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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
Black Keys
Rubber Factory
Fat Possum Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
We are a nation divided. Our states are different colors; there is little we agree on. These people over here believe this, and these people over there believe that, and never the twain shall meet. Or, at least, that's what we've been told over and over again by people on television and our most pessimistic friends and family members. It has come to the point where the national mood is such that everyone thinks this divide is impossible to bridge - the gulf is too wide, the differences are too great. "The other side is never going to get me, and I'm never going to get them, so why even try," the people wail.

This is utter nonsense, of course. Nonsense born of perhaps some legitimate gripes, but nonsense nonetheless. It is entirely too fatalistic a worldview to hold any truth. Really think about it for a second. There are way too many things that we Americans agree on in vast numbers, no matter what the so-called color of our state, to really believe in all of this great divide talk. Do people in San Francisco like a cheeseburger and fries any less than people in Mobile? Do New Yorkers love their mothers any differently than do the denizens of Oklahoma City? And is there anywhere in these United States where people don't just flat out love blues-based rock and roll?

Rubber Factory, the latest release by The Black Keys, proves the point. This is deceptively simple, back-to-basics rock music that no honest American can help but enjoy. Two hard working men, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, very clearly poured their heart and soul into their music, crafting each song with pride - what's not to love?

It doesn't matter where you live or what you believe in - no one can deny that when this type of blues-drenched rock and roll comes together right there is nothing better. And Rubber Factory flat-out works. The why's of it can't always be explained in words easily, but we know it when we hear it, don't we? It's heavy and thick and hits us in that place in our gut we forget we have sometimes. Makes us want to whoop and cheer and knock back a cold one with friends and grab our lovers just to dance a little. That is what Rubber Factory is all about - The Black Keys know the spirit of America, and capture it perfectly here in just 41 and a half minutes.

When it comes down to it, Rubber Factory is a celebration of all that we can agree upon. It stands as a reminder that at the end of the day, despite what they tell us, we all share a heck of a lot of common ground. It tells us that as long as there is honest, decent rock music out there, with bands like The Black Keys keeping us safe from harm, we won't ever be truly divided.

Reviewed by Dan Filowitz
Dan Filowitz is Toronto-born, New-Jersey-raised, Indiana-University-educated, and Chicago-residing. In addition to his Lost At Sea contributions, Dan is a senior staff writer for political humor site TalkStation.com and the president of ChicagoImprovAnarchy (The CIA) a Chicago-based improv theatre company. We are not mentioning the 9-5 corporate job. Apparently, Dan does not sleep much. Dan Filowitz is the perfect dinner party guest - fun, witty, intelligent, with wide-ranging interests, ecclectic tastes and a winning smile. Just make sure you have coffee available.

See other reviews by Dan Filowitz

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