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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
Neil Young
Living With War
Warner/Reprise

Rating: 8/10 ?


May 12, 2006
It's the dawn of 1968 all over again, with everyone from Pink to Dashboard Confessional to Bruuuce to Willie Nelson getting political. It's a good start - when art makes a stand, the natives usually realize they're restless.

In a strictly musical sense, Neil Young's neo-hippy, anti-war opus often resembles a bad night at open mike. Ostensibly a poke at the US proletariat's see-no-evil political ignorance, the title track puts the album's most blunt weapon, a 100-person chorus, to the poorest use with a refrain that's sure to have famous neocon-shill cum vote-fraudster Ann Coulter making icy remarks about Schick-less trust-fund liberals singing "Kumbaya" while dangling crystals over their heads.

Contrasted with State Radio's brilliant (and far more socially eloquent) Us Against the Crown LP on Nettwerk back in February, Young is the Larry Finkelstein character from Dharma and Greg, living in hopes that the kiddies get it, perhaps not realizing that it's a far different hivemind out there than in his heyday owing to a horrifying lack of civics-class interest in the McColleges and a never-ending stream of greed-inspiring distractions. The current crop of Nixonian paranoids constitute a branch that needs chopping, sure, and "Let's Impeach the President" might well offer some help toward that end, but the rot of the country has now spread to every hair-thin root. At this point, worn-out platitude that it is, it's up to every citizen to boycott, give of their time, protest, etc., or at the very least become aware of what's being done to them with the help of documentaries like "The Corporation" or the blogosphere.

Back to our show. Heartland-rocker "The Restless Consumer" finds Young's trembling falsetto a bad fit for the job of delivering lines like "Don't need no more lies" (an irony that's survived pop culture's reaper for years, but you've never heard it this bad) and connate preaching to the choir, but the most gigglesome moments come courtesy of the trumpet corps, whose drunken mariachi vibe in "Shock and Awe" is pure Three Amigos.

Now then, aside from all that, "After the Garden" and "Families" are right up there with "Rockin in the Free World" for displays of board-stomping bravado, which is of course much less the goal here than raising awareness. For all its faults - and there are many - if this record can move just one red-stater to look at Seymour Hirsch's exposť on Cheneyco's already mobilized plans for attacking Iran and call hir congressperson, it's succeeded well past Young's wildest dreams.

Reviewed by Eric Saeger
An LAS staff writer based in New Hampshire, Eric Saeger was named alt.flame\'s Newbie of the Year in 2000.

See other reviews by Eric Saeger

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