Andrew Stewart Poop 09

Avett Brothers   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
1. Avett Brothers/I and Love and You:
These shaggy bluegrass underdogs make some questionable choices, going for big production and an even bigger sound, and somehow come up with a kind of a masterpiece. Chock full of fantastic songs – epic piano ballads and twangy rockers – this album sounds like they’ve been planted, tended, watered, blossomed, and grown ten feet high. Stunning.

WILCO   Buy New or Used through amazon
2. Wilco/Wilco (The Album):
Every hipster critic’s favorite target, this lean, muscular pop-oriented set stands up to anything else released this year. The world’s greatest band delivers again.

Trainwreck Riders   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
3. Trainwreck Riders/The Perch:
Like Still Feel Gone-era Tupelo crossed with the Meat Puppets, this slab of pulverizing country punk will have you pounding your steering wheel and singing out, loud.

John Vanderslice   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMsuics
4. John Vanderslice/Romanian Names:
A magnificently understated album from this always-solid veteran, with elements of Roxy Music, TVOTR, and Spoon. Hyperintelligent, spare, and awesome.

Dawes  Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
5. Dawes/North Hills: Like The Band meets Gram Parsons via Crazy Horse, this is the year’s biggest surprise. What at first sounds simply folky becomes a solid folk-rock classic. Truly an A+.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR &nbsp: @ eMusics
6. Phoenix/Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix:
Despite their provenance – who doesn’t love to hate the French? – there’s no denying that this is a fantastic, infectious pop-rock album. Hear it.

M. Ward   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
7. M. Ward/Hold Time:
M. Ward continues to blossom with this gentle acoustic rock album, song after shimmering song that you seem to know by heart after just one listen. America’s best songwriter.

Deer Tick   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
8. Deer Tick/Born on Flag Day:
This filthy little album will pump your gas, kick your ass, and then buy you a beer. Weird, nasally, retro-billy shit that’s scrappy and just plain rocks from start to finish.

Say Hi   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR  
9. Say Hi/Oohs and Aahs:
Smart, sharp and syncopated, this one sounds like Lotion meets The Pixies with a pinch of Squeeze, setting a moody mope-rock tone that never lets up.

The Thermals   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
10. The Thermals/Now We Can See:
A peppy little punk-pop album full of songs about love, death and the ocean. Like Stiff Little Fingers in desperate need of psychotherapy.

11. Built To Spill/There Is No Enemy:
Doug Martsch delivers a surprisingly tight, focused rock album that also manages to stretch out for a spell and, for fans, satisfies a unbearably long three-year jones.
12. Motel Motel/New Denver:
Weird as hell and even more annoying, this amalgam of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Glands, and Radiohead should suck, but it doesn’t. Unique, and spectacular.
13. Fruit Bats/The Ruminant Band:
If Ray Davies joined The Shins, you might get this bright, shiny, ragtimey pop album. These guys never sounded so…awake. Great.
14. Lucero/1372 Overton Park:
Slobberbone meets Springsteen, with horns. Sounds like smoky barrooms, gravel roads and warm whiskey; a smoother, fuller version of their traditionally raw sound.
15. The Dexateens/Singlewide:
Drive-By Truckers meet the Jayhawks, singin’ songs about the southland. Takes a while to warm up, but sticks to your ribs.
16. Dan Auerbach/Keep It Hid:
The Black Keys meet Al Green.
17. Kevin Devine/Brother’s Blood:
Elliott Smith meets Ben Gibbard
18. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band/Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band:
Wolf Parade meets The White Stripes
19. Yo La Tengo/Popular Songs:
More relaxed and inviting than they’ve been in quite a while
20. The Mountain Goats/The Life of the World To Come:
Ambitious, patient, and whip-smart
21. The Dodos/Time to Die:
A sweet, ripe percussive pop album that’s a real evolution of their sound
22. Thao and The Get Down Stay Down/Know Better Learn Faster:
Odd-voiced rocker adds horns on this album focused on love and heartbreak. Like Juliana Hatfield covers PJ Harvey. Wild.
23. Tim Easton/Porcupine:
Tom Petty meets Van Morrison for a skiffle session
24. The Shaky Hands/Let It Die:
Imagine the Pixies covering Exile on Main Street
25. Neko Case/Middle Cyclone:
Never really gets off the ground, but her voice! Her voice.

Other Good Stuff
Andrew Bird/Noble Beast (insanely particular and verging on fey, but there’s genius here)
Blitzen Trapper/Black River Killer EP (continues the magic of last year’s Furr)
A.A. Bondy/When The Devil’s Loose (a bit too laid back, but a still-solid bleakish folk sound)
Dirty Projectors/Bitte Orca (grossly overrated, but there’s a very cool art-Zep thing going on here)
Golden Boots/Winter of Our Discotheque (Beck + Pavement)
Holopaw/Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness (weird psych-soul sound with a country fuzz)
Patterson Hood/Murdering Oscar (and Other Love Songs) (throwback front-porch Drive-By Truckers)
La Strada/La Strada (EP) (Beirut via Elephant 6)
The Low Anthem/Oh My God, Charllie Darwin (opium for your ears, like Band of Horses underwater)
Modest Mouse/No One’s First and You’re Next EP (sharp, smart, short, super)
The Mother Hips/Pacific Dust (my softest spot in all of music; Tim Bluhm is genuinely one of a kind)
A.C. Newman/Get Guilty! (New Pornographer’s default leader delivers another fine, dramatic rocker)
Other Lives/Other Lives (if Coldplay sounded a little more like Ben Folds, and didn’t totally suck balls)
Port O’Brien/Threadbare (darker and more