Capital Cities’ Spencer Ludwig Sings the Praises of the Lowly Wooden Spoon

“I don’t hate spatulas,” Spencer Ludwig said, almost apologetically, as if not wanting to hurt their feelings. But when cooking, he always reaches for a wooden spoon.

It’s an unflashy choice for Mr. Ludwig, who turned 25 last month and plays trumpet with the otherwise synth-dominated band Capital Cities, a specialist in happy pop. He grew up in Los Angeles, the son of a former model and a manager of restaurants that drew shimmering crowds. In live shows, he’s been known to climb atop amps midsolo and pogo exuberantly around the stage in BLK DNM leather pants, his hair a half-undercut, half-mad-Hokusai wave.

His treasured wooden spoon is the simplest, most rudimentary of tools, with an oval head so shallow that it’s nearly flat and a long handle that has, over time, worn down to match his grip. “I can’t function without it,” he said.

He thinks of the spoon as an instrument not unlike the trumpet, of which he has three on display (and a purple trombone) in his home studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The spoon is soft and responsive to the touch, he said: “It feels better in the pan. It sounds better.”

He uses the spoon to make everything: eggs, fried potatoes, Filipino comfort food (Read More).

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