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.
Originally known as Zeroes, Montreal's Suuns play a dark version of electro that also features elements of shoegaze and dub. The band's debut EP,
, pokes fun at the legal snafu that forced the band to change its name. But that's about the only moment of levity that one may find in the music of the Suuns. Check out one of the EP's best cuts, the tense and terse "Up Past the Nursery" in the above clip, and see if you can find a happy core we're missing. Also: Check out Suuns when the band plays The Nightmare on October 16, opening for another fine Canadian band, Land of Talk.--Darryl Smyers
With ACL right around the corner, it's hard for me to not think back to one of the greatest sets I've ever witnessed at the annual festival. In 2008, Bobby Bare Jr. played an afternoon set on one of the smaller stages, and simply tore it to shreds. Bare's recently released yet another superb record, but it's his 2006 release,The Longest Meow
, that will likely always grab my attention. Jewels such as the above "The Heart Bionic" and "Stop Crying" are insane live tunes. And yet they lose none of their shine on record.--Kelly Dearmore
You've probably heard of that a band from Oxfordshire, England, that goes by the name Radiohead? Well, drummer Phil Selway finally mustered up his courage and put out a solo album titledFamilial
. And while Thom Yorke's voice is uniquely beautiful, Phil's voice holds its own as does the album. The songs don't break any new barriers or satisfy an itch for new Radiohead tunes, but they are very nice and well executed with some very tasteful drumming from Glenn Kotche of Wilco. And like any good endeavor with Radiohead genetics, the first single "By Some Miracle" has a respectable video.--Doug Davis
It doesn't sound like Tool or Maynard James Keenan--or even a rock band at all. It sounds more like something you'd hear slither up in a David Lynch film. Oliver Stone would have totally ripped it off forNatural Born Killers
if it was around back then. But then again, Stone just wanted to be David Lynch when it come to that movie, anyway. Back to the song: It's dusty, cool, subtle, and lyrically, it's a message that basically says to grow up and grow a pair. It's about change, and how change is always uncomfortable, but usually a really good thing in the long run. Brave songwriting, and bloody clever, non-boring production.--Alan Ayo
I'm finally catching up to Disfear from Sweden. Frontman Tomas Lindberg is best known from his time with metal legends At the Gates, but I'm glad he's involved with something similar--and yet also quite different. I keep thinking of the fun that Turbonegro has with their music when I listen toLive the Storm
. I don't know if a new record is in the pipeline for next year, so here's hoping that there is.--Eric Grubbs
This little Springfield, Missouri, band has been a favorite of mine since first hearing its song "Oregon Girl" a few years ago. Since their first album,Broom
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, to their latest effort,Let It Sway
, the band has grown from the lo-fi sounds of its debut to indie pop-rock perfection, and that growth is particularly noticeable on the above album opener "Back in the Saddle." From the song's hushed beginning to the progressive rock-leaning sound at the song's peak, "Back in the Saddle" is just another example of how SSLYBY are one of indie rock's most underrated bands.--Lance Lester