» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
The Mynabirds
What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood
Saddle Creek

Rating: 7/10 ?

April 30, 2010
Saddle Creek is still most well-known for spawning Bright Eyes and Cursive, two of the premier acts in the teenage drama canon, though the label also released the best Rilo Kiley effort (The Execution of All Things) and played a central role in the development of M. Ward's career. Without its central players, the label's been sorely in need of an exciting new direction of late: Conor Oberst left to record for Merge under his given name, Rilo Kiley went major label immediately following their breakthrough, and M. Ward only ever dipped his toes in the pool, utilizing producer Mike Mogis in touring bands and recordings but otherwise sticking to his guns at Merge as well.

Where do the Mynabirds come in? Saddle Creek's best hope in years is a remarkably mature, 60s-style torch song group a la Dusty Springfield. While it contains plenty of drama, most of What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood veers wide of the tortured suburban tantrum Saddle Creek's (somewhat unfairly) known for. With quieter denizens like Azure Ray shoved relatively under the radar during Bright Eyes' heyday, Myndabirds might actually have a chance to reroute the label's image in 2010.

Take lead single "The Numbers Don't Lie": built around a gorgeous, sprightly-stepping melody, lead singer Laura Burhenn just smolders over a piano-heavy groove. It really is as close to Dusty as they get, but what makes this record special is the way that even when the lyrics clunk up some of the smooth blue-eyed soul (opener and sort-of title track "What We Gained in the Fire" comes to mind), the production is so plainly gorgeous that it really feels like nitpicking (even if it really isn't). For a label that's been struggling to find a new winner for a bit (Rural Alberta Advantage and Two Gallants aren't getting these indie-undies damp), the Mynabirds might signal a welcome new vision.

Reviewed by Cory Tendering
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See other reviews by Cory Tendering



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