When: Tue., March 11, 8:30 p.m. 2014
Despite his centrality to multiple buzz bands of the blog era, Spencer Krug affirms that there's no such thing as a cool keyboard player. The Canadian musician came to fame as one of two voices in Wolf Parade, but he was the weird, sweaty abstractionist to Dan Boeckner's leather-jacketed, gravel-throated rock 'n' roller.
Where Boeckner went on to make minimal sex music in Handsome Furs and now vamps around Tom Petty covers with Spoon's Britt Daniel in Divine Fits, Krug's music has become more tragic and ornate, both in Swan Lake (his collaboration with similarly insular Canucks Dan Bejar and Carey Mercer) and Sunset Rubdown. The latter band's lovely, dramatic Shut Up, I Am Dreaming had just the right pinch of glam-rock grandeur. The compositions grew more complex from there, with Krug's metaphors becoming near-mythological and mostly inscrutable. There was often just too much to take in.
Julia with Blue Jeans On is the most recent release from Krug's current project, Moonface. Of all the records he's put out during a crazy prolific decade, it most resembles a solo piano recital. In a moment dominated by digital sounds, the rich natural tones of the album feel exotic, oddly old world. Asconcert hall chops result in complicated, near-classical note pools, you can almost see his fingers blurring in your head. It's surprisingly physical music. The stark setting is a natural and welcome fit; in everything Krug does, you sense his desire to impart some deep, soul-born truth that just gets tangled up in the telling. Here, there's finally nothing standing in the nerd's way. Saltland opens. —Jeff Klingman