Features Music Scene Point Blank's Favorites: Year End (2003)

Music: Scene Point Blank's Favorites: Year End (2003)

For years, music had simply gone without discussion. Nobody would dare say a word about a band, record, or song; with the apprehension that, he or she would be persecuted for their beliefs. We lived in a dark age where freedom of speech applied not to the splendid sonic art we have all come to cherish. But that age fell to a new era this March, when a group of rogue music critics launched ScenePointBlank.com, a groundbreaking website where visitors have access to opinion pieces for specific albums. Over this exciting and innovative year, the ScenePointBlank staffers have encountered many records and have climbed soapboxes the size of Everest to tell you what they think. We hated many, we loved a few, and now, we're paying tribute to those few.

 

Thirty-few, to be exact. Through a fair and balanced process, ScenePointBlank has compiled a list of the best thirty records from 2003. We subsequently took these thirty records and had them played for a man who has been blurring the lines between genius and insanity since day one, the father of our own Zederiah Brecherman. The result left us all at times either scratching our heads, laughing out loud, or simply struck with awe. Having no bias based on hype or hipness, Mr. Brecherman has graced us with commentary on each of our top thirty records, and we are giving you that commentary just the way we got it. Unedited, off the cuff, free form speech. We wouldn't dare give it to you any other way. Whatever you do, though, do not hold us accountable for anything Mr. Brecherman may or may not say. Our list, his rhetoric. Also included, for your skimming pleasure, the individual top thirty lists of each staff member.

 

 

 
30. Daughters - Canada Songs

 

Unless you're 17 years old and on testosterone, this music is torturous. That's my final critique on this music. Did I say it was painful? It's giving me a headache. To me this music feels like I'm on a subway station and a hundred people trying to push you on a train, everybody is fighting to get on the subway car. I feel like any minute some guy from Japan is going to push me with a stick into a subway car. They really do that in Japan, they stack you in... or they used to, I don't know. I like some of their beginnings and endings. It's kind of like watching some conductor do this *waves arms around wildly* to some whacked out classical jazz shit while his hair flies around. This is torture, I've had enough. Next.

29. Pelican - Australasia

Strongly dramatic with a powerful bass sound. Waves of bass covering you over and over again. You could almost surf this music, ride on top of this into the tube of a wave. This music feels oceanic. You could drown in the bass. It's almost like it's underneath you, carrying you along. You can't fall asleep to this, it just keeps picking you up and carrying you along. It just keeps on getting better. Song two sounds like they have long hair and should be head banging, it sounds metal. They should be making the sign of Satan right now. It's good, good head banging music, top notch. Highly recommended. It doesn't need vocals, it's very physical. Some music grabs you by your head like The Rum Diary, while this you feel it down here *motions to crotch*. It's juxtaposition between the two groups. You don't even need words for this. I wouldn't want to hear this in the country... or maybe I would, but I would like to be driving a car into the city with this. Wake up music! Tough music, muscle music. The third one is getting a little repetitive, but still good. The fourth one is getting more complex. I'm beginning to detect an Eastern inflection. This will carry you. This is a good fucking album! I can hear this one on Highway 1, or the desert on a tequila sunset, over and over again. Number five starts off tasty, it's bassy, just some tasty guitar. I was not expecting where this is going, different from before this. Getting UFOed with the "ooooo", right? This is head banging, it's... new agey... out there. You don't have to think about this album, it takes you from beginning to end on an exciting adventure. You don't have to cotton to this, it's not something you have to get used to like, or acquire a taste to, it comes real easy. You don't have to work to like this, it rock 'n' rolls you into a good place. Number six has surprising places and spaces. Zed, that's a good drummer. You don't have to deal with this, it deals with you. This is kind of like Iron Butterfly, but only at times.

