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 » 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
Jesus With Me
Jesus With Me
Psych-O-Path

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


August 26, 2005
Jesus with Me were a New York four-piece spearheaded by the guys who founded the drone/noise/experimental label, Psych-O-Path. Formed in 1999, Jesus With Me jammed weekly and eventually opened for a number of marquee touring acts like Acid Mothers Temple. Though only one of the band's members could play an instrument when they first formed, the group slowly but surely grew into a legitimate improvisational force, leaving this 2002 session behind as a document of what a few years of rules-free practice can do.

It's difficult to determine whether Jesus With Me succeeds because of its aptitude or because of its formal qualities and the principles behind it. Each sidelong jam works the same beauty-in-chaos territory, finding an anchor in Hawkwind-esque bluesy rhythm guitar and allowing the drums, bass and second guitar to create whatever the hell kind of ruckus they'd like.

The second guitarist often opts for black buckets of depraved static, the bassist essentially solos the entire time and is often obscured by the guitars, and the drummer pounds away at the same repetitive beat for minutes at a time. It's amorphous, painful, and a bit amateur, but it's also everything that rock and roll theoretically should be - four musicians coming together in the live setting and succeeding not just because they can, but because they want to. On paper, Jesus With Me appears masturbatory, but in the headphones, it's magical.

By the same token, these four players definitely miss something that freeform psych masters like Kinski, Bardo Pond and Comets on Fire capture. There's the overriding feeling that Jesus With Me couldn't get their shit together and write a melody if they needed to - that these songs represent their abilities, stretched to capacity. In a sense, these songs are pure style - explorations of a form with no attention to the relationship between their parts. They're also edifying, suggesting that anyone could do essentially the same thing given enough time, the proper tools and the right friends. Jesus With Me asks us to enjoy the effort without putting it up on even the humblest of pedestals.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan

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