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Call Me Fishmael Friend

Caught Between A Lampshade And A Toothpick 101
7Sondre Lerche
Phantom Punch

"Phantom Punch" invades with poppy hooks from the very start. "Airport Taxi Reception" is written seemingly as a message on the answering machine of all the things you've wanted to say to someone you love but were afraid to. The glitchy guitar stylings here conjure up an attitude of carefree honesty-something Sondre Lerche excels at. And while setting up what is a more experimental approach for the singer-songwriter, we still get a nice dose of simplistic acoustic on "Tragic Mirror", a gorgeous song that serves as a nice volta into the the vicious "Face The Blood". "Faces Down" may be the best known work of Sondre (and for good reason) but it would be a shame for anyone to miss out on "Phantom Punch" as it is easily his most exciting release to date.
6Mr. Bungle
Disco Volante

I have very fond memories of caffeine-fueled ping pong matches in my basement with "Disco Volante" blasting just to speed up the insanity. I was introduced to Mr. Bungle and Fantomas at about the same time. And while the love i found for "The Director's Cut" by Fantomas was uncanny; I remember listening to Disco and finding it even more complex and difficult to interpret. Each listen yields different results; this is what i love about Mike Patton. As soon as you think you know what he's on about he'll shoot a laser beam through your skull and have you lost in another psychotic world. Try and navigate through this absurd wilderness and you'll find that making to the end will only leave you with more questions than answers.
5 Neon Blonde
Chandeliers In The Savanna

Any good Blood Brothers fan will tell you about Jaguar Love, whether out of dismay or approval, yet as much as I enjoy Jaguar's first LP nothing can touch the songwriting of Neon Blonde's first and only release. Its abrasive, catchy, and bombastic as Johnny Whitney has ever been. If you hear nothing else from this CD, at least check out "Chandeliers And Vines". That song has found its way into so many playlists of mine and has a balladry that you probably won't find in the Blood Brother's catalogue.
4of Montreal
Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies

A gem among the prolific of Montreal catalogue; "Coquelicot" is as good a concept album as you could ever hope for in the psych-pop genre. Filled with elaborate story-telling and driven by a madman careening from song to song, Barnes invites us to story time. "Penelope" alone will command anyone into giving this album a try. Yet this is not the only standout. Among others, "Good Morning Mr. Edmington" provides a great vignette of modern man's desperate attempt at cracking it in the real world. A young man imploring a "Mr. Edmington" for an honest job in his factory. For some reason this always reminds me of Terry Gilliam's "Brazil"; a motion picture that so adamantly focuses on the balance of desire and complacency.

The immediate quake of good feelings one might experience from Girls, in the right setting, can be cataclysmic. From the very first line "Oh I wish i had a boyfriend..." sung in a slightly whiney tone, you know you're in for an interesting yet somehow familiar ride. I can understand the comparisons between Girls and, say, the Beach Boys or maybe for a newer reference someone along the lines of Surfer Blood. But what sets them apart from some of the more well-known "beach/surfer" vibe is the raw emotion. The listener is plunged into a space somewhere between tired anxiety and tears of bliss; something that "Album" taps into effortlessly. Lose yourself in this life-affirming debut the first time; then let the melodies wash over you time and time again-as a receding tide might on the shores of your heart-strings.
2The Beatles
Rubber Soul

Finding something to say about a band whose career has been extremely documented and profusely commented upon isn't necessarily easy or useful. Yet I feel the need to highlight Rubber Soul's pure brilliance for the hell of it. Never will you hear such a collage of pop, transcendental, and rock n roll pulled off so nicely. I think "Nowhere Man" stands out as one of the most introspective tracks ever created; a dichotomy of alienation and "non-being" if you will. On one hand the nowhere man is just like us, obscure and unknown to the world. We are absurd creations floating about with very little recognition. And on the other hand the nowhere man in us strives to reach a consciousness bereft of all tangible and worldly things. Perhaps this tone permeates a record full of left turns and unexpected tracking. "Rubber Soul" maintains the eloquence of the early, drug induced stage of The Beatles while sounding like a shorter, more refined "White Album".
Wowee Zowee

On certain days, nothing fits the ear drums quite like some good old Pavement. Wowee Zowee showcases a band at the height of the powers doing whatever the hell they want; and pulling it off with stellar results. "We Dance" is such a cool intro to an even cooler album. Then you get hit with "Rattled By The Rush"-a radio friendly tune with some great slide guitar as well as some of the least whimsical Malkmus lyrics out there. "Brave Architecture" has such a nice, relaxed jammy feel to it, and gives you this great bouncing around feeling that could be likened to strolling around a store you have no interest in buying anything from. Just admire the building and move on; nothing strikes you besides the fact that its there. And, of course, i have to mention the sultry "Grounded". One of the greatest tracks of the 90s; this will send you in to an absolute trance.
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