 

28. Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

They're trying to do their own thing, not sounding like rap or Kid Rock. I don't like this. They're in their own kind of world. It's good. It's catchy. They're off in their own tree, which is unusual. Right now he sounds like Donovan out of the '66... Donovan's first album. Donovan was supposedly Britain's answer to Bob Dylan. The organ is nice. The music sounds retro, late 60s with some Beatles. There is nothing hard about it, it's sour. It's not hard or heavy. It's the kind of music hippies would dance to in the old days. They put a modern twist on it. He isn't heavy, hard, and macho, because of that, it's refreshing. I don't know if he's saying anything important, but it's melodic, catchy, and pretty. I really like this track 4, but I have no idea what he's saying. The beat and music is infectious. This takes me back into the 60s with that sort of psychedelic... you know, everybody is happy on LSD... Peter Max has colors coming out of people's heads. Sounds like everybody is happy on LSD in New York City, not in the country. Sounds like they're sugar coating life. Makes you feel like you could float around on a cloud. The singer makes it so you can't feel your balls, you don't feel hard or heavy, just kinda *sings* happy. Psychedelic cream puff music. Sounds like London psychedelic cream puff music. Doesn't make you grab your balls, which is nice. They'd play this music in movies where they'd show people walking through London, trying to be young, they were young, smoking dope, life is happy, before you realize life is a pain in the fucking ass. Movie filler music. I can see it in a drama with some girl in London who just lost her boyfriend, trying to find herself, moving out from one apartment to another, with all that mod dress on, looking for herself. Sounds like Georgie girl, Georgie girl, where are you going to find yourself. It sounds a little gay at times.

 

27. The Rum Diary - Poisons That Save Lives

I think this group should be higher because they're really good. Very melodic, very California. It's very hauntingly romantic. It has that "Northern California dreaming" feel. Very heartful. It touches your better side, ideal side. It has a heartful, higher spiritual side. It has a higher level. It sounds like electric acoustic. There's almost a folk quality to it. It's so sour. Why don't groups like this don't get to MTV, Jesus Christ, it's so good. It's so melodic. It seems to harmonize well with your spirituality, I'm not saying they are a spiritual group, though. People should really pay attention to this group. They're not there to shock you, they're here to harmonize you. Really smooth and mellow with strength. This takes you to a higher realm. "Sending Us Under" is very mystical, I don't know how else to say it. This is like a foggy nighttime with blinking stars. It makes you feel close to things you should feel close to. This music is like a full moon during special moments. The progression of the guitars and drums are very exciting. This is higher, shacker stuff, it's higher ground. Woo! This is not hardcore music... that means to me this isn't screaming shit. Don't write that down, it's personal between me and you. This music can shelter you from a rough world, from a hard world. It's almost like you want the world to be like this instead of how it is. God, this is nice music. When you're stoned and you don't want hard things around you, when you feel like drifting through a dream, this is the music for it. You don't need smoke to get stoned, this music will take you there.

 

 

26. Thunderbirds Are Now - Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

Oh fuck, it sounds like they are on speed. They are kinda hyper on the first song. I wouldn't choose to listen to this group in a car ride. To be in a car ride is the litmus test for listenin' to music. I think this is a generational vibratory differential, I think they use to music to separate the generations, I think it's a conspiracy. People who like this kind of music can't possibly like other generations' music because it vibrates entirely different, therefore it separates younger generations from older generations. I doubt anybody from an older generation would like this kinda music. Number five isn't bad, because they're not singing. There's singing... screw that shit. Hyper assholes. This group is going to kill me, Zed. It has a certain amount of funk in it. Remember that movie with Prince in it, Purple Rain? There was a group called Morris, it was Prince's nemesis. Thunderbirds Are Now! sound like that. This is like robot music. This doesn't sound like there's soul, it sounds robotic. Michael Jackson when he does the robot would like this. Can you see him going backwards? I don't like him. I don't like this, get away from me, no more of this album. It's just not my kind of music. Hyper morons.

