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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
Dashboard Confessional
Dusk and Summer
Vagrant

Rating: 8/10 ?


July 5, 2006
Grimly determined either to become a male version of Bonnie Tyler or put emo out of its misery once and for all by drowning it in Axe gel, singer Christopher Carrabba isn't out to make any unnecessary friends outside the Billboard world with Dusk and Summer, but to judge the Dashboards on that alone is tantamount to covering one's ears, blaring a stream of gibberish and leaving all those hooks to the High School Musical brigade.

By "the Dashboards," of course, that pretty much exclusively refers to Carrabba, who made up the thing, writes all the material and hires nancy-boy stage props to play their guitars, look the part and stow any artistic disagreements. By now, Carrabba's settled into his Vegas diva skin, holding his notes long enough for them to reach the cheap seats while his mouth is still open, angst dripping from strains that reach out and physically squeeze every last hormone-induced end-of-summer tear from the kiddies in attendance.

And if emo went the way of the Sears Silvertone guitar, what of it? Working the melodic (read big-league) end of things for all it's worth is a denouement long overdue by now for a genre that started life as hardcore, mellowed down some (okay, lots) with bands like Mineral, wussed out completely in the salad days of Hoobastank, and ended up where it is now, a brand of soccer-brat McRock so predictable that you know exactly what the singer's going to sound like five gimpy chords into it. The saw about the sea refusing no river applies to pop art more and more, and Dashboard Confessional has no problem joining the Springsteens and leaving all those My Chemical Romances to figure out who gets stuck going on first (or sixth, whatever) at the Vans Warped Tour, a most apropos circle of hell reserved for the creatively retarded.

Dusk and Summer's over-the-topness is relentless - most any second-banana Blink 182-er would sell an expendable internal organ to use one of these songs as a set-closer, not that Sixpence None the Richer-like album-opener "Don't Wait" shreds that way, but it wants to. Meantime, Clearasil outcries like "The Secret's in the Telling" will surely result in near-death experiences for our heroes as a result of getting pelted with training bras.

Yes, late-to-the-ball Thursday wannabes, Carrabba is going to bang a lot of cute young chicks, your sister probably among them, and there's nothing you can do about it. The time is nigh for you either to surrender and accept your fate as a cubicle drone or find some new beat to pound sand to. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch, really.

Reviewed by Eric Saeger
An LAS staff writer based in New Hampshire, Eric Saeger was named alt.flame\'s Newbie of the Year in 2000.

See other reviews by Eric Saeger

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