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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]

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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.
[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
Consafos
Tilting at Windmills
Greyday Productions

Rating: 6/10 ?


June 23, 2005
Originally formed in Los Angeles in 2000 and currently established in Omaha, Consafos is a nicotine-stained, feminine and more ethereal version of Tindersticks - but where Stuart Staples manages to create little pockets of gravity for his gloomy vocals to travel, this Midwest five-piece ensemble takes the path of least resistance when it comes to placing the various elements together. They are well-intentioned, but sadly on Tilting at Windmills they become fossilized a little too soon.

Whenever "On and On" emerges from the stereo, it feels like they've just returned from a private lesson from no less than Hope Sandoval; its sepia-driven, folksy feel segues into the beautiful trumpet solo, but afterwards sounds amorphous and deviant that it's difficult to see the intended direction. By the time the title track evolves with the gentle violin and the vibraphone, you have come up with the band's underlying equation: Consafos' interest grows in inverse proportion to the amount of influences they leave behind.

Sadly, most of the time they seem too attached to a background that guides, but also limits, their choices. In fact, Stefanie Drootin's vocals - unnervingly reminiscent of Neko Case and Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) - send these acoustic gems to the stratosphere, but for rotten pay. Also a member of Bright Eyes and The Good Life, the vocalist tames the apparently untamed drooling effect of her lyrics by seducing and deducing a whole universe from her front porch.

The spell is nevertheless broken when "Chelsea's Got a Knife" reveals its telluric existence at the last minute. Add to this the harmonica on "Wide Eyed", which reconfigures all established priorities and sends the listener back to the misty forest; by then it's too late to haunt and confuse the hangers on. Consafos succeed in showing the path to light, but they finish this illumination after the fourth or fifth song; every latter attempt to walk the same way sounds false, like an anathema to the correct fruition of this work.

From "Broken Record" on, the album enters an infatuated state of epiglottal trance that infuriates any listener who fell in love at first sight. For the second half of this, the band repeats itself, sounding like margin walkers with way less charm than previously shown. Only Laura Watral's violin is truly necessary and irreplaceable, salvaging the tone. Over all, this should have been an EP instead of a full-length, as sometimes, half the duration means double the delight.

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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