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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
LN
Dirt Floor Hotel Part 1
Velvet Blue Music

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


March 30, 2005
You're a child of the 70s; your parents were reformed hippies who moved out to the 'burbs when your mother got pregnant and they both realized that they needed to get their shit together, fast. They still liked to smoke those funny smelling cigarettes from time to time, and when they did, glorious music resounded throughout the house. It was during these years that Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake taught you to appreciate The Song and The Story above every other musical virtue, and though you seldom listen to those LPs that you inherited from Mom and Dad anymore (oversaturation), they're still your paradigm.

As a teenager, you really dug The Smiths, not so much for all of the self-loathing and self-pity, but for the sheer weight and depth of their emotional content and the poignant treatment that Morrissey gave everything. The word "morose" often came up in conjunction with your name, but only because people didn't understand that you were in love with art and beauty of any kind. You can look back at yourself now and see that, in many senses, you were just as na´ve and starry-eyed as the kids who used The Queen Is Dead as their emotional quick-fix - but at the same time, you never quite let go of that part of yourself, and it still needs to be sung to from time to time.

College came, and so did your first encounter with a little record label called 4AD. This Mortal Coil's baroque pop was your gateway drug, and you quickly devoured the early A.R. Kane singles and the Cocteau Twins' Blue Bell Knoll , and in doing so you broadened your horizons significantly and began to accept Guitar Atmospherics as a vibrant, spiritually rich musical language. Your favorite band from the label was, of course, Red House Painters, evidenced by the fact that they're the only 4AD artists whose albums you eventually didn't pawn off.

You never did put your B.S. in Biology to good use, opting instead to stick around at the restaurant you worked at to pay your way through undergrad. You enjoyed the romance and the spontaneity of the job, and it was more than enough money for a single guy; more importantly, you also had fallen in love with the SoCal beach town you had moved to. You absolutely loved the beach, but you never went there when everyone else did. Instead, you would venture out on the pier before daybreak or watch the waves crash after your closing shifts. You relished in the fact that the beach was a thriving, living place during the day, but you could only allow your toes to touch the sand when not a single other soul was to be seen or heard.

Fast-forward to today. You've pretty much given up on listening to your records, instead spending your free time fixing up your modest home and writing poetry (which actually isn't that bad). You did have six month trysts with Mark Hollis' solo album, Beth Gibbons last release, and David Sylvian's Blemish, but like all of your old friends and lovers, those records slowly disintegrated out of your life - not from neglect or conflict, but just because. You also admitted to yourself that you sorta like Chris Isaak, so you figured you had better distance yourself almost entirely from pop music before your taste goes to shit like your parents' did. You quit the restaurant job a while back and have an office job now - which you like more because it's more of a solitary gig - and you're finding that you enjoy being alone more and more lately; sure, part of it's a sad thing, but part of it's a really joyful thing, too, and you're not upset or depressed at all.

For whatever reason (Birthday gift from an old girlfriend, perhaps? You're still on good terms with all of them.), you pick up LN's Dirt Floor Hotel Part 1. Maybe it's only because you listen to it in the context of everything else you've listened to and lived through, but nothing in your entire life has ever sounded so absolutely perfect.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan

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