Welcome to Staff Trax, the weekly feature here on DC9 where we shed some light on the music we've been enjoying of late, regardless of the touring or album release schedules that tend to bear the focus of most of our coverage. Consider it a chance for you readers to get some more insight into our own personal tastes. Maybe you'll find something you like, ya dig?
It's been a good week for music delivered with a huge helping of humor. First, I busted a gut a few times over Hot Chip's new video for "I Feel Better." Jesus, I wish life was really like that sometimes. Then I got an early release of the new LCD Soundsystem and tracked down the video for "Drunk Girls." That album is just awesome, and watching Murphy and co. try and stay on task while getting abused is pretty hilarious. Check that video after the jump.--Doug Davis
A few months ago, I was anxiously awaiting the release of Caribou's video for "Odessa," the first single offSwim
. On February 19th, the day the video was set to premiere here in the U.S., I hopped on the Internet in pursuit of it--but not because I've been a long-time Caribou lover and was anxious for a peek into Swim. Rather, my best friend, Julia, is the star of the "Odessa" video and I couldn't wait to see her. Turns out, the single is amazing, too--and the rest of the album is just as good. I finally got around to purchasingSwim
over the weekend, and it has been playing on repeat ever since.--Catherine Downes
When I was in high school--and hanging with a very ambitious circle of musicians from band class--ourDark Side of the Moon
was King Crimson'sDiscipline
LP. The album is part of a small phase of King Crimson's sound in the '80s, known unofficially as the "Adrian Belew lineup" of Crimson. It consisted of three solid-colored LPs of experimental, frenetic, modernized art-prog rock. There was the yellow-coveredThree of a Perfect Pair
LP, the dark-blueBeat
, and, my favorite, the wine-coloredDiscipline
LP, where you can find this here track. Listening now, I'm gathering that the members of Tool are definitely one band that borrowed a page or two from the playbooks of these LPs. Baffling, fascinating, and completely insane music to back at high school age. Some things never change, I guess.
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A few years back, a friend clued me into the greatness of Icelandic neo-classical composer Johann Johannsson. In 2006, Johannsson releasedIBM 1401, A User's Manual
, an album as stunning as it is distinctive. Using his own father's voice (Jóhann Gunnarsson, an IBM engineer in 1964 who narrated training manuals), the younger Johannsson created a stunning piece of avant garde music that is like nothing else on the 4AD label. Check out this video for the single "The Sun's Gone Dim and the Sky's Turned Black." Simply incredible.--Darryl Smyers
Given that I was raised on '70s soft rock and Top 40 in the 1980s, you can't really blame me for never hearing of Meat Loaf untilBat Out of Hell II
came out in the mid-1990s. I have no regrets about what I was raised on, but I've been playing catch-up for years. Long after the originalBat Out of Hell
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had sold millions of records a year--and Meat lopped off his hair--thisBorn to Run
-meets-Andrew Lloyd Webber record is still inspiring. Something about records where people want to have a better life just gets to me, even if its metaphor is a bat on a motorcycle on the way out of hell.--Eric Grubbs