» 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
Astronomy for Children
Highpoint Lowlife

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
My Alma Mater, Loyola University Chicago, would begin each year with a hypnotist. You might argue the merit of that choice when presented with options of mixers, sporting events or rock concerts, but seeing a marketing major make out with a microphone stand for half an hour was good enough for me. I'm a simple, simple girl.

One wonders what those absurd, entertaining puppets must be feeling on the other side of that interaction, in order to lose all of their inhibitions and do as they are told. There must be some underlying power, some agreeable sort of control, that lets the participants be at peace with their actions.

Nyles Lannon, a member of the brilliant Film School project, is single-handedly exploring the experience of those unwitting participants. Rather than dabbling in more straight-laced indie pop, as n.ln he puts doses of Ms. John Soda-style electronics and broad skied wonder to good use. As such, he recreates that unsolved side of hypnotism, one strictly steeped in trance. There is a warmth that draws you in, unaware of what you are doing as he carries out his wishes.

"This Morning" sets the tone with an electronic equivalent of raindrops descending into a brimming puddle. Its steadiness proves calming and aesthetically sure, reveling in its ambience right off the bat. It is the start of the hocus pocus, when you are getting sleepy.

From here, it only gets more engrossing, as he pursues more daring avenues. "That Spun My Head" seems sharp and orchestral, picking up volume and fullness to support its eight-minute length. "I Never Heard" seems a bookend to Aphex Twin's monumental "Flim", but far more downplayed and sinewy. While he is not yet reaching the heightened level of such masters, the tracks continue simmering with dangerous potential.

Continuing the dark trend, "In Place Of..." is absolutely spooky, the shortest and most desolate track, causing a flutter of panic with its chaotic emptiness and threatening, violent hush. Finally, the curiously placed "Thoughts" closes with a spark of energy, plucky and nearly danceable, feeling like a club anthem played in reverse. Whether intentional or not, the contrast abruptly snaps the spell and releases you from the album.

There is room for growth in Astronomy for Children, but that fact would likely be acknowledged by Lannon himself. Still, we should be grateful for his adventurism into different musical territories, as the disc is full of promise and heavy eyelids, holding a slyly hidden command.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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