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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
Dead Science
Submariner
Absolutely Kosher

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Two fifteen-year old girls in Seattle have recently become completely infatuated with the brooding, darkly handsome twenty two-year old who works at their local anti-Starbucks. Full of youthful passion, they stop at the coffee shop every day after school to get raspberry iced tea and maybe an indifferent "hey" from Sam Mickens. Each day, upon leaving, the girls dissect whatever remote interaction they had with Mickens that afternoon, anxiously waiting until the next time they will see him, which four days out of the week is the following day, at 3:15 as usual. Eventually, however, their visits start to become more infrequent as other, more accessible boys will crowd their minds. Years later, the girls (now women) will remember Mickens and laugh at their youthful naiveté, remembering just how intentional his whole shtick was, from his dramatic angular pea coat to his musical influences - "the history of 20th century rock/punk/popular music, experimental art music/modern classical, and avant-garde jazz" (as cited in a press release they once read for his band's album, Submariner).

Mickens, the women will remember, had released Submariner in 2003 with his band the Dead Science (how appropriate, they will chuckle), under the Absolutely Kosher flag. Mickens, who they so often described as "a musical genius," often sounded like Jeff Buckley when he sang, and sometimes, in songs like the mathy "Batty," could be compared to Thom Yorke. The music of Mickens and Company always included a marked element of restraint, as evidenced on the seven-minute opener to Submariner, entitled "Unseeing Eyes." Their music often had some truly gorgeous moments embedded in their work as well, as evidenced when distortion and noise is introduced to "Tension at Pitch," making the listener feel like the song is teetering beautifully on the edge of complete chaos. The Dead Science was actually a pretty solid rock outfit, for what they were worth, the women will recall.

And just as most youths have their puppy love and not-so-mutual affection, most decent-to-good musicians have their early pretense and affectations. It's very possible that in the future, the boys of the Dead Science will have fulfilled their obvious potential and will look back at 2003 like the women who used to adore them, laugh at the youthful naiveté (and, in there case, pretense) they grew out of years ago, knowing that, at the very least, their intentions were good.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn

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