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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
Phosphorescent
To Willie
Dead Oceans

Rating: 8/10 ?


March 12, 2009
"Turn out the lights, the party's over," warbles Matthew Houck's voice out of the small, tinny speakers that sit atop the dresser in my room. Crushing out the remnants of a cigarette in an overflowing ashtray, I can't help but think that, yes, the party is over.

Watching the last traces of smoke crawl up the dirty wall and diffuse across the ceiling, my mind drifts like that pale cloud to a time when that sentence took on a different connotation. Perhaps it's an odd thing for a parent to tell a child, but when I was young my dad could often get a laugh out of my brother and I by singing that simple refrain in a mock croon whenever it was time for us to go to bed. Maybe a laugh is giving him too much credit; mostly we rolled our eyes and pleaded for, what was in our minds, a stay of execution in order to finish the end of some dumb sitcom. With a single click of the remote control, that sub-teenage party was irrevocably over and we were left with toothbrushing stall tactics. So often in my childhood, sleep was preceded by that simple line repeated again and followed by the literal turning off of my bedroom light.

To Willie, indeed. Tipping my tall can and taking a long swallow, I can't help but pay my respects to a man who could write songs that, while drowning in sorrow, could provide the life preserver of shared common experience. Timeless and universal, everyone can identify with Willie Nelson's songs, as sung by Houck, as Phosphorescent's tales of heartbreak, wasted youth, and harsh introspection.

Taking a final swig, I crack a tiny smile as the last notes of To Willie trail off into the dead spaces of my room. Killing the lights, I think of my dad and my carefree childhood and wonder exactly when it was that I gave up hope in favor of sarcasm and cynicism. I guess it doesn't matter now, the lights are off and the party is over.

Reviewed by Kevin Alfoldy
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.

See other reviews by Kevin Alfoldy

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