There was a time when Built to Spill was all over college radio. Their first major label release, 1997’s Perfect from Now On, garnered outstanding reviews from musical trendsetters Pitchfork Media, in addition to other musical outlets like Tiny Mix Tapes, Rolling Stone, and Sputnik Music. All of a sudden, the band was the indie cream of the crop, appearing on every musically conscious college kid’s portable CD player and every student run radio station in the country (Indianapolis radio stations not excluded). Now, 13 years after that landmark release, Built to Spill is still alive and well, hot off the heels of their seventh full length, There Is No Enemy. And on Thursday, September 23, the long lived group will be appearing in Indianapolis. Come see Built to Spill and Revolt Revolt at The Vogue on September 23 to see one of the longest running “indie” rock bands still on top of their game, almost twenty years after their inception.
|Video of Built to Spill performing “Carry the Zero” live; Built to Spill will be playing in Indianapolis September 23|
Built to Spill was formed as far back as 1992, when frontman Doug Martsch teamed up with Brett Netson (who is still with the band) and Ralf Youtz (who is not). The concept at the time was to create a band that had a different lineup for each release, except for Martsch. The trend continued through Built to Spill’s first three albums, Ultimate Alternative Wavers, There’s Nothing Wrong With Love, and their break out album, Perfect from Now On. After Perfect from Now On, the band’s lineup solidified and has remained fairly consistent since then. Built to Spill released two more critically acclaimed albums for Warner Brothers after Perfectfrom Now On, Keep it Like a Secret in 1999 and Ancient Melodies of the Future in 2001, before moving into a five year period where no new music came from the Built to Spill camp. In 2006, the band returned with You in Reverse, a powerful record that saw Built to Spill expanding into new sonic territory (just look at the dynamic, nearly nine minute long opener, “Goin’ Against Your Mind”) while still retaining the cool guitar work and composition of the earlier records. Their latest, There is No Enemy, was released in late 2009.
|Video of Built to Spill performing “Goin’ Against Your Mind” live; Built to Spill will be playing in Indianapolis September 23|
Built to Spill has always had a sound that’s somewhat hard to describe. Bordering on psychedelia, using progressive rock conventions, and dabbling in the roots of blues and folk, Built to Spill has a unique, easily identifiable sound that’s stuck with them throughout most of their releases. Catchy guitar hooks, layered instruments that resonate and play off of one another, quirky lyrics, uptempo jam sessions that seem half improvised, half memorized, and Martsch’s nasally, dynamic vocals all work together to create well produced, well written pop songs that sometimes pass into progressive territory. There is No Enemy takes these Built to Spill conventions and applies a layer of pop sheen to them, adding keyboards and synths to the usually guitar heavy mix. The show at The Vogue on Thursday promises to be a fun romp through college rock.
|Video of Built to Spill performing “In the Morning” live; Built to Spill will be playing in Indianapolis September 23|
Playing with Built to Spill at this Indianapolis event will be fellow Idahoans Revolt Revolt, a three man rock band that’s been together since 2007. Compared to Built to Spill, Revolt Revolt is relatively unknown; as of now, the band only has one release to its name, 2009’s Chordata. The band’s sound toes the line between the post punk of Fugazi and Mission of Burma and the creepy noise rock of Pixies; it’s got energy, anger, and something to say. Revolt Revolt is booked to tour most of the United States with Built to Spill; it should be an interesting combination of sonic palettes on Thursday night, with the spastic darkness of Revolt Revolt offsetting the sunnily sophisticated guitar compositions of Built to Spill.
|Tour video for Revolt Revolt; Revolt Revolt will be playing in Indianapolis with Built to Spill on September 23|
So if you’re looking for fun things to do in Indianapolis on a Thursday night, why not start the night off with an evening of rock and roll at The Vogue? Built to Spill and Revolt Revolt should bring in the masses of the Circle City from every Indianapolis cultural district and probably some out of towners; it’s been a while since Built to Spill has come to town. The Indianapolis music event begins at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 23. Tickets are $18 and available at the Indianapolis music venue‘s box office or online. If you haven’t listened to Built to Spill, check out There is No Enemy and then come to the Vogue to see why this venerable indie rock icon has been around for almost twenty years.
Built to Spill and Revolt Revolt at The Vogue
Thursday, September 23 at 8:00 p.m.
6259 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220
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