Duncan Clark Poop 2014



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1. BECK – Morning Phase: I only own two cd’s by Beck- the two morose folky albums which I guess says a lot about me. That said, this is a beautifully constructed and recorded song cycle.



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2. THE WAR ON DRUGS – Lost in the Dream: This was drugs for the ears. I kept hearing bits and pieces that just wormed their way into my brain. I love the 80s vibe and electronica.



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3. OYSTERBAND – Diamonds on the Water: A long time favorite that consistently puts out the best Celtic folk rock even with the loss of some key members this time around.



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4. THE BOTH – The Both: This turned out better than I expected although the record could have used a little more influence from Leo’s Pharmacists. Aimee is in charge here but Leo does a nice job complimenting her.



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5. ROSANNE CASH – The River & the Thread: Proving that you can go home again at least for a visit, in this case a part of the South far outside of Nashville.



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6. SHARON JONES AND THE DAP-KINGS – Give The People What They Want: I realize that this was recorded and ready to go right before Jones became ill, but with her return to the stage, this feels like a celebratory lap. Old school r&b as well as Jones are still alive and doing well.



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7. THE RAILS – Fair Warning: Kami Thompson is blessed with her mother’s voice and her partner is very talented. This debut covers a lot of ground from folk to country to pop.



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8. THE MAHONES – The Hunger & The Fight: Last I saw these guys, they were getting yanked off a stage for going over time at a festival nearly 20 years ago- they kill live. Equal parts “Sodomy & the Lash”-era Pogues and Joe Strummer.



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9. LEE BAINS & THE GLORY FIRES – Dereconstructed: This explores a different part of the south from what Cash was singing about. Smart literate lyrics in a very tough rock band.



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10. REAL ESTATE – Atlas: The latest in the proud NJ tradition of producing jangly rock bands.



11. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E ST. BAND – Albany May 13, 2014: The “High Hopes” disc was Bruce treading water but the tour was anything but. With Bruce commercially releasing some of the concerts, this rises above bootleg status. This was a night where the set list went out the window early on and the band simply tried to keep up with the Boss.
12. TRIGGER HIPPY – Trigger Hippy: You have two natural front persons in Greene and Osborne but all you have to do is look at the writing credits which is shared by all 5 members to see how collaborative this effort was. Hopefully, this will be an ongoing band.
13. THOMPSON – Family: I’d like to point out that when the McGarrigle family did this back in the 90s, they actually recorded the album with everybody in the same room. It appears that the Thompsons had problems being on the same continent at the same time. Perhaps issues are still being worked on. Kami and her husband steal the show.
14. THE GLOAMING – The Gloaming A slightly more classical approach to Celtic music than I usually care for but the synergy and interplay of the musicians transcends the limitations of traditional Celtic music to go off to unusual places.
15. THE SEE SEE – Days, Nights & Late Morning Lights: Almost a decade ago, my top Poop pick was the debut album of an English folk rock group, the Eighteenth Day of May. To celebrate their victory, they immediately broke up and disappeared into obscurity. From their ashes comes the See See. Take out the folk and put in psychedelic. Let’s hope this one sticks.
16. U2 – Songs of Innocence: If their worst sin was to give away music for free, then people really need to find something else to bitch about. It would be unfortunate if this controversy obscured the fact that this is actually a pretty good U2 album.
17. BOB MOULD – Beauty & Ruin: It’s not unusual for musicians to write about death and aging as they get older but not many can do it with the ferocity of a guy who used to front Husker Du.
18. ASGEIR TRAUSTI – Dyrd i daudapogn: If Justin Vernon of Bon Iver had gone to Iceland instead of disappearing into the woods of Wisconsin, this is the album that he would have made. And the world would be all the better for it. Rerecorded with English lyrics but the original Icelandic is more interesting.
19. CHRISSIE HYNDE – Stockholm: I’m not sure you can really call this her solo debut. I think that every Pretenders album since Learning to Crawl has essentially been her show. She sounds inspired through most of the album and the songs would be worthy of any Pretenders album.
20. DRIVE BY TRUCKERS – English Oceans: Probably their strongest album since Jason Isbell left the group. They are definitely a tighter band which is apparent in the rockers.
21. BROKEN BELLS – After the Disco: The first album did a very slow burn on me but it kept finding its way into my player. Mercer and Danger Mouse are an interesting combination.
22. THE STRYPES – Snapshot: We’ve reached a curious point in music when simply playing straight r&b rock well lets you stand out from the crowd. Born several decades too late.
23. ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES – Half The City: Tight first rate r&b/soul unit. They get extra credit for having the best new band name last year.
24. THURSTON MOORE – The Best Day: Sounds like I’m not the only one missing Sonic Youth. Good but I miss the mix with Lee Renaldo.
25. MARIANNE FAITHFULL – Give My Love To London: She has some wonderful material to work with here but it’s the voice that captures the center of attention- scarred, proud, expressive with a lot of class.



 


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