listening to. Truth be told, I enjoyed myself a little too much that night and had a thick head in the morning, combined with some awful jetlag. I remembered the song, though, and the band.
Since then, I’ve managed to see them three times live in the UK. Once at Koko in Camden, once at the Electric Ballroom and the other time was in a tiny club in Reading. The latter was the result of a last-minute venue change when they had been due to play in Oxford. As a result, there were very few people there and it felt like a very intimate gig.
The great thing about seeing this lot live is that you always hear one of their songs a different way than you have before. You always come away with a new love for one of their songs.
Here are a few examples of their music, Hope you enjoy.
Thanks for reading and listening.
If you feel like some more music, then please check out some of my other Monday Music posts. They’re packed with great examples of music from movies, TV and other places.