Staff Trax: Rollins Band, +/-, Danny Elfman, Spoon

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. And a chance to slam us for our crappy ones.

Rollins Band - "Liar"


I've never been a big fan of Henry Rollins' spoken word. It always comes off as holier-than-thou. But there is always an exception--like when he breaks into a throat-shredding scream. Case in point: "Liar."  When I was younger, I loved this song. And, recently, I've found myself brushing the dust off of this old gem, turning the stereo volume to stun and pressing play. It still does the trick. --Lance Lester

+/- - "Let's Build a Fire"


I caught New York's +/- a few years back at SXSW, and the band's interesting mix of genres and styles instantly blew me away. Dubbed "indietronic," the trio of James Baluyut, Patrick Ramos and Chris Deaner is often augmented on stage by various horn players and percussionists. +/-'s best effort is 2006's Let's Build a Fire, and here's a super cool video for the title track. --Darryl Smyers

Danny Elfman - "Pee Wee's Big Adventure Theme"


Not long ago, Chris Burney from Bowling for Soup posed this question on Twitter: "If you could have a soundtrack following you wherever you go, what would it be?" The above piece of music was my answer. Danny Elfman has become so overused for scoring movies, and therefore, I feel his work has become somewhat watered down. But, this piece was done in his mad-scientist heyday, and is not only full of hectic, exhilarating twists and turns, but, as far as orchestral music goes, it's a lot of fun to listen to on its own. The energy of it can wear you out--but in a good way. And for me, it never gets old. --Alan Ayo

Spoon - "Trouble Comes Running"


It's not like the press or fans have outright dismissed Spoon's Transference, but the kind of fanfare it has received seems less enthusiastic when compared to its previous albums. As someone who has liked a number of songs by the band over the years, Transference has quickly become the band's go-to album for me. I tried to get into albums like Kill the Moonlight and Girls Can Tell a few years ago, but something seemed missing to me. Thankfully, this record has helped me completely understand the band's catalog. --Eric Grubbs

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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