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 » 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
Various Artists
Holiday Matinee
Better Looking Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Holiday Matinee has quickly become the media machine in certain indie rock circles, promoting everyone from folky churchgoing Pedro the Lion to big league rockers Jimmy Eat World. HM's roster is ever evolving but always stellar. This compilation/sampler serves as a mile marker for the summer of 99 lineup. As with any compilation, it should be noted that everything is a generalization based on only one song.

Track 1 starts things off well with a band I'd yet to hear but had often heard of, Boston's Shyness Clinic and their low end rumbler, "Barcelona to Madrid." Despite being well rounded craftsmen, the Shyness Clinic find themselves in a precarious position that has washed out many an indie rock band - their songs are written well, perhaps too well. All of the ingredients for a platinum album and a trip to the MTV music awards are here (subtle changes, infectious chords, well placed lyrics) but the overall package is so cleanly presented that there isn't much to grab on to to give it a sense of definition. I've listened to this track several times through and each time my mind just floats through without remembering much. Played in rotation alongside the usual "Alternative" rock on today's radio, I would be hard pressed to pick out this track from the Matchbox 20s. If this band could shake things up with some off camber dynamics or vocal stylings they would leave much more of an impression.

Track 2: the Wicked Farleys Piebald have got to be one of the tightest, most efficiently creative bands around today and "Grace Kelley With Wings" is a the perfect ambassador. Whereas the Shyness Clinic fade into obscurity as soon as their track is over, Piebald resonate with the listener long after their number is up. A slow, almost whispery start soon erupts into high gear with an almost anthemic guitar riff and the singer's forceful vocals before tapering off briefly with a see-saw intermission before stumbling into some sort of dizzying 80s hairspray rock number. Piebald reminds me a bit of For Squirrels in that they change personalities so often within a single song, wavering easily between the college rock of Semisonic, Van Halen-style guitar rock and jumpy noise ala the Wicked Farleys.Guaranteed that a few people will go out and buy their CD after hearing this song.

Track 4: Tristeza

Track 5: Sunday's Best

Track 6: Pedro the Lion

Adam Voith makes a few appearances on this audio sampler with readings from his novel Bridges With Spirit. His "Minor Rock Star" chapters, brought into a new light, add some variety to this CD, spicing it up with something fresh alongside the tired old rock and roll.

Track 8: Sterling Silver

Track 9: Very Secretary

Track 10: Tugboat Annie

Jejune occupy a niche somewhere between the pep of Jimmy Eat World and the spaced out feel of Luna with the comforting dual vocals of Rainer Maria, a predicament which has suited them quite well over the years. After grinding it out seemingly unnoticed (much like JEW) for a while Jejune has taken off with an acclaimed sophomore album on Big Wheel Recreation and a European tour earlier in the year. "Fixed on the One" is a great representation of their sound with everything to Araby's sweet vocals to the high flying guitar work they are notorious for. They've also added a permanent second guitarist since their last album so look for the guitars to get even bigger.

Fiver are complete newcomers to me.This track bears some resemblance to something the Wicked Farleys might do with the unusual guitar tuning.

Track 13: Sharks Keep Moving

Track 14: Adam Voith

I must be getting slow because Egon have escaped my radar for some time, something I'm not too happy about. This combines the lo-fi fuzz sound of a garage band with the jangly goodness of a brit pop outfit, two things I am known for hating. Egon, however, manage to do it in a surprisingly appealing manner.

Track 16 : Rodriguez

Track 17: Adam Voith

I don't know what has become of Boilermaker; the bassist was rumored to have moved to DC to take up with the Farewell Bend, but that band is confirmed dead. And I'm guessing that they wouldn't be on HMs new sampler if they weren't around anymore. This San Diego group has to be one of the most underexposed, underrated, under appreciated bands of the past few years. Constantly skipped over for attention, shivering in the shadows of bands who play the ear candy that is hip, Boilermaker have always done things a bit differently. "Last On The Drive," despite being experimental in comparison to their regular fare, is largely considered to be their greatest accomplishment. No argument here. Slow to the point of poignant and with vocals that impress similarly to David Moore's (Chamberlain) there is a haunting intensity and sincerity in this song that is certain to evoke a nostalgia in the listener. Very powerful and surely the highlight of the sampler.

Pedro the Lion contribute a second track, a live version of "Criticism as Inspiration." As impressive as it was on the EP, this song is even more touching in the live version. David Bazan has one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard, a simple yet rich tone that resonates with honesty and insight in an almost frightening way. Made In Mexico hit the jackpot with Pedro the Lion, plain and simple.

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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