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[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
Elliott
Photorecording
Revelation Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


November 14, 2005
One of my favorite t-shirts in the entire world belongs to my sister: it's light blue with a dark blue tiger and the band name - Elliott - spelled out in capital letters. It's been worn a zillion times and feels soft and lived-in, like the best thrift-store t-shirts. I steal it whenever possible - which is to say only on the rarest of occasions - but whenever I wear it, a voice always whispers to me: "I can't believe you missed that show."

A few years back my sister caught Elliott at a suburban venue the size of a shoebox. I can't remember where I was, but it wasn't there. Unbeknownst to me, it was one of the band's last tours. Lesson learned: never say you'll catch them the next time. Photorecording is the post-breakup recording from Elliott; a release in the form of a live studio album.

Wha?

Exactly. Photorecording is some sort of live/studio hybrid attempting to merge the best of both worlds. The first seven tracks were recorded live in-studio "directly" after the band's last gig, or so the press release claims. The remaining disc space offers alternate versions, remixes and two new tracks.

While some of the live, recorded songs ("Dyonisis Burning") sound only marginally different from their previously recorded originals, others ("Drive On to Me") have an entirely different flavor. Included live are some of the band's best songs - including "Blessed By Your Own Ghost," and "Shallow Like Your Breath" - however "Speed of Film" remains noticeably absent, relegated to the accompanying DVD. The revamped "Calm Americans," a gem, is a more raucous affair with well played guitar and more easily understood vocals. For anyone who's seen a band live and has been unable to get the slightly altered tune out of their head, this idea is ingenious, although it, of course, misses the fury and banter of a live-stage show.

The two new songs, "This Program is Not Responding" and "Leona," don't really add much to the Elliott catalogue other than lengthening it. However, they do serve to wet the whistle of long-time fans seeking new material.

The DVD also serves to pique the fan interest. The included live video of "Speed of Film" may be the worst example of live footage ever put to DVD; it induces little more than yawns. Although the band sounds great, the amateur filming (poorly lit, only from the side) ruins the experience. Most of the single, continuous shot hold and Elliott staple Chris Higdon are out of frame.

Photorecording serves as a fitting farewell and explanation to the fans of the band's demise, and in these efforts it certainly succeeds. But for anyone unfamiliar with the influential band, turning back time and picking up U.S. Songs is likely a better place to start.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David

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