 

25. Black Eyes - S/T

I think I like this, the beginning sounded like marching band music with interesting vocal. Now it's beginning to sound better. I'm really beginning to like this. It has a good beat. It makes you want to dance, it makes you want to move your body, I like the vocals a lot. I like it, but I want to know what he's singing about. He sounds like the guy from the Blood Brothers. This is really unique music. You feel it in your body, it's visceral, it's intelligent, it's intellectually exciting. It has a very driving beat, it reminds me of the Fugs from the lower east side from about 1967, very similar. It kinda gets you below the level of your mind, which contradicts the fact that it's uniquely intelligent, and compellingly mental. Wow! *bobs head* Ooo yeah, this is better than anything *claps hands* wooo. Makes you just want to clap your hands. I love songs like "On the Sacred Slide", I could listen to this all night long, they're not like everybody else. Now that's drums, Zed! Those are pounding drums. This is very psychedelic and it reminds me of the innovative music that ran through the late 60s. It's very psychedelic. Sometimes it sounds like they are chanting in psychedelic consciousness. It's so Fugs. It reminds me of people on acid, I could see them on lower east side stoned. This isn't the kind of music that would be popular on MTV, this is totally the not MTV music. Black Eyes have a tribal sound to them.

 

24. Benton Falls - Guilt Beats Hate

I like the guitar changes, I like it a lot. The guitar reminds me of AFI, it's very AFI. I think they've been influenced by AFI. The singer is obviously not trying to be Danzig. I don't hear AFI anymore, they have good guitar changes. The guitars always get me in the beginnings, they pull me in, and I want more. Then they start to sing, and I want more guitar work. The voice doesn't sound like it belongs with the music, the voice isn't as strong as the guitar work. This needs a stronger voice, the voice would go better with wimpier music. Number seven has potential and promise. See? It's going somewhere. Then he starts to sing. It sounds like the musicians that really know how to play music, maybe my problem is that I'm too impatient and I don't know what they're saying. I'm liking the music, I want to see where it goes. I liked the last song the most... because the guy didn't sing.

 

 

23. The Locust - Plague Landscapes

Back to hyper again, I'm not going to like this group. They sound like everybody group like this, erratic, speed, hyperactive. The songs aren't differential from each other, it's just one big song. It sounds like ravens from the other side. The other side is the soul world, the dead. I hear of souls in pain. They're off the planet and on the moon. These guys sound like they're playing a 33 1/3 on a 78 speed. This is something I'd like to when I was younger, it went really fast, or I'd slow it down. It always fascinated me, and this is what fascinates you. I outgrew it by the time I was 20. It's age related. They just do the same thing over and over again. There are people that just like movies for the special effects, that's missing the point of music. This is all about the special effects. There are people that are fascinated by special effects, not me.

 

22. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Pig Lib

This is boring, it doesn't take me anywhere. What is this shit? You never listen to this shit, so why do I have to listen to this? Oh god, this is terrible. I don't want to make these people feel bad. After hearing "Ramp of Death", I take all that back. I liked the line "Scars on the rain drops", that's a cool one. This is very nice. It's not bad, it's not good, it just doesn't do anything for me. This takes me nowhere. It's not that interesting to me. Why would your website even choose this when there's so much other music out there? It seems two-dimensional to me, flat. I can't take this, get me away from this album. Number six is not bad. This music is too smooth, not edgy enough. This smoothes me into boredom... into sterility. These guys are impotent. This is shit, does he think he's from the group Queen? I can't... I've had enough of him.

 

 

21. Grandaddy - Sumday

So far this is good, it's just not exciting me yet. It's smooth and nice. Nice guitar, nice guitar. Why does he say "You humans need more words?", is he from another world? Is he like an alien? This album will have something nice on it that's special, I know that. He says "Your world", does that mean he's alien to this world? I'm not into aliens from other planets, I'm into aliens that are interdimensional and intertime, Zed. Zed is there because I'm talking to you. This has shades of the Beatles. Thunderbirds Are Now! are too hyper for me, this might be too mellow for me. I think this group might be too sensitive for me. The words do that for me. You have to know the words cause there's a message somewhere in here, I just don't know what it is. Track six sounds like it is Simon & Garfunkel. It's so sensitive. I'm looking for a "Sounds of Silence" in this album, that's one of the Simon & Garfunkel songs I liked, I didn't like most of their songs. This doesn't make it. I'd have to work hard to like this group, I'm sure they got something to say, but unless they have a "Scarborough Fair" you got to figure out the message, it's not visceral. I go back on what I said before, no tracks were interesting.

