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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
Ahleuchatistas
The Same and the Other
Noreaster Failed Industries

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 1, 2004
What a brilliant, insightful album to arrive right now in our consciousness. There are daily bombings in Iraq and elsewhere, witnessed by the eyes of bewildered schoolchildren who undoubtedly ask, "Is this freedom?" - we have seen Abu Gharib and its aftermath, as all the while, our heads of office blow through farm towns in Iowa to argue semantics, and about how much good they've encouraged in the world. It is a painful time, made for painful art and keen observation. Ahleuchatistas have both, and without words, have something important to say.

Bass lines recall bombs, and free jazz unpredictability and violently sharp guitars state a clear message of their convictions. Frenetic shifts among the everyday places us in a context of uncertainty, where everything happens to us and we must react - swiftly. The Same and the Other is a massacre - and a thought-provoking one at that.

Throughout this wordless political statement, we learn of us and them - that our war is their death and that our lives and goals abroad are both trite and questionable. We are haunted by many images within the album: "Cracked Teeth" is taut, fearful and overwhelmed, playing like an attempt to scurry to safety in a world of disarray, where strangling, choking debris clouds lungs as explosions go off. "Ecstacy Combat Boots" begins like a warped sense of hope and promise, soon decimated by screeching, pounding noise, signaling progression and collapse in the same instant. "Good Question" relies on the perspective of a distant aerial view, dropping missiles magnanimously, with a dangerous sense of pride. The triptych, "RPG" series, numbers one through three, starts as if skulking with night vision goggles, then gets wrapped up in a thrilling war game that is far more serious in another perspective. It ends as we realize the attack is real, and that the aftermath to the "game" is not held in ceremonies or medals.

As the album ends in the symbolic quagmire of "Joyous Disruptions," we must wonder what so-called victory will look like, and the feeling that it will be marred and ugly cannot be dismissed. There is no symbol of triumph, no flag waving, only more turmoil - we know that success is only decided, not felt. Whether you agree with their implied stance or not, The Same and the Other makes a powerful statement whose questions resonate very deeply.

As someone who likes instrumental CDs on the surface, but rarely ever picks them back up off of her shelf, I feel that this one should not leave my player because it has something to teach. Speaking for those whose voice has been silenced by the noise of battle, The Same and the Other is far too important to be ignored.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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