By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb
Special to The Seattle Times
Lead singer-songwriter Doug Martsch of Built to Spill, which plays the Showbox Friday and Saturday, Jan. 2-3, approaches live performance with an air of distinguished solemnity.
He doesn’t speak much, except for the occasional “thanks” after he finishes a song. There is often a stack of towels beside him to mop the sweat from his brow. He frequently buoys his earnest singing with an unusual, quavery vibrato, an effect he accentuates by moving his mouth back and forth in front of the microphone, like a nervous tic.
But while Martsch may not be the most animated frontman, Built to Spill has been a key influence since the ’90s on countless rock groups, including Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie.More