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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
Fizzle Like a Flood
Flash Paper Queen
Ernest Jenning Record Co.

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Legend has it that Bruce Springsteen's landmark release, Nebraska, slept snugly in the Boss's back pocket until he felt content in recording the demos with a full backing band. The lo-fi masterwork remained in its truest form as a set of intimate, personal recordings, and showed once and for all that the talent of this minstrel laid not only in his structural skill, but his lyrical insight. It is only fitting, then, that when Conor Oberst sings of "a boy in a basement with a four-track machine," the kinship of Nebraska and intense self-discovery remains in the forefront. As Omaha cautiously accepts its status as a new indie rock Mecca, it edifies the air of poetry and raw emotion that sweeps across the hills.

Doug Kabourek, also known as Fizzle Like a Flood, has been recording for close to five years, and showing that not all artistic glory in the city rests on the shoulders of the Saddle Creek crowd. While he remains more of a mystery among the trumpeted names, there is comfort that such poignant works could be kept so close to the pocket and the heart.

The ghosts of Nebraska are stirred when depth meets simplicity. While Flash Paper Queen (subtitled The 4-Track Demos) leads off with a lush, multi-layered single, "Like Wind Like Rain," the rest of the release harbors lovingly cobbled acoustic vignettes. While it is cleverly packaged as though Flash Paper Queen existed in a fuller form (even including the demo of the studio recording as a bonus track), the demos are our first taste of what may be a forthcoming inking of these pencil sketches. Finding itself somewhere between the jangly tendencies of Mary Lou Lord's first EP, Lou Barlow's stripped recordings, and the lovely sadness that moves through Ben Barnett and Ben Gibbard's projects, Doug Kabourek has something fundamental to show us about being human.

Surprisingly clear and splendidly savvy, tracks like "Maenad's Tattoo" prove that hefty production is unnecessary -- even in upbeat, accessible singles -- when left in skilled hands. Further, "Don't Go" and "Love" show that honest emotion will show its brilliance in even austerity. A direct line can be drawn from the man to his creation and out to the audience. As misery loves company, he makes you his confidant: there is an echo of the beautiful catharsis that comes from sharing, and we are all so lucky to be his faithful shoulder in moments of such great intensity.

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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