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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
Mixel Pixel
Rainbow Panda
Mental Monkey Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Mixel Pixel is a quirky, electro-pop trio trapped in a vintage video game arcade with millions of free game tokens. Hidden beneath Rainbow Panda's layers of Nintendo soundtrack squiggles and squelches are playful, lo-fi melodies maneuvered by guitars and Moog keyboards, not joysticks. Don't call what Mixel Pixel does kitsch. Think of Rainbow Panda instead as Japanese Anime drawn by Beck, a wildly inventive acid trip of sounds both organic and computer-generated that mess with your mind.

Like a less exuberant, more laconic Enon, Mixel Pixel feeds its funk a healthy dose of Prozac on "My Animal." Trading vocals over shifting beds of synth sand, Rob Corradetti and Kaia Wong sound so much like John Schemersal and Toko Yasuda you'll think somebody slipped High Society into your player while you weren't looking. "Boy With The Saddest Eyes" shifts from kaleidoscopic keyboard swirls to a flowing river of folk acoustic guitar strum that carries absurdist lyrics about changing identities and finding God over the falls in a barrel. The opener, "Pink Shirts", is a cool breeze of 80s New Wave, while the woozy Moog and guitar melodies of "Desert Falcon" wander through a maze of electronic blips and eddies. Saving the best for last, Mixel Pixel offers the lazy pop stroll of "Body Automatic", with its girlish "la la la" backing vocal chorus and slinky, Stray Cat-strut drum beats.

Mixel Pixel is prone to psychotic noise episodes and sun bursts of electronica. "Psych Mo-Fo" is the sound of a Frogger machine shorting out after some snot-nosed kid fries the circuits by spilling his Big-Gulp soda on it as robot crickets chirp away in the background. And "Your #1" spikes Rainbow Panda's electric kool-aid with futuristic punk that gets sucked down a black hole of shooting star synth streams.

What began as a pen-pal home-recording project in 1996 between friends Rob Corradetti and Matty Snee, Mixel Pixel has evolved into a firmed-up three-piece comprised of songwriter Corradetti on guitar and vocals, Wong on vocals and Moog, and Matt Kaukeinen on bass, drums and vocals. Rainbow Panda is Mixel Pixel's third record, and perhaps their most ambitious effort yet. It's all over the map sonically, and at the end of Rainbow Panda, you'll think you've gone on a vision quest. Who knows? You might never come back to reality. What a shame that would be, huh?

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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