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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
The Hold Steady
Heaven Is Whenever
Vagrant

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


May 10, 2010
If the Hold Steady's Boys and Girls in America did one thing well it filled out their sound as a band as much as a concept and suggested that maybe, just maybe, they still had some tricks up their sleeve that we haven't heard yet.

Two albums removed from that, and the hopeful have turned to the content. Stay Positive revisited many of the same pastures as Boys, except that true to its album art, the whole thing played out in a sepia tone. There was no warm feeling or dehydration, but there were a couple jams on there and it's hard to hold Craig Finn accountable for doing nothing except being his plain, wisecracking self. Or is it?

Why does Heaven Is Whenever feel like such a drag? Part of it's the tone. It moves slowly, and from the "Traveling Riverside Blues" slide and rollicking chords of "The Sweet Part of the City" our expectations for another raucous, drink-along party record have been momentarily tempered.

Still, it's a pretty good album if you can get the idea of its dreary additions to their setlists out of your head. "The Weekenders" burns slowly but pays off eventually, while "We Can Get Together" orchestrates its voices into Beach Boys swirl that Finn's speak-singing has never suggested before. Lest they get too far from themselves, "Hurricane J" rocks about a girl, and "Our Whole Lives" admits they can't be good every night. At least they're honest.

Reviewed by Cory Tendering
No biographical information is currently available.

See other reviews by Cory Tendering

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