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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
Places, the
The Autopilot Knows Best
Absolutely Kosher Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Airy, atmospheric, ethereal, preternatural, all of these terms would work to describe The Places, but the quickest fact that I could relate in order to give you a good idea about what this band can do sonically would be to mention that they do a dead-on secret-song cover of Syd Barett's "Late Night". This really says worlds about this band, because not only are they capable of creating expressive, haunting ballads and somber, at times gothic, soundscapes, but they do so in a highly literate and articulate way, able, in a few breathy intonations from lead singer and songwriter Amy Annelle, to whisk you away in your head to a scenic place of bristling leaves on dusty roads and grass. Take, for instance, the example from "Mission Impossible": "A see-through soaring lucid true girl writing stories on a floating blue world/falling in love with distant quasars/when you fall hard you see the prettiest stars". This is all nice stuff, just bittersweet enough but not maudlin, with enough sorry late-night sadness to make you feel like your looking up into the sky at night, country air dazzling your senses, head off in some distant space pondering a memory or the universe. Added to the smart lyrics and subtle delivery is the apt instrumentation of accordion, viola, guitar (folk and electric), dulcimer, rhodes, piano, triangle, maracas, banjo, and tape effects. With a proper mix of sounds (a creaking door and wind superbly ends "The Projectionist", chimes and a screeching car culminate "Mouth to Mouth") and music, repetition is avoided and the Places are able to establish moods, explore emotions, and do what they're here for. Note: members of the band backing Annelle can also be heard on The Swords Project and Slower Than, (two bands from out in the midwest or Oregon somewhere).

Reviewed by James Hoey
A long-time contributing writer for LAS, Jim lives in North Carolina and drives an early 70s model mustard yellow Chevrolet Blazer.

See other reviews by James Hoey

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