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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]

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
Starfucker
Starfucker
Badman

Rating: 7/10 ?


September 12, 2008
The tauntingly-named Starfucker is a Portland trio helmed by chief songwriter Josh Hedges, who previously performed with the band Sexton Blake. While Hedges' former outfit was more of a somber indie group that relied on melancholic beats and gloomy lyrics, his current project, assembled in the summer of 2007, expresses and altogether new direction and temperament. Little wonder, as Hedges formed Starfucker after a ten-day meditation retreat in Thailand, an experience that proved most challenging, according to Hedges himself, when suppressing the urge to masturbate. Returning to the Pacific Northwest, Hedges partnered with Portland natives Ryan Biornstad and Shawn Glassford to round out the band. With the additional musical influence of new friends, Hedges' music is certainly more lively and cheerful than in the past, as he now appears to be appreciating the little things in life, such as rhythmic beats, colorful synths, and light, but funky lyrics.

The eponymous album opens with the futuristic electro-pop song "Florida," and does an adequate job of setting the all-important tone of the record; it's buoyant and poppy temper cascade well with Hedges' light lyrics. The second track on the disc, "German Love," is certainly capable of prompting anyone alive to nod their head and move their body, as it's the funkiest, catchiest cut on the album. "German Love" combines memorizing synth, lyrics, drums, plus a catchy guitar riff, to entice the listener into Hedges' fresh and somewhat quirky head. The fourth track on the album, "Iaaadeedaa," although deceptively catchy, sounds like it was a throwaway consideration for the new James Bond theme song. But, considering Hedges' substantial departure from his previous style, one can't really fault the band for reaching.

The bulkily-titled "Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second" was the first single released from Starfucker, but is perhaps not the best introduction to the band. The song echoes the cheerful funk roots found in "German Love," but fails to exceed (or perhaps even reach) the heights attained in that track. Another, stronger cut from the album is "Pop Song," the ninth track, which is positioned well to keep Starfucker flowing strong throughout the second half. This synth-heavy number employs layered lyrics and an appealing, if somewhat banal, drum beat. All said and done, "Pop Song" is as catchy as its name implies, and repeat spins of the track are likely for most listeners, as the chorus is undeniably infectious.

Although Starfucker's music shines under certain conditions (dancing, not ruminating), their debut does lack a level of innovation and sophistication. The music is jovial and upbeat, yet utterly simplistic. While Hedges can certainly lighten the mood, he's not destroying any musical boundaries on this recording, or even threatening to cross any, really. That said, while they may not be cerebrally engaging, most of the tracks on Starfucker are perfectly capable of keeping the ears interested and the head shaking. The band compliments Portland's already bustling music scene nicely, and are likely to thrive in such an open-air, music-friendly environment.

Reviewed by Brian Christopher Jones
A student living in Scotland and working toward a PhD in law.

See other reviews by Brian Christopher Jones

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