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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
Capitol Years
Pussyfootin'
Full Frame Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
When Bob Dylan went electric, dogmatic folkies considered it tantamount to treason. Shai Halperin can breathe easy. Nobody's going to hang him for unplugging his amps to record an album of weary, dust-caked acoustic folk-rock reminiscent of George Harrison's solo material or Tom Petty's Wildflowers. Still, Pussyfootin' takes some getting used to, especially for those who love the raw, buzz-saw guitars and scruffy melodies of The Capitol Years' 2001 debut Meet Yr Acres and 2003's Jewelry Store EP

Full of wistful, yearning melodies that sway like hay fields blowin' in the wind, Pussyfootin' is The Capitol Years' so-called "lost" album; bootlegged copies of it have been circulating among the band's hardcore fans for some time now. Recorded during the down time between release dates for Meet Yr Acres and Jewelry Store, Pussyfootin' sees Halperin blowing the joint of his hometown, Philadelphia, to drive down folk's parched back roads. The scenery is lovely, from lush vocal harmonies to the acoustic brush strokes of "Old Crow" to the intricate finger picking and brushed drums of "Sloppy Train", which give warning of an approaching locomotive coming 'round the bend. Asthmatic harmonica wheezes throughout the sepia-toned "It's The Law" and "There's A Bridge," a fun bit of sprightly finger picking encouraged by a distant cowboy yelling "yee haw" as he fades from earshot. "Those Who Suck Will Blow" veers into Guided By Voices territory; with its obfuscated lyrics, blurred vocals and lo-fi acoustic melody, it could be a transmission from GBV's
Alien Lanes.

Embryonic versions of Meet Yr Acres' "Faces And Beer" and the Traveling Wilburys-ish "Here Comes..." are included on Pussyfootin', along with "Tumbleweed Prayer", which sounds like Depression-era folk from that would-be killer of fascism, Woody Guthrie. Austin, Texas musician Mike Taylor actually wrote the song; The Capitol Years collaborated cross-country with him on the version that appears on Pussyfootin', adding only instrumentation and harmonies to a hand-held recording of the original.

There will never be another Dark Horse. Harrison was a singular songwriting talent responsible for some of the greatest songs in The Beatles' catalog. But Halperin's gift for 12- and 6-string acoustic melodies is unmistakable. If there's ever a Wilburys' reunion, the boys should give Halperin a call. He's probably in the book.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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