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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
Bebel Gilberto
Bebel Gilberto Remixed
Six Degrees Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


August 24, 2005
My girlfriend grew up in suburban metro Atlanta. She went home last month to visit family and friends one weekend, and I accompanied her. Many of her old friends grew up in million dollar homes; I met one of them that weekend. We rode with this friend to Starbucks, in a brand new Scion, best of Louis Armstrong playing on the stereo, and listened to her talk about her sister studying abroad in Asia and dating a writer for Rolling Stone. It certainly wasn't the world that my girlfriend and I are used to - hell, it was only two years ago that I first visited a state that doesn't border Georgia - and it's not even a world that necessarily aligns superficially with my ethics, but considering the situation, two old friends catching up and sharing the different experiences they've encountered, with the boyfriend tagging along and getting to know a part of his girlfriend's childhood, I was comfortable. There was no way I could honestly have a problem with the money and cultural leverage in front of me, and I was cool with that, to the point that my attitude frightens me.

This album? Same deal. Thirteen renowned downtempo producers remix Bebel Gilberto's eponymous sophomore global smash, adding the electronic beats and bedroom Rhodes piano that Joao's daughter mercifully excludes from her updated bossa nova pop. Second generation "world music" (a lame term, but one that much of Gilberto's listening base undoubtedly lick their dilettantish chops at the sound of) is often yuppie dreck, but Bebel's music is a wonderful exception, largely because it modernizes a sound in a very organic, conscientious manner. To invite a flock of slick producers, many of questionable aesthetics, to monkey with it is like putting a thirsty flamethrower before your testicles.

And fuck if Bebel escapes complete incineration. DJ Spinna, Thievery Corporation, Nuspirit Helsinki and Stuhr lead this pack of frequently on-point reworkings. As with any comp, some crap slips in, namely Telefon Tel Aviv's precious handling of the already schmaltzy "All Around," but Remixed proves shockingly consistent. And once again, I'm frightened.

This is aural Ikea, an exercise in all things chill-out; it's not so much an exercise in engaging electronics or an exploration of what it means to create or write a piece of music, as it is sonic wallpaper to an understated living room set. Remixed doesn't ask to be read, it asks to be consumed. As an isolated set of songs, it's enjoyable - if a bit monotonous and overly subdued after an hour of edge-dulling and lacquering - but as a cultural entity, it's The Man's music, plain and simple. It's co-option, catering and cleansing. It may as well be the best of Satchmo, wide smile and bug eyes, the whole bit. And I'm okay with it, which means I'm either being fair-minded and objective or blind, complacent and reactionary. Ambiguity in art is a great thing, but dammit if Remixed isn't ambiguous about some fucking scary stuff.

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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