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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
Brightblack Morning Light
Motion To Rejoin
Matador

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 24, 2008
A DJ currently on the bill at Los Angeles hotspot PYT goes by the name Desert Eagles. Mixing from incongruent source material, Desert Eagles pairs-up unlikely duos on the ones and twos creating an appropriate successor to the Hollertronix party jam. Although the music of Desert Eagles sounds more like L.A. than the wild and soaring majesty in the image they attempt, the true sound of desert eagles lies somewhere else. Escaping L.A.'s sprawling boundaries, one enters the territory of Brightblack Morning Light. Their latest album, Motion to Rejoin, is a dry and dusty, precipitous terrain that at times makes you feel safe in the eagle's nest and at other times leaves you abandoned in the desert.

Motion to Rejoin delivers bleached and bare bones psychedelic rock, comparable to an Allman Brothers Band jam session from which Duane Allman is inexplicably missing. The rest of the band keeps on playing, never filling in the gap he leaves, making do and playing around his absence. While this would ultimately spell disaster for the brothers Allman, it works for Naybob Shineywater and Rachael Hughes, the two halves of Brightblack Morning Light.

A haunting piano, whispery vocals, and even more whispery drums fill the album with a denseness that loudness could never achieve. Like the eagle that preys from a distance, Brightblack Morning Light's music stays in the background, but it's a more permeating record than it appears to be. On the track "Hologram Buffalo," the band could be the worst jazz band in the whole world, unable to escape their own rutted groove, but the hybrid image the title evokes hitches them to the beautifully doomed romanticism of American folk music. The icon of the American frontier embodied in the buffalo isn't really there. In this way presence is not present and the legacy of Americana and folk has not gone the way of the buffalo, but come the way of the hologram.

Naybob Shineywater and Rachael Hughes are desert eagles. They mine the southwestern region for the disappearing American scene, the hologram buffalo of American music, a sound lost and pined for most recently by Amanda Petrusich in her book It Still Moves. With hooked beaks and mighty talons, Brightblack Morning Light rip and gut the carcass of psychedelic rock, leaving it exposed and decomposing on the side of the road. It's a scene that Petruisch may pass by if she is looking for things that move.

Reviewed by Joseph Coombe
A contributing writer who lives and works in Los Angeles, Joseph Coombe is searching for Jon Landauís future of rock and roll by rereading Lester Bangs and unreading Greil Marcus.

See other reviews by Joseph Coombe

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