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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
Destroyer
This Night
Merge Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It's strange how some stigmas get so attached to musicians, that when you think of them you're instantly catapulted into a frenzy of stereotypical notions. These notions can sometimes be so blinding, that when referencing these artists, you almost subconsciously use throwaway terms that may not even come close to encompassing what that artist is all about.

A prime example would be David Bowie, who immediately gets the "glam" tag due to the most visual portion of his career, when Ziggy Stardust and his Spiders from Mars strutted their androgynous selves on the stages of the world. However, do yourself a favor and pick up "Hunky Dory" (which I did recently) and you'll find yourself wrapped in a cocoon of complex and majestic pop glory that reaches beyond flashy visuals. It is truly an astounding recording. The same can be said of Stephen Malkmus, a man who will forever be called a "slacker," no matter how brilliant he is. Anyone who is familiar with records like Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain can truly tell, however, that Malkmus' lyrical talent far surpasses that of many of his contemporaries.

Where am I going with this, though? Well, I'm not exactly sure. However, it is very immediate to point out that Dan Bejar and his Destroyer project sound a hell of a lot like David Bowie and Pavement. And, without much question, every review written about Destroyer will be quick to blow their whistles about it. It's quite the irrelevant revelation, by now. So in that way, just as quick as reviewers are to claim that Bowie equals glam and Pavement equals slack, they make up silly hypothetical situations, saying something to the effect of, "Destroyer sound like David Bowie swapping spit with Stephen Malkmus rather than Mick Jagger." And for the record, they hint at the Beatles, Soft Boys, and the Smiths (the "These days pretty girls just make graves" line in "The Night Moves" is killer) quite frequently as well.

So, yes. Inevitable and obvious musical comparison out of the way. Let's move on, shall we?

First of all, thank God for Merge records. The amazing pop wonderment that is Destroyer has been flying under the radar for much too long, with this being the band's fifth full-length release. So, in short, what you are getting here is a band that has fully realized their sound, and have maybe surpassed all those comparisons made earlier to become just Destroyer. And let me tell you folks, it is a wonderful thing to hear these days.

Post-punk may be all the rage right now (and for good reason), but Bejar believes in some good old fashioned drunk, sloppy, sprawling, guitar/piano laced, rock and roll storytelling. Where everyone else is practicing their chops, Bejar (who also moonlights as a member for Canadian power-pop godsend the New Pornographers) and band are too busy swigging Molson Canadian and sharing rock and roll tidbits to mind. You can almost feel the warm and history billowing off of tracks like the racing "Here Comes the Night," or the smooth and pseudo-lounge of "Students Carve Hearts Out of Coal."

Bejar, the obvious cynic, even second guesses his genius on "Goddess of Drought," claiming "My work was a sham/ your work was a sham…" Not so, though, on This Night. The presentation of rock music on the record is just done too right, made too warmly, and with such abandon for whatever is hip at the moment, that it is almost impossible not to fall in love with this record. Save it for late nights, rainy days, or nostalgic periods. Because it's now 1:45 and for some reason, it's the season it's the season of trying to stay alive.

Reviewed by Ryan Allen
A former staff writer with fabulous hair, Ryan Allen once fronted Red Shirt Brigade with his brother, Scott. He currently fronts the art/fashion punk band Thunderbirds Are Now!, with is brother, Scott.

See other reviews by Ryan Allen

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