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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
Haiku D'Etat
Coup de Theatre
Project Blowed/Decon Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


January 26, 2005
Cold weather is awful. Once the temperature dips below forty degrees and stays there, my overall happiness drops by at least fifty percent. I'd move away from it in a second if I could. Some people say, "If you move, you'd miss the seasons changing, you'd miss the cold air."

Bullshit. What is there to miss about freezing my ass off? The extra layers of clothing? The chill that's basically impossible to shake? The fact that just the idea of leaving the house makes me pause? That every time I walk out the door I'm immediately in a rush to get wherever I'm going because being outside for more than five minutes is basically unbearable?

No, I don't think I'd miss frigid weather one bit. I'm always reminded of, and am somewhat tortured by, this when I hear a record by a group that comes from somewhere that the weather is mostly pleasant all the time, like California. Something about it just sounds more laid back, more at ease, more like music that could only have been made by people whose time is not primarily spent figuring out how to stay out of the cold.

Coup de Theatre, by West Coast underground hip-hop super-group Haiku D'Etat, is a good example. With jazz influenced beats and smooth poetic flows, this record is the very embodiment of the word "mellow." Haiku D'Etat is made up of some of the finest MCs ever to come out of the Los Angeles underground. Aceyalone and Micah 9, both formerly of the legendary Freestyle Fellowship, are joined by fellow LA denizen Abstract Rude, of Abstract Tribe Unique.

Coup de Theatre is exactly what you'd expect from this kind of pedigree - stunningly complex word play, progressive, intelligent, and contemplative content matter with understatedly funky, laid back beats (courtesy here of Fat Jack). None of the tracks here really miss the mark, with standouts like "Kats" and "Stoic Response" exemplifying everything that's right and good about this easy-going style, more poetry to a beat than simple rap.

Coup de Theatre succeeds because the skill on display seems so effortless. This collection of natural, loose songs can bring even a shivering cold listener into the mind of people unconcerned with the temperature outside, people who can take their time getting wherever they're going, because why not take it slow when everything feels so nice and comfortable. Haiku D'Etat may not be able to keep you warm, but they sure can make you want to smack the person that says you wouldn't want to live somewhere where life felt as smooth as this music.

Reviewed by Dan Filowitz
Dan Filowitz is Toronto-born, New-Jersey-raised, Indiana-University-educated, and Chicago-residing. In addition to his Lost At Sea contributions, Dan is a senior staff writer for political humor site TalkStation.com and the president of ChicagoImprovAnarchy (The CIA) a Chicago-based improv theatre company. We are not mentioning the 9-5 corporate job. Apparently, Dan does not sleep much. Dan Filowitz is the perfect dinner party guest - fun, witty, intelligent, with wide-ranging interests, ecclectic tastes and a winning smile. Just make sure you have coffee available.

See other reviews by Dan Filowitz

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