Matt Nerney Poop 2013

2013 was a year of big changes for my family and while music still played an important role in my experience, it just didn’t integrate itself as it usually has in the past. Moving to Vermont, finding new jobs, and shaping a new way of life has been a massive shift, an incredible life change that has included more wood-stacking, snow-blowing, and thankfully, more craft beer drinking. The experience has been intensely hectic and harried, but overall, happy. Music seemed almost to be an afterthought. The holidays though, as usual, brought many year-end reflections, and of course, the POOP.

Tops of the Pops

Buy Richard Thompson – Electric New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon
1) Richard Thompson – Electric : On first rush, I thought this was just another
run-of-the-mill, workman-like RT album. Upon further, further, and still further, listens though, I have really grown to love this set of tunes. Great guitar work, varied (but still characteristic) styles, and consistent songwriting excellence. For me, no one crafts a guitar riff like RT, whether it’s a sidewinder electric run or a moody acoustic embellishment, and this album is chock full of them. His best work since Mock Tudor.

Buy Midlake – Antiphon New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
2) Midlake – Antiphon : Out of left field, as I had kind of forgotten about this band. A sad/happy back story goes along with this album, but I’m just glad it came out at all. The production sounds fantastic, with all the nuance and gravity of their previous work. Lyrically, it continues on with the themes developed on Van Occupanther and Courage.

Buy Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
3) Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City : I never really got into this band before, as I thought they were a little too cutesy, but this album sounds great and seems to be a little more thoughtful than their earlier work. Excellent production work, and the drum and bass have a really warm, saturated sound that I love.

Buy Paul McCartney – New New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
4) Paul McCartney – New : Another album that I didn’t really pay attention to at all, until my wife bought it. As autumn rolled in, we listened to it quite a lot driving back and forth between VT and NY, and then it really started to stick with me. A few incredibly catchy tunes, some sentimental stuff, and a couple of new tricks from an old master.

Buy Tunng – Turbines New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
5) Tunng – Turbines : A quirky little folk band from the U.K. who lost their founder, but managed to work it out as a collective. There’s no one song that reaches out and grabs you, but the album works very well as an entire listening experience.

Buy Sam Phillips – Push Any Button  New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
6) Sam Phillips – Push Any Button : A nice blend of her more refined work with T-Bone and her rawer, self-produced material. I just love her voice and vocal arrangements.

Buy  New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
7) Jim James – Region of Light and Sound of God : A weird little record from Jim James, who seems to never stop working on something or with someone. Not quite what I expected, but I love all the strange little bits that slowly tunnel their way into your brain.

Buy Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest  New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
8) Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest : I’m a big fan of listening to albums as a whole and this set is a perfect example of why. It’s completely immersive. My own personal soundtrack for (inner or outer) space travel.

Buy Villagers – {Awayland}  New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
9) Villagers – {Awayland} : A nice sophomore effort from this young Irish troubadour. There are a few overdone moments and lyrics, but also some really beguiling gems.

Buy Linda Thompson – Won’t Be Long Now New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
10) Linda Thompson – Won’t Be Long Now : It’s always a treat to hear from Linda Thompson. This outing is a little different than her recent albums, a bit more traditional sounding, but a little too clean (read Nashville) on some of the tracks.

11) Akron/Family – Sub Verses : Still doggedly bushwhacking their own path through the wilderness. I wish the guys would relax just a little bit though and jam more. There’s an imbalance in the band since Ryan Vanderhoof left, and they’ve lost that recklessness that made Love is Simple such an incredible album.

12) Dr. Dog – B-Room : Not their best stuff, but reliably catchy. Rock & Roll, indeed.

13) Neko Case – the Worse Things Get … : I’ve always loved her work with the New Pornographers, but never really fancied her solo material. This sounds like a nice mix of her stuff and theirs, although I don’t love all of the lyrics or arrangements.

14) David Bowie – the Next Day : I haven’t listened to new Bowie since the 80’s! This comeback sounds great though, with nods to several of his classic periods, but completely of the moment as well. I have to check out some of his more recent work.

15) Arcade Fire – Reflektor : I gave up on this band for awhile, but was brought back into the fold again, by the wife (again). I don’t care for the disco track too much, but I do like the 80’s retro sound, and the dubby bass that permeates much of the album.

Other Notable News

Sigur Ros – Kveikur
Jon Vanderslice – Dagger Beach
Alasdair Roberts – A Wonder Working Stone
Bill Ryder-Jones – A Bad Wind Blows Through My Heart
Memory Band – On the Chalk (Our Navigation of the Line of the Downs)
Grails – Black Tar Prophecies Volumes 4,5,6
Flaming Lips – the Terror/Peace Sword
Atoms for Peace – Amok
Clinic – Free Reign II
Wolf People – Fain


Bob Dylan – Complete Album Collection Volume 1 : Really just had to have this …
Grateful Dead – Sunshine Daydream (Oregon 1972)

Ones That Got Away (So Far)

Bonny “Prince” Billy – S/T (2013)
Caliphone – Stitches
Grateful Dead – May 1977
Los Lobos – Disconnected (Live in NYC)
the Men – New Moon
Mum – Smilewound
My Bloody Valentine – mbv
Polvo – Siberia
Fionn Regan – Bunkhouse Volume 1
Volcano Choir – Repave

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