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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
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

June 16, 2006
The indie rock music video is the equivalent of local cable TV commercials. Flashes of brilliance are often buried underneath endless spots of used car dealerships featuring some fat guy in a cowboy hat, a lot of gold chains on a very hairy chest, and an elephant. Even if the ideas are exceptional, the end product is often marred by inexperience, low production values, and major aspirations on a minor budget.

Sub Pop recently released Acquired Taste, a compilation of videos by the bands on their roster. A small fraction of the videos on the DVD look amateur, but these are mostly relegated to a very early single in the band's career. In fact, many of them are actually quite accomplished given that they were made with the full knowledge that they would never even come close to having the visibility of something like MTV.

Like many things done on a shoestring budget, a lack of money is often compensated for by a huge surplus of creativity. The videos may not look as flashy as Lil Jon's latest, but they make up for it with charm, humor, and wit. Wolf Parade are ahead of the, ahem, pack with their completely peculiar video for "Shine A Light." I've never felt the shame of having eight floating heads, but after watching this video I can empathize with the pain it would cause. The Postal Service offer a couple of the most polished looking videos without distancing themselves too far from the other oddball selections on the DVD. "We Will Become Silhouettes" in particular is completely kooky and makes Ben Gibbard look like a cross between Napolean Dynamite and a crazy cult leader. The true high water mark of bizarre comes courtesy of Ugly Casanova and their disturbing images that accompany the relatively mild song "Things I Don't Remember." The Thermals use some dramatic lighting and simple editing techniques to make a relatively straightforward video that highlights the band's music and energy.

You pretty much can't go wrong with this DVD. The music is top notch and unless you pay way too much for cable so you can watch Videos on Demand, chances are most of these will be new to you. Of course there are a few clunkers, but there isn't one that doesn't fail admirably. Even though MTV is trying its best to make the music video a lost art form, DVD's like this can give those of us who enjoy an interesting and creative visual with our music hope.

SEE ALSO: www.subpop.com

--
Kevin Alfoldy
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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