This month in music history: March

The Who: Face Dances

30 Years: The Who : Face Dances [March 1981]

Although this record can be cast into the background of The Who’s musical catalog, it deserves appreciation. It may not be the best album the band put out, but it certainly is a solid work created during a time when The Who could have completely collapsed. Not only was it their first record released on Warner Bros. Records, but also their first album after drummer Keith Moon died on account of his reckless lifestyle. Critically Face Dances received some stellar reviews, but is not often thought of then reminiscing about the raw energy that made The Who the legend that they are. So while some may not accept this newer version of The Who, Face Dances should at least have merited their respect. —Kelly Mincey

Slint: Spiderland

20 Years: Slint : Spiderland [March 1991]

Where do bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Dianogah come from? For that matter where does the genre post-rock come from; when does a genre become “post” itself. For rock, some might say that 1991 was the year that this happened, specifically with the release of Slint’s Spiderland in March. This album is cited by many as being, partly, the beginning of post-rock and having influence on many current artists, such as Mogwai. Musically the album is an exciting listen with vast dynamic range, expressive guitar tones and rhythms, and vocals spanning from shouting to spoken word. The album, although the groups final release, defined the band’s career and acted as the starting point for an entire style of music. If you ever wondered where post-rock began, take a listen to Spiderland in honor of its 20 year anniversary. —Evan Metz

Discovery: Daft Punk

10 Years: Daft Punk : Discovery [March 2001]

March 2001 marked the release of Daft Punk’s Discovery, a genre-blending, dance-entrancing, balls-to-the-wall-awesome album. I’m not alone in my hyperbolic praise: Discovery was included on plenty of best of the decade lists. But Daft Punk didn’t intend to make a statement on pop music compositional elements. According to a paragraph I just copied off of Wikipedia, Discovery is about childhood. Take a look:

“When you’re a child you don’t judge or analyze music. You just like it because you like it. You’re not concerned with whether it’s cool or not. Sometimes you might relate to just one thing in a song, such as the guitar sound. This album takes a playful, fun, and colorful look at music. It’s about the idea of looking at something with an open mind and not asking too many questions. It’s about the true, simple, and honest relationship you have with music when you’re open to your own feelings” said Thomas Bangalter.

Ok! I can see that. The hooks, the bass, the overall mood of fun that pervades throughout the record. Yet, this record still manages to stand up well to deconstruction. With a minimalist style, and a global influence–DP’s from France, but dance from all countries in the latter quarter of the 20th century is represented–and its adherence to collaboration, sampling, and experimentation, Discovery is one hell of a dance record. Maybe that’s why Kanye sampled “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” for 2007’s single, “Stronger” or maybe it’s why Discovery is the only thing I listen to when I elliptical at the gym. — Nick Martin

Broken Bells: Broken Bells

1 Year: Broken Bells : Broken Bells [March 2010]

Last year was a great year for music with many up-and-comers, established bands and reunited bands releasing very good music. Newly formed super group Broken Bells were no exception. The duo comprised by uber-producer Brian Burton better known as Danger Mouse and lead singer of The Shins, James Mercer. Considering Danger Mouse, who produced and mixed the album, and Mercer’s track record, great things were expected and they did not disappoint. Broken Bells was a very well received album with hits such as “The High Road” and “The Ghost Inside” which dominated the indie charts and radio. It is considered as a very melodic record and Mercer’s voice works well with the vast amount of strings and the organs throughout. This album was another example of how well Danger Mouse works with simplicity and the duo have announced a follow up record based on the success of Broken Bells. — Jose Tamayo

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