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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
Continuous Peasant
Exile in Babyville
Good Forks Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Records by the Silver Jews, its associated bands, and its/their offshoots could surely constitute a substantial proportion of any indie-rock fan's music collection. This is a familiar condition in the world of independent music, of course, with a number of artists capable of being titled the Kevin Bacon of indie-rock, what with the side-projects, collaborations, and splits so abundant in the this sector of the musical world.

Though Chris Stroffolino may not be anyone's number one pick for the Bacon title, he, too, has some history to back him up, most notably his time spent with the Silver Jews, though he's also played with Rising Shotgun and Hudson Bell. And now, like so many ex-members of the music world's beloved bands, he's fronting his own outfit. There are no real surprises on Continuous Peasant's first LP, Exile in Babyville; Silver Jews comparisons can, of course, be made, as can those to some of the songwriting greats of the last forty years, from Leonard Cohen to Billy Bragg.

"How do you know it's raining?" and "Where Are You Tomorrow?" start off Exile in Babyville and serve as good indicators of what's to come on the rest of the record, the former being a lively, jangly number with feel that's a little bit Ted Leo, a little bit Wilco, while the latter is slower and nostalgic, a cross between Magnetic Fields and Bob Dylan. Continuous Peasant's definite strongest point lies in its use of the keys, which finds itself at the forefront of most of the songs on Exile in Babyville, livening up otherwise lackluster songs such as "It's Not a Matter Just of Me" and "You Should Go Down."

Lackluster, however, is not a fitting word to describe Stroffolino and friends. Whether it is the contagious energy of "Breathe until You're Gone" or the despondence of "Even Now," Exile in Babyville is a solid effort on the part of one more ex-member.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn

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