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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
Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 6, 2010
I listen to Deerhunter to get my dose of art-rock without feeling like a bitch. There is something charming about the genre's experimental lightness, sure, but, once the novelty wears off, it's self-indulgent. Only Deerhunter makes echoes without egos, grounding even Bradford Cox's most wayward divergences in an all-encompassing blend of simple rock stylings.

So when the one band that knows chamber-pop needs driven beats announced that Halcyon Digest would be recorded by Animal Collective's sound engineer, I was not happy. Previews of "Revival" and "Helicopter," with their overly skeletal structures, sounded like a band sailing away from Lake Somerset, conforming to an empty retro sound and acting like nothing ever happened.

False alarm. I'm still wary of AnCo aesthetics as strong as those on "Helicopter," and the early Beatles thing on "Memory Boy" is pretty blatant, but the saxophone solo on "Coronado" comes just in time to prevent anyone from pigeonholing Deerhunter. The comparisons are abounding, but the creativity is unparalleled.

For the last twenty years, most indie rock has sounded like the product of a night of intense passion between Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, but "Earthquake" actually captures what the sex itself would sound like. What was I worried about, again?

More an architect than a frontman, Cox pushes Lockett Pundt to the front for "Desire Lines," delivering the same wavering uncertainty that won everyone over on "Agoraphobia" two years ago. As Cox playfully yelps in the background, the two capitalize on an unusual dynamic where the bandleader is more concerned with minutiae than the spotlight. The ensuing four-minute guitar jam is so unassumingly pretty and hypnotically simplistic that attaching the aloof connotations of art-rock would be a crime. So will somebody tell Facebook to stop asking me to "like" Grizzly Bear because, "Many people who like Deerhunter also like this"?

Reviewed by JJ Lang


See other reviews by JJ Lang

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