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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]

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[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
Money Mark
Demo Or Demolition?
Chocolate Industries

Rating: 7/10 ?


January 28, 2005
Demo Or Demolition? It's a fair question that Money Mark poses here. The keyboard wizard known far and wide as the fourth Beastie Boy must have mulled it over quite a bit while deciding what to do with the songs found on this 17:17 long EP.

He could have locked them away in a vault and thrown away the key. Better yet, he could have wrapped them in sticks of dynamite and blown them to bits. Or, he could have sat on them for a while, figuring they needed more work, that they lacked polish. Instead, he chose to throw them out there as they were and let the public have at them, consequences be damned.

Given the title, it stands to reason Money Mark had doubts about the material. You will too when "Livid In A Madman's Hell" comes on. The opening track fizzles with dull, thudding drum echoes, banal acoustic textures, uninspired synth squiggles and the flat, lifeless funk melody.

People expect a lot from Money Mark. After all, this is the man who helped make Check Your Head and Ill Communication such fantastic, mind-fucking musical voyages into uncharted territory, expanding the boundaries of hip-hop beyond what anybody else had dared to dream. So, to see Money Mark give up the acid-trip funk of his well-received first solo record, Mark's Keyboard Repair Album - not to mention his work with the Beasties - for the barren, lo-fi pop of its successors was a bit of shock. The bandwagon was emptying into the street in search of lost grooves.

That's a shame because Money Mark hasn't lost it, and most of Demo Or Demolition? bears that out. As carefree as a Sunday afternoon drive along miles of ocean beachfront, the summery "Burn Away", with its distorted vocal supernova, rolling, languorous bass and bright, stabbing guitar light, blows your cares away. Adopting the greasy blues and sly, junkyard funk beats of Beck, Money Mark seasons the stew with jazzy guitar and keyboards in "Three O'clock", a song that makes me want to play hooky from work and dance with loose women at a seedy corner bar, telling them lies about how the huge house I own and the expensive car I drive.

"Break Open My Shells", with its slinky female backing vocals, clattering percussion, steel drums and serpentine saxaphone, has sort of a gospel feel that somehow also seems rooted in sexual desire. The acoustic number, "Nice 2 Me," rides along head-bobbing bass lines and shaking percussion. It's a pleasant diversion that's shattered by the balls-out, Primal Scream rock of "Rock On."

Though songs occasionally fall flat in spots - sometimes the choruses simply don't fit right - Demo Or Demolition? is a fun, laid-back record, full of bright melodies and a buffet of sounds, from honking harmonica to the psychedelic keyboard head-trips Money Mark is known for. It's not experimental. It's not groundbreaking. It's not "Sabotage", but it sure is a delight.

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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