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PCR #188 (Vol. 4, No. 44). This edition is for the week of October 27--November 2, 2003.
The Digital Divide
 La Floridiana 
 Movie Review 
 Couch Potato 
 Digital Divide 
 The Enlightenment 
 Creature's Corner 
 Matt's Rail 
 Mike's Rant 
 PCR Archives 2003
 2001    2000 
 Crazed Fanboy home 

Plus -- RIP: Elliott Smith    by Terence Nuzum
The Divide has been away for awhile and many albums have been released, so without going into too much highbrow-critic's-lackluster praise, I'll simply tell you why you need the following discs in your life (if you don't already own them).

Radiohead -- Hail To The Thief. Finally the promise of experimentation fufilled; the album Amnesiac should have been. Imagine The Bends shoved into a blender alongside Kid A. All Thom Yorke's experimental tweeks and Johnny Greenwood's slivery guitar chords are put alongside cohesive pop tunes to create the last great album of Radiohead Mach2. This is the great Radiohead rock album we had been promised since O.K. Computer and now we have it so enjoy it because next time we hear the band they will "sound completely different". 5 LEDs 5 LEDs

The Mars Volta -- De-loused In The Comatorium. If you thought prog-rock was old and tired (well, you obviously haven't listened to Sigur Ros then) just pop in this baby and be transported to another world of metal/punk space guitar and Omar Rodriguez's otherworldly vocals. The album's theme may be about the thoughts of the human mind dying but this is not the final word on prog-rock. Instead it sounds like a new beginning. 5 LEDs 5 LEDs

Guided By Voices -- Earthquake Glue. 40-year-olds rock! Yes the old boys are still at it. This might not be their best album (that in my opinion is Universal Truths and Cycles) but it's far from sounding like the mid-life crisis, washout-rock it could have been. Who-like anthems aplenty plus perhaps their greatest single in years "Best Of Jill Hives". 4 LEDs 4 LEDs

The Star Spangles -- Bazooka !!! You wanted The Replacements back? Well you got...ok so thats not all that fair but to say these guys arent a mix of The Mats and New York Dolls is ludicrous. Apart from that they rock like a muddy pornstar on asphalt. huh? yeah just go buy it. 3 ½ LEDS 3½ LEDs

The Rapture -- Echoes. OK, so you've heard the hype about how this is the record that will set the indie world on fire, the Gang Of Four reincarnated, the one to rock the house down, the booty-shakin' disco flame for the dance-inclined indie kids. Well, yeah, it's all true. 5 LEDS 5 LEDs

Elliott Smith
August 6, 1969 October 21, 2003

Elliott SmithElliott Smith died last Tuesday due to a self-inflected knife wound. That's it folks, I'm not going to give you a detailed account of his final days but instead my own personal view of the indie-rock star and his music.

When a rock star dies, it's always covered in the press as some sort of Messianic rite. But the truth is they are human and deserve not a godlike obit but instead one that praises their art. That being said one of my favorite albums of all time is Elliott Smith's Either/Or. With its hushed vocals and floating guitar melodies it has gotten me through many a rough time, especially the song "Pictures Of Me". Also it had to be just about the wierdest moments ever when I saw him win a Grammy in 1997 (for his contribution on the Good Will Hunting score) and even weirder was seeing him perform on the said event. He was probably the only true indie rock star to have momentarily crossed the barrier. I must admit I can't pretend I was his #1 fan yet his death hit home because we lost a great musician and one who influenced many of the acoustic chamber pop of today. For instance his influence is felt in bands like The Shins and it's arguable that Bright Eyes' Lifted wouldn't even exist without albums like Figure 8. And though he's not here to grace us with any more music we can enjoy the little he gave and not forget who did what first. Rest In Peace, Elliott.

go walking by
here come another guy
jailer who sells personal hells
who'd like to see me down on my fucking knees
everybody's dying just to get the disease
hey hey hey hey
I'm not surprised and really, why should I be?
see nothing wrong
see nothing wrong
so sick and tired of all these pictures of me
completely wrong
totally wrong

--"Pictures Of Me" , from Either/Or

This issue's Digital Divide was composed by Terence Nuzum, ©2003. Webpage design and all graphics herein, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.    All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.