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Ben Kweller Lays Down the Rules at SPINhouse Live

Ben Kweller burst into the Spin offices all dewy-faced and glowing on a Thursday night in September. “I’m sorry I’m late,” he told us, looking down at his perfectly worn urban cowboy boots, “I was stuck on the F train.” But all was forgiven as the singer/songwriter picked up his guitar and launched into an acoustic version of the modern classic “Ice Ice Baby,” changing lyrics when necessary to intensify his bordering-on-emo appeal.

Kweller finished his set in a smooth thirty minutes, managing to cover all the highlights from his short career (“Tylenol” and “Commerce, TX,” were especially well-received). An audible sigh of disappointment could be heard when one of his lyrics from the title track of his new album On My Way, made reference to his marital status. “I’m in love with someone who’s as pretty as a flower/ Her life gives me power so I’m buyin’ her a ring,” Kweller sang, and the room’s collective hopes of rock-girlfrienddom were buried in their keg cups of Patron.