Traffic is one of the most important bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and influenced much of popular music.

Traffic were formed in 1967 by Steve Winwood formerly of the Spencer Davis Group. He and guitarist Dave Mason, drummer Jim Capaldi, and sax and flute player Chris Wood holed up in a hippie cottage in Berkshire, England, in ultra-groovy recording sessions that produced the singles "Paper Sun," "Hole In My Shoe," and the album Mr. Fantasy. The title track "Dear Mr. Fantasy" was also a big seller. (BTW, Mr. Fantasy was my old BBS handle.)

1968 saw Mason leave and rejoin the band for two songs on the eponymous Traffic, which was a big hit both in England and the US. Traffic had become established as one of the leading psychedelic rock bands of the late 60s, with a sound full of blues and jazz and the experimentation of the time.

In 1969 the band released Last Exit with a side of studio music (including the hit "Medicated Goo") and a side of live music. Then the band went their separate ways--Mason recorded the excellent solo album Alone Together, Winwood went off with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Rick Grech to form Blind Faith.

In 1970 Winwood began a solo album and enlisted the help of Capaldi and Wood, and then they decided to call themselves Traffic again and released the classic John Barleycorn Must Die. The instrumental track "Glad" is well known.

In 1971 Mason rejoined the band for some live shows caputred on Welcome To The Canteen, including a nine-minute version of the Spencer Davis Group hit "Gimme Some Lovin'". The band (at this time Winwood, Capaldi, Wood, bassist Rick Grech, percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah and guitarist Jim Gordon recorded The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys with its epic title track.)

1973 saw the release of Shootout At The Fantasy Factory which is one of their more obscure albums as a band. The band also got rid of Grech and Gordon and added David Hood and Roger Hawkins. Also in 1973 was the live album On The Road. Most critics felt Traffic live never lived up to the promise of their excellent studio albums.

1974 saw the release of When The Eagle Flies which finds Winwood experimenting with synthesizers and much more mellow, long tracks. After that, the band more or less broke up, with Winwood going on to a very successful solo career.

In 1994 Winwood and Capaldi collaborated on a new Traffic album Far From Home. It's good but really sounds like a Winwood solo album.

Starting in 2000 and 2001, Universal has been remastering and re-releasing the early Traffic albums. The sound quality is excellent, and if you're just getting into the band, are the versions to get (they also include numerous bonus tracks.)

Traffic is one of my favorite bands. I was just listening to Mr. Fantasy on my way to work today and realized just how important an album it is to what most people are doing in rock music today.

(I did some fact checking for this writeup on SonicNet, http://www.sonicnet.com/. They have a really good biography of the band.)

In the December 2000 issue of Details Magazine, there is a short article about Steven Soderbergh and his new movie, Traffic, which is about the drug industry and its effect on the movie’s characters. The only movie of his that I’ve seen is his most famous, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, but after reading this article, I’m due to keep my eyes peeled for others of his. I didn’t know that he had grown up an hour from here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and that he had taken his first filmmaking class in high school. When someone as talented as he hails from this state, I tend to have that much more respect for him.

Traffic makes no moral commentary on national drug policies or even about drug use itself. It uses different colored filters in each of its three stories. In blue, Michael Douglas’ character is a drug czar who discovers his daughter’s drug addiction for the first time. In scenes bathed in green, Catherine Zeta-Jones comes to realize that her husband is a drug smuggler, and in yellow, a Tijuana police officer, played by Benicio Del Toro, worms his way up the corrupt Mexican police force. Some scenes are in Spanish with English subtitles, and to quote the article, “Traffic was made to provoke and upset nearly everyone who sees it.”

Soderbergh himself believes, or was quoted in Details as such, that if people would only get off booze and switch to pot, they would not be killed or beat up nearly as often. In addition, he stated the following:

Going after the supply is like an ant at the bottom of the Matterhorn. I think we need to cop to the fact that there are some people who can do drugs recreationally and some people who can’t. And we need to start helping the people who can’t. The desire to alter your state of consciousness is not inherent in humans that I just don’t know how you can control that.

After reading that, I began to think of my own feelings about drugs, since I would consider myself someone who is not really capable of doing drugs recreationally anymore. In college, it was fine, it even made sense, and in New Orleans, it’s practically the standard. While I don’t do drugs anymore and try to keep to that, I still drink and get tipsy on occasion. I still smoke, though I’m hoping to quit sometime next year, when New Orleans, among other things, is behind me.

