Kill the Moonlight



Having been pink-slipped by Elektra just months after releasing the would-be 1998 breakthrough, A Series of Sneaks, Spoon’s Britt Daniel has reason to feel duped by the industry. He’s no Aimee Mann, though, and instead of using the experience to write albums full of thinly veiled critiques of corporate corruption, he’s learned to accept and appreciate his place in the indie-rock cosmos: “Small stakes give you the blues,” he sings on Kill the Moonlight, “but you don’t feel taken, don’t think you’ve been used.”

In setting his sights lower, Austin, Texas, native Daniel — a post-punk’s Elvis Costello now sitting pretty over at mini-imprint Merge — has freed himself from any allegiance he’s had to numbing, by-the-numbers rock traditionalism.

As a result, the band’s latest release is its best by miles: A Wire-y rock record that sounds as timeless as it does of-the-moment, Moonlight searches for the light at the end of tunnel that evaded last year’s deathly disillusioned Girls Can Tell — the band’s first post-Elektra offering — and finds salvation in its own sheer determination to move on (“The Way We Get By,” “Don’t Let It Get You Down”).

Not insignificantly, it’s also a doggedly uncommercial record. There are killer potential singles, sure, but Moonlight doesn’t pander to push-track pressure. It’s an artfully constructed album in the most traditional sense, a start-to-finish near-masterpiece that won’t have bottom line-minded A&R reps kicking themselves for letting Spoon go, but just might make ’em think twice about why they fuck they put on their suits every morning. So even if Daniel’s paycheck is smaller these days, the payoff is bigger.

E-mail Jimmy Draper at

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.