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 » 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
Mark Lanegan Band
Here Comes That Weird Chill
Beggar's Banquet

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It is hard to breathe when someone's foot is keeping you underwater. With this thought in mind, hit the play button and tune in for Mark Lanegan's rasping tales from the crypt. As soon as the record kicks off, you indivertibly presume that someone has skipped his coffee break today. "Methamphetamine Blues" is a sordid and chilling warm-up to Here Comes That Weird Chill, the man's voice is warm and soaked in whiskey, with an even more obscure Tom Waits showcasing here and there.

The Screaming Trees' frontman, whose plans for a solo debut were primarily to record an EP of blues songs with Kurt Cobain and Chris Novoselic, had to manage without the help of his Nirvana contemporaries. Although they have always been pretty consistent and promising, Lanegan's solo adventures never threatened his commitment to the Trees. The main difference between the two is the more stripped-down and confessional tone of the former.

Lanegan alone tends to expose his scars more openly and effectively. Released in 1990, The Winding Sheet, his solo debut, featured producer Jack Endino on bass, Mark Pickerel on drums and Mike Johnson on guitar, the latter becoming the bassist for Dinosaur Jr. afterwards. Whiskey for the Holy Ghost followed four years later, and was soon to be proven an enormous leap forward in Lanegan's penned aspirations as a songwriter. After the demise of the Screaming Trees circa 1996's Dust, he was left to pursue his musical ambitions on his own. Scraps at Midnight and I'll Take Care of You, issued four and five years, respectively, after the preceding Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, led to the magnificent Field Songs, a notorious major-league achievement. Lanegan's past discography brings us to this Here Comes That Weird Chill, a tour de force originally conceived as a single from the soon-to-follow full-length, then expanded to an eight track EP with the addition of outtakes from the album sessions.

"On the Steps of the Cathedral" resonates as a well-tinged note from the underground, one that would make Fyodor Dostoevsky, the doomed Russian novelist, blush. Subsequently, just keep your ear to the ground as Mark Lanegan unfolds his pitch-black short stories with a murky cover version of Captain Beefheart's "Clear Spot" and a guitar-driven "Message to Mine". "Lexington Slow Down" craves for the candlelight missing inside the cave that Lanegan has carefully excavated.

The high-pitched number "Skeletal History" erupts like a sperm-full experience, but then comes "Wish You Well" to clear things up amidst the post-coital cigarette's fume. "Sleep With Me / Version" seals the record in a positive, rather than ominous, way. Lanegan benefits from the presence of Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri (of Queens of the Stone Age fame) - having collaborated with the former on the highly-acclaimed Desert Sessions -, Afghan Whig's Greg Dulli, Eleven Also's Alain Johannes, Masters of Reality's Chris Goss, and the well-humored Dean Ween from the ridiculously infamous Ween.

At this point, just imagine that it's your girlfriend's feet that keep you underwater. It's a shame you've probably drowned by the time the record comes to its end, but at least you'll have a perspective worthy of figuring out Here Comes That Weird Chill. Now that you have read through this review, you know you were right when you first learned that Mark Lanegan's music is for the dark and lost souls longing for a quiet place to lay their bones down. But, quite frankly, aren't we all dark and lost souls?

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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