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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
Be Your Own Pet
Get Awkward
Ecstatic Peace!

Rating: 9.2/10 ?


March 14, 2008
The manifesto of Be Your Own Pet's first album went, "I'm an independent motherfucker/ and I'm here to take your money/ I'm wicked rad and I'm here/ to steal away your virginity." Their new one's manages the not-so-simple feat of actually being more childish: "Crash a six-year-old's birthday party/ smash cake in her face and make her grab for mommy/ Stand your fucking ground!" Sinking to a new level of immaturity on your second album is a rarity to be celebrated in a day when "indie-rock" means "600-piece orchestra."

First I'll deliver the bad news. This wonderful group had a shot at my Album of the Year until this official reshuffling of the leak that surfaced a month ago excised two of its best: the automatic "Black Hole" and the astonishing "Becky," which counts down the dissolution of a flimsy high school friendship at an authentically kidlike pace. Jemina Pearl told me last month that they filmed a "Becky" video and the two songs will eventually find their way onto an EP, which is too bad; such a marginal fate for two of their best songs to date. I guess those'll reunite with this tracklist on a reissue in 2028 or something. Perfectionist audiophiles are advised to utilize their file-sharing network of choice while that leak's still in circulation.

No matter, I can play with new rules. Now I count twelve great to excellent songs instead of fifteen (at a serrated 29:23 with plenty room for more, hint, hint) with only the goofed "Bummer Time" hinting at dulled edge. Most of Get Awkward's cuts are instant pleasures: groupie massacre "Bitches Leave," parting shot "You're a Waste," and of course, "Food Fight," which clocks in at a lovable 1:04. "Creepy Crawl" introduces sung harmonies to great effect, while "Zombie Graveyard Party!" eats your brains. The album's first single, "The Kelly Affair," opens the Yeah Yeah Yeahs rivalry wound just when you thought it was safe to put down the pigeonhole by sounding exactly like "Date With the Night."

Maybe it's a sneer to remind Karen O she can no longer work up that kind of concision, maybe they're completely unaware. In any case, "everybody here parties all the time/ Everybody here has got sex on their mind" is a fuck of a chorus. Nearly every track on the album has one of those, or at least a riff to hum, if you have fast reflexes. It was amazing that these guys could pull off Be Your Own Pet in the first place, much less do it all over again two years later. Even with song subjects nicked from movies, the only false thing here is the title: Get Awkward my ass. It's extremely difficult to imagine these hyperdrive darlings as anything but fully adept.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss

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