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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
Destroyer
Destroyer's Rubies
Merge

Rating: 9/10 ?


March 6, 2006
Dan Bejar is a madman on a tear, beautifying and demolishing the world; when he's in a frenzy, he can do no wrong. Of course he should be proud of his collaborative output with the New Pornographers, but there's something completely gratifying in knowing he can take full credit for the perfection that is Destroyer.

Destroyer's Rubies is every bit as marvelous as his landmark Streethawk: A Seduction, as our awe compounds in sight of Bejar's limitlessness. An edifying, freeing work without a single misstep, it's impossible to grasp how good this is in a single listen.

Beginning with the oddly syncopated, stream-of-consciousness epic, "Rubies", we know from the onset that Dan Bejar has seen the expanses of oblivion and they have inspired him. His creativity wells up and spills out in drunken warbling and cackling fits from time to time; he has been privy to too much to hold anything in.

Greatness is a concern on the charming, rambling "Your Blood", where passion and awareness tangle with hypocrisy for complex interaction; the track, as the album, is aware of its stature yet striving and humbled. In broad daylight, "European Oils" can be downright silly, but its foggy abandon, luscious wailing and startling, twitching genius allow it to fight as a standout among standouts. It, in conjunction with the choked, contented yowl of "Looters' Follies", offers up fanciful dreams of duets: Would not "European Oils" benefit from the modest, luckless harmonizing of Mark Eitzel? Wouldn't "Looters' Follies" be expertly covered by Victoria Williams on an expanded version of Loose? One dares to dream, but it is of little consequence as Bejar powers every bit of "What if?" on his own. How in the world did he arrange this music so perfectly, phrase these words so obtusely and deepen his own capacities so effortlessly? The questions are confounding, the results even more so.

While Bowie comparisons will surely rear their heads again upon hearing "3000 Flowers," the holy, redemptive rock track is marked by a singular, enwrapping drive, its inspiration not from the Man Who Sold the World, but seemingly out of thin air. Every ounce of Destroyer's Rubies is characterized by perplexing magic that appears from nowhere. The romantic and wryly humorous "A Dangerous Woman Up to a Point" maps out cavernous expanses and fills them all; a non-existent audience turns into a packed house on "Sick Priest Learns to Last Forever", the masses gathering to watch the mumbling, unbridled spectacle. Everyone who lends an ear to Destroyer's Rubies becomes part of that gawking crowd; know that our mouths are agape not due to insanity, but in pondering how perfect self-expression mirrors madness so closely.

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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