Mark Rosen Poop ’11




cover of VARIOUS ARTISTS - Those Byrds Have Flown: A Byrdsian Tribute
1 – VARIOUS ARTISTS – Those Byrds Have Flown: A Byrdsian Tribute
I’m not sure a download-only compilation of previously released tracks should be considered POOPworthy but this collection of 25 songs done in the style of circa 1965-66 McGuinn, Crosby, Hillman and two Clarks has artwork, liner notes, and tons of smarts. Tuneful and harmonic jangle galore. Call this Revenge Of the Rickenbackers. I wait only for my boot heels to be wandering. You *might* be able to find it here, but we couldn’t possibly say for sure



cover of STEVE EARLE - I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive  Buy New or Used via amazon
2 – STEVE EARLE – I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
Earle delivers poetic odes to the BP oil spill, George W’s exit, post-Katrina New Orleans and a host of other worthy topics. Song-writing doesn’t get any better than “Gulf Of Mexico.” [SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen Season 2 of Treme yet] But I’m still very pissed about his character getting murdered on Treme.



cover of JUNE TABOR & THE OYSTER BAND - Ragged Kingdom  Buy New or Used via amazon
3 – JUNE TABOR & THE OYSTER BAND – Ragged Kingdom
June Tabor’s records have always lacked a guitar-player and a backbeat. The Oyster Band has always needed a good singer. Voila! Her smoky voice and the Oysters’ deep-driving orchestration totally click on this, their second collaboration. Chilling English folk tunes, Dylan and Dan Penn covers, and an exquisite “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”



cover of NICK LOWE -  The Old Magic  Buy New or Used via amazon
4- NICK LOWE – The Old Magic
There may be no better songwriter than Nick Lowe. He completely owns the ironic lyric and knows how to work it into tales of poignancy. Like the narrator of “Stoplight Roses” who has fucked up big-time and knows what won’t smooth things out this time. And “Checkout Time”, in which Nick’s examines his own life as he prepares for the reckoning. All told with a knowing wink.



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5 – THE BEACH BOYS – The SMiLE Sessions
And by that I mean the two-disc version. God only knows how this would have sounded if I’d first heard it in 1967, but with hindsight, I’m convinced that Pet Sounds was a more adventurous and better album. BW’s 2004 version of SMiLE and a bevy of SMiLE bootlegs have stripped this of most of the surprises. Still, brilliant at times and over-indulgent on occasion. And I remain clueless about what “columnated ruins dominos” could possibly mean.

A good read on a related topic: “The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience” by Timothy White.



cover of GILLIAN WELCH - The Harrow & the Harvest  Buy New or Used via amazon
6 – GILLIAN WELCH – The Harrow & the Harvest
Gilly and David get back to what they do best: making desolation and damnation sound so damned beautiful.



cover of NRBQ - Keep This Love Goin'  Buy New or Used via amazon
7 – NRBQ – Keep This Love Goin’
This is actually Terry Adams’ new group, and not NRBQ (NNRBQ?) But like their namesake, they deliver delightfully tuneful, catchy, three-minute nuggets of pop fun. R.I.P. to Tom Ardolino.



cover of AMY WINEHOUSE - Lioness: Hidden Treasures  Buy New or Used via amazon
8 – AMY WINEHOUSE – Lioness: Hidden Treasures
Sure her life was a trainwreck and her death should have surprised no one, yet it still seemed shocking. This collection has many moments that sparkle. What a loss. To Amy, life was a losing game.



cover of VARIOUS ARTISTS - Rave On: Buddy Holly   cover of VARIOUS ARTISTS - Listen To Me: Buddy Holly
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9 – VARIOUS ARTISTS – Rave On: Buddy Holly
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Listen To Me: Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly’s songbook still sounds good, and I suspect it always will. About 75% of this hits the mark, about 20% is at least serviceable, and a few songs might be described as Lubbock lard. The Cedar Bluffs, Iowa plane crash turns out not to be the day the music died (although Lou Reed’s version of “Peggy Sue” just might qualify).