 

20. Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People

God, they're creative as hell. Very full. Do we even have to bother? I give this an A+. There's a classical fullness to it. I'll rave about this album, Zed. Ooo, number two is just beautiful. I'm captured and enthralled in its beauty. The whole album seems to be a beautiful experience. It's very inspirational, it captures your spirit and takes it away. Thank you Mogwai. You can graze on this album for a long time and be happy, and at times ecstatic. It will make you think of your happiest pictures, hopes and memories. Maybe it takes you to a forever place. Your own special place in eternity. Dreaming of places over the rainbow. It makes your heart sing as they strum your spirit. Crescendos of joy and bliss. Oh my god, Zed, this is too fucking good, Zed. Taste the sweetness of life, listen to Mogwai. Number seven is blissful noise. Dreaming of a better world. Sour piano, resonating within your depth. Thank you, Mogwai, everybody should go out and buy this album, you will be blessed.

 

19. Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow

Number two is filled with good licks. That was good. If you're in the mood, this is ok. It has an original concept. You see, now they're getting into the Arabian thing. They're ok, I didn't think I was going to like them, but I'm beginning to like them, in spite of the speed. They're a couple of good musicians. They jam well together. You feel like you're in on an original creation. Number four takes off like a jet plane. You can get high on this one. This is "I'm loaded and don't fuck with me" music. Just get out of my way, but it feels good and tough. Actually, as the song goes on and progresses, these two guys get tougher. It just keeps coming at you. Get out of the way, or they'll roll you over. The music is just a lightning bolt. The middle of five is tribal and very contagious. This will drive you home. They just play you up and down, at the same time. Yes Zed, that's a good thing. Tribal again. In a strange way it's like you are a cowboy riding a horse downtown. These two guys are really...they know what the fuck they're doing. I think they missed with songs seven and eight. Nine takes it back. These guys are fucking geniuses. It'll make your blood bubble and your heart pound as you spaceship off the planet. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, off you go.

 

18. Ten Grand - This is the Way to Rule

Sounds like screamo again. This is my kind of rock 'n' roll music, it's big. I don't need to know what these guys are singing about, it's seriously soulful rock 'n' roll. I like the vocals, the vocalist is real and soulful. He sounds so Murder City Devils, Zed, give me a break. I don't like seven, it sounds like screamo shit. I hear the Murder City Devils, Iggy Pop is also in there somewhere. The guitar is very twangy. Eight bears a strong and powerful listening to. Number nine finally lets the cowboy out, I knew it was in there somewhere. Rock 'n' roll cowboys with visions of James Dean. Why does the good lord take the good ones away?

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. The Wrens- Meadowlands

The first song has mature content, it's not meant for teeny boppers, it has depth of life experience. I'm liking it. I'm looking at winter trees with no leaves, with birds against a darkening blue sky and I'm listening to The Wrens and it puts you into a feeling of realness. I think this group is too old for your group. How do you identify with this, Zed? You aren't married and you don't have kids, you don't know shit. Where's my blues harp? I got to play my harmonica to this. I like the second one musically, it has a kind of folk rock' more rock feel. It's starting to grow on me, it's getting contagious. I'm kinda dancing around. Wooo! It feels real good, like a group from the 60s... the drumming is pounding. Wow Zed, this group is... sour. Feels like adult grown up movies. How could this not be a famous group? Their voices blend well together. Number nine... you really want to know the words so you can reflect on it. Number ten sounds young and punky, right out of the SEEDS of LA in the 60s. Their music is totally infectious. Bare bones, bare trees, with incredible music, the cover of the album almost says it all for the style you're going to listen to. Number twelve surprises you with a blossoming new creation of where they're going, you can't not like this track. It's pleasing, like hot chocolate on a cold day. Six and seven kinda slacked, but twelve and thirteen take you right back with their harmonies and music, more specifically, thirteen keeps getting better and better. Keepin' it real boys, too good, and you know they're going to keep it real, just listen to the last song.

