Elevate Difference

Reviews by Dana Reinoos


Former Final Fantasy mastermind Owen Pallett’s voice is one of my favorites in music right now.

Fabric 50

The ever-prolific Fabric series returns with this effort from Dutch producer Martyn.

Gotta Dance

Gotta Dance opens with a scene of an energetic NBA game, with all the halftime mascot antics and acrobatic dance routines we’ve come to expect. But the New Jersey Nets are trying out something different this year.

Get Color

In today’s huge hype musical landscape, it can be near impossible for a band with a successful first album to parlay that success into a long career. Health seem ready to beat the odds. Their sophomore album Get Color starts out with a bang: huge guitar riffs, whirring electronics, and almost shoegazey, wall of sound vocals coat “In Heat,” the album’s opener, in sound from top to bottom.

Ballads of Suburbia

It’s strange to find yourself feeling nostalgic about a time that you absolutely hated. I’m obviously not alone when I say that middle and high school weren’t the best times of my life; while I had friends and family that I cared about a lot and vice versa, everything else often seemed like a total mess. Looking back on it with a few years distance, I can say that I blew things out of proportion, overreacted, was irrational in my words and decisions.

Dispatches from Juvenile Hall: Fixing a Failing System

As depressing as they can often be, I’m generally interested in books on social justice issues. It’s essential to know the facts about issues before getting into a spirited debate about them. As an Urban Studies grad student, I’m especially interested in books on social justice as academic material, particularly ones on youth issues.


Jeans Team started life as a Berlin-based video art performance group, but they soon evolved into making electronic music for the masses.

Sew Everything Workshop

Handicrafts have made an incredible resurgence in the past few years; everyone I know (and their mama) knits or crochets. There are plenty of hip, modern knitting and crocheting books to go along with the trend, to show people things they actually might want to make. Sewing has come a long way as well, but unlike the other crafts, books for modern young women who want to sew their own clothes are few and far between (not considering books about reconstructing old clothes, of which there are lots of great ones).

English Grammar Journal

The first thing I wanted to do when I pulled this wonderful journal out of its envelope was practice my English skills. Well, not really, but the lovely vintage cover and whimsical page inserts from what seems like old English textbooks throughout the journal convinced me that I did. The blank pages just scream to be be written on, and the way the journal is put together makes that as convenient as possible.


Plenty of famous (and not so famous) DJs have contributed to the FabricLive series: James Lavelle, Jacques Lu Cont, Diplo and even the late John Peel. So Baltimore “dirty rap” superstars Spank Rock had a lot to live up to with their mix, the thirty-third in the series. And while other albums may have been better mixed, or contain more unknown tracks, there is almost no competition when it comes to plain old danceability. Spank Rock are, by their own admission, all about the debauchery that comes with partying, so they know what they’re doing with a mix CD.

The Bridesmaid

Claude Chabrol is a grandfather of French cinema; he is one of the major figures of the French New Wave who is still making frequent, full-length films.

Woke Myself Up

Julie Doiron has always been an artist that seems most at home in my headphones in the dead of winter or early Sunday morning, because of her sad lyrics and quiet melodies. On Woke Myself Up, Doiron’s first album since 2004’s Goodnight Nobody, she reunited with her first band, Eric’s Trip, who broke up over ten years ago.

Smut Perfume Oil Blend

I’ve heard so much from friends and acquaintances about Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s scented oils that I jumped at the chance to review one. They describe their scents on their website as intriguing, compelling blends with a dark, romantic Gothic tone, and I couldn’t agree more. "Smut," a limited edition scent, is musky and sweet, all at the same time. It’s a more masculine scent than I would normally wear, but I love it nonetheless. It really lives up to its name, as when I am wearing it, I feel inexplicably sexier, in a Victorian boudoir kind of way.


As a Milwaukee girl, I was eagerly anticipating hearing Michelle Anthony’s second album, the mini-LP Frozenstarpalace. Anthony recorded it as a document of moving from Milwaukee, WI to Austin, TX, and has described it in interviews as having a “Milwaukee vibe,” despite having been recorded in Milwaukee, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles. You might think that the record would be uneven, having been recorded at so many different times and places, but that’s not the case.

Sexual Chocolate Lava Gloss

There has always been a certain dilemma around buying flavored lip gloss. On one hand, who doesn’t want their lips to taste like dessert, but on the other, who wants to seem like a pre-teen Bonne Bell fan? Kristine’s Shower has solved that dilemma with their delectable Lava Gloss. The flavor I tried was Sexual Chocolate, a somewhat silly name for a wonderful product. The gloss comes out through a roller top, but unlike most other roller glosses, Lava Gloss doesn’t leave your lips excessively shiny or sticky.


Cryptograms, Deerhunter’s first album on Kranky, is the product of an extremely tumultuous time in the band’s life. After losing a member, the band tried recording the album in a single day early 2005. Deemed a failure at the time, this session makes up the first half of this album - a discordant, noisy, at times psychedelic tangle of guitars and yelps. “Cryptograms” and “Lake Somerset” take some elements of drone and noise rock and combine them with psychedelic elements, to make them more palatable, but no less interesting.

At Home and Unaffected

At Home and Unaffected starts off deceptively poppy. "Whose Side Are You On?" could be heard on any Top 40 radio station in the country, if it would only get rid of those glitchy noises. From the beginning of "At Home Part One," however, the listener gets an idea of what he or she is really in for – an Intellegent Dance Music album with surprising vocals and samples.