NPR logo Built To Spill In Concert

Built To Spill In Concert

The audio for the Built to Spill concert is no longer available at the label's request.

Built to Spill: Jim Roth (from left), Doug Martsch, Brett Nelson, Scott Plouf. Autumn DeWilde hide caption

toggle caption
Autumn DeWilde

Built to Spill: Jim Roth (from left), Doug Martsch, Brett Nelson, Scott Plouf.

Autumn DeWilde

Boise, Idaho's Built to Spill has been making smart, catchy, often trippy guitar rock for nearly 15 years. Hear the band recorded live in a full concert from Washington, DC with the Santa Cruz jam band Camper Van Beethoven. Both performances originally webcast live on Oct. 10.

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Doug Martsch formed Built to Spill in 1992 with varying lineups. After appearing on the 1995 Lollapalooza tour and releasing several critically-acclaimed albums, the band became one of the most popular college rock groups in the U.S.

With Neil Young and Pavement as influences, Built to Spill developed a trademark sound of gracefully winding guitar interplay, spiraling solos and Martsch's distinctive, emotionally-charged voice. They've just released their first collection of new songs in five years. Fans and critics are calling You in Reverse one of the band's best albums to date.

Camper Van Beethoven first formed nearly a quarter century ago in Santa Cruz, Calif. Calling their music "surrealist absurdist folk," they mixed elements of punk, ska, folk and country to create sometimes playful, sometimes psychedelic songs. One of the band's most distinctive elements was the violin melodies of Jonathan Segel.

Though the band broke up in 1990, Camper Van Beethoven regrouped in 2004 to record New Roman Times, their first new studio album 15 years.

"We didn't want to jump right back in and make that 'Bad Reunion Record' that most bands make when they try to reform," says CVB guitarist-vocalist David Lowery. "We were more concerned with getting used to each other and figuring out that we could still make music together, before we made a big deal out of announcing that we were back."