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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
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
Vs. Children
Tomlab

Rating: 9/10 ?


June 26, 2009
Owen Ashworth has become one of the preeminent musical chroniclers of twenty-something turmoil. Over five albums he has consistently proven his gift for detailing the unique burdens and experiences common to those who find themselves adrift in an unforgiving world. As Ashworth himself has gotten older, his themes have ranged from post-collegiate malaise, the disintegration of friendship, and on his most recent album, Vs. Children, unplanned conception and its resulting aftermath.

Ashworth's protagonists inhabit a realistic world where things don't always turn out the way they would like and life is almost never fair. And yet, his characters still make the best of their happenstances more often than not. On Vs. Children, his familiar fuck ups not only have to keep their own heads above water, but they also have to deal with the harsh realities and serious consequences of parenthood.

Musically, Ashworth relies less and less on his namesake instrument. A few songs cling sharply to the skeletal beat of a preprogrammed keyboard, but for the most part Vs. Children is comprised of simple, effective arrangements that provide an effectual mood for his poignant tales.

Unsurprisingly, there are no happy endings. Every song is steeped in melancholy, but the underlying beauty that ties it all together is in the courage of Ashworth's characters to face the unforgiving reality they occupy.

Reviewed by 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 reviews by Kevin Alfoldy

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