Austin’s Best Albums of 2002

Spoon’s “Kill the Moonlight” Among the Best Austin Musician Albums of 2002

The Live Music Capital of the World is clearly known for churning out successful artists, and 2002 saw the emergence of several critically-acclaimed albums by musicians hailing from the weird, wild heart of Austin, Texas. Some might argue one of the best albums of 2002 from an Austin musician or band was Kill the Moonlight, an independent release by Spoon that cracked the US’s top 100 hits that year by reaching number 5 on Rhapsody’s “Alt/Indie Best Albums of the Decade” list, number 49 on Blender Magazine’s “100 Greatest Indie Albums” list, and perhaps most notably, number 51 on Rolling Stone’s revered “100 Best Albums of the Decade” list. The album’s mainstream success could be attributed in part to its use in an episode of popular television show The O.C., cementing “The Way We Get By” as one of the best songs of the year in the minds of American youth.

Named after a prominent phrase in Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto, the album presents a more sparing version of the band’s usual rock & roll prowess, featuring a minimalist approach to production, a sharp focus on simple melodies and jarring, pared-down guitar and piano underpinnings. The result is a subtly retro rock album not inaccurately compared to the likes of an angrier, earlier version of Jet’s Get Born.

Although Austin itself has embraced Spoon for the span of its career, the band’s 2002 offerings left little impact on the local scene. Despite critical praise, Spoon didn’t top local music lists that year; singer/songwriter Bob Schneider took the Austin Chronicle’s top award in 2002 for what the alternative weekly newspaper considered one of the best recorded CDs of the year, The Galaxy Kings.

Since 2002, Spoon has recorded three albums, three EPs and 10 singles.

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