Dog & the Rat
The Markets are a two-man band consisting of brothers Adam and Daniel Tao from West Chester, PA. The two brothers had performed separately in various other groups (Echo Canyon, The Poseurs, The Yutes) from 1995 to 2003 and independently released solo records (Adam's The Autumn is Falling and Dan's The Not) that were warmly received by a handful of listeners in 2004. Then in the summer of 2005 they began to write and record together for the first time, resulting in a collection of over a dozen songs which they slowly shaped into their first album, The Dog & the Rat. The Dog & The Rat, recorded entirely in a basement, is an energetic and intelligent cycle of twelve songs that is by turns ball-shaking and ball-squeezing*. *'ball-shaking and ball-squeezing' © The Markets 2005 ~~~~~~~~~~~ The Markets songs, as described by Adam: Lemonade: More than any other song on the record, this song took shape in the studio. The structure, melody, and lyrics were totally up in the air when we put the rough tracks down. Had a couple of working titles, which were argued over strenuously. Subtlety: The title is, of course, a joke. The riff upon which the song is built basically invented itself as Dan and I were running through some new material. In fact, nearly every aspect of this song basically presented itself to us with little or no conscious thought. The only part that involved a little hesitancy and consideration was, 'How in the world am I going to hit that note?' The Great Airborne Attack: When Dan and I were in the early stages of determining what we wanted the album to sound like, this was an initial contender to open the record. While that plan was of course scrapped, the song was tailored down from it's longer time and the lyrics changed, introducing a theme that I am inexplicably interested in: nuclear war. Be Mine: The most lyrically sparse song on the record is also one of the longest, time-wise. Dan had many of the song's basic ideas laid out early, yet the instrumental arrangement and bridge section I think surprised both of us in terms of it's complexity. The middle section is, in some ways, a test to see how much mileage can be gotten out of the same melodic pattern (hopefully, as much as we think). Also, I imagine people with a background in music might groan at the title when they consider what key the song is in. She's Having Fun: The lead guitar sounds like a freaking lazer. True or False: This song exists simply to provide a space for a guitar that sounds like a lazer. Everybody Knows: False. This song was altered many times from it's original state; most notably, the lyrics were changed from a monologue to a dialogue. Of course, it wouldn't be any fun if I mentioned who the argument is between or explained which person turns out to be wrong. Pretend: Probably the simplest song on the record, from a narrative standpoint. It's basically about ugliness, and uses a dissolving relationship to explore that idea. I think the song has the only real guitar solo on the album. I don't know if that's indicative of my restraint as a player or if it's simply proof that I have gotten lazier. The Breadwinner: I will give credit where it is due. This song could not exist without the Korean film 'Oldboy.' Most of the lyrical ideas and sentiments in the song come directly from that movie. Granted, listening to this song is nothing like watching the film (you won't finish the song covered in sweat and with your mouth gaping open). Life as a Pawn is Not So Bad: Daniel had this song lying around as a demo that he recorded a long time ago; I basically insisted that we use it on this record. We rerecorded it and added a couple of things, but it's structure is largely unchanged from it's original form. It, along with 'The Breadwinner,' borrows from Orwell. Heavily. Just Another Night: It's basically a post-Pawn sorbet. Our grandfather's favorite song on the record. People Talk: This song took steps toward combining emotional and physical violence in a manner that I found very interesting (we basically continued the idea on 'Please' to a sort of ridiculous post-apocalyptic extreme). A friend of mine, every time the song ends, asks me, straight-faced, 'People what?' Please: This song was, from the moment that Dan and I came up with it, a favorite. It was kind of like the really smart kid that was just too lazy to live up to his potential; with this song, we continually postponed coming up with the proper lyrics, melody, and ending. The original ending was, in my estimation, so bad that it nearly precluded the song's inclusion on the record. Strangely, once we worked out a whole new outro, the rest of the song demanded to be finished, and it slowly became my favorite thing on the record.