» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
Various Artists
Post Marked Stamps Compilation
Tree Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
All of the singles in the Post Marked Stamps series have been listened to and reviewed countless times, so there is really nothing new I can add to the individual works. All of the singles were very well done and, aside from the A Minor Forest and Tim Kinsella songs, I liked every one. As for the collection CD itself, it is also very well done. As is the signature at Tree (and a big part of why I admire the label so much), Ken ads some personal commentary in the liner notes, a bit about each release and what he went through to get it out. After reading it I'm amazed he didn't scrap the whole project along the way.

I was originally VERY keen on the PMS, but now I'm not so sure I'm blown away. The idea behind it was great because, like the old Tree mailer said, about a million comps come out every year and nearly all of them lack theme or originality. The PMS series was definitely a fresh idea, and a good one at that.

When I first signed up for the series I couldn't believe the list of bands, virtually a who's who in indie rock, which of course led to major disappointment when a host of them didn't end up on the series. Some of the bands who were advertised but didn't appear were Cobolt, Rachels, June of 44, Urban Legends, the Logans, Her Space Holiday, and HUM, the latter of which are my rock idols. Sure, the bands that subsequently ended up in the series - Rainer Maria, Compound Red, Very Secretary, Sweep the Leg Johnny - were all good bands but that is beside the point. When you go to a Fugazi show only to find out that they cancelled and Blue Tip is playing instead you can't help but be bummed. You were lied to, you feel let down. Sure, Blue Tip rocks and you don't mind seeing them, but you came to see Fugazi. No one is going to claim that the series sucks, but it is definitely a bit of a deflator.

Another bit of annoyance is that the series basically turned into a Midwest rock fest with a host of bands who are best friends. Sure, it's Ken's label and he can do what he wants, but then what happens to the claim that PMS is so different? Lots of labels put out comps with their friends' bands.

Lastly, the original mailer for the series repeatedly boasted about the rarity of each release, how you needed to get in on the series because they were so limited. Well, that thought went out the window as soon as the fourth one, with Braid and the Get Up Kids, started disappearing of shelves. First there was a CD version of #4 for their European tour, and then the news of the CD compilation.

On the flipside of the coin you could say, as the notes in the CD do, that Ken was merely ensuring that all of these releases would be available for years to come, not to mention thwarting the greedy bastard bootleggers' salivating jowels. But it also sounds like the revenue was too good to pass up for the sake of doing something truly different. Clever, I must admit, to make money off of them twice. I'm surprised there isn't a double LP in the works.

But when the day is done Ken and Tree deserve a big pat on the back and a lot of respect. It takes a lot of balls to do something different like the PMS series, and not many people on the biz end of the rock stick have that. Tree does.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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