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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
DangerDoom
The Mouse and The Mask
Epitaph Records

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 10, 2005
2005 is the year to get back into hip-hop. For some, including me, it is a ten year reunion of sorts, as listening ceased around 1995, right when hip hop turned commercial and everyone went to DJ school. As indie rock seems to be churning out the same three sounds within mixed genres and is getting a little dry, it's definitely time to reinvest.

Never before has a ragtag trio of individuals with only one thing in common come together with such force than they have on The Mouse and The Mask. Gorillaz continue to try, and have come up with moderate success - and although this album doesn't have the commercial sound Gorillaz like to make, the quality is much better. The one thing these superpowers have in common is a strong respect for rap music; two of the three collaborators in DangerDoom push the limits of the genre in all they create. The third is a group of individuals who are fans and supporters of the music.

Rapper/Producer MF Doom, Producer Dangermouse and the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim have aligned forces and created one of the strongest albums of the year. Made with special appearances by the folks who do the voices on the cartoons (not strictly samples from episodes), we get appearances by Harvey Birdman (defending Doom in court on a track titled 'Basket Case'), Meatwad and Carl (talking about the 'rap game'), Inignot and Err (appearing on the craziest track, "Vats of Urine") and the entire album is peppered with Shake trying to push his way behind the mic. Rarely on rap or hip-hop albums do these sketches work, but since these are far from run-of-the-mill, they all help the album flow right along.

Outside of the animated appearances, we also get visits from real life rappers Ghostface, Talib Kweli and Cee-Lo (who fits perfectly in the mix as a producer and innovator in the genre). Each guest artist adds a different spice and flavor. Talib Kweli, unfortunately, comes off as slightly annoying on the admittedly weak "Old School", but at the opposite end, "Bizzy Box" (featuring Cee-Lo) is one of the most enjoyable tracks in the collection.

The album opens with "El Chupa Libre" (after an introduction by Brak) and sets the stage perfectly. It introduces the listener to the Adult Swim-style flow of the album. All of the curse words are bleeped out (by censors), much like any and every Adult Swim cartoon. The beat is childlike and fun, while Doom's lyric flow runs as fast and smooth as Steve Prefontaine.

Slowing things down a bit, the track "Sofa King" is second at bat. It illustrates a range both musically and in its flow. Doom proves himself to be a genius in the first five minutes of this album: stealing lyrics from the old elementary school prank (read this aloud: I Am Sofa King We Todd Ed), Doom uses it to his advantage and should earn even more fans with such clever wordplay. Anyone intrigued by Doom should adore this album, and fans of Adult Swim will likely pick it up and beginning backwards through his illustrious catalog. I know I will; I've got some catching up to do.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig

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