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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.
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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!
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Love Love Love
Film Guerrero Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Easy, breezy, beautiful.... it's definitely not Cover Girl, so maybe it's The Graves. Sweet pop music, how I love thee so. Well, sometimes I do, and sometimes I hate you. But when someone like Portland's Greg Olin writes you and gathers together his "friends, lovers and friends of lovers lovers's" (that is confusing) to perform you under a name like The Graves, I love you, pop music. Truly I do.

The friends and lovers who generously help out on the album include: Kyle Field (Little Wings) - bass, singing; Karl Blau - horns; Jona Bechtolt (Badger King) - drums; Rob Keiswetter (Bobby Birdman) - bass; Rachel Blumberg (Norfolk and Western, Decemberists) - drums; and Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western) - guitar, singing. They have helped to flesh out Olin's summery pop songs which spread out across this record like dandelion spores after a gust of wind through an April meadow. Listen to the record and you will see that this is no exaggeration.

"The (209)" opens the record with mellow stoner rock ala Radar Brothers but minus the country twang. The Beatles' fingerprints are all over the place too in songs such as "Modern Love is a Killer" and "I Am so Tired," the former of which softly rocks out while the latter floats along like soft ethereal melodies. "Curse a Thing" and "Evil is You" find The Graves in jazzier territory, complete with horns and piano. Every song on the album clocks in around 2 minutes, cementing the pop formula into place. "Suburban Girls" offers a slight change in the form of a lo-fi waltz dealing with the feminine presence that resides within the rows of copycat houses that have set up camp outside our cities. And of course the album needs a song about California, so "Because I'm Supposed To" takes up the subject matter via swinging bass, strummed guitar and analog synths.

The Graves are more accessible than The Microphones and more organically rooted than Grandaddy, two bands who they have been compared to. This album follows on the heels of the Film Guerrero release of the Tracker LP, another wonderful piece that is also the brainchild of an individual who is helped out by many of his friends. They seem to be working as a collective up there in Portland and the results are good.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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