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 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
MC Lars
The Graduate

Rating: 7/10 ?

April 4, 2006
Of my favorite things to do in life, laughing definitely makes my top five (probably sandwiched between going to shows and eating sushi). Which is good because most things - even the most inappropriate or macabre - invariably elicit a hearty giggle from this reviewer. My propensity for laughter no doubt benefits MC Lars and his self described "post-punk laptop rap" because, in lieu of a good sense of humor or a love of the ridiculous, this album could easily be relegated to coaster status.

On his first full-length, The Graduate, MC Lars name drops popular culture like a caffeinated English major on a heavy diet of VH1 programming. Lars cites everything from Star Wars and Craigslist to Volvo and Franz Kafka while sampling everything from the Tetris theme to Supergrass in his far-reaching quest to be the least-gangsta MC of all time.

And, like any good MC, Lars also brings in a roster of guest performers to up the ante. Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup lends his vocal chords to the chorus of the album's opener, "Download this Song," an Iggy Pop sample-ridden record industry rant, while MC Chris voices you-know-who on "The Roommate From Hell." Pop-punkers The Matches and Non-Phixion's Ill Bill also make appearances on "Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock" and "The Conversation," respectively.

"iGeneration" and "Signing Emo" reappear from 2004's Laptop EP, however "Rapgirl" and "Internet Girlfriend" could've been scratched in favor of some of the "ideas" referenced in "21 Concepts."

Gimmicks not aside, the greatest asset to The Graduate - which is named as a reference to Lars's recent departure from Stanford University - is its novelty appeal. But unlike most novelty records (*cough* William Hung *cough*) this MC knows how to cross kitschy and catchy with enough finesse that, without necessarily being musically relevant, still feels new, exciting and, of course, hilarious. Although Lars still has quite a bit of honing to do on his skills, The Graduate is a good time to be had by all.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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