NPR Music

Support Public RadioLogin

Favorite Sessions

Rebecca Gates: The Spinanes' Star Floats On

August 21, 2012The former leader of the '90s indie-rock band The Spinanes recently released The Float, her first album in 11 years. Watch Gates perform a new song from the record, "&&&," live at the opbmusic studios in Portland, Ore.

The Float marks the first release in 11 years from former Spinanes singer Rebecca Gates, who enlisted a host of musical friends (17 by our count, collectively addressed as The Consortium) while working on the record on and off over the past few years. In this session, she joins us with the slimmed-down version that's been joining her in Portland over the past year or so: Joanna Bolme on bass, Rebecca Cole on keys and Ji Tanzer on drums.

As the vocalist and driving creative force behind The Spinanes, Gates released three albums on Sub Pop in the 1990s — the first two (1993's Manos and 1996's Strand) with drummer Scott Plouff before she completed the 1998 swan song Arches & Aisles essentially as a solo act. The band was a college-radio darling, and Manos became the first record on Sub Pop to hit No. 1 on CMJ's college chart.

In 2001, Gates shed the Spinanes moniker and returned with Ruby Series, a slimmed-down collection of smooth pop that explored new textures with the help of Tortoise's John McEntire. From that point, however, Gates shifted her focus, turning more to visual art and design. Over the past decade, she's spent much of her time curating exhibitions and giving lectures, while also involving herself in artist-advocacy groups like the Future of Music Coalition and the Agency League of Musicians. She didn't abandon music entirely, either, creating soundtrack scores for documentary films and lending guest spots to recordings here and there.

Watch Gates perform "&&&" here, and check out more excerpts from her studio session over at opbmusic.org.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

More Favorite Sessions

More Favorite Sessions
 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Podcast + RSS Feeds

Podcast RSS

  • Studio Sessions
     
  • Favorite Sessions