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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.
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
A Tall-Tale Storyline
spinART Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Quentin Stoltzfus, the founder of Mazarin, used to be the drummer for Philadelphia drone-improv trio The Azusa Plane, and not only is the music he makes on his own good, it's a hundred times better than anything his former band ever could have thought of. Obviously, that's just an opinion, and maybe its biased because I'm really not into "drone-improv" bands, but it is, at least, undeniable that A Tall-Tale Storyline is a solid sophomore release from Stoltzfus and (this time) friends.

These friends happen to be Brian McTear, another Philadelphian multi-instrumentalist (The Bitter Weeks) and also a producer who works out of his own studio, Miner Street (The Burning Brides, Lefty's Deceiver, Matt Pond PA), and drummer Sean Byrne of Lenola. McTear helped out with backup vocals on "What Sees the Sky," "My Favorite Green Hill," and "Bend," played bass on "Suicide Will Make You Happy," "Bend," and "Limits of Language," assisted Sean Byrne with percussion, and played the keys on "Bent."

The only track that sounds similar to the sound of the Asuza Plane is the album's opener, "Go Home," an eight minute number written on tone generators using bits of found sound from a trip to Thailand. It's quite beautiful, in fact, a track in which Stolzfus takes his time tastefully layering "electronic squiggles and acoustic guitar strumminess" with his own wordless crooning.

A Tall Tale Storyline is a diverse album; no two songs can really be confused, and no one, I'm sure, will be confusing "Go Home" with any other tracks on the record. There's the surprisingly cheery folk-pop "Suicide Will Make You Happy" that owes its greatness to lush guitars and energetic percussion, and the wonderfully pleasant and mellow "What Sees the Sky?," the perfect song for a warm summer's evening. "2.21.1" is short and consists solely of layered acoustic guitar work; an homage to John Fahey. The poppy "To Keep things Moving" precedes another John Fahey homage, "RFJ Variation I," only to be followed by a pure indie-rock number, "My Favorite Green Hill." The album is rounded out by the lonely, completely country number "Limits of Language."

A great album for the end of summer and start of fall, A Tall Tale Storyline displays the depth of Quentin Stoltzfus' talent and leaves me waiting for what comes next.

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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