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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
Flanger
Spirituals
Nonplace

Rating: 5/10 ?


September 9, 2005
With droves of artists attempting to pluck a distinctive sound out of the air, Flanger dips their pen in the deep well of the vocabulary they inherited, or, to be more exact, the one their grandparents inherited.

The idea was to stray from the stern, orthodox musical concerns of today's avant-garde knob-twiddlers and jazz virtuosos and instead romp through the ferine pastures of swing and New Orleans blues. Although these pieces were exchanged electronically, the whole record has a spontaneous jam session feel, as though Uwe Schmidt, Senor Coconut and Burnt Friedman spent many a breezy Sunday night belting out these loose, jiving tunes in their backyards, and joined them together every now and again with vocalist Riff Jackson, Triosk drummer Laurence Pike and a throng of others. In concurrence with this open and receptive aesthetic, the warm frequencies and simmering vibrations of each composition harbors a degree of Eastern influence, especially in the subtle shifting and flicker of percussion. All of these themes act as a pulpit on which raspy saxophone runs, a brisk shuffle of lowercase percussion and throbbing electronics skirt to and fro, backed by ramshackle rhythms that might have been salvaged from a diner jukebox.

"Music Is Our Secret Code", in particular, brims with melodic sax flourishes and teakettle whistles, underpinned by repetitious, chiming chords that nestle up cordially alongside Pike's laid-back drumming style. A certain creative ecstasy spills out of "Tiny Tina", as a few electric sparks begin to fly in Pike's ringing percussion and Schmidt slips into a bout of free-blowing honk-and-squeal that unravels new tendrils of musical exploration.

By and large, however, notes are wrung subtly from horns, distant melodies hobble out of pianos and slowly bowed basses, and the light trickle of electronics and Jackson's baritone tenor paint a sky of gentle bottle-greens and blues; of course, such an eccentric squeaking is precisely that from which this work wishes to diverge.

Spirituals makes a home out of recycled binary codes, rainwater spewing out of clogged guitars, bevies of faux-piano notes and the harmonic, robust quaking of a sax. An antique, to be sure, but one that's seen some care in its polishing.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer

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