cover of JEFF BECK - Rock'n'Roll Party Honoring Les Paul  Buy New or Used via amazon
10- JEFF BECK – Rock’n’Roll Party Honoring Les Paul
One guitar innovator pays tribute to an even greater one, and with the help of some pretty talented sidekicks, Beck burns down the house. Special kudes to Imelda May, who double tracks her live vocals and nails Mary Ford. So did Les Paul, I’m guessing.



cover of THE BASEBALL PROJECT - Volume 2: High and Inside  Buy New or Used via amazon
11 – THE BASEBALL PROJECT – Volume 2: High and Inside
More great guitar pop about a subject near and dear to me.



cover of VARIOUS ARTISTS - This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel on 45 RPM [1957-1982]  Buy New or Used via amazon
12 – VARIOUS ARTISTS – This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel on 45 RPM [1957-1982]
Did somebody say raw? The follow-up to 2009’s Fire In My Bones scalds with DIY passion and piety. Listening to this, I feel like I’m crashing a party I was definitely not invited to, and that’s part of the of this 72 song set’s charm.



cover of SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS - I Learned the Hard Way  Buy New or Used via amazon
13 – SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS – I Learned the Hard Way
Sorry, I missed this in 2010. From the sound of this record (the songs themselves, the stylings, the production), I might as well have missed this forty years ago. Brooklyn retro-metro soul.



cover of LUCINDA WILLIAMS - Blessed  Buy New or Used via amazon
14 – LUCINDA WILLIAMS – Blessed
I have to believe that there is artistic persona behind these songs. Otherwise Lucinda is one mournful, very depressed woman. Someone take away all her sharp objects.



cover of ROLLING STONES - Some Girls (Deluxe Edition)  Buy New or Used via amazon
15 – ROLLING STONES – Some Girls (Deluxe Edition)
Many say Some Girls was the Stones’ last great record but the bonus disc is like an entirely new and different collection. While the original 1978 collection was their foray into the unfamiliar world of punk, the extra disc is, for the most part, country honk that could have stood on its own had it been released 33 years ago.



cover of TRACY NELSON - Victim Of the Blues  Buy New or Used via amazon
16 – TRACY NELSON – Victim Of the Blues
Who even knew she still put out records? And who knew she could still bring it? Unlike her cohort of 60s singers who still record, she seems to have lost absolutely nothing in her voice. A veritable Ponce de Leona.



cover of STEVE CROPPER - Dedicated: A Salute To the 5 Royales  Buy New or Used via amazon
17 – STEVE CROPPER – Dedicated: A Salute To the 5 Royales
Cropper’s ever-tasteful guitar fills bubble under the whole effort but a wide cast of modern day soulsters brings it all to life. Special kudes to Steve Winwood for the opening track, the very first thing I’ve liked of his since the Spencer Davis/Traffic years.



cover of VARIOUS ARTISTS - The Lost Notebooks Of Hank Williams  Buy New or Used via amazon
18 – VARIOUS ARTISTS – The Lost Notebooks Of Hank Williams
A throwback to the early 50s stylings of the highest and lonesomest singer ever to step up to a microphone or die in the back of a Cadillac. Lovesick blues, indeed.



cover of THE STROKES - Angles  Buy New or Used via amazon
19 – THE STROKES – Angles
Finally a worthy follow-up to their debut. The song “Under the Cover Of Darkness” could describe the last ten years and could be one of the best songs of 2011.



cover of BLACK KEYS - El Camino  Buy New or Used via amazon
20 – BLACK KEYS – El Camino
Grungy, glammy and eminently likeable.


LIVE SHOW OF THE YEAR
THE CHANDLER TRAVIS PHILHARMONIC at The Linda in Albany



MOST IMPORTANT SONG OF THE YEAR
LADY GAGA – “Born This Way” – A song whose social importance will only grow in coming years when born this way becomes part of the American lexicon, all a result of an anthemic party romp.



MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
The Pine Bush High School Lip Dub – YouTube this when you have 13 minutes and need to be amazed. Watch till the end.








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