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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
Afflictions
Janet Style
Trophy Buck/Kill Deer Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
In a small one-room-apartment-turned-concert-venue in an unnamed city, trucker-hat-sporting hipsters are dancing to Delta 5. The first band has already played, a female fronted outfit lean on skill and experience but dressed to the fucking nines. Another band is scheduled to go on before the night's main attraction, a couple of local avant-gardists who're edging closer and closer to full-fledged obscure indie popularity. Word is, this second band is pretty rad and the members are from a certain Midwestern city, but few people in the crowd have ever actually heard any of their music.

The band appears "on stage" (or, in front of the crowd, on a small rug) and starts right up with the rocker "Ain't Nobody." Frontman Jeremiah McIntyre's David Johanson-like vocals are complemented by Kelly Argyle's sax bursts and spasms, and the kids love it. Fucking love it, dude. Kids in this town can't really resist a song they can sing and dance to that sounds this much like James Chance. They really can't, and they're not even going to try to. The band's already doing well with the crowd, but they consolidate their newfound popularity with the hipster anthem "Serf City" before even letting anyone know their name. Here, McIntyre sings lyrics like "you've got to work for what you've got/ and I tell you, I ain't got a lot/ I hope it don't bother you/ cause it don't bother me" over a guitar line strikingly reminiscent of Wire. By the time "God Wants You to Have a Good Time" comes around, the girls are dancing something fierce, spilling their amaretto sours all over the floor and each other, as their boyfriends look on, nodding their hands like it's their fucking job. Like the song says, "before Sunday morning, it's Saturday night," and these kids are gonna party. As their set progresses, the crowd's new favorite band (of the evening so far) lets them know that their name is the Afflictions, and that they're playing tracks off of their debut full-length, Janet Style. And they keep on playing rock that the hipsters love, apparently influenced by the same bands the kids in the crowd are into, from the Specials to the Au Pairs.

But soon, like all good things, the Afflictions' set came to an end, and the avant-gardists took hold of the reins; the out-of-towners were all but forgotten to the music of the more interesting and original locals for the next forty minutes. Forgotten for the moment, however, because next time the Afflictions were in town and the hipsters were looking for a good time, they made sure to check them out again.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn

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