 

 

16. The Mars Volta - De-loused In The Comatorium

I don't know what to say about this group, I can't even make fun of them. Is this the new incarnation of Freddy Mercury? A marching music drummer on speed, he's technically proficient but because I'm an old fuck, I don't feel his rock 'n' roll heart. This is very Queen, Queen did the same shit. Hello Freddy. Why is he doing that with his voice? Does he think he's Foreigner? I'm not a technocratic, I want soul and heart. I ask one question, what does this exactly have to do with Motown? This guy sounds like eunuch, someone who sings in a boys choir. I'm trying to think of something intelligent to say about this album, and I can't. Thank you, Zed, for the last horrible fifteen minutes of listening to this.

 

 

 

15. The Decemberists- Her Majesty, The Decemberists

Sounds like a genre of good storytelling rock 'n' roll, it's like watching a movie. I see big clipper sailboats in the 1800s sailing the seas, kinda like Legends Of The Fall, where Brad Pitt ends up going down to his own private hell. Dreams of sailors and adventure, 'Keep your daughters away.' No homogenized yuppie reality, thank god, with people trying to figure themselves out or their self-indulgent relationships with others. Number seven is a not quite believable account of war, where's the anger, fear and panic, or romanticized view? Number nine has some working class romantic imagery in it. Didn't Kid Rock go from rap to country? It seems like a lot of bands are going to country. It's one of these albums where I really only like one song, the first song. After that nothing caught me, except maybe the song about Chimney Sweep and the last cut, but in the end I just liked the first one, which was worth a download.

 

14. Xiu Xiu - A Promise

I don't understand why this guy says he has to do a girl's job. Is his little gun a metaphor for his little penis? I'm not actually sure if I know what he's talking about. What is this man really saying? Is he some transvestite in drag driving around in a little car with a gun? Oh well, enough of the Freudian analysis. I think it's a very catchy song, maybe it's the theme song for transvestites. If sung by an old man with a gray beard, it would be a strange song. He reminds me of Trent Reznor, it sounds like he's whining to another song of life. God, I sound like such a redneck. I can't take this, this is bullshit. He sounds like a hysterical bitch. Sounds like some sensitive pussy, a dweeb, a dork. God, ahhhh! I can't take much more of this. I definitely recommend this to anybody who is deeply sensitive and hysterical all the time, and has a gun... and drives around in little cars... and thinks he's a girl. Track six proves my point, his voice quivers appropriately. I can't believe you like this.

 

 

13. Prefuse 73- One Word Extinguisher

The introduction is very Barbarella and The Beatles 'Strawberry Fields Forever'. Then it starts to sound like run of the mill LL Cool J rap. But then on the other hand, hip hop isn't my music, so unless it's the level of 50 Cent, which is hip hop genius, I can't differentiate one rap from the other. They all sound the same, unless they're the Sisters Of Consciousness from 1990. Number four is car cruising music, nice to look out the windows at people walking down the street at night, especially when those red lights are long. Very city-cool. Number five is too hip and cool and jazzy for me. Are these white guys? No wonder they're so shitty. Since I'm not a laid back-jazzy-cool guy, this album so far is boring the shit out of me. I don't like the 40s big band inserts, I didn't like it when I was thirteen years old, and I don't like it now. I kinda like number ten, it has an eastern flavor to it. Anybody that slightly likes country and western music can't get near this album. But if you're a city slicker urban jazz beatnik hip hop person, I'm sure you're gonna love this album.

 

12. The Microphones- Mt. Eerie

The intro sounds like white fog where you barely hear fog horns and heartbeats as it leads into some kind of music. I like the intro, it starts out spacey and picks up and drags you into some serious drumming, from emptiness to something full of passion for life. From dreams of sleep right into the heart of life. This is what I call good music. If you feel like you're drowning in numbness this is a lifesaver, that will pull you out of the blandness of bad TV. Well - they started singing - kinda spoilin' the mood. Not quite sure what they're trying to say. Maybe I was too quickly enthusiastic, I hope not. We'll have to wait until track two. This may be one of these groups where they shouldn't sing, they should do the Godspeed You Black Emperor thing. I expected something more profound. Maybe these guys need more fermentation. Parts I like, parts I don't like. When you get stuck in some bad parts, you keep waiting for the good parts, and they do come, but you gotta be patient. Through track four, I'm getting really disappointed here. Finishing up nicely, in a rainy stormy thunder. The last track is haunting. I kinda feel this whole album had such great potential, and though at times it touched on greatness, the singing brought me down. Only rarely did I like what they were trying to communicate. Sometimes guys, less said is better.

