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The Believer Music Issue June/July 2004:The Believer

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Label: The Believer

Produced By: Various


  1. The Walkmen - "The Rat"
  2. The Gossip - "Fire/Sign"
  3. The Mountain Goats - "Palmcorder Yajna"
  4. Enon - "Shave"
  5. I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - "The Less You See"
  6. The Books - "There Is No There"
  7. Buried Beds - "Camellia"
  8. Beulah - "You're Only King Once"
  9. M. Ward - "Vincent O'Brien"
  10. Papa M - "Flashlight Tornado"
  11. Death Cab For Cutie - "Title and Registration"
  12. Young People - "Ne'er Do Well"
  13. TV On The Radio - "Dreams"
  14. Tiny Hawks - "You Got The Right"
  15. The Constantines - "On to You"
  16. Ted Leo + Pharmacists - "Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead"
  17. Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores - "Mole"
  18. Iron & Wine - "Jesus, The Mexican Boy"

I'm not sure if anyone else who reads this is, but I'm a big fan of the literary journal The Believer, put out by McSweeney's. In fact, I actually like it better than the Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern—and I do think that's a little weird. Back in June 2004, they included a mix CD with issue 14 (a/k/a Cassingle), which turned out to be an annual thing.

I read the magazine shortly after receiving it, but it took me a while to find time to listen to the CD. About a month later, I finally went and did a Track-by-Track review of it as I listened. (I tend to find that's the best way to do compilations, but that's just me. Perhaps because it's also the easiest way to review compilations.) So, the track notes are all written as I listened. (I've got this to thank for turning me on to The Mountain Goats!)

I was initially leery of this disc; the fact that it started with the Hated Walkmen didn't necessarily bode well, although looking back, I think I was wrong to be worried. Granted, the disc could have been much better (it would have been cool to include more stuff from people who are actually written about in the rest of the issue, though—the interviews and articles are intriguing and it would be nice to have examples of their music right there to listen to). More dry patches than I was hoping, but not as many as I feared. So that's pretty cool. And, of course, with The Believer, the main draw is the magazine itself, and this issue, as always, was excellent; since the CD was basically frosting, it's pretty cool frosting. Much better than a lot of frosting—including examples of the real variety; man, let me tell you, I've had some baaad frosting before, and this CD completely kicks that frosting's ass, since it's not all heavy, slimy and overly-rich. In fact, this CD is normal-CD weight and not slimy. I can't vouch for the richness of it, because I merely listened to it; I didn't taste it, nor have I tasted many other CDs, so I wouldn't really know how to compare. - Rev. Syung Myung Me

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