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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
Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Born to Be Wild in the U.S.A. 2000

Rating: 7/10 ?

June 6, 2005
Music used to be a communal thing, and still is in some cases. From the work songs that - along with the blues, the protestant spirituals and ragtime - gave birth to jazz, to the traditional rituals of yesteryear and everyday based on deep-rooted cultures, music is addressed in a public manner. Nevertheless, Internet and the proliferation of freeform radio stations have created an individual appeal and most musicians who share a common, ever-growing ground have dropped off the public radar.

Sometimes mistaken for a religious congregation, Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (Underground Freak Out) is Japanese guitarist Mokoto Kawabata's collective ensemble. He founded the Temple in 1996 to pursue the paths of such heavyweights as avant-garde prominent Karlheinz Stockhausen, psychedelic and progressive gems and the Krautrock heritage personified by the German eccentrics Faust, just to name a few. Before forming the band - allegedly to give room for unknown musicians to record and release their work - Kawabata had already received plaudits for his guitar additions to other projects.

Originally released as a cassette, then leaked to a 1000 copies-limited edition LP, Born to Be Wild in the U.S.A. 2000, now properly remastered as a CD, documents part of the Temple's American tour that year. It does so unleashing sonic prophecies that are well worth the price value of the record, keeping a precarious balance between the fudged bass played by Atsushi Tsuyama and left hanging pendulously around tracks like "Pink Lady Lemonade" and "Speed Guru". The hard-edged vector of 13-minute "La Novia" cuts through the twitching feel of the rest of the disc, remaining half-cooked and engrossing a crowd of advancing zombies to their following.

Most progressive acts take pains to dismiss any link to the unknown and take comfort in nurturing a (sometimes fake) sympathy for the devil, but Kawabata's troupe is completely different. Being Japanese, they don't renegade the spiritual prism of perception they grew up with. At certain points, notably in records like last year's Mantra of Love, it feels like psychedelic journeys are painted in a more tainted hue when shone through the pyramid of their spiritual selves. They even finish this record with a track called "God Bless AMT", feeding constant highbrow allusions to folksy mystical endeavors. Before listening, take note: it is advisable to delve into other Japanese fellow musicians like Ghost and Nagisa Ni Te in order to fully comprehend Acid Mothers Temple's DNA.

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes



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