 

11. The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower - Dissertation, Honey

Meaningful poetry set to music. Track four sounds like the music in the movie Dark City, it has French roots in it, it's nice in a movie, but I wouldn't want to hear it in my house or in my car. This whole album is jazzy, current generational jazz, but you can hear the roots of the old jazz in it. The music is technically interesting, but to somebody who doesn't like jazz, it doesn't quite make it' it's boring. I like the part with the girl, they're starting to enter into rock 'n' roll. Is she saying 'please bang me'? There it is' yuck, jazz shit. Does he think he's Charley Mingus? If this was on a car radio, I'd skip this channel. I see this band as people with little black berets and black turtlenecks, with little hair under their lower lips. They're ex-patriots in France, digging jazz with all the other cool cats and chicks. The audience is snapping their fingers. Overlooking the skyline of Paris, or the only place in the United States would be overlooking the lower east side below 14th street in New York City where there's walk up apartments, or lofts. I can't imagine somebody driving a 4x4 250 pickup truck in Idaho listening to this, unless maybe it's in a college town'appropriately jazzy. Number eight is kinda okay 'cause it's not too jazzy. The trumpet with a muffler has a nice solo. This guy really has the hand on bonafide instrumental jazz, they've listened to a lot of jazz' they're really into it. Good album if you're into jazz and you don't live in Wyoming. I don't recommend this to rednecks who wear camouflage jackets and kill rabbits for fun.

 

 

10. The Shins- Chutes to Narrow

This group sounds like a young The Who singing 'Magic Bus.' With number three, I'm getting into it, they're growin' on me. Yeah, I'm liking this. So far this is nice clean fun. If he's talking about life, I agree with what he's saying. With number five they're trying to tackle some truths in life, in a certain Beatle/Who-esque way in white clouds of pot smoke before they find yoga or Jesus, I dunno. Some happy harmonica is in there. Have they known any pain yet? It's just nice/happy music. Do I detect philosophical concerns? Nice harp. I like number seven. Eight sounds like English paisley bellbottoms, with number nine they've entered country and western twang. Thoughtful sensitive Donovan-esque feeling. They sound like they should take some hard drugs, and then recover and write some music that weighs something. They're a little too happy for me. That's too mean, I don't really mean this. Maybe I've been listening to too much different music, and I'm getting nasty.

 

09. Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

'Hey Ya!' is one of those songs you can't not like. At my age, I can identify with this. There's so much past history music in it... it's just... easy to take. Just good fucking rock 'n' roll. It's contagious, it grabs you. You don't have to work to like 'Hey Ya!', it grabs you on every level except intellectual. This song isn't about reaching to be cool, it's just what it is. It's good fucking sexy rock 'n' roll. This music is beyond cool, it's gets you on a visceral level, it is what it is. When you want to be up, listen to this song, it'll up you. I don't like the other guy, fuck the other guy. This sounds like 80s funk, funkarella. This sounds like your mom's kind of music. 'Hey Ya!', there is no choice, you don't have to work for it you don't have to think about it, you just like it. I think I like one song on the whole album, but I really like it. This is total Earth Wind And Fire, I feel like I'm listening to early 80s music. This could be in a disco, like KC And The Sunshine Band. If you like 80s funkadelic it's a great album. If not, you'll just like 'Hey Ya!'

