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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
Dakota/Dakota
Shoot in the Dark
Arms Reach Recordings

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It's hard to speculate the exact number of bands who would not exist in their current post-rock instrumental form if Tortoise had not first cracked the seal. It's a blessing that they did, of course, and also that they set a nearly impossible standard to follow. The bar was raised at its very placing, so that those who attempt similar art forms should do so with great care.

Dakota/Dakota is one among that plethora, and have thankfully risen to a commendable mark. While Tortoise indeed ruined the curve for this type of intricate, vocal-free noodling, this new crop of Chicago cadets reveal another flattering side.

The bottom line shown in Shoot in the Dark is that Dakota/Dakota has found to stand out from the crowd: they tone down the more rock-heavy inclinations of bands like Ring, Cicada or Step Softly, Ghost in favor of a true sense of beauty. Many of their tracks, even at their grittiest, are balanced by a stirring, melodic updraft.

Case in point, the exquisite "Indian Givers, Cowboy Takers", which is guiltlessly free of distortion, and wading in tranquil, comforting waters despite being paced by a steadily churning rhythm. "Bruises are Buttons for Pain" is completely simmered in aesthetics, brightened by a cascading acoustic guitar and my own longing memories of American Football. Shoot in the Dark replicates a mindset of thoughtfulness and lovely company kept; it creates a thorough presence so that the listener is never alone. I can think of few records that can hold a hand so delicately.

Throughout the whole of this winning debut, Dakota/Dakota's ability to coax inner beauty out of a plainly gruff exterior is something to be admired. While they do venture into sharp, rock-flavored outings, as in "Getting Angry is the Worst Way to Prove You're Not Drunk", their heart remains in providing a place of comfort in an often uncomfortable scene.

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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