“Perfect From Now On” Is the Best Built to Spill Album


A man needs lovin’. A woman needs a man to love.

I sense that Built to Spill has not aged well. Frontman Doug Martsch’s beard and general “aloof lumberjack” vibe were visionary, of course, but there isn’t a straighter guitar-humping Freedom Rock arrow in the whole ’90s Magnet-reading quiver. Not enough of an Afropop influence for these polyglot times, alas. And yet, amid the nostalgia-trip orgy that September’s All Tomorrow’s Parties New York has turned into—My Bloody Valentine! Dinosaur Jr.! Mogwai! Tortoise! Thurston Moore recreating an entire solo record for some reason!—it was the notion of Built to Spill performing 1997’s Perfect From Now On in its entirety that almost convinced me to head north. To paraphrase Roast Beef, that record is the bitch.

Thankfully, they’re gonna play it a couple times in town, too. (At Terminal 5, yes, but they’ve improved.) September 25 and 26. Look for even-more-extended versions of “I Would Hurt a Fly,” the still-mighty “Velvet Waltz,” and all-time wooing-a-collegiate-lady mixtape boner jam “Kicked It in the Sun.” The Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr. open, guaranteeing the most socially awkward green-room environment in recent history.