 

 

08. Radiohead- Hail to the Thief

I would say this is a sophisticated album. Starting from the first sound, it has a compelling smooth mellow sophistication to it. A lot of voice melding and blending. I like the added electronic noises. As the second one draws to an end, it has a synco mesmerizing hypnotic effect. The third track has a relaxing luminous quality. I appreciate their techno insertions. I would say this has a real Brian Ferry coolness to it. It has a black tuxedo white shirt art deco techno drive from the 1940s with an infusion of 2010 electronics. My first ten second reaction was that this was one of those English retro cigarette groups, but it fastly turns into something entirely different, and I realized that was a dead wrong assumption. As the tracks progress they just get more and more interesting. It's worth spending the time, letting this grow on you... by track six you're entering through a science fiction portal into an intensely infectious sound guided journey by pulsing drum beats. There are surprisingly interesting changes happening all the time. This is definitely not a dull album. White silk shirt pounding drums. Once you break the code into their world you don't want to leave. Just when you think you know their style, it morphs in to some other world. The more you listen to this album the more you realize the intelligence behind it, this is a very sexy album, and your best girl is going to like it too.

 

 

07. The Rapture - Echoes

The difference between this and screamo is that this is good stuff. If you listen to Radiohead for the first time and move onto the Rapture it feels like you're moving into a vast genre conspiracy. The opening track pulls you right in, it captures you in the singer's voice. A nice combination of acoustic piano and electronics. His voice sounds like a rockabilly Brian Ferry. By the fourth track it's turning disco. It feels like I'm in the disco watching everybody be John Travolta in Studio 42, or whatever it is. I'm no longer hearing Radiohead, I'm hearing disco, it lacks all the complexities of Radiohead. We've graduated into full disco, not that that's bad, it's actually quite fascinating. It's actually quite good original disco, and it just keeps getting better. Get your dancing shoes on. By number nine they take you on a side trip into some soul bluesy disco. Is this a newly created disco sound? Number ten leaves disco behind for a slightly raunchy Western influence. The last song ends with bluesy rock 'n' roll in a musically multilingual group. This is another group that gets better the more you listen to them.

 

06. Songs: Ohia - The Magnolia Electric Co

I'm extremely prejudiced about this album, you can listen to it on a continuous basis until it dies in your CD player. I want to publicly state here that my son Zed introduced me to this album and I am eternally grateful, but he just informed me that they have about ten more previous albums' where have they been all my life?! It is unforgivable that I have not known this group before. The first one has a tiny bit of Bob Dylan in it and some Neil Young, but he sings better. It mellows you into a country feel. I haven't liked a song like this since Emily Lou's Wrecking Ball, which I think is her best album. 'The real truth about it' is that there isn't any songs, better songs about looking for the truth with a Western twang. Unbeatable. Listen to this song. Track three is pure honky tonk Western charm. Go get me a whiskey and let's go slow dancin'. I guess I'm gonna have to go out and buy all the CDs before this one. I think I'm in honky tonk heaven. In six do I detect a little Johnny Cash? The man in black. The song is too sour. Shades of Cowboy Junkies, Lucinda Williams, and Lou Ann Barton in the woman's voice, but she's definitely her own person. How many times can you listen to this song? I'll have to let you know. In song seven, after the intro, I keep on repeating the part where he says 'Stood on the 66 Highway', it reminds me of the first time I escaped the darkness of the deepest New York City. I was on Highway 66, and it felt just like that. Then he goes back into the philosophical questions on life, like the rest of this album does. Love this song. A little Jackson Browne here in the last one? If you have to get one album this year to listen to constantly, it's this one. It's too good, and too good and too good. Forever. Go to your nearest record store and buy this immediately.

 

05. Explosions In The Sky - The Earth Is Not A Dead Cold Place

I like Explosions in the Sky, they are really pretty. I'd like to listen to this in a car at about 3 am, driving over some eternal hill, with the moon out. Music without vocals makes me want to look at an owl out my window... be alone with my thoughts. This kind of music makes my mind run creatively, makes me think about everything. I feel happy listening to this music. This kind of music is good to be alone with or be the only one up in a car full of people sleeping. Absolutely. This is beautiful. This only works at certain times of the day/night. There's certain times of the day when you don't want to listen to this. If you're going to a wild social event, you don't want to listen to this, but maybe on the way back. If you're in a house in front of a fire reading a book listening to this, it can make you feel like the world is a good place to be living in. It doesn't make you feel sexy, it makes you feel tranquil. Maybe that's the difference between rock 'n' roll and this music, one makes you feel sexy and one makes you feel tranquilly mental. I'm not quite sure it's day time social music, it's actually if you will, it takes you out of the pain of life and maybe transcends into a spiritual realm. This album is great, what can I tell you? If you're in the right mood...it's just a great album. This album takes you to some other place. A place when you get there, you recognize it, and you remember it. This transcends the pain of life and the interactions of human beings. it doesn't get you through life, it gets you above life. Sometimes it sounds like modern classical music.

 

 

04. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People

This is the kind of music that needs to be loud. Music that I'd really like to go over a mountain on a bright shining moon night, with the light bouncing off the trees, as you get over the mountain and see the ocean, I'd like to be listening to this. The first song knocked me out, the second gets trivial, not mystical enough. I don't see where this is going, the first was mystical. The voice sounds like Moby. If you told me this was Moby, I'd say "Yeah, this is Moby." The beat is good, it's very smooth...very Moby smooth. Sounds very David Bowie. *sings china doll* very David Bowie, china doll. David Bowie had the mind of a generation wrapped up in his consciousness. A lot of the stuff you listen to today is very retro, do you do anything new today? I mean what can you do with rock 'n' roll. This is very good, I can see why you voted it as number 4, it's growing on me. This sounds very familiar, number 8. Good drummer. Very smooth and nice. This isn't acid music, but if you smoked some dope, I could see this taking over. None of this music seems to be macho.

 

03. Cursive ' The Ugly Organ

The beginning starts off with a roller rink organ. Roller skating in circles at a roller rink in your town, being with your friends and looking to pick up girls. Moves straight into Cursive trademark beats and licks and that insanely good cello. Never lose that cello. When you see them live, the cellist is just extraordinaire to watch. Number four is my favorite track, its contagious opening beat and song is just so classically Cursive. I never knew that you could play a cello like a blues harp, but somehow she does it, it punctuates the whole song and backs it up. My whole family loves Cursive, Karen and Gennie actually went to see them live. Sometimes I feel that the singer kinda gets an AFI contagious kind of feel. Woo! Just listen to that cello in 'Driftwood,' this song just grabs your heart. You can listen to this song again and again. The influences of classical music make the last song a heartful song that you can listen to over and over again, and never get bored with it. It's one of the great albums of the year, it's breathtaking towards the end, and it leaves you in an elevated awareness of the wonder of it all.

 

02. Ted Leo And The Pharmacists - Hearts Of Oak

If you judge the album by the first song you would think it was going to be one of the great albums, the second cut has some potential with harmonizing vocals and then everything begins to sound the same. It's almost like one track is undifferentiated from another track, it all begins to sound the same. I can't seem to appreciate this group, maybe I'm just tired from twenty eight other albums. But for some reason, even though I know this is number two in the countdown of ScenePointBlank, I can't seem to relate to this album. It's not that it lacks, there's a good rock 'n' roll beat and good guitar riffs' maybe I'm just tired' but does it have an irritating quality? I can't seem to jive or connect with it.

 

01. The Blood Brothers - Burn Piano Island Burn

They have the most unique vocals, it's totally original, nobody has vocals like this. Sometimes the only thing they have going for them is that the voice sounds like an evil elf on speed, straight out of the movie Legends. If the evil elf from Legends; could sing around the unicorn, it would be this. He sounds terrific when he's singing and not screaming. Good rock 'n' roll. This is a really acquired taste. Timeless rock 'n' roll. These guys got heart. Haha, I can't stop seeing the wicked elf in the snow with those two other idiots, "Ahh, we're going to get them.' Right now he doesn't sound like he's playing rock 'n' roll through a filter, while the other groups are so smooth, it sounds like they are doing it through a filter. It's real, unstrained. It's really raw, heartful, and all that kind of stuff. Tora! Tora! Torrance! is the only other group that sounds like this. You have to work hard on some level to like it. I don't really want to hear about a pedophile, I want to hear about Jesus coming into your heart. I don't want to hear about a pervert. The problem with them is I don't feel like Halloween every night. I'm not amused by perversion.

 

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Words by the SPB team on Jan. 2, 2012, 5:04 a.m.

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