I hadn't, anyway.
Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid and the upcoming puzzle-symphony The Witness, is a very cool dude. Chatting with him last week, I had this realisation about what he was doing with his upcoming game -- the way that his carefully crafted puzzles locked together like the motives and themes of a symphony.
So, I thought I'd ask about his favourite band. As it turns out, Blow is partial to Dirty Three, an Australian instrumental outfit made up of Warren Ellis on violin, Mick Turner on guitar, and Jim White on drums. They are super, super good.
Their music is simple, mournful even, something like a more rough-and-tumble version of the wonderful (and sadly, now defunct) San Francisco outfit Tin Hat Trio.
Blow told me he likes to listen to this music as he works; there are no distracting vocals, and each time he listens, he hears something new. I've noticed the same thing -- their songs are very simple on the surface, but they carve out a wide open space for their music, creating an immersive and emotional hodgepodge with each tune.
The piece above, titled "Sea Above, Sky Below," is a great example of what they're all about. It even has a melody that comes close to the sax solo in "Careless Whisper," which earns super extra bonus points with me.
You can find more about Dirty Three and hear more music on their MySpace Page.