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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
The Drift
Streets/Nozomi
Temporary Residence Ltd.

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


May 2, 2005
Somehow able to fly back and forth from Spain at sunrise to the coldest, loneliest outposts of space in an instant, The Drift are the travel agents of the future. Having discovered a glitch in the time-space continuum, the San Francisco dub-jazz-rock crew - captained by ex-Tarantel member Danny Grody - goes off on Billy Pilgrim-style reveries to anywhere they please - book your trip now! Seating on this 12-inch, surreal instrumental voyage is extremely limited, with just 1,000 copies available - and don't bother saving your money if your stereo system lacks a turntable. This trip is for vinyl enthusiasts only.

Smashing a bottle of champagne on the Side A hull of "Streets," The Drift whisks away to desolate, wind swept planets of ambient electronic drone. Your stay is a short one. Eventually, as a blur of stray post-rock guitar filigree catches your eye, the subtle gravitational pull of Safa Shokrai's muted upright bass and Rich Douthit's brushed drums leads you to an after-hours jazz club in Greenwich Village. Dub ripples of guitar and trumpet make you feel like you never physically arrive at the door; it's as if you're caught floating in cosmic limbo, adrift in an opium haze without a care in the world as flamenco sketches of Barcelona pass by on your way to the Middle East. And there's Miles Davis - actually, it's The Drift's dazzling horn player Jeff Jacobs - pushing a muezzin out of a minaret and letting out an echoing wail that calls the faithful to morning worship.

Esoteric and otherworldly, there's a sky full of room for improvisation, and each of The Drift's players have an incredible feel for ambiance and drama. Just when you think "Streets" is going to fade out, blaring horns and stuttering drum beats emerge along with silvery splashes of strummed electric guitar. Then, just as quickly as it came, it disappears into the firmament, like icy breath escaping from an astronaut's mouth.

"Nozomi" sounds more like Karate, floating along on strummed electric guitar that's both gentle and deliberate. The skeletal frame of the piece is built slowly, providing space for Jacobs' serpentine trumpet architecture to color it in coral and fill its haunted passages with messages from the afterlife.

The Drift's music isn't for casual listeners. It's serious music that has an intelligence born of study and preternatural interpretation of experimental jazz. It begs to be discussed in a critical manner befitting its impressive depth and shading. If it sounds too clinical, if it seems that it can only appreciated by music scholars, think again. The Drift is approachable and human, though they live and work on a whole other plane of existence than the rest of world. Seek them out and find what other journeys they have planned. It's better than a commercial cruise to the tropics, unless all you long for are sandy beaches and fruity drinks. In that case, take your business someplace else.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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