Sunday, July 12, 2009

Music Library: Dos, Dosh, Double Dee & Steinski, DoubleHappys, Doug Martsch, Doug Sahm

Dos - Uno Con Dos (1986) and Live 1997. The only band to feature 2 bassists, infrequent vocals, and punk legends Mike Watt and Kira Roessler, Dos has been around since roughly 1985, and took shape mainly as a way of helping Watt to deal with his grief over D. Boon's death. But Watt and Kira have serious talent and many of the tracks on Uno Con Dos, which compiles their first album Dos (1986) and their followup EP Numero Dos (1989), later developed into fIREHOSE songs or worked their way into Watt's solo albums. Not for everyone, but definitely for those who get excited by the prospect of listening to Watt & Kira jam together. I keep meaning to pick up their mid-90s album Justamente Tres, so maybe I will now.

Dosh - Pure Trash (2004). I know of Martin Dosh primarily as Andrew Bird's collaborator, so I was curious about his solo work, which I had read also features his heavily looped percussion and keyboards. This album is absolutely lovely, and I am intending to investigate further. It opens with a loop of a woman (Dosh's wife, apparently) discussing pregnancy, features songs about marriage and children, and closes with loops of a baby cooing and fussing. That's intensely poignant.

Double Dee & Steinski - The Payoff Mix (1985). These three influential tracks led to the explosion of sampling in hip-hop. Double Dee & Steinski apparently were the first DJs to realize that they could swipe from any number of sources other than funk and disco, and the three Lessons here ("Lesson 1: The Payoff Mix," "Lesson 2: The James Brown Mix," and "Lesson 3: The History of Hip Hop Mix") took samples from tv, movies, tapdancing instruction records, and any number of other sources.

DoubleHappys - Nerves (1992). A typically fantastic kiwi-rock band that fell apart when one of the members died in a tragic train accident. This album compiles tracks from 1983 & 1984.

Doug Martsch - Now You Know (2002). Solo album by the frontman for Built To Spill. It's heavy on open-tuned acoustic tracks that prominently feature a slide, and reminds me of Bob Mould's excellent Workbook album.

Doug Sahm - The Best of Doug Sahm & The Sir Douglas Quintet 1968-1975 and The Return of Wayne Douglas (2000). Doug Sahm was a major figure in the creation of a Tex-Mex sound that blends country, rock, and Tejano music. The compilation brings together a bunch of great tracks from the Sir Douglas Quintet days and is sequenced to flow from groovy Mexicali garage rock to twangy country-rock. The latter album is a posthumous release with Sahm playing some of his older tracks along with new ones. Sahm's voice is definitely more gravelly on this one, but he sounds like he's having a blast, and that's a fitting coda for a guy like him.


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