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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
The Mercury Program
A Data Learn The Language
Tiger Style

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I found it strange that when I sat down to wax analytical about A Data Learn the Language I didn't immediately know what to say. After all, I have been toting the small white platter around with me, from work to the car and back home again. For about two weeks now I've had the gently serenading melodies of "Fragile or Possibly Extinct" looping through my head. I put the Mercury Program's latest offering on the air, and I put it on often. I put it on at work, where I was painting a mural, and it through every brush stroke. I played on Thursday evening as a group of friends came over for dinner, and my girlfriend put it on in the garage as we rolled joints and played table tennis all afternoon Saturday. A better orchestration of background music I doubt I could find anywhere, but when I try to sit down and give it my undivided attention, I have trouble staying focused. My mind drifts off between the lulling notes of "Slightly Drifting" and before long I'm going over a news story from earlier in the day in my head. Frustrated at my disobedience, I snap back to attention and notice that my toe is tapping methodically with the rhythm of the song.

For just under an hour the Mercury Program extol the pulse for a cryptic dream sequence, and they do it in a way that is solidly defining. I'll give them that - they're putting distance on those Tortoise issues - but ultimately I'm afraid I don't have anything defining to say about A Data Learn the Language, other than it's a damn fine record. It isn't something you're going to throw on because you get the urge, but more often than not it's an album you'll be listening to all the time, in the background and side spaces of everything else buzzing about.

Reviewed by Lukas Shipman


See other reviews by Lukas Shipman

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