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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!
Letting the audience know beforehand that he would not be able to raise his voice out of fear of permanent damage to his vocal chords, Darnielle countered the smattering of protests by saying that he was advised to cancel the show altogether but couldn't bring himself to do it. As disappointing as it seemed not to be able to hear his full repertoire of songs, we were instead treated to a rather unique set that included new songs, his first song, an audience sing along, and a guest vocal appearance by John Vanderslice.
Unable to push his voice much beyond a whisper, Darnielle did a good job of using the raw honesty and intimacy of his quieter songs to hold the audience's attention in lieu of vocal theatrics. Because of his vocal limitations, the set list was not a Greatest Hits collection, but instead more of an assortment of odds and ends and discarded b-sides; many of the songs in Darnielle's set were alien to even the most devoted Mountain Goats listeners, having never even made it to an album. Of course it would have been nice to hear a couple of the more exuberant and cathartic Mountain Goats songs, but there is always a next time, especially with Darnielle and San Francisco.
While limited to a subdued performance, The Mountain Goats were still thoroughly captivating - not every performer would be able to take a physician's recommendation to call in sick and turn it into a unique, intimate performance worth remembering. Regardless of the quality of his voice, Darnielle has a charming and humorous stage presence; whether trying his best to sing in a hoarse whisper or cracking jokes in-between songs, he is every bit the persona one might imagine from his intelligent, quirky, heart-on-his-sleeve songs. SEE ALSO: www.mountain-goats.com
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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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