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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » 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
Dosh
The Lost Take
Anticon Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


November 6, 2006
Martin Dosh breaks his silence on The Lost Take. For two albums, the Minneapolis-based multi-instrumentalist let his immaculately glued-together, technicolor collages of keyboard and drum loops - culled from a vast library of such things - do all his talking. On The Lost Take's "Everybody Cheer Up Song," Dosh sings for the first time on record. And what he has to say may shock you; more than likely, though, it won't.

Any career aspirations Dosh harbored as a motivational speaker are quashed in the bittersweet ennui of "Everybody Cheer Up Song," which is not at all cheery or inspirational and, oddly enough, is reminiscent of the theme song to the TV show Taxi. A sad expression of longing and loneliness, "Everybody Cheer Up Song" is an empty city bus ride of jazzy, Sea And Cake-style post-rock that reinforces the instinct to retreat from the world and hide out in a fort of your own bedding. Strewn about this mosaic of warm electric keyboards, sentimental piano parts and shuffling drums are wistful violin samples, smatterings of Coke-bottle percussion and vibrant vibes, and what could be a guitar imitating a ticking alarm clock. Buried underneath it all is Dosh exhaling, "I'm tired of everything" in soft, multi-layered vocals that drift from ear to ear in headphone confusion.

If he is, he hides it well on The Lost Take, a series of fluid, constantly evolving, mostly instrumental pieces that flow like tributary waters into one big lagoon of lush hues and cascading melodies. Now a full group, instead of the one-man band Dosh used to be, the Anticon Collective act's third impressionistic sonic painting reveals a vibrant playground for the gifted and talented kids of indie instrumental-rock. Helped by Andrew Bird on violin and saxophonist Mike Lewis (Fog/Happy Apple), just to name a few contributors, Dosh keeps the taped keys and percussion rolling on The Lost Take. But live, intuitive playing amongst the musicians gathered here is what carries the day.

Recording tricks like the nauseous, gramaphonic violins that introduce the opener "One Through Seven" are not at all prevalent on The Lost Take, but when Dosh brings them out, they add a world of nuance to the proceedings. At times, he mutes the sound, providing a sense of distance. Or he'll blur parts to make the song a smooth-running train speeding past scenery that flies by in an instant. "One Through Seven" is a head-swimming jazz composition that features the undulating saxophone of Lewis - he actually makes the instrument sound hip again - and bubbles of xylophone seemingly exhaled from a drowning child; it may indeed be the rebirth of cool, delivered by an indie-kid midwife of all people. If it isn't, its chill vibe and easy lounge-music manner have a languid charm that's soothing and, at the same time, provides a multi-textured listen. Following the somnambulant "Everybody Cheer Up Song' is "Um, Circles And Squares," a diabolically clever merging of Bird's dreamy violin and a soft avalanche of vibes, Dosh's fluid drumming and Lewis, blowing pure joy through that sax. Heady, stop-start piano runs, layered so skillfully by Dosh atop electric keyboard washes and snippets of violin, fuel "A Ghost's Business," while "Shipwreck" is an effervescent, emotionally affecting combination of piano, distortion, slow-moving hip-hop beats, and light, practically unintelligible vocals.

Caught up in childhood remembrances and a mid-life crisis, The Lost Take is nostalgic without being inconsolably depressed. Always playful, Dosh smears vaseline on the recorded voices of his drum class students excitedly yelling, "Fireball!" and the song of the same name turns into an acid-trip of weird keyboard sounds and Jeremy Ylvisaker's swooning pedal steel. The maze of directions the closing title track, a more grounded jazz number, takes is hard to follow, but rewarding. And even though the distored and bruised "Mpls Rock And Roll" and the spacey "Pink Floyd Cowboy Song," with its lovely nests of acoustic guitar and its Prog leanings, yearn for something inexpressible - a sense of place in the universe, perhaps, or freedom from painful memories - they still devolve into something that resembles a gleeful pile-on of friends laughing, the kind you hear in the summer-vacation afterglow of "O Mexico." Here's where special guest Erik Applewick of Tapes 'N Tapes makes his presence felt with a blinding flurry of notes and chords, not to mention the distorted textures he creates.

Bored resignation is not really Dosh's style. Virtuoso musicianship and imaginative, kaleidoscopic instrumentals that evoke a range of feelings are, and they make The Lost Take an endearing, heart-rending listen, and another winner for Anticon. Every song feels like a music box, especially "Bottom Of A Well," and a steamy hothouse or indoor pool at the same time. When winter grips you by your shriveled balls and you can't escape the cold, The Lost Take will feel like an electric blanket or, better yet, a jacuzzi. And you won't want to say a word to anybody while the record is playing.

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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