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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]

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
Solyoni
The Princess Market
Velvet Fallopian Tube

Rating: 8/10 ?


September 19, 2006
I love salad dressing. But salad dressing is more than a mere condiment for drenching my piles of veggies and greens; I use dressing to soothe the sting of atomic wings, as a breath freshener when there's little time for mouthwash, as a chaser to stale beer, and, from time-to-time, as a treat to lap from the bare stomachs of my many lovers. But for all my passion for (and deviance with) salad dressing, I never thought of creating art about it. Yet Solyoni, the Seattle-based collective fronted by Ohio natives Dan Lurie and Dominic Aulisio, muse over a particularly tasty dressing in ridiculously catchy fashion on the opener of their new album, The Princess Market.

On "Sweet Honey Catalina," Lurie croons: "You moved from the bottom shelf into my heart now/ I left you on the counter way too long now/ And now I can't get another drop out of you now." Before hearing this album, I often overlooked how intriguing things like salad dressing are to us. Solyoni are masters of such minutiae, of making the kinds of observations that delivered Jerry Seinfeld to fame and fortune, of capturing the nothingness of everything that envelops our daily lives.

The Princess Market, Solyoni's second LP, is a departure from their 2004 album, Prairie Monsters, which chronicled a failed cross-country trek of Lurie and Aulisio. Prairie Monsters, composed primarily of acoustic numbers, explored a journey into the heartland of America, echoing the melancholy sounds of Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, and Bruce Springsteen, while noticing with amusement the oddities of small-town America. The Princess Market is less evocative and more provocative, with more pop-inspired songs and abstract observations about everyday life. This is Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol through electric guitars and amplifiers.

On "Parachutes (When Will I See Those Zartan Blue Eyes Again?)," the album's best, Aulisio remembers a childhood of playing outside with G.I. Joe figures, recalling: "Pink flack jacket filling up with lead/ a daisy in your teeth couldn't hear what you said/ fire in the metal in the midnight blue/ they gave us paper bags for parachutes." Other efforts explore the intricacies of "Burt Reynolds Heart," "Invisible Ink," and the sensation of being "Kicked in the Head by a Horse."

Lurie and Aulisio share songwriting duties, while Aaron Semer and Jose Sandaval turn out catchy riffs and solos. Zeppelin-tinged acoustic chords, reminiscent of "The Rain Song," introduce "Invisible Ink," while grungy licks and a group sing-a-long conclude the album on "Pink Cotton Dress." Chris Pierson on bass, Jon Kilian on drums, Robert Lurie on guitar, and Mark Bentz on horns round out the collective. Solyoni's music is rarely crisp or polished, and at times the rhythm section lags behind the guitar work. Aulisio's voice is stronger than Lurie's, which cracks and strains at times. But the melodies are memorable and the songs rock more than enough to make you want to shake it like a Polaroid on the dance floor.

And now, after digesting Solyoni's The Princess Market, I'm off to find a bottle of Sweet Honey Catalina to pour all over my latest lover, to be followed by an epic battle between the forces of G.I. Joe and Cobra amongst the sticky bed sheets. That's the kind of catchy, and kitschy, album this is.

Reviewed by Eric J. Morgan
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Eric J. Morgan is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Colorado. He has an orange cat named Nelson and longs for the day when men and women will again dress in three-piece suits and pretty dresses to indulge in three-martini lunches and afternoon affairs.

See other reviews by Eric J. Morgan

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