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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.
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 » 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
Phantom Planet
The Guest
Epic Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
This band is awesome. No messing about.

The Phantom Planet debut, back in 1998, was on Geffen records. Not a bad start. After that, their discography reads like the resume of a million dollar bit-part actor. Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Television Soundtrack, Mumford: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Drive Me Crazy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (I see a Melissa Joan Hart thing developing here), Not Another Teen Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Orange County: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Somewhere in there they did self-release another album as well as putting together a live album for Epic.

Checking the band's website, which is where I came across the full discography, yields scores of humorous information and, basically, the bulk of this review. After the discography we've got their tour dates, and let me just say that Phantom Planet are nothing if not efficient. The bulk of their tour dates are doubled up with each other, the band doing some sort of high noon promo gig along with an evening performance that is sometimes in the same town but other times down the road a piece. Every performance seems to be in conjuncture with some sort of meet-n-greet autograph session which just goes to show that they're the people's band.

Speaking of people, I haven't even gotten to Teen People, who are hosting a Phantom Planet Sweepstakes on their website. What exactly is at stake in these sweeps, you ask? Apparently the band's drummer Jason has "generously given up a signed drum head and signed drum sticks; the whole band has autographed a very cool 12'x18' print; and our lucky winner will also be able to watch their videos (and Jason's movies) on a 27" Sony Wega TV."

Oh shit, is it that Jason? Jason Schwartzman from Rushmore? The guy who had to wax his back and hands to pass as teen aged goon starring alongside Bill Murray? Well, consulting the band's video for "California" I see that it is indeed Max Weber on the drum kit. Crazy! So that's how these punks can afford to smash equipment and drive around in a huge tour bus supporting their, uh, compilation appearances?

You know, for all the backhanded reporting here, this album isn't half bad. A lot of the songs are pretty catchy in a simplistic sort of way and, I mean they do wear thift-store looking clothes and there's that one scene in the video for "California" where Jason takes a swig of his Jack Daniels while brushing his teeth in a cushy white hotel bathrobe. To be honest most of the tracks on The Guest remind me more of a young, bubblegummy For Squirrels than they do of a Strokes-y Weezer, but that's just my magnanimous perceptive skills breaking through the marketing gloss I suppose. While we all hate manufactured faux-punk bands in the mainstream, it's much better to see/hear a Phantom Planet or a Jimmy Eat World clogging the airwaves than yet another boy band. And as far as I can tell Phantom Planet aren't manufactured, but are another story of a legitimate no-talent band who have somehow, against all odds, made ends meet by sneaking their hairy uni-brow drummer into a Wes Anderson film.

Reviewed by Clifton Gates
Currently sleeping on beaches in Costa Rica, Clifton Gates is an occasional contributor, editor, idea springboard and moral crutch to LAS magazine.

See other reviews by Clifton Gates



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