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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » 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]

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 » 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
Corrina Repp
The Absent and the Distant
Caldo Verde

Rating: 8/10 ?


September 22, 2006
I had only moderate expectations for Corrina Repp's latest disc, The Absent and the Distant. Repp had just signed with Caldo Verde - a label owned by one of my all time favorite singer/songwriters, Mark Kozelek - but that didn't necessarily mean it would be good. Popping the disc in I prepared myself for yet another folksy, coffeehouse chanteuse and pressed play. By the third track my expectations were shattered. Every track on this record feels like it was written and recorded in some remote location on a snowy day. This is gorgeous music about isolation. The opener, "Song For A Sinking Ship," is a stark and haunting instrumental track. The crushing loneliness continues with "I'll Walk You Out," a heartbreaking song about limitations and societal pressure. The soft piano walks the listener to the door, bids adieu, and closes the door.

Musically Corrina Repp has some similarities to The Black Heart Procession and recent Low, combined with Tom Waits' reverence for olde-timey instrumentation. There is minimal guitar work here - most of the music comes from piano and a barely noticeable layer of distortion and drums whose occasional cacophony adds an interesting twist to the album's serene solemnity. Corrina Repp's voice has a rarefied kind of sexy vulnerability to it and is similar in tone to Tracey Thorn, of Everything But The Girl.

Last Friday I spoke with the head Red House Painter himself, Mark Kozelek, about his new artist Corrina Repp. Kozelek praised Corrina's talents and discussed their first meeting, her appeal and how the inspiration to release her record came to him:

"I was on tour in January and she opened up for me in Portland and Seattle. Right away I thought she had a beautiful voice and I was really impressed with her guitar playing. There was something really cool about her and what I liked too was that the audiences at both shows were really quieted down and attentive. I think it is because she's got a certain style and charisma."

I asked Mark about his decision to sign Repp to his label. Kozelek had initially created Caldo Verde with the intention of releasing only his material, such as last year's Tiny Cities - an album of acoustic Modest Mouse covers. I asked him about his initial hesitation to sign artists to his label and Corrina's appeal that changed his mind:

"I have a lot of friends that have small labels and these guys come home, from the Post Office everyday, with a fucking wheelbarrow every day of all these bands sending them stuff. I don't have time for that. I don't have time to spend hours and hours a day listening to just CDs . . . [Corrina]'s likeable and that's where it started. At some point I had a conversation with her where she was talking about a label that was wanting to put the record out but couldn't put it out until next year. I didn't think anything about it and I went to bed that night and it crossed my mind that I've never done it before but maybe I could put her record out."

The Absent and the Distant is an unbelievably beautiful album. Kozelek made a smart choice to release this album when he did because Repp is too talented to go unnoticed for long. If you like quiet songs about disquieting things, you will most certainly like Corrina Repp's new album.

Reviewed by Jon Burke
A contributing writer and a Chicago resident who will not be goaded by LASís editor into revealing any more details about his potentially sordid affairs.

See other reviews by Jon Burke

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