Built to Spill is not just the first band from Boise in recent memory to spark a major-label bidding war, but it might also be the only band ever to have written a song from the viewpoint of a baby being born without sounding corny.
"Living in the womb, running out of room, got to greet the sun and moon and - " it sings in "Cleo," breaking off the sentence for a furious string-twisting guitar solo.Last week, the band performed a sold-out concert at Maxwell's in Hoboken, N.J., as a warm-up for its string of dates on the second stage of the Lollapalooza alternative-rock tour.
Built to Spill, which consists of Doug Martsch, a former member of the Treepeople, and an ever-changing cast of backup musicians, probably won't be back in town soon.
Martsch said after the concert that he was more concerned about spending time with his year-old son, Benjamin Cleo, than with touring, despite a recently signed contract with Warner Brothers.
Martsch's songs were divided into sections that went beyond verse-chorus-verse. Pop songs stopped halfway and, with a sudden tempo change, turned into landscapes of mangled guitar strings.
Performing songs mostly from his second album, "There's Nothing Wrong With Love" , a concept album about love and growing up, Martsch showed how to turn the prosaic into the possible with a single pregnant pause.
"You get the car, I'll get the night," he sang in "Car," waiting a moment before completing the sentence with the word "off."