It's not inconceivable to figure that curious folks of the next few decades will look into the music and movements that surged just beneath the surface of the glossy mainstream in this millennium's first decade. Those would-be students of music history won't have to dig through too many virtual copies of Paste, Relix or American Songwriter to see that a proliferation of scruffy, punk-minded string bands made a decent amount of unplugged noise before the century grew too old and Skrillex-ed.
The new decade has seen things shuffled a bit in the string-band vanguard, though. Old Crow Medicine Show is in the middle of a lengthy hiatus, the Felice Brothers have grown restless with the sounds they used to busk with and the Avett Brothers have moved into more of a pop-rock terrain that is pleasant enough but hides the band's roots rather well.
One band that seems to still feel very comfortable with continuing on in a porch-stomping, barn-burning manner is California's The Devil Makes Three.
Even though the trio, led by Pete Barnhard, had a couple of well-received studio albums already under their belt, it was 2009's Do Wrong Right that really nailed the group's sound-retro-but-feel-fresh vibe and gained the band greater notice in the blogosphere and out on the road. A wonderful lack of pretense, coupled with a cross-section of early 20th century musical styles (Would you care for some ragtime mixed with your bluegrass?) made for a collection that gave string-band devotees hope that their day wasn't growing darker by the minute.
Fresh off of their first performance at the Newport Folk Festival, the band will be making a rare Dallas stop tonight at the House of Blues celebrating the release of their stellar new live album, Stomp & Smash. We figured we take a moment to check in with the band and see what keeps them occupied in the van while touring around the country. Below, check out The Devil Makes Three's All Time Top Five Favorite Albums.
5. Ravi Shankar -- Homage to Mahatma Gandhi: Ravi Shankar is extremely metal when he gets going. We have accidentally listened to this record three times in a row and loved every minute of it.
4. The Ramones -- Ramones: This record has the good songs and makes with the goodness. You can't deny the greatness of this band. Well, you can, but if you do you should be severely beaten about the face and neck.
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3. Neutral Milk Hotel -- In The Aeroplane Over the Sea: From start to finish, this record is awesome, and you never want to skip to the next song. Every song bleeds into the next in a perfect wall of strange noises.
2. The Pixies -- Doolittle: We learned to learn, listening to this album. It's still great; It's loud, jarring and beautiful all at once.
1. Sleep -- Dopesmoker: This album is over an hour long and is one never-ending song. It is, in our humble opinion, the best driving record ever made.