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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
Chitlin Fooks
Did It Again
A Hidden Agenda Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Remember Yo La Tengo's Fakebook, an album of mostly covers (Daniel Johnston, John Cale, Cat Stevens, Gene Clark, The Kinks) done Americana style? Well, the new Chitlin Fooks record gives me the exact same feeling as Fakebook-that of a connection between modern indie rock (Bettie Serveert's Carol Van Dyk is one-half of Chitlin Fooks) and traditional country/roots music. Except, Did It Again was written entirely by Van Dyk and partner in crime Pascal Deweze (Sukilove). While comparisons to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris shacking up together (remember their duet on Parsons' "Love Hurts"?) stand up only to eventually fall down thanks to the weight of such a claim, Deweze and Van Dyk have written a gorgeous collection of songs that find the duo a bit promiscuous. Tinges of soul, gospel and even ragtime have snuck into the songwriting on the group's second release.

"La Strada" does the country-rock twang thing as well as any No Depression artist, with an obvious nod to Steve Earle. "Almost Too Close" reminds of Acetone, opting for a mellow Southern drawl, while the love song "Oh, Joanna" introduces a little old-time country into the mix. The centerpiece of the album is the title track, a fuzzy, dirty brassed-up mid-tempo rocker which like so many of the album's eleven songs is a duet featuring Deweze and Van Dyk's killer harmonies. But Did It Again's shining moment is the 1-2-3 punch of "If One Day," "Take the Money and Run," and "You & Me". Each of these three songs successfully channels the simplistic, downright earnest songwriting of Gram Parsons in its own way. "If One Day" is the most Parsons-like of the three. Deweze, the desperado with a conscience, forebodes the future with a worrisome tone: "If one life is a worth a fortune, then how much would you give for mine. There is wisdom in misfortune. Oh, give me a little more time." Meanwhile, a banjo lazily plucks along to a chorus of soft angelic voices. "Take the Money and Run" reinvents Bonnie and Clyde with poor decision-making skills while kicking it up a few notches, rocking like Neil Young backed by a boogie-woogie Booker T. and the MG's. Finally, "You & Me" reminds of a sentimental Alex Chilton showing up on his baby's door step with a bouquet in one hand and an acoustic guitar in the other.

Did It Again is an absolutely essential album, replete with stunning, bar room country & western ballads and sanguine dirges perfect for curing the indie rock doldrums associate d with a slow month for new releases and the same boring, predictable Christmas get-togethers. Trade in your Ryan Adams records for this one kids, it's a keeper.

Reviewed by Doug Hoepker
A former staff writer for LAS whom we like to call Diggles, Mr. Hoepker is currently laboring away on various music-based projects. He now works in academic publishing (ahem), but is perhaps still best known by his DJ moniker, The Noiseboy.

See other reviews by Doug Hoepker

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