» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
The Moonlighters

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Moonlighters play Hawaiian slack-key swing music, like what you'd hear in the background if you were trapped on a desert island in a cartoon, or what you might have heard at a USO show during WWII in the Philippines or something; except the Moonlighters take out some of the camp element and add a whole lotta style and blues to it, (this ain't Don Ho), rooting it down in some incredible slide guitar and upright bass playing. Dreamland is their first release and they put it out on their own, no label affiliations whatsoever, at least for the time being. For an album like this to come out and for this band to play at rock venues all over New York City is kinda surprising, but that's exactly what they've been doing, honing their skills by playing a string of free engagements at spots like Tramps. What's even more amazing is that the slide guitarist, Henry Bogden, used to play bass for Helmet, and the lead singer (and ukulele player), Bliss Blood, used to front the Pain Teens out of Texas (on Trance Syndicate). Imagine that, one's in a big popular band touring the world, the other's in a more underground punk/gothic/industrial group doing the local circuit thing and after the dissolution of their respective units, they get together over the common ground of Hawaiian swing. Not the most obvious jump, but when you hear Blood's sultry vocals purring out over the lilting strains of Bogdan's slide guitar, there's no doubting that they got it right. Standout cuts from this album include "Dreamland", which has a great opening line, ("There's a million lights, that twinkle like teardrops on fire"), and "Mink Carpet", another smoothly written love tune with some great words, ("Mink carpet, silky milk, floating wavvy while/ pearl and umbra infinite, softly parted smile/ baby doll swim in fur, luscious milky down/ baby doll, inky purr, sweet slinky frown..."). Blood's lyrics catch a fine, ephemeral sensibility and coat it wistfully in the plaintive language of Hawaiian swing, while the music, especially the slide, soars and enchants like a siren call from the shores of Waikiki.

Reviewed by James Hoey
A long-time contributing writer for LAS, Jim lives in North Carolina and drives an early 70s model mustard yellow Chevrolet Blazer.

See other reviews by James Hoey



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