Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Friday, April 21, 2006

Check out Built to Spill, Devin Davis

I try to keep an open mind when it comes to music. I can dig on the free jazz mastery of Ornette Coleman, the street poetry of Notorious B.I.G. and the gorgeous electronic noodlings of Air co-mingling on the same iPod playlist without breaking a sweat.

But if you were to stick me on a desert island with only one kind of music, I would probably fall back on the same white dude guitar rock that got me hooked on music back when I was 12 and discovering U2 and The Beatles. (If you’re serious about this desert island thing, could you also leave some matches, a harpoon, a beach ball and Scarlett Johansson? Thanks.)

White dude guitar rock is my musical comfort food. And "You in Reverse," the latest album from Built To Spill, has been giving me a lot of comfort lately.

Built To Spill, ranked No. 2 on my list of Idaho’s greatest exports, has been wowing indie rock nerds with mind-blowing guitar jams for years on albums such as "Keep it Like a Secret" and "Perfect From Now On." The latter is an honest-to-the-man-upstairs masterpiece that instantly takes me back to 1997 (the year it was released) and my sophomore year of college. Normally I hate anything that reminds me of my sophomore year of college, but "Perfect From Now On" is good enough to qualify as an exception. (Eagle-Eye Cherry and Sugar Ray are among the many things that do not.)

If the idea of Neil Young joining Radiohead and replacing the "Sprockets"-looking dude as lead guitarist excites you, then Built To Spill could be your next favorite band. "You in Reverse," Built To Spill’s first release since 2001 and best album since "Perfect From Now On," is an ideal introduction, touching on both Built To Spill’s hooky pop rock and spacey jam sides.

Another white dude guitar rock record I’m loving lately is "Lonely People of the World, Unite!" by Chicago power-popper Devin Davis. Released in 2005, "Lonely People" was recorded over the course of two years with Davis playing almost every instrument. At least that’s what it says at www.allmusic.com. I’m not sure I believe it. The disc sounds like it was bashed out quickly and joyously by a group of melody junkies hooked on the likes of Weezer, the New Pornographers and Elvis Costello. My favorite song is "Transcendental Sports Anthem," a bombastic rocker that cribs from the Monkees TV show theme song in the chorus. If that doesn’t sound cool to you, please stop reading this blog. Now. Seriously.


Anonymous James said...

First time visitor!

Love your digs. Loved the bio. Love your writing. Love Built To Spill. There one state to my right.

10:49 PM  
Blogger mark said...

Did someone mention the monkeys? This website has every TV and Cartoon theme song you could ever imagine... more or less.. for free

12:54 AM  
Blogger mark said...


12:54 AM  
Blogger mark said...

'wherever you go' is an exact replica of a guitar part i wrote for a carp*it song 10 years ago. it freaked me out.

very dead meadow-ish

12:42 PM  

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