But I still am drawn to see movies about drugs, to keep me alert. Requiem for a Dream was something I needed to see, and likely too, Traffic will be another one.

Starring: Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle, Luis Guzman, Dennis Quaid, Miguel Ferrer, Salma Hayek, Topher Grace, Albert Finney, James Brolin, Benjamin Bratt
Written By:Stephen Gaghan
Directed By:Stephen Soderbergh

A sweeping saga about the rising problem of drug trafficking from the US to Mexico and vice-versa. Several different stories are winding and weaving throughout, and Soderbergh does a beautiful job at blending them together.

Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez(Del Toro in an Oscar winning performance) is a conflicted Mexican cop caught between his morals and his orders from a Mexican general. He and his partner begin working the army in Tijuana to take down one of the nearby Drug Cartels. Only later to be found that they are now working for one. Del Toro does something different with this role, he has a sense of caring to his perona not seen in The Usual Suspects or Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Deservedly so, he will win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Douglas plays a government official who has been newly appointed as the United States drug czar. Caught up in his work he does not realize that his own daughter has become an addict to that in which he has sworn to destroy. Conflict arizes everywhere involving his family and a young drug hustler(That 70's Show's Topher Grace). Soon all comes crashing down and he must decide whether he focuses on his job or his daughter.

Cheadle and Guzman are cops in San Diego attempting an undercover drug sting, but it all goes awry. Eventually they catch the man they're after(Ferrer) and get him to testify against a well known wealthy man who is suspected as a big time drug trafficker. His wife(Zeta-Jones) questions their relationship and how this incident will influence their young child, however she eventually attempts to free him.

The colors are very interesting. When in Mexico, there is a yellowish tint on everyone and everything. In the US, a blueish tint is used. This and among original camera angles makes for some of the greatest cinematography ever to be produced on film.

Traffic is nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Editing. In this critic's opinion, all should be won...but they won't be. Acting is flawless and overall is a very enjoyale work of art. My rating: 9.5/10

Them. So, what do you do for a living?
Me. I work in Traffic.
Them. Which intersection?

In the behind-the-scenes world of radio, broadcasting, and cable television, "traffic" takes on a whole new meaning. In an office that sells air time on one of these mediums, traffic people ensure that clients get aired. We place commercials in the programming. We ensure that the correct spots are running. If the office is small, the traffic department will often handle accounts receivable. Depending on how well we do our job, we can be the account excecutive's best friend or worst enemy.

Traf"fic (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Trafficked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Trafficking (?).] [F. trafiquer; cf. It. trafficare, Sp. traficar, trafagar, Pg. traficar, trafegar, trafeguear, LL. traficare; of uncertain origin, perhaps fr. L. trans across, over + -ficare to make (see -fy, and cf. G. ubermachen to transmit, send over, e. g., money, wares); or cf. Pg. trasfegar to pour out from one vessel into another, OPg. also, to traffic, perhaps fr. (assumed) LL. vicare to exchange, from L. vicis change (cf. Vicar).]

1.

To pass goods and commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money; to buy or sell goods; to barter; to trade.

2.

To trade meanly or mercenarily; to bargain.

 

© Webster 1913.


Traf"fic, v. t.

To exchange in traffic; to effect by a bargain or for a consideration.

 

© Webster 1913.


Traf"fic, n. [Cf. F. trafic, It. traffico, Sp. tr�xa0;fico, tr�xa0;fago, Pg. tr�xa0;fego, LL. traficum, trafica. See Traffic, v.]

1.

Commerce, either by barter or by buying and selling; interchange of goods and commodities; trade.

A merchant of great traffic through the world. Shak.

The traffic in honors, places, and pardons. Macaulay.

⇒ This word, like trade, comprehends every species of dealing in the exchange or passing of goods or merchandise from hand to hand for an equivalent, unless the business of relating may be excepted. It signifies appropriately foreign trade, but is not limited to that.

2.

Commodities of the market.

[R.]

You 'll see a draggled damsel From Billingsgate her fishy traffic bear. Gay.

3.

The business done upon a railway, steamboat line, etc., with reference to the number of passengers or the amount of freight carried.

Traffic return, a periodical statement of the receipts for goods and passengers, as on a railway line. -- Traffic taker, a computer of the returns of traffic on a railway, steamboat line, etc.

 

© Webster 1913.

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