» 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
The Grizzly Owls
By Night On My Bed

Rating: 7/10 ?

January 18, 2008
In general, most albums are filled with tracks centered on some kind of theme; the number one topic being heterosexual love and romance, followed in the distance by social commentaries and, oh, lets say drugs and murder (note that this list is something I just came up with, sans research, so please refrain from flooding my inbox with statistically supported refutations). With all of that heartbreak and the occasional bong rip or throat cutting, it is indeed a rare occasion when one finds an album with the Dust Bowl being it's main theme and inspiration (although my prediction is that 2008 will see at least 50 major Dust Bowl themed releases). But when an artist takes the initiative to pen a historically inspired album, they usually come up with something pretty good.

All joking aside, husband and wife duo Joseph and Jenny Andreotti, who perform under the moniker The Grizzly Owls, penned their self-released full-length debut, By Night On My Bed, on inspiration provided by their grandparents' journey from Oklahoma to California during the great Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s immortalized in John Steinbeck's 1939 Pulitzer- and the Nobel Prize-winning masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath. Both lyrically and musically, the Andreotti's odd source of inspiration can be heard, with harmonica and steel guitar setting the mood for lyrics about Jeremiah (the album's protagonist, who just happens to be the perfect man), rifles, and the Dust Bowl itself.

Of the eight tracks on The Grizzly Owls' debut, "I Am a Child of The Dust Bowl" is By Night On My Bed's clear standout. The track recounts the hardships of the Dust Bowlers - no food on the table, holes in their clothes - and is catchy to the point that fans of Morrissey will recall the Mozzer's "Sing Your Life."

Another noteworthy song is "Jeremiah", a love song about a man named Jeremiah (even though Jedediah is a much prettier name) that encapsulates everything likeable about The Grizzly Owls. Here the Andreottis go all the way with their geekifying of the Depression-era theme, and why not? If there's a love song on the album, it should be about a Dust Bowler named Jeremiah, dammit.

As is often the case with distinctly conceptual albums, By Night On My Bed will likely garner a host of different reactions from listeners. Some may be turned off by The Grizzly Owls' folky yet cinematic sound, which is most directly comparable to Neil Young's soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch's classic Dead Man, while others will love them for being gutsy enough to base an entire album on such an odd theme as the Dust Bowl. Still others, myself included, will land somewhere in-between; I like the whole concept of the album, but at times - especially when The Grizzly Owls are at their strongest - broadening their horizons beyond the dusty landscape of old-timey Oklahoma would have clearly lent itself to a stronger album.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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