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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
Rebel Powers
Not One Star Will Stand the Night
Strange Attractors Audio House

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The greatest thing about an Acid Mothers Temple side project (for lack of a better word, since Strange Attractors often stresses that Rebel Powers is "not a side project, but a band in its own right"), is usually Kawabata Makoto's guitar playing. Tsurubami's Gekkyukekkaichi, also released on Strange Attractors, is one recent example of this, and now Not One Star Will Stand the Night is another.

Kawabata Makoto is something like the Django Reinhardt of the Japanese neo-psychedelic avant-garde; his playing is some of the most inspiring around and tends to be at the forefront of the AMT/AMT offshoot sound. Not One Star Will Stand the Night features two lengthy tracks, both most notable for Makoto and David Keenan's guitar and sarangi playing. The first song, which clocks in at twenty five minutes long, starts off slow and relatively minimally. By the five minute mark, however, the guitars, percussion, sarangi, and scattered vocal chants join together to create a voluminous sound reminiscent of the workings of an old clock chiming somewhere in the Appalachians, maybe in the makeshift tent of neo-hippie intellectuals living in relative solitude. About eleven minutes into the song, entitled "We Are for the Dark," the sound gets increasingly dense, to the point of inducing a jubilated claustrophobia within the listener's mind by the time the song is half-way through. As the song goes on, the sound's density goes from high to low and then back again before winding down to become "Our God Is a Mighty Fortress," the less interesting song of the record's two for its similarity to "We Are for the Dark." The similarity between the two songs, not to mention the complexity of "We Are for the Dark" makes "Our God Is a Mighty Fortress" less inventive, and thus less entertaining, than what precedes it.

The remarkable thing about this album, and just about every AMT/AMT offshoot record, is Makoto's unique approach to making music. Makoto has said that he tries to translate what he hears in his head into music, an approach that lends an both an immediate sense of personality and of spirituality to anything he makes, and his craft seems to improve with every new release.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn

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