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 » 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
The Movies
In One Era Out the Other
Gern Blandsten Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The Movies like to call themselves "soft-punk," and, while after listening to their debut record this may seem like something of a stretch, their Joy Division, early Cure, and Talking Heads reference points validate this descriptor - to some degree. Throw some Grandaddy and Versus into the mix, and the picture becomes a bit clearer.

Singer and guitar player Timothy James used to play in the awesome Boston/D.C. post-punk Vehicle Birth, and besides one song on the Movies' debut record, "A Better Life," there really are no comparisons. Many of the songs here take on a mournful tone, several dealing with love and the scary prospect of marriage, as spare guitars, bass and keyboards propel the music forward. If nothing else, this record is quite unlike anything that is currently on the hot sheet; The Movies' music is quite original. For the most part, the tempo reaches its peak in the mid-range, as on the softly brushed drum-infused "Creation Lake," but occasionally picks up on songs like "Scary Footsteps" and the throbbing "Autograph." "Pass the Music" is an interesting song, as bass and drums assume the same pattern, James following along as he enters with one of his two vocal options, his soft voice. James' lyrics practice the same use of negative space as their music, as on "Don't Steal My Licks," where he thunders in his alternate vocal option, a David Byrne imitation, "Went to the store, I bought it. You can't steal a giveaway. Don't steal my licks." And that's all.

The record is only 26 minutes long, which is welcome and refreshing - not because the music is bad, but because there is no filler here. The spare arrangements and echoing vocal production really allow the keyboards to float to the top of the mix, as they seem to be the backbone of The Movies' sound. With L.A. shows (their current home) opening for bands like Les Savy Fav, The Gossip, and Dance Disaster Movement under their belts, the Movies may be poised for something bigger.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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