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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
Fireshow
Saint the Fire Show
Perishable Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
There are a number of those who have pontificated on the situation of Jeff Mangum and who don't think he's just another burnt-out drug genius flaking on a Neutral Milk Hotel follow up. There are those who propose a different fate, that Mangum finally built the time machine with which he hoped to save his Anne-Frankian historical infatuation.

In their model, since 1945 is, relatively speaking in the space-time continuum, a brief moment away, Mangum has been able to pick up radio signals from real-time earth. From a radio station operated by a batallion of hipsters like Milemarker and Joan of Arc, Mangum begins to pick up a garbled transmission of Death Cab For Cutie's recent recorded works. Through the static, the garbled storyline and the errant melodies, a post-rock translation of the nostalgic Seattle poster boys is filtered through the mind of Neutral Milk Hotel's frontman and briskly played and recorded.

Saint the Fire Show is one of the most truly engaging surprises I've enjoyed over the past year or so. Sure, there are albums that I've been waiting for to blow me away, but they are often forgone conclusions of success. When an album comes with no expectations and then scores high above the board, like this experimenta-pop Chicago troupe has done, it elicits a joy one might call giddyness. The songs are long and with names like "the rabbit of my soul is the king of his ghost" always entertaining. While the Fire Show put their influences together in a haphazard, overlapping pattern they still retain enough organic structure and appreciation for catchiness - never easy enough to sing along with comfortably but not so obtuse that you can't get wrapped up in it. There are odd moments and beautiful moments in striking proximity to each other, from the rhythmic pull of "The God Forsaken Angels of Epistemology" to the eerie painfulness of the closing rendition of "You Are My Sunshine".

I should note that The Fire Show will be exiting my life as quickly as they entered it, Saint the Fire Show being their third but also their final album, followed by a short summer tour that I will be unable to meet up with. An album this compelling certainly is an amazing introduction and hasty farewell to an odd project.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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