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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.
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 » 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!
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
We Are the Boggs We Are
Arena Rock Recording Co.

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Boggs at least according to their press release got their start as street musicians in Brooklyn, New York, last January. The post-punk kids dug them, and soon enough they were playing at all the swank NYC venues. Shortly thereafter the relatively young foursome was photographed for the cover of their first record while sitting on a couch looking suitably stylish, a pair of look-alike women book-ending the band. It's a plaintive cover, with the title of the record, We Are the Boggs We Are, floating in the white space above their heads. And if you look close enough, you'll find the punch line: one band member is reading a magazine with The Strokes on the cover. In this day and age where your "look" will take you a hell of a long way, The Boggs are possibly mocking or possibly serious about this fashion trend in music. Either way, the group is absolutely interesting.

As is their music. Like their namesake (is The Boggs in reference to steel guitarist Noel Boggs or hillbilly Dock Boggs, or neither?), the group's music is a hodgepodge of traditional Americana roots music bluegrass, Mississippi blues, folk revival and early rock and roll that shares something in common with the aesthetic of early '60s British blues artists like Chicken Shack or John Mayall, as well as American artists like the Holy Modal Rounders. The album recorded in mono often utilizes grainy, single microphone recordings, which works half-heartedly to give the album a rustic feel. Using a variety of folk instruments including accordion, mandolin, autoharp, pennywhistle, banjo, washboard, fiddle and slide guitar, the musicians suitably talented but by no means masters of their trade produce 20 songs (most with vocals).

We Are the Boggs We Are has more than its fair share of bright moments, including tender ballads, corn-bread stomp, good-ole boy blues and near-gospel. And while the record in no way serves as in introduction to traditional folk music, if it makes new fans of Americana and roots music then I guess it serves a purpose. Recommended If You Like the Anthology of American Folk Music.

Reviewed by Doug Hoepker
A former staff writer for LAS whom we like to call Diggles, Mr. Hoepker is currently laboring away on various music-based projects. He now works in academic publishing (ahem), but is perhaps still best known by his DJ moniker, The Noiseboy.

See other reviews by Doug Hoepker



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