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LuLu's Bait Shop
**40 pictures**

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With hundreds of thousands of aspiring bands trying to grind out a name for themselves in their hometown, their region, their nation, and their world at large, it becomes absolutely crucial that a band find some way to set itself apart -- to transcend the notion of being just a garage band, being amateur, being a copycat, or being another face in the crowd of wannabes. The Spoon Benders have been working since 2002 to be so entertaining, so practiced, so energetic, so creative, and so passionate about their music and their live show to make you ask a question as you're walking out of the concert hall at the end of the evening ... "Other bands? What other bands?"
Legends Theatre at The Hard Rock Matt Winfree (guitar, vocals), Brian Bennett (drums, percussion), and Yves Giraud (bass, vocals) are a power trio in the classic sense of the word. Filtering rock and roll with blues, funk, folk, and soul music, these three obsessive and somewhat loony characters strive to hit you in the gut, the heart, the head, and the feet all at once so that you don't know whether to dance, sing, laugh, cry, or just listen. At their increasingly wild and unpredictable shows, you can usually find somebody out in the crowd doing all five at once. They've opened for and shared the stage with Steve Miller, Sum 41, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Dr. John, Sean Costello, Michael McDonald, Lucky Peterson, and John Lee Hooker, Jr., and and have held their own with all of these first-rate performers. They've been marketing their self-titled debut CD since March 2005 and are currently working on a follow-up live record to better capture their spontaneity, their humor, and their predilection to get into some absolutely searing instrumental jams. They've won over the hearts of the generally disinterested and anti-culture crowd of south Floridians, and are beginning to move north to conquer every venue into which they can roll a hand truck full of gear. "Stylistically, I guess we're a hodge-podge of classic rock and American roots music. Try to imagine Albert Collins, the Funky Meters, Paul Simon, Jeff Buckley, Jimi Hendrix, the Police, U2 and the Black Crowes all peeing into the same bucket. Our pee would smell something like that," says frontman Matt Winfree.
Sporting a collectively bizarre sense of humor, Winfree, Bennett, and Giraud refuse to take themselves too seriously. "But we take music very seriously," reminds Winfree. "It is such a spiritual thing, and it's like the Force; it can be manipulated for good or for evil. We've gotten a real taste of the dark side down here in south Florida -- bands who play for the sake of image, or just to get laid, or just to be like whoevers on the good old Clear Channel playlist. Not that we don't want to get laid! But music deserves to be treated with integrity, respect, and absolutely unflinching and devoted passion. We play for the rare and exceptional person who understands what that means."
With a solid lineup, supportive management, the best, most loyal following in South Florida, and having honed their live act by performing 4 to 7 times a week since late 2004, the band is ready for the next level. They crave the chance to shine in front of audiences unfamiliar with their unique show. The Spoon Benders will play wherever and whenever they can. They will play acoustic or electric sets. They will play a 20 minute original showcase or a six-hour cover gig marathon, adding their own signature stamp to every song. Spoil yourself and give them a listen.

MATT WINFREE: guitar/vocals/shape-shifting capabilities Matt is the front man and founding member of the Spoon Benders. He's twenty-eight, been singing since he was in kindergarten, and playing guitar since he was twelve. His voice has been compared favorably with Jeff Buckley's, Sting's, Bono's, Paul Simon's, and Chris Robinson's. His guitar playing smacks of modern blues, and he cites Jimi Hendrix, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Walter Becker as several of his biggest influences. He is a consummate perfectionist who is often hyper-critical of himself and of the band. When he is satisfied with how the band sounds, he's often hyper-critical of the typical South Florida audience that isn't paying attention. He aspires to draw true lovers of music to Spoon Benders' shows all over the world. His favorite people are people who "get it." He has a small gambling problem. His room is full of books. Lots and lots of books.

BRIAN BENNETT: drums/percussion/jedi mind tricks Brian is the drummer for the Spoon Benders, and the youngest member of the band. At 23 years old, he shows a generally above-average level of maturity, both as a drummer and as a human being. He has been influenced by speed metal, white boy funk and dub, hip-hop, and slightly off-center rock music. He is currently obsessed with the Mars Volta. He has an extraordinary intuitive sense of what direction Matt wants to take the band during their extended jams, and while he occasionally overplays, his technical skill is well-matched by an excellent swing feel and a sense of tempo that is rarely lacking. He has been called "a brilliant drummer on the verge of serious breakthrough" by Will Yancey. He has a dark sense of humor, and enjoys The Family Guy and the bizarre cartoons of Englishman David Firth. He knows everything you could possibly know about mushrooms.

YVES GIRAUD:
bass/vocals/fire breath and super-strength Yves is the most recent addition to the Spoon Benders lineup. Hailing from France, this accomplished singer/songwriter/bassist/guitarist has been playing in bands since he came to the states more than fifteen years ago. He has had considerable success with several projects in Los Angeles, notably as a rhythm guitarist in rock band New Improved God, moved to Florida in the nineties and had a long run as front man and bassist for Fort Lauderdale rock band Jadestone. Along with in-the-pocket bass playing, he brings a confident, powerful voice and great songwriting talent to the band. He is a graphic artist and illustrator, with several years of art school at Toulon under his belt, and is not particularly good with money. He has a strange accent. He seems to have carved out a niche in the Spoon Benders extremely naturally, whether by laying his own stamp on the original material or by posing comfortably for the Spoon Benders slew of questionably sexually-oriented photographs.
Sounds Like A well balanced mix of the incessant hum of a refrigerator and Jesus striking down his enemies with his magical chainsaw of Nazareth

Judy Blem's B-Day
**31 pictures**