Sam Hockley-Smith

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Backtrack: Various Artists The Golden Apples Of The Sun

Looking back, it’s actually difficult to capture just how weird and momentous the freak folk movement of the first half of the 2000s felt. It wasn’t cobbled together so much as it was a united front of weirdos that were obsessed with their own skewed vision of the past — AM radio gold sat comfortably… More »

By: Sam Hockley-Smith / September 25, 2013 - 4:28 pm

Backtrack: Halo Benders God Don’t Make No Junk

Having spare time is important. That goes without saying. But considering none of us have it ever, maybe it’s worth saying again. Listening to the Halo Benders’ 1994 album God Don’t Make No Junk, the first album from the low-key side project of Built To Spill’s Doug Martsch and Beat Happening/K Record sounder Calvin Johnson,… More »

By: Sam Hockley-Smith / September 11, 2013 - 12:52 pm

Backtrack: Doug Martsch Now You Know

Built To Spill’s Doug Martsch released one solo album, Now You Know, in 2002. It’s not that different from a Built To Spill record — his soaring vocals are still present, that sort of abstract, knotty lyrical wisdom is still very much in the mix, as is some of the virtuoso guitar playing that i… More »

By: Sam Hockley-Smith / September 5, 2013 - 2:23 pm

Backtrack: Built To Spill You In Reverse

The strangest musical moment of my adult life came when I discovered that a lot of my friends were jam band people. It’s not like they kept it a secret, but they didn’t really make a point of talking about it either. More »

By: Sam Hockley-Smith / August 29, 2013 - 1:41 pm

Backtrack: Modest Mouse The Lonesome Crowded West

Modest Mouse grew up in public, but popular opinion is that they really truly figured it out with 2000’s The Moon & Antarctica, creating one of those of albums that points to some just-out-of-reach understanding of the world. Listening to it, I knew I would eventually understand what Isaac Brock was singing about, but I… More »

By: Sam Hockley-Smith / August 21, 2013 - 4:57 pm

Comments from Sam Hockley-Smith

Excellent point. Actually, every Built To Spill album features “bargain bin” art. I have no idea if this was intentional or not, but the collage stuff on Keep It Like A Secret just screams 99 cent bin in the best way possible.

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August 29, 2013 on Backtrack: Built To Spill You In Reverse

You might be right! Lie Down in the Light just never grabbed me, as much as I tried (and I tried many times). I felt like he’d lost some of his adventurousness though the actual song construction was on par (if not better) than the earlier material that I love so much.

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April 11, 2013 on Backtrack: Palace Music Viva Last Blues

@Brian Merlos: What are you talking about?

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March 27, 2013 on Backtrack: Ladyhawk Ladyhawk