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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
Edie Sedgwick
First Reflections
Dischord Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Dischord's first drum and bass album, as far as I know, is First Reflections by the band Edie Sedgwick, and it's a real stellar output of punked up jungle beats, wry lyrics, and frolicking bass lines - all woven together into one tight, springing organization of sounds.

Get this though, they have a manifesto in the liner notes proclaiming the refusal "to hide behind either a randomly chosen Right/Left cause du jour or the cool, cynical ice-fires of witticism". Instead they advocate "stoking a heartfelt stand for the obvious idol our age has taught us to embrace...the cinema celebrity."

And they truly run with the concept, musically evoking images in words through rhythms of what the effect is of being constantly bombarded by the entertainment industry' generation and co modification of stars and the manufacture of fame before millions of eyes loopily gazing at screens in bedrooms and theaters.

Got to hand it to them, from the first track, Faye Dunaway, I imagined the primping and preparation of the star before her big role as Joan Crawford (are the right lines the ones on her face or the ones in her head?) and monuments of legs on screen holding her down. They give abstract impressions for 13 stars altogether, over Minutemen-like snippets of music: Winona Ryder - repeating the phrases the director tells her, vaguely conceiving the import, but maybe not grasping it's totality, hiding behind makeup for the rest, fucking other stars on the flip side, hoping for the rub-off; Christina Ricci, "Swing low spooky hips...purse lush changeling hips, blink bright painted eye, sigh mighty constructed sigh", (she's new to them); they rundown Jennifer Love Hewitt, don't let her off the hook, implicit unknowing in the exchange, "Think of all the good things to say, say them across a bony grid... Alphabet city destiny"; Macauley Culkin, his track is a nursery rhyme of course, child star waking up to the horror of plastic, "I don't want to grow up in pampers, jockstraps, condoms"; Jane Fonda, a star with something on her mind aching to do something about it, "Are you in support of the blah blah, and what's your position on the hee haw?"

They culminate in a paean to Edie Sedgwick, the hot girl of the hour for Warhol in the mid-sixties who graced the front pages of fashion magazines but couldn't cross over onto the big screen. She died in the early 70's, victim to pills and speed and her fifteen minutes, wasted and wiped out, a shell of her glorious blank self (p.s. - I once saw a collage of her image from one movie, all half second clips of her face moving through different expressions. They were all close-ups, and in a matter of a few twitches, tweaks, subtle shifts, and turns, she was able to make her emotions dance on the surface of her countenance, very beautiful-like).

"What process is behind this beautiful blank? Shiny silver lining that's behind our favorite mirror." How many like her are eaten up and spit out by the industry, in pursuit of the life? Well you know it's a bunch, makes you wonder about just how natural all these obsessions have become? (not even questioned, inmost cases). Some of the repercussions of that reality are hinted at here on this album, over the course of these short, stabbing songs; the absurdity, sure it's there, but there's acceptance too, in the middle of anger, and no matter what might be going on at any one time with the lyrics and vocals, the music is always driving and hard and jittery with energy (the good kind).

Reviewed by James Hoey
A long-time contributing writer for LAS, Jim lives in North Carolina and drives an early 70s model mustard yellow Chevrolet Blazer.

See other reviews by James Hoey

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