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 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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
Dandy Warhols
Welcome to the Monkey House
Capitol Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Dandy Warhols may have chirped that "Heroin is so passť," but with Welcome to the Monkey House, they create a tribute to the Velvet Underground that might reveal that "Heroin" is, instead, their favorite song.

Indeed, Bowie and Reed are called upon continually on this, the Warhols' fourth release. While one cannot fault them for falling short of those legendary icons, the homage is worthy and simple. Asking high-profile friends to help fill in the gaps, they do their best to honor those forefathers.

Produced by Toni Visconti (David Bowie, T. Rex), and featuring Simon LeBon (Duran Duran), Nile Rogers (Chic), Evan Dando, and a jacket by prominent pop artist Ron English, the Warhols certainly laid an interesting foundation. Also, having co-headlined with Bowie himself, performing a live collaboration of "White Light, White Heat" shows they've got their history and future in proper order.

The downside to these trappings, however, is that they create an almost impossible standard for the band to live up to. In the past, they only occasionally harbored all their influences and talents in a manner that felt complete - The Dandy Warhols are almost exclusively characterized by the incomplete feeling befitting their tracks, and these are no exception.

"We Used to Be Friends" accidentally submerges its Bowie flair beneath waves of radio polish. It is too slick, and as such, it loses its character and effectiveness. "The Dope" falls into the same problem: Ziggy Stardust had moments that were never meant to be radio friendly, so trying to emboss shiny textures onto respectable oddities plainly doesn't work.

"Plan A" does a better job, keeping the reigns tight on hushed, drugged-up rock and LeBon's fleeting siren song chorus. Their ability to create rock that is subdued and unapologetically ugly is where they truly succeed, whether the band knows it or not.

"I am a Scientist" and "You Were the Last High" hold the sneaking suspicion that they may be aware of this fault, in that they fully embrace their gnarled beauty and mark a true realization of the band's potential. Their ambition and influences are justified, but their quest for accessibility is often misplaced. It is when they forget these preconceptions and show artful restraint that they strike their most flattering chord.

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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