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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
Martin Rev
To Live
File-13 Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Yes, that Martin Rev. The one who, with the help of Alan Vega, created the brilliance of Suicide and merged punk, art, and new electronica. The one everyone from Big Black to [my] Bruce Springsteen loves, and who can be credited for influencing everyone from Soft Cell to The Cure.

To Live is his newest solo album and one that loses none of that importance or stylistic flair. He is still the sinister avant-poet he always was, loving every moment of flashy, murderous hedonism. At the same time, however, To Live is remarkably accessible, perhaps more so than any of his previous efforts.

"Search for Stone" is fabulously catchy, harnessing his breathy, slithering speech and letting it loose over a barrage of aboriginal percussion and forbidden dance. The fact that something so bizarre could be so infectious is the sign of his handiwork.

While "Painted" delivers the classic electro clash signature of the Suicide sound, "Places I Go" abandons the keyboard altogether for a taste of gothic, Pixies-style pop with suitably muffled vocals. "Gutter Rock" shows his funkier side, wringing droplets of Curtis Mayfield's sweat all over a Faint-loving keyboard line and his characteristic sing-speak anecdotes.

The noise is still intact as well. Suicide's abrasiveness led to the particularity of their fan base, as well as the lack of an embrace from the mainstream. They can be too hard for the pop trained ear, and yet Martin Rev shows us that it is art, and that he is still the artist. "Shimmer" covers broken noises over one another, delving darker and deeper as the song progresses. There is very little in the track that is easy to swallow, and yet it is cleverly danceable when reduced to its primal rhythmic structure. This is the prized jewel on Rev's dazzling crown; that he can create something dirty and unapproachable that will still get you moving.

Martin Rev has positioned himself with dark anti-heroes Tom Waits and Black Francis for all of his deranged genius, and in truth, he has been just as influential. The fact that he is still creating ensures an even farther reach for his brilliance.

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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