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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
D.W. Holiday
Technical Difficulties, Under the Influence...
Three Ring Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
MISERY 20mg PAIN 20mg BIRTH 20mg APATHY 20mg AGING 20mg DOUBT 20mg ELATION 20mg PEACE 20mg

There is a sense in modern life that everything can be changed with a pill, made better, more sane. I met a girl once on a bus and she told me that she knew exactly what to say to her shrink to get Prozac, and that then she was always laughing, but now she didn't laugh anymore. I hadn't known what to say at the time, all I knew was that I wanted to take her in my arms and when she ran a hand through her disheveled hair and looked like she was going to cry I wanted to cry with her. Pills have changed the dynamic of how we view the world, they have a become a fixture of our reality and have changed the introspection of our emotional states.

Concurrently digital technology has changed music, altering the aural possibilities intractably. The manipulations on D.W. Holiday's Technical Difficulties, Under the Influence... are a languid example of this, the motion arrested and the notes stretched for great moments of layered sadness.

Each song - from the loping drum at the intro of "No Diving" to the sound bytes added at the end of "The Saddest Day" - gives a sense of some somnambulistic nature that seems to inhabit our lives. Even when one hears the frenzied, manic glee of the still unnamed ninth track (the band's website claims the album will have twelve songs, but there are only nine), a feeling of the insecurity and the anxiety that the pills on the album's cover advertise sweep in. It is as though yearning and trying to forestall future heartbreak is the impetus of D.W. Holiday's music, all the while rushing haphazardly towards that which is trying to be avoided.

The band itself exhibits the quirks of the modern activity; the two main songwriters living thousands of miles apart helm two different incarnations of the band playing the same music. It seems that it safely removes the fracas that arise from the will to assume power of control. The music doesn't seem to have any of the tensions of ego one might presume, while also steering safely around the contradictory pitfall of blandness.

Whether we like it or not the world is changing, and manipulations of reality are part of that landscape. I just hope that music can be more often done with the same tact and reverence of D.W. Holiday.

Reviewed by Sequoya Yiaueki


See other reviews by Sequoya Yiaueki

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