SpoonSurprisingly soulful Texas indie outfit By T. Cole Rachel
Both critics’ darlings and one of the biggest-selling bands on the indie scene
Few American indie-rock bands have proved as reliably excellent (or as tenacious) as Spoon. Formed in Austin, Texas, in the early '90s, the band's early efforts were solid if not altogether inspired affairs. It wasn't until the band found itself being unceremoniously dumped by a major label in 1998 (after releasing the excellent A Series of Sneaks) that the band's stock finally started to rise. Moving to the altogether more appropriate Merge Records in 2001, Spoon spent the next few years releasing increasingly excellent and more sonically adventurous records. Early recordings might have sounded like standard guitar-centric indie-rock a la the Pixies, but later efforts like Girls Can Tell and Gimme Fiction were surprisingly soulful ventures, with frontman Britt Daniel proving himself to not only be one of America's most clever lyricists, but a surprisingly throaty vocalist as well. At a point in their career where most bands have either split or become irrelevant, Spoon somehow managed to become both critics' darlings and one of the biggest-selling bands on the indie scene. Not bad for a group that once released a single ("The Agony Of Lafitte") solely to publicly castigate the major-label A&R man who betrayed them.