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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]

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
Raising the Fawn
The North Sea
Sonic Unyon Recording Company

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The first time I went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the main exhibit was celebrating the glory years of Rock, 1967-1969. At the center of this exhibit, there was a large wall of concert posters from that era - for Jimi Hendrix shows, Pink Floyd shows, and so on. Standing in front of it, I said to my friend, "Imagine if we were around then. We could have been walking down the street in New York and seen this poster and said 'Hey, the Velvet Underground are playing at Max's Kansas City, let's go check it out.'" At the time I was still a college student, living in Bloomington, Indiana, and I just couldn't fathom living around a vibrant music scene where incredible bands were playing just around the corner. I wondered if people living in New York and San Francisco at that time knew just how good they had it.

It still makes me wonder. Take the people of Toronto right now, for example. Do they realize that some of the most exciting music in indie rock is coming out of there these days? Broken Social Scene, Stars, and Do Make Say Think have all put out albums in the last year or so that have been critical favorites. All of these bands are interconnected, too, with the members all collaborating on various different projects with each other, and with all of the work coming out of it being consistently excellent. Meaning that this scene is about as vibrant as one could imagine.

Think about this: someone in Toronto could be walking down the street right now, and see a poster for a Raising The Fawn show. Now, this person may not be aware that Raising The Fawn is a band fronted by Broken Social Scene member John Crossingham. He or she may not know that Raising The Fawn are releasing their first full-length album, The North Sea, this spring. This random Torontonian could just decide that they are intrigued by this odd band name (seemingly a requirement for a Toronto band), and walk into the venue on a whim. Then, this person will get to see a really outstanding, interesting band. He or she will probably like what they hear enough to go buy the album, which they will be able to take home and enjoy endlessly, as it is quite excellent. Do they realize what an amazing situation that is to be in?

For the rest of us not so lucky to be living in Toronto right now and accidentally (or purposely) walking into these awesome shows, it will have to suffice to just go out and buy the album. Which is something I'd recommend doing as soon as possible. The North Sea is almost unbelievably solid. Considering that the selling point right now is the connection to Broken Social Scene, one might expect that this would be derivative. This album stands out on it's own merits, though. The songs are all well crafted, with interesting and layered instrumentation - e-bows, cornets, and organ drones are featured on various songs. It ranges from slower and more experimental-sounding songs like "Top to Bottom", to pure pop bliss like "Gwendolyn." The result is an album that you can listen to over and over, and find something new each time, depending on your mood and your level of concentration. It hasn't left my rotation since I first heard it, which is about as strong an endorsement as I could give an album.

It would be a bit hyperbolic to say that one day in the future I could be standing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and looking at an exhibit celebrating the glory days of Toronto indie rock. But that of course would be more of an indication of how the mainstream has ignored the best music in this era than it would be a statement on the quality of the music itself. Regardless, it is better to celebrate excellent music in the present, while it is being created, and while the scene is still active; listening to this album is certainly a way to do that.

Reviewed by Dan Filowitz
Dan Filowitz is Toronto-born, New-Jersey-raised, Indiana-University-educated, and Chicago-residing. In addition to his Lost At Sea contributions, Dan is a senior staff writer for political humor site TalkStation.com and the president of ChicagoImprovAnarchy (The CIA) a Chicago-based improv theatre company. We are not mentioning the 9-5 corporate job. Apparently, Dan does not sleep much. Dan Filowitz is the perfect dinner party guest - fun, witty, intelligent, with wide-ranging interests, ecclectic tastes and a winning smile. Just make sure you have coffee available.

See other reviews by Dan Filowitz

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