Staff Trax: Matt & Kim, Dutch, Jimmy Eat World, Uncle Tupelo, The Verve, John Cale,

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 good.

Matt & Kim -- "Cameras"

Endearingly dorky dance-punk duo Matt & Kim is gearing up for their third release, Sidewalks, which is duo out in early November via Fader. And, if their ascent continues along the path that its boasted thus far in their short career, this album should find the Brooklynites sufficiently taking over the world. Or so one would assume having not yet heard the entire new release. Then again, the above lead single, "Cameras," which leaked a few weeks back, sure seems to indicate a continued rise--not just because it's quite the catchy little anthem, but also because it's pretty much a rallying cry for every single club/party photographer we've ever met. Well, either that or an anthem damning them, what with the whole "No time for cameras, we'll use our eyes instead," hook. Actually, the ambiguity of it all is probably just what this duo is going for; they appear to be trying the oh-so-difficult "be everything for everyone" route these days. For once, though, that plan might be working. --Pete Freedman

Dutch - "2,000 Leagues Under My Keyboard"

Most of the day at work, my colleagues and I swap songs via YouTube, introducing each other to new music. After a short talk about Portishead, Hooverphonic and Esthero, I was introduced to Dutch. It quenched my thirst for something new in the trip-hop genre. Stoupe from Jedi Mind Tricks produced this album, which, although maybe not be a genre classic, has got plenty of musical goodness to stick to your ribs. It will definitely keep you coming back for more. --Lance Lester

Jimmy Eat World - "For Me This is Heaven"

A couple of friends of mine have proclaimed Jimmy Eat World's newest record, Invented, as a return to form. I have yet to hear the whole album (and remain skeptical), but I think it's important to describe what constitutes the four-piece at their best and at their worst. And the answer is pretty simple to me: skip Chase This Light, but definitely check out Static Prevails, Clarity and Bleed American. Ask anybody who's a fan of Static Prevails and/or Clarity about why these records are great, and they'll take at least half an hour explaining why. Or you could watch this clip of a song from Clarity instead. --Eric Grubbs

Uncle Tupelo - "No Depression"

Anyone who is actually familiar with Uncle Tupelo will know that the group, which later split up and became Wilco and Son Volt, didn't invent alt-country. Then again, this outfit did make an indelible mark on the sub-genre, and helped usher in a modern-era of the style many refer to as "cow-punk." While Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar have gone on to create works of genius with their post-Tupelo outfits, the records they made together as youngsters in the Midwest have absolutely stood the test of time. Such aging is thanks to some vulnerable, enlightening writing and a willingness to not give an eff what the establishment had to say when it came to how country or rock should sound. --Kelly Dearmore

The Verve - "Numbness"

Why stuff like this never got alternative airplay is beyond me. Believe me, when I worked at The Edge, I tried. One the most brilliant pieces of music by one of the most underrated modern rock bands of the first decade of the millennium, this song is best describe, I think, as "chill city." It's good for falling asleep to with the headphones on. --Alan Ayo

John Cale - "Ship of Fools"

Although Lou Reed is the acknowledged genius behind The Velvet Underground, no one should underestimate the contributions of John Cale. Cale co-founded the band with Reed back in 1965, although artistic differences with Reed resulted in Cale being asked to leave The Velvet Underground in 1968. Cale played viola, bass guitar and piano on The Velvet Underground and Nico and White Light/White Heat, both seminal releases in the American music history canon. Cale's solo career has been a fascinating journey through a variety of styles, too. In 1992, Cale released the live album, Fragments of a Rainy Season, and that album serves as a nice retrospective of his solo work. Originally from the 1974 album Fear, "Ship of Fools" is one of Cale's most beautifully simple ballads. --Darryl Smyers

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs

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