Built To Spill
Slam Dunk, Genders, The Warm Hair
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Built To Spill
Three and a half years in the making, the efforts of writing and recording THERE IS NO ENEMY led Built to Spill founder Doug Martsch to wonder whether this would be the last album he ever makes. As his wife, I watched him work, pouring hour after hour , day after day into writing. Song lyrics were labored over then thrown in the trash, guitar parts revised again (and again). A musician and artist like Doug edits far more than he keeps.
For over twenty years, Doug Martsch has been writing and recording music. Built to Spill members Brett Nelson (bass), Scott Plouf (drums) Jim Roth (guitar), and Brett Netson (guitar) have all been musicians for two decades. That adds up to more than a century. Doug’s strong aesthetic combines with the band members’ mix of approaches to create an aural topography. Doug sets course and navigates. Each member of Built to Spill comes to the music with a different set of expectations and ideals.
With the complexity and variety of music they have created, Built to Spill endeavors to make songs interesting to themselves and their audience. They hope that the band will remain special and that people will discover the music for themselves. Year after year, new fans show up. Just like the band members, listeners come to the music with expectations and ideals. They make up their own ideas about the songs.
I once overheard Doug on the phone being interviewed. He sounded almost stand-offish in not “telling” an interviewer the meaning of a song or describing its origin. Doug and I have speculated about this sometimes: meaning (whether intended or not )is not inherent in lyrics or in any art. Listening, looking closely, and responding with one’s feelings, thoughts, and senses transforms. Doug simply does wish to disrupt any meaning someone else has found.
I can barely repress the urge to tell you what THERE IS NO ENEMY means to me. When making the new record, Doug literally lived in the studio. To be able to work all day and all night. To spend hours and hours laying down guitar tracks he realized he couldn’t use since the first live takes had the best tone and feel. To undigitally remix the record. With so much work behind the band, the record is here. Now comes the album’s journey into the world. This venture Built to Spill does not map out. The record is yours to respond to.
When I listen to songs Doug writes and the whole band plays, I think, “How can people make music this good?” Even though I witness and minorly assist, I still do not understand how theirs or any beloved music comes into the world. To me, the process and result are magic.
BUILT TO SPILL:
Doug Martsch • guitars, vocals / Brett Netson • guitars / Jim Roth • guitars / Brett Nelson • bass / Scott Plouf • drums
Slam Dunk's format of catchy sing-a-longs and genre-busting breakdowns, built without a theme, will induce a cosmic and slobbering attendance to any dance hall booked. They will show up late, play short sets, eat your food, and sleep in your bed. Nothing but fun will come of it, and you will wake up throbbing weeks after, jonesin' for another round of THE DUNK!
Genders is a four-piece casual rock and roll band from Portland, Ore. Finding a balance between shredding your clothes of and weeping softly in the corner, Genders' performance will move you…be it physically or emotionally.
Their current self-titled EP has been topping out the airplay charts at OPB music; and after a wildly successful spring 2013 tour, playing Treefort Music Fest opening for Built to Spill, Genders continues on, full speed ahead. Genders is furiously working on their full-length album, due in the fall of 2013. After which, Genders will embark on an expansive west coast tour in support of their album. Genders is comprised of Stephen Leisy on guitar, Matt Hall on bass, Katherine Paul on drums, and Maggie Morris on guitar and vocals.
The Warm Hair
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