Since returning to my cheesy homeland, I have been blessed with multiple opportunities to make up for my feeble work in supporting the live, local music scene during my more youthful years. I remain woefully under-schooled on the upstart musicians who toil in the clubs with energizing blast of sonic invention right now, but I’ve had the chance to see a bunch of acts — or at least their delightfully odd new offshoots — that I should have stood before twenty years (or more) ago, bobbing my head and holding a plastic cup of sloshing Point Special.
My one-city, multi-act nostalgia tour continued this past week. In one of my preferred local venues, a succession of performers with a heritage connection to the town proceeded to the stage, all in an effort to raise funds for a longtime sound engineer who’s come down with cancer. (As usual, there’s also a GoFundMe set up to provide financial assistance, because healthcare is a devastating expense in the richest country in the world.) The whole night was a pleasure, but I took a special pleasure in seeing a reunion of the band Spooner.
As I’ve noted previously, I believe Spooner was the first hometown band I ever heard on the radio, back when local bands getting airtime was still a possibility. Back then, in the nineteen-eighties (if you can believe such an ancient time existed), a spot on the radio was also a major measure of success. And Spooner was exactly the sort of group that I connected with deeply: straightforward rock with a hit of the rootsy and a way with a hook that made the act of creating catchiness seem effortless.
The reunited Spooner didn’t play many songs, but it still gave me the unmistakable sensation of recapturing a bygone night that never actually existed for me. I was momentarily in a humble Madison club in the days before social media and all my adult responsibilities, just watching a group of guys bang out a song like it was all that really mattered. And it was good.
Listen or download –> Spooner, “Burn It All Down”
(Disclaimer: Given that I wrote about the broader experience with nary a word spared for the song that is shared, I’ll note that this version of “Burn It All Down” was taken from a 1986 compilation album called The Mad Scene, which is filled with acts that similarly skirted the fringes of my teen-aged years. I believe it to be out of print as a physical object that can be procured from your favorite local, independently-owned record store in a manner that compensates both the proprietor of said store and the original artist. The song also shows up a few years later on Spooner’s The Fugitive Dance, which I think is also out of print. Basically, I mean no fiscal harm in sharing this song in this space at this time. If you feel guilty about nabbing it, click on that GoFundMe hyperlink above and provide some dollars to Jack LeTourneau. I suspect that’s what the fellas in Spooner would like about now anyway. Regardless, I know the rules. I will gladly and promptly remove this music file from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)