I HAVE A FRIEND WHO always opens a bottle of wine when I pay him a visit. We then sit in his living room, which is stuffed with books and boasts a view of the busy downtown district, and we talk about everything. In the background of our wandering conversation--which lasts for two or three bottles of wine and some slices of cheese--there is always a slow and moody rock song playing.

It's hard to describe this music; it's beautiful in a fatigued way, as if the world was over and all that remained was this exhausted pop star and her half-hearted attempt to entertain the survivors. Inevitably, I ask my friend what's playing. He tells me it's so and so from Portland or Seattle, and I grab a scrap of paper and write down the name of the band, pleased that soon I, too, will possess this piece of exhausted music.

But somehow I always manage to lose the scrap of paper. It's all a blur. We were drinking wine, after all.

When I first listened to the new Duster EP, 1975, in our music editor's office, it immediately brought to mind that excellent exhausted rock. And when I later played it at home, I was very pleased. It's slow, clumsy, after-hours mode went perfectly with the wine and the expensive goat cheese I laid out on my living room table. Though grounded in rock, Duster's EP experiments with the beeps and tweaks of what seem to be used electronic toys or gadgets, but these noises don't make them sound a bit futuristic--just more wasted, more exhausted.

And their vocals also sound exhausted, as if to say, who cares? Everything has been said. Everyone has said I love you, everyone has said I hate you, everyone has said we are angry, everyone has said we are happy. Forget about it; all that matters now is just the sound of things, not their meaning.

Oh, how happy I am to have found this silly little EP--or is that just the wine speaking?

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