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12.31.2003 | Review(s): The Mars Volta, Broken Social Scene

The Mars Volta - Live: This limited edition EP makes me wish I were there (note: this is the first and last time Upon* will use an emoticon as part of a review)

Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People: This disc will not be reviewed at this time, for it requires repeat listens.

12.24.2003 | Review(s): Do Make Say Think

Do Make Say Think - & Yet & Yet: On of the biggest criticisms of post-rock is that it is too predictable. Do Make Say Think do nothing to alter this perception.

12.19.2003 | Review(s): The Polyphonic Spree

The Polyphonic Spree - The Beginning Stages Of...: The beginning stages of this disc are amazing. However, the final track (clocking in at a whopping 30+ minutes) is nothing but an Azusa Plane ripoff of boring buzzing and humming. It's so annoying in fact, that it sours the remainder of the disc.

12.16.2003 | Review(s): The Mars Volta, John McLaughlin x2, Dag Nasty

The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium: I'm speechless.

John McLaughlin - After The Rain: By only playing 2 original compositions, this disc proves (to me, at least) that the guitar is a viable jazz instrument, strong enough to stand alone.

John McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist: A more group-oriented outing is a more traditional jazz record for McLaughlin. The guitar is still present, it's just less of a focal point, letting the ambient nature of emotion of jazz really bleed through.

Dag Nasty - Field Day: One of the most criminally overlooked bands in the evolution of both emo and melodic punk. Of course, when you're good friends with Ian MacKaye and he had just done Embrace, it's no wonder.

12.15.2003 | Review(s): Papa M, Vince Guaraldi

Papa M - Whatever, Mortal: Papa M is Dave Pajo. Dave Pajo is Slint. Slint is post-rock. Papa M is not post-rock. Albums by singer/songwriters are exceptionally difficult to rate Upon First Listen, because musically, they all sound the same. Lyrically is where a good singer/songwriter excels, and it's difficult to decipher all the lyrics on the first attempt and, furthermore, without a lyric sheet.

Vince Guaraldi - Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus: Piano-jazz that rivals anything Duke Ellington ever did (er..sort of). Starting off with seemingly no-better intentions than another disc regulated to the "Elevator Music" bin found at Tower Records it quickly evolves into something different. Something with a distinct style and flair that makes you want to hit the "Repeat" button on the CD player.

12.10.2003 | Review(s): M. Ward

M. Ward - Transfigurations Of Vincent: Have you ever psyched yourself up for an album so much that it was bound to disappoint UponFirstListen? I have, and that's why this disc will not get a review.

12.01.2003 | Review(s): Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie - Free Ride: I respect Dizzy Gillespie. He's a wonderful musician and I enjoy almost all of his work. But upon hearing this CD, one has to wonder, is porno music without the actual porno worth listening to? Almost, Dizzy, almost.

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