A Spoon-ful Of Success

Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.

After Spoon's 2002 album "Kill the Moonlight" moved close to 84,000 copies in the United States, the Austin, Texas-based indie rock act fielded offers from majors and indies alike. But frontman Britt Daniel says the band concluded that leaving Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Merge Records would be a mistake.

"[Staying] was the smartest thing to do," Daniel says. "Just a couple records ago we were selling 3,000 copies. Then Merge sold 40,000 with 'Girls Can Tell,' and 'Kill the Moonlight' doubled it. We're going in the right direction, so it didn't seem smart to jump ship."

Prior to its release, the album was being streamed online and has been available on illegal download sites for months. Daniel would prefer the album to have remained under wraps, but he is optimistic that the illegal swapping simply points to the respect Spoon has earned with its fans.

"If you keep putting out good records, people will become more interested," he says. "That manic interest people feel when a record comes out only subsides if the audience feels burned."

"Gimme Fiction" -- the first 65,000 copies of which shipped with a bonus EP of demos and rarities -- sees Spoon bringing back a louder, more melodic guitar sound. Merge will make a video for lead single "I Turn My Camera On," which rides a Clash-meets-Motown groove over Daniel's biting falsetto.

"I knew singing falsetto would make that song stand out," he says. "That's the hardest thing we go through: We always worry how to make each song unique and special. That was an easy one. Just sing falsetto, and it's instantly different."

Spoon will spend the month of June touring clubs across the United States, opening the run June 1 in Atlanta and closing out June 25 with a homecoming show at Austin's Stubb's Barbeque.

June 1: Atlanta (Variety Playhouse)
June 2: Carrboro, N.C. (Cat's Cradle)
June 3: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
June 4: Philadelphia (Theatre Of Living Arts)
June 5: Toronto (Lee's Palace)
June 6: Northampton, Mass. (Pearl Street)
June 7: Boston (Paradise Rock Club)
June 8-9: New York (Webster Hall)
June 10: Cleveland (Beachland Ballroom & Tavern)
June 11: Chicago (Vic Theatre)
June 12: Minneapolis (First Avenue)
June 13: Lawrence, Kan. (Granada Theatre)
June 14: Englewood, Col. (Gothic Theatre)
June 16: Portland, Ore. (Crystal Ballroom)
June 17: Vancouver (Commodore Ballroom)
June 18: Seattle (Showbox)
June 20: San Francisco (The Fillmore)
June 21: Hollywood, Calif. (The Avalon)
June 22: Tucson, Ariz. (The Rialto)
June 24: Dallas (Gypsy Tea Room)
June 25: Austin, Texas (Stubb's Barbeque)

Excerpted from the May 14, 2005, issue of Billboard. The full original text is available to Billboard.com subscribers.

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