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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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+ Espers - II
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Shifty/ Touch and Go

Usually I'm floating, lost at sea, being half-swallowed by a gigantic snake or standing on the edge of a cliff, fearing my inevitable dive. But, last night I had a great time — in my dream. I was at this incredible party and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were playing. They even played my favorite song, "Art Star," off their self-titled EP. Well, it would be my favorite song if it sounded in reality like it did in my subconscious world. See, in my dream, the New York City punk rock trio excluded the painfully growling, death-metal-like noise that breaks up the stripped-down, irresistibly infectious verses I love.

"Art Star" has been bothering me since I received the EP (first released on the group's own Shifty label, now rereleased on Touch & Go). It could be such an amazing song if I didn't have to slam the stereo off just as the excruciating noise busts in and angers me. Just as I'm beginning to really get into it, I have to turn it off — what a tease! (Side note: I know some of you consider such nonsensical blasts of noise "art-rock," but, to me, it's unnecessary and, here, not as effective as, say, Sonic Youth's Confusion Is Sex days.) But understand, that's part of lead singer Karen O's power — just when you think she's sweet and innocent, she busts in and demands you swallow her spit. She lures you in with youthful sensuality, arouses you enough that you beg for more, and just as you fall to your knees, right when you're down, she kicks you, whips around and deserts you.

These conflicting personas, all soaked in bad-ass attitude, drive the five-song EP, the band's only release so far, which has, not surprisingly, generated quite a buzz. Their sound is dirty and raw, sexy and wrong. Karen O's vocals shake, quiver and grind against the jagged feel of their bass-less lineup; riding the gritty and lunging guitar riffs over the smacks and slaps of the trashcan beats. Her cutesy intermittent giggles seem at first lovable and later of the loony-bin sort, as if she's on the verge of losing it completely. She comes across quiet and bashful, but has an unspeakable magnetism about her that immediately commands attraction. She's no loud-mouthed Courtney Love; her domineering power is much greater simply because she doesn't need to exert any energy in order to dominate. She sucks you in effortlessly.

The record is, of course, lo-fi — a crisp, cleaned up production just wouldn't match the humanistic imperfections and natural roughness in their sound. There's a thrill in rock 'n' roll that's drenched in attitude and soul. There's a thrill in doing wrong, being bad and getting teased. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have got both those going on and — no doubt about it — it's twice the thrill.

by Jenny Tatone

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