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 » 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.
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 » 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!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Eleventyseven And The Land Of Fake Believe
Flicker Records

Rating: 3/10 ?

June 30, 2006
Not only is MySpace a meat market for pedophiles, it's also turning otherwise free-thinking teens into simple-minded conformists. In case you're unaware of the problem, Eleventyseven (who insist on using all lowercase (read:emocase) letters, which makes us insist on capitalizing) clue you in on this national disgrace in the hyperactive "MySpace," off the overly slick, pop-punk hair ball coughed up by Flicker Records called Eleventyseven And The Land Of Fake Believe. As album titles go, it truly is the Allen Iverson crossover dribble of witty word play, isn't it?

Deeply vexed about the eroding independence of today's youth, Eleventyseven pose this question to MySpace users and abusers: "When was the last time you were honest/ Instead of posting blogs of fake emotions?" Hmmm... Let's see, the last time I was honest was... Yeah, actually it was just a few moments ago, when I tossed this steaming pile of self-righteous bullshit in the garbage. Such queries would carry a little more weight if Eleventyseven wasn't pimping itself on the very same Web site it takes to task in "MySpace," while at the same time copping the entire Blink-182 songbook for its own gain. As if that wasn't bad enough, Eleventyseven, in the most vague terms possible, laments the absence of a "real" revolution in a line in "More Than A Revolution" - I love it when mall-punks talk about such things - where the band, blissfully unaware of its own shortcomings and limited imagination, make the statement, "There's nothing good left to imitate."

How right they are and if you don't see the irony of that line, considering the subject matter of "MySpace," then you're just the kind of listener Eleventyseven wants. If you did a Pepsi taste test sort of thing where you played Fenix TX and Eleventyseven side by side, it would be impossible to tell the difference. The vocals are whiney and melodramatic, like Good Charlotte on a bad hair day. The amphetamine-fueled guitars whack off like monkeys in a zoo, the bass lines bounce around on the usual pop-punk trampoline and the drum fills, for all their furious speed, seem so basic and one-dimensional that all their power drains like the battery of a car that's had its lights on all night.

Eleventyseven is the total package of adolescent confusion and hormonal angst, wrapped in formulaic melodies and empty slogans. When they try to downshift in "MySpace," the sudden transition from high-speed riffing to brief meditative noodling feels awkward and insincere. Scoring points for energy and catchy hooks, "A Stellar Sayonara" and "The Unicorn Revolt" nonetheless fizzle out and the reason is that for all their tight interplay and precision, Eleventyseven just doesn't have a lot of tricks up their sleeve. There are no surprises, no unexpected changes in mood or pace that might pique your interest. Picture a man perched on a ladder leaning up against a wall. Below him is a moat full of crocodiles and above him a soldier with a sword who means to do him harm. Basically, he's got nowhere to go. He takes two steps down and hears the thrashing water, so he quickly moves up a couple of rungs and sees the sharp point of the soldier's long blade staring him in the face. This is how confined and repetitious the three-chord movements of Eleventyseven feel. It's up and down, up and down - but only in very short, very compact and completely predictable chord changes. A Stairmaster session holds more possibilities.

Stuck in a rut musically and just as susceptible to the kind of regurgitated, if well-meaning, social commentary and confused idealism of a typical MySpace blog as the kids they want to save, Eleventyseven offers fast food for thought for those who really can't think for themselves. And by the time the saccharine, love-sick ballads "Nostalgiatopia" and "Here With Me" come around, it's becomes easy to leave this Land Of Fake Believe and not look back.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad



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