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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
Mudville
Mudville
Slurry Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Mudville, comprised of two fellow New Yorkers who actually met in San Francisco, combine down tempo electronica, and jazz lounge grooves with some female crooning on their eponymous debut EP. Responsible for the keys, samples and bass lines Ben Rubin creates soundscapes and accompaniment for vocalist and songwriter Marilyn Carino's breathy, wavering melismas to carry the melody. "High Rise", the high water mark on the record actually features live instrumentation such as brushed drums, Rhodes piano and electric guitar - not that the drum programming, bass, and textural synth work found elsewhere on the record isn't pleasant. Actually, it's the vocals that hold the songs down. Each song seems to contain an almost identical delivery of poetry which not only lacks meter ("Favorite one, who knew we are a big blue bird up and flying/ we jingle us along this same old different song's a backhand crack to love") but also fails to hook with its melodies, which dance around notes and run scales on seemingly random whims. While this may be to the jazz enthusiasts delight, it can create quite a problem for someone trying to remember a singular tune to hum back from any of the songs.

Still, with the recent success of such mainstream acts as Norah Jones, and the old guard of singers such as Fiona Apple falling by the wayside, fans of Portishead, or maybe even Garbage who've tired of being force fed pop hooks and are looking for something a bit more mature may find Mudville quite likeable. This disc serves as a teaser for their upcoming full length LP, but an Astral Weeks for the 21st century it certainly is not.

Reviewed by Mark Skipper
Mark Skipper currently resides in Nashville, TN where he can be found skipping shows, drinking Guinness, making bad home recordings, and complaining about how much music sucks these days.

See other reviews by Mark Skipper

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