» LATEST FEATURES

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
Joggers
With A Cape And A Cane
Star Time International

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 6, 2005
Pretentiousness is not a quality you want in a band. It works for guys like Franz Ferdinand who have an artsy background and are the darlings of everyone in the music world. For the Joggers, however, who come from Portland, Oregon (where a built-in lazy attitude already exists), they feel the need to make a difference in their sound and the way it is perceived. Normally, when it comes to music I'm all for change; in this case it does not suit the band.

When I first heard Solid Guild, I was astounded; I listened to it for a month, pretty much non-stop. Everything fit with it: the off-kilter guitar chords, the mumbled vocals and carefree feel; it all worked. It seems that, though deserved, the positive press and tours since 2003 have given the band a big head and caused them to go into the studio hoping to create a masterpiece.

Comparing the two records, With a Cape and a Cane feels more like it was made by a band of salty old musicians hoping to revive a past success instead of a sophomore album. Everything on this album was done on purpose, whereas Solid Guild sounded like it had a fair share of perfect accidents while in the studio - it made you want to be friends with the band. Any band that is audibly having fun while recording an album will make an enjoyable record (or at least, I hope so). With a Cape and a Cane feels like it was made after studying a textbook on 'How to record a perfect album'.

"Ziggurat Traffic" opens the album with its Egyptian feel; the only thing being built is a wall between the band and their fans. Although they did take a chance with a broader sound, it's not a way to kick off an album; likewise, the distinct sound it explores is never revisited on the album.

"Wicked Light Sleeper" is the only fun song found herein, even though it doesn't contain any surprises. It sounds like a band of former jazz musicians trying to create a song for a new, younger audience. It is at this point where the excitement of an optimistic, light track begins to quickly fade for, even though they have diversified even their 'fun' sound, it's not as enjoyable or lighthearted as before.

Let it be known that this album was created after the lead singer/songwriter Benjamin Whitesides suffered a bit of a breakdown; I'm assuming he spent a lot of time thinking about his future and what he wanted. He focused all his energy in creating a new album with his band mates and put the rest of his life on hold. I've learned in my life that the more time you have to focus on one particular thing, the worse off the end result will be. Distractions, though frustrating, are necessary for creativity. I hope Benjamin and the rest of the band get distracted with memories of the fun they had recording their debut before they move to album number three.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!