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LITERATURE» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
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.
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!
I arrived just in time, situating myself on the balcony only a few minutes before one of the guitarists offhandedly muttered, "We're Pelican from Chicago," and the band tore into their first song of the night. After only a couple of songs, it became apparent that the band's music took on an even harder edge when played live. Not that they ever sounded soft on CD, but the metal guitar riffs and breakneck tempo of the double bass filled the auditorium and drilled themselves into my head.
Pelican was able to fit six songs into a fifty-minute set that consisted mostly of tracks off their newest album, The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Fall, which was released by Hydrahead last summer. By the last few minutes of their last song, the noise was tremendous and, gazing down into the crowd below, I saw that most people were standing still, in rapt attention, staring at the band. With the closing of the final note, it was difficult to imagine another band following the exceptional performance Pelican put forth.
The four members of Mono crept onto the stage amid a background of piano and very dim light. Without a word they picked up their instruments and started the tranquil beginnings of a song that would progress into a rising storm of volume and noise. The unassuming Japanese band was able to instantly draw the crowd in with their intensity and power, the music so loud and blanketing that it drowned out everything. Their first song set the precedent for the rest of the show, easily surpassing the ten-minute mark and providing ample time for epic crescendos and sustained walls of sound.
For their outtro the band huddled together, creating a piece of music that sounded almost classical. Even though the music was beautiful, I was disappointed that the band would close out such an emotional set with such a whimper. My fears were assuaged when the band returned to their instruments and started into what was definitely the climax of the evening. Their final song built slowly and repetitiously, honing the crowds' focus like a tractor beam. As the first crashing waves of guitar broke, the band doubled over, turning into shaking mops of long hair cascading over their instruments. Time seemed suspended as the song was drawn out for what was easily fifteen minutes. The tension could not be sustained and the song finally devolved into a cacophonous conclusion. As the squalls of reverberating feedback subsided, the band took a bow and the crowd collectively broke free of the moment and came up gasping for air. With a fitting end, the show was over. SEE ALSO: www.mono-44.com
SEE ALSO: www.hydrahead.com/pelican
SEE ALSO: www.temporaryresidence.com
SEE ALSO: www.hydrahead.com
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.
See other articles by Kevin Alfoldy.
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