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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #553 (Vol. 11, No. 44). This edition is for the week of October 25--31, 2010.

"Conviction"  by Michael Smith
October's Album of the Month, Swans-My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope......  by Terence Nuzum
Friday the 13th: The Legacy Part 2  by ED Tucker
Halloween Horror Nights 2010: Been There -- Glad It's Back  by Brandon Tomasello
The Great Yokai War  by Jason Fetters
They're Dead .... They're The Walking Dead .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

The Audio Philes by Terence Nuzum

October's Album of the Month, Swans-My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope......

Album of the Month Swans: My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky.  
The last Swans album the double disc Soundtracks For The Blind was released 13 years ago but if one didn't know any better they'd think this was the unreleased third disc. Glockenspiel, bells, harrowing guitar work, M. Gira's tortured monotone voice and all the usual sense of dread that comes with this amazing band. Though it is missing the amazing Jarboe on backup vocals it is still a most satisfying album. The highlights are without a doubt the nine minute slow pounder "No Words/No Thoughts" and "Eden Prison" a Goth rock bender that stands alongside the best Gira has written.
Sample of "Eden Prison" by Swans
Admittedly "Reeling The Liars In" and "Jim" sound more like the Goth Americana of Gira's current band Angels of Light but this isn't just some throw together scraps album this is a living and breathing new Swans masterpiece. Rejoice, the great annihilator has returned.

The Corin Tucker Band: 1,000 Years.  
Sleater-Kinney was a force to be reckoned with. The best female punk band in the history of female punk bands. They mixed riot girrrl angst with indie rock virtuosity and operatic vocals and made six classic albums that to this day are untouchable. Part of that sonic equation was singer and guitarist Corin Tucker. Take out the other members and what do you have left of that amazing Sleater-Kinney sound? Almost the same thing. Because it is evident that as much as Carrie Brownstien's guitar chords were vital in Sleater-Kinney's sound it was Tucker's driving rhythm and banshee wail that really was the driving force. So now on her solo album all of what we loved about that invincible band is still intact mostly. From the just about to explode feeling of "Doubt" and the Television like guitar lines of "Riley". Tucker still goes at this effort less as a rock album and more as an singer songwriter affair and no where near the juggernaut of rock that Sleater-Kinney's last album The Woods was. But it contains every type of the Sleater-Kinney sound even if it is adorned with strings and other James Taylor esque trappings. As much as Id like to see Sleater-Kinney get back together again in the meantime Tucker's solo album is pretty damn amazing.

Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz.  
Continuing the more synthy collage noise of his recent EP All The Delighted People, Sufjan on Age of Adz gives us his most experimental album yet. For the most part his folky side is finally gone. Instead it is replaced with minimalistic synths amidst freak folk stylings. The result is a brilliant combo of Animal Collective and Prince. Not your thing? Listen to the 25 minute closing track Impossible Soul and tell me anyone in indie-rock is doing anything that progressive after being pigeonholed to a genre. The 51 States project might be dead but Sufjan's relevance lives on.

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. "The Audio Philes" is ©2010 by Terence Nuzum.   All graphics (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.