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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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!
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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
The Peel Session
Fat Cat Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

November 20, 2006
John Peel's legacy lives on in recordings like Múm's The Peel Session. Taken from the bulging archives of the radio legend, this EP includes four reworked tracks from Múm's debut Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is Okay, a near-perfect synthesis of electronic and classical instrumentation that produced warm melodies and eclectic compositions that melted hearts and sparked imaginations. For their 2002 Peel show appearance, arriving not long after the release of Yesterday ..., Múm chose to alter the chemistry of those pieces in not-so-subtle ways.

One of the great things about Peel, besides his broad-minded approach to music, was that he didn't impose rules on his guests. Those who were invited to perform were free to present their work however they saw fit. Not bound by any restrictions, Múm took full advantage of the opportunity, mashing up the songs "Slow Bicycle" and "Smell Memory" into the blizzard of skitter and squelch called "Scratched Bicycle/Smell Memory." Underneath a rounded, bell-toned melody, Múm unleash a meteor shower of fragmented beats and distorted electronic noise that approximates the sensory chaos of Aphex Twin.

Having sufficiently fucked with your mind, Múm offers a more soothing re-examination of "Awake On A Train." Latching onto a soulful groove filled with longing and sadness, "Awake On A Train" is a surprising mix of rough and smooth textures, a collage of sounds pasted together with jazz-inspired sophistication and kindergarten playfulness. Rolling drums and cut-up beats, including some clattering electronic percussion, mingle together with light guitar parts. Keyboards, both languid and bouncy, initiate a playful interaction with soft, jazzy female backing vocals, and yes, there's a cello part that sounds like a fog horn. In "Now There's That Fear Again," coke-bottle tappings and accordion sounds back the kind of frosty-breathed, female vocals you expect from an Icelandic group like Múm. Classical violins dial in from a distant past, adding a romantic feel to drawn-out cinematic movements to a tragic movie about oceanic voyages or doomed lovers.

Whatever the case, Múm's reimagined works on The Peel Session are no less emotional than the original versions and the experiments present interesting contrast to what were, and always have been, beloved pieces of music. A credit to Múm's intelligence and boundless creativity, The Peel Session offers both a fascinatingly revisionist view of its own history and a glimpse of what's to come. As a companion to Yesterday Was Dramatic - Today Is OK, not to mention a historical artifact, The Peel Session is indispensible. And with a new Múm album scheduled for next spring, it lights the way to a brave future for a group that always thinks outside the box and challenges you to think that way too.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad



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