It’s the end of the world as we know it . . . please help me I’m falling . . . don’t they know, it’s the end of the world . . .
nuclear error but I have no fear. . . just a few lines from songs that have assumed the stature of existential dread in the past year. Lately I feel that the whole country is drowning and I / live by the river. So, do we need POOP right about now or what? So with that as impetus, I present the 31st annual musings of the POmpous and OPinionated. Remember when WE were the self-important bloviating blowhards? Ah, nostalgia. To the 25 pompoids who have contributed this year, it’s time to break out the tiki torches and behold the collective pith amid the pandemonium. And if I’ve offended anyone with my political vitriol, to you I say, “Go deep. I’ve got some paper towels for you.”
During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists. It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most. From songs that got me moving to stories that inspired me, here’s my 2017 list — I hope you enjoy it and have a happy and healthy New Year.
Two Inch Astronaut,
(Sandy) Alex G,
Queens of the Stone Age,
Best re-issues of 2017
Prince & The Revolution,
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince,
John Lee Hooker,
There was a lot of good music last year but no-one album that I could call exceptional or better than the rest. Finding new music and especially new artists, continues to be a problem and is unlikely to improve soon. A loose ranking based on what I’ve been playing: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile,
The War On Drugs,
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit,
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings,
Even as I write this I’m getting in some last minute listening. But most of my favorites were obvious from the first listen. That’s all the preamble I got this year.
The Len Price 3,
Group Doueh & Cheveu,
Thee Oh Sees,
Marry Waterson/David A. Jaycock,
Last year at this time I was as ill as this Country appears to be now. I felt like I was dying and just didn’t care about much of anything except my misery and myself. My plague passed, the Nation’s (Not The National, that’s an entirely different story) I fear may be nearing terminal status. Where are the protest singers? Where are the protest songs? I’m seeing Pussy Riot in May so maybe that will be the first in what…
Oxbow, The Body/Full of Hell, Chelsea Wolf, Converge, Fater John Misty, Power Trip, Quicksand, Your Old Droog, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Mutoid Man
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit,
Hurray For The Riff Raff,
Iron and Wine,
Albums I Really Enjoyed (in no particular order)
Ray Davies – Americana
Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights
Shamir – Hope
Perfume Genius – No Shape
Ride – Weather Diaries
Waxahatchee – Out In The Storm
Saint Etienne – Home Counties
The National – Sleep Well Beast
Sparks – Hippopotamus
Fever Ray – Plunge
Wow – interesting year, huh? No need to go down that rabbit hole, but I can say how depressing the music was this year. Not that I didn’t find a few gems, but those albums that I did enjoy were sadder than the usual stuff I gravitate towards. Sign of the times, anyone?
Crazy words. Crazy tunes.
Crazy times. Crazy world.
Time for this year’s POOP, then.
The World of Captain Beefheart featuring Nona Hendryx & Gary Lucas, Ghetto Priest, Jeb Loy Nichols, Coldcut x On-U Sound, ALA.N, Ensemble Minisym,
Penguin Café, Laurel Hal, Behind the Counter with Max Richter, Frank Zappa
I’d be embarrassed to truly show you, if such a thing were at all possible, the extent to which the idea of “Top Ten” organizes how I think about what I enjoy, consume, and love. This is a post-High Fidelity culture junkie thing that I’m sure is common to a lot of us contributing here, and I for one have gotten pretty self-conscious about it. Invariably, when I sit down each year to do this Poop List, there’s an odd push/pull between the sincere eagerness I take in constructing these lists, my awareness of the vanity of this sort of exercise, and the reflex of embarrassment that inevitably comes knocking. The whole thing is pretty weird.
My POOP DISC-CLAIMER (disc-lamer?): In this year like none other before it, writing a list about fleeting things like music feels pretty trivial. Still I welcome the distraction it provides. Thinking about things that excite me is so much more agreeable than dwelling on the Trumpster Fire that currently is this nation. So, for what it’s worthless, I toss out my POOPlist to you like rolls of paper towels, knowing it will provide about the same amount of balm.
Khalid / Rostam / Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile / Spoon / Kevin Morby / (Sandy) Alex G / Fred Thomas / Bleachers / Ty Segall / Moses Sumney /
What else can be said about a shitcake of a year. I am done ranting about pop music. My focus is more on the current situation that is going on in our country and what we must do to resist. Anyway there is no rhyme or reason to what I like. But I will not bow to social pressure to like something I don’t think is very good. But anyway I am not here to criticize what I don’t like. It seems we don’t value critical thinking much these days. Anyway most of the best albums came from classic rock artists but being pop radio is ageist, they won’t get traction. But I made an effort to balance the old with the new. So anyway here’s what made my best of this year
In the year we lost Tom Petty (opiods, again!) and Greg Allman, I enjoyed going back to some favorite classic rock albums — part for nostalgia, part for comfort in some very weird times. It’s probably no coincidence then that, by far, my favorite album of the year was Dan Auerbach’s Waiting on a Song, a perfect collection of 70’s inspired soul-rock-blues. Even though something is lost forever when these bright lights of Rock are extinguished, there’s some solace that there are hugely talented young musicians always rising up the ranks to carry on the musical tradition. The King is Dead, Long Live the King as they say.
Jlin / Bicep / Four Tet / Saint Etienne / Slowdive / Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet / St. Vincent / Lorde / Stormzy / The xx / Sampha / Omar Souleyman / Peverelist
2017 – What a shitty year for the world and this country. Well at least there was lots of good music, an excellent Twin Peaks reboot, and the German Netflix series – Dark… Oh! and of course my joyous son. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is like nothing I’ve ever experienced and gives some hope to a world that feels lost and in constant turmoil.
FIX’S ELEVEN FAVORITE ALBUMS of 2017 (Alphabetical)
Ryan Adams \\ All Them Witches \\ Brand New \\ The Horrors \\ Hurray For The Riff Raff \\ Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit \\ LCD Soundsystem \\ The National \\ Slowdive \\ St Vincent \\ Paul Weller \\