» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Rock In Progress
Moonjune Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
To judge a book by its cover, DFA (Duty Free Area) was horrible. But to be completely honest, I knew nothing of them and had never heard of them. What I knew was that the album cover was not particularly appealing and the sounds titles were all in Spanish. Call me close-minded, but this was just a first impression, after which the curiosity kicked in. Was I in for a mariachi band? A jam band? A jazz improv group or Santana? I honestly had no clue. The group's photo made them out to be older men, possibly in their early 30's or late 20's. Another thing that took me off guard was that DFA put out a live album, which was a bit surprising since I had never heard of the band nor had I heard of the label. But, who am I to decide if this band deserves a live album.

It turns out that DFA is a progressive rock, jazz-rock/fusion group from Italy that has been around for 10 years. In 2000 DFA signed to a major label and became very big within Italy and also gained a rather respectable worldwide following. This particular album includes songs from previous releases that the band recorded live in Corso at the NearFest 2000. Not only was this a live album but it was also the group's first US concert. The majority of DFA's songs are jam type jazz songs but parts of it do have vocals that are, ironically, comparable to Santana. Although both parts are including the most enjoyable and impressive parts are the jazz jam parts. All of the musicians in this group are precise and accurate with every chord, snare hit, or bass line. The odd time signature changes, and drumming make this a very respectable band. The band's style takes a lot from others but manage to maintain a sense of originality that most cannot pull off.

For any musician or music appreciator out there, DFA is for you. You will be amazed at the sound that this band has achieved live and you will also awe at the structure within the songs. The one thing that you may dislike is the singing that is thrown in here and there. As a instrumental band DFA is the strongest but with vocals some of the songs lose a bit. Either way DFA is impressive and put on a damn good live show, sound wise.

Reviewed by Andy Vaughn
Andy Vaughn is a longtime friend of LAS magazine, where he has contributed occasionaly. He much prefers writing for The Toilet online, however that website seems to have died.

See other reviews by Andy Vaughn



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