Built to Spill to Play Classic Indie Rock Album ‘Keep It Like a Secret’ at the Woodward Theater

The July 3 concert is sold out

click to enlarge Built to Spill - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Built to Spill
Built to Spill joins a curiously robust set of 1990s Indie Rock staples touring this spring and summer — Guided by Voices, Sebadoh, Superchunk, Yo La Tengo and Stereolab, to name just a handful — acts that made their name amid the post-Nirvana Alt Rock explosion with musical outputs that still reverberate today.

Some are touring behind recent albums, while others are celebrating music created back when Napster was barely a twinkle in Sean Parker’s eye and Y2K was a legitimate concern. Built to Spill’s current tour is a 20th-anniversary celebration of Keep It Like a Secret, the third album in a series of triumphs that included 1994’s There’s Nothing Wrong With Love and 1997’s Perfect from Now On.

Frontman Doug Martsch, the only constant over the band’s 27-year existence, emerged out of Boise, Idaho in the early 1990s, wielding an epic guitar sound influenced by equal parts Neil Young and 1980s SST stalwarts like the Butthole Surfers, plus a high-whine voice that added a surreal element to twisty songs that sometimes ran into seven-minute territory. Keep It Like a Secret was more concise by that measure, Martsch’s version of Pop songs that still reveled in fuzzy guitar excursions and cryptic lyrics.

Though he hailed from the same part of the country, Martsch’s music has never been much inspired by the Pacific Northwest Indie Rock scenes.

“I don’t think there was too much in the Northwest that had an influence on my songwriting,” Martsch said in an interview with KEXP earlier this year. “I mean, here and there, just because you’re around people but I felt like my biggest influences were, like, David Bowie and the Butthole Surfers and Camper Van Beethoven, The Replacements. Things from all over other places. There wasn’t a whole lot in the Northwest. Like, I wasn’t into the Grunge stuff. I liked it okay. But I wasn’t into Sub Pop or anything.”


The band will be playing Keep It Like a Secret in full this Wednesday, July 3 at the Woodward Theater. The show is sold out.


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