Chip Burke, drummer for The Slang, shares his favorite records.
Phil Collins, "Both Sides"
Yes, Phil is guilty of producing some of the most cliched cheese of the '80s and '90s, but this self-produced record, written in his own home studio, is a big departure from that. I think it's his most honest and truly heartfelt record. It showed me that you don't need a committee or focus group and millions of dollars to make a great record when you have a clear vision. Personally, Both Sides inspired me to do something 100-percent homemade, like [The Slang's new record] The Big Get Even.
U2, "Achtung Baby"
Edge's guitar work on this record was a real eye-opener for me, specifically on "Love is Blindness" and "Acrobat." He managed to take a passionate and frustrated song and just play the filthiest solo. They're not complicated solos - just noise and echo and distortion. Yet they fit, and the mood is perfect in those songs. This helped me realize that pure and beautiful has just as much of a place as dark and angry. Much of this sort of sound is very prevalent in my personal guitar work.
Sting, "Ten Summoner's Tales"
This is a perfect, textbook record, in my opinion. Hugh Padgham's production is immaculate, the musicianship is absolutely world-class, and the songwriting couldn't be better. This is the sort of record I aspire to make personally - it's like Baby Bear's porridge, everything is just right. Even with odd meters, the songs sound effortless.
What: The Slang CD release show
When: Saturday, Sept. 6
Where: The Basement, Arena District
La Tarantella, "Antidotum Tarantulae"
This is an obscure early-music album, and if anyone else in Columbus has heard it besides through me, I'll be floored. It's a collection of remakes of 400- and 500-year-old Italian folk songs, and the performances are simply gorgeous. Space in music is a beautiful thing - both in sparsity of instrumentation and in the actual room the performance occurs in. Many of those older and wiser than me used to tell me music is as much the space between the notes as the notes themselves, and this record proved it to me.
Chris Isaak, "Forever Blue"
The songs are dead simple, but the tones captured in Isaak's voice and the guitars are so rich. This record also feeds my love of shuffles and non-straight rhythmic forms, which can't help but make you want to move. It's nothing earth-shattering - blues and bluegrass musicians use these sorts of things all the time - but the mix in this record is just perfect.
Chip Burke is the drummer for The Slang. He also produced, recorded, mixed and mastered the group's new record, The Big Get Even, along with contributing a good amount of guitar and keyboard work.