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LITERATURE

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

MUSIC

 » 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]

MUSIC

 » 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
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Cursive
Mama, I'm Swollen
Saddle Creek

Rating: 8/10 ?


April 8, 2009
The lights blur outside a window smudged nearly opaque with innumerable years' worth of grime. I peer through tags and crude phrases scratched into the plastic pane and make out signs for streets that are foreign to me; a seemingly never-ending succession of right angles that remain unconnected. A steady stream of passengers boards the bus at each stop, filling in the empty spaces vacated by those who have reached their terminus. I'm not so lucky as to have a destination; I got on this bus somewhere and eventually I will get off of it. For the time being I look out the window at the crowded and dirty streets of my new home and think about where I just left. And more than anything else, who I left. "Your so naive, but it comes off so cute" plays through the headphones and I know it's for the best, but rationalization is no comfort for a broken heart. I can't remember the bus ever turning and it seems that this street must run forever.

Back then, the cool winds blew across rosy faces warmed by alcohol and laughter. Taking the darkened back streets, we walked confidently with our beers obviously concealed in tattered paper bags. Before entering the bar we sat around the corner, finishing the drinks, our backs against the dirty wall of a warehouse closed up for the night. The familiar bouncer flashed us a smile and let us in for free, the cover charge freed up for cocktails made from cheap liquor. We were tottering as the band came on, melting into a crowd of likewise fans, everyone caught up in the camaraderie of excitement and anticipation. We swayed and shouted along, knowing that the next day the night would exist only as a hazy recollection, like a story someone told us so long ago that recalling it now makes it seem like it happened to us. The songs were full of meaning and memories and we were a bit sad as the music trailed out and was overtaken by the din of people rushing to the bar for one last drink or squeezing through the lone doorway into the cold night.

Years later, a friend and I show up to another venue almost as an afterthought. There are other things to do and places to go, but we figure we can catch the opener and split before the evening really gets underway. We stand in the back, too sober and disinterested, griping about the cost of the plastic cups of beer and cracking jokes about those we've singled out in the audience. I can barely see the band, the sound is terrible, but it doesn't matter much because I don't know these songs. Those that I would now refer to as "kids" stand rapt, mouthing words, and appearing like some sort of denim-clad, messed hair acolytes. The set's not over, but we're out the door, heading to the train and our next destination, the past hour tossed off and soon to be forgotten.

Now I'm walking home from work, somehow indifferent to the warm twilight of a new spring. People loiter on their stoop or sit on spread blankets in the park, content to be outside, enjoying the weather. I take these things in, but they fail to register. Like a silent witness, I pass through but feel disconnected from this general contentment. Amidst this detachment a song comes into my ears and ceases my wandering thoughts. I know the voice, familiar like a friend's from the past. I smile as my mind drifts back, sorting through the memories the band recalls. Suddenly things don't feel so hopeless and I'm reassured that, no matter how bleak things are, they will inevitably get better. I miss the days of hanging on the singer's every word, and it is nice to know that he is still making beautiful music for the sorrowful.

Reviewed by Kevin Alfoldy
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.

See other reviews by Kevin Alfoldy

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