Seven albums in and 18 years on, Built to Spill has become a band for lifers -- there's something about Doug Martsch's leaden, catchy guitar hooks that never gets old, no matter how tightly you pack your earplugs.
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The pride of Boise, Idaho, is winding down what will probably be their final tour in support of 2009's There Is No Enemy in typical fashion -- they've never exactly been whirling dervishes live but have always sounded next to flawless -- and in the process making fans comfortable with the notion that "indie rock" and "jam band" aren't mutually exclusive.
This tour has seen the prodigiously bearded Martsch lead his quintet through an impressive tour de catalog, strum a couple of numbers from his solo albums and engage with a couple of carefully chosen cover songs -- including, recently, the Grateful Dead's "Ripple." (Check out a bootleg from the New York show here.)
Also: Corinne Bailey Rae and Orgone at the Avalon; Fun., Steel Train and Jarrod Gorbel at the Music Box; Moving Picture Show at the Viper Room; Kate Nash at the Glass House in Pomona; Foxy Shazam and Free Energy at the Troubadour; Bilal, J*Davey and Quadron at the Echoplex; Fear at the Key Club; Bring Me the Horizon and August Burns Red at the Fox Theater in Pomona; Black Cobra and Black Math Horseman at Spaceland; Meiko and Joey Ryan & Kenneth Pattengale at the Hotel Cafe; Breathe Owl Breathe and Little Wings at the Bootleg Theater; the Damned Things at the Roxy; Raw Power Rangers at the Echo; Bruce Beacom at the Mint; Spindrift at the Redwood Bar; and Mini Mansions and Slang Chickens' free show at Space 15 Twenty.