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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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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.
[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
Mayday
Bushido Karaoke
Saddle Creek Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


August 25, 2005
Bushido Karaoke begins with the drunken Carnival Country lilt of "Pelf Help" and the band's odes - to drinking, self-medication, pills and down home music - don't end. It's not as backwoods or shudder-inducing as the indelible banjo plucking of, say, Deliverance, but it's a bit more than this city boy could regularly listen to.

The appropriately titled "Booze and Pills" adds some strings to the mix of Ted Stevens' indie country, rambling vocals, which makes the song a bit of a rowdy romp, and so it continues. Mayday borrows equally from blues, country, indie rock and the general Saddle Creek aesthetic of singing songs about drinking.

A positive attribute to Mayday's music is that Stevens comes off easily as genuine and sincere. He plays the part of a drunken country bard well, and as you hear his voice, each tale he sings of seems honest. A song like "Old World New World" illustrates this point well; though it is somehow reminiscent of the Grateful Dead (an influence to the song which is easily disputable), the song is perhaps one of the best on the album with its simple, near-pop melody.

"I'm Not Afraid to Die" is a "Johnny Be Good"-style old rock and roll song, and is another particularly upbeat moment in a sea of downers. While occasional cuts dabble with major chords, Bushido Karaoke is a somber album, and it suffers for it. There is not enough here for the hopeful to latch onto. If you like alt-country music and drinking whiskey alone, dive right in. If you enjoy less solitary and constructive pursuits, it's best to steer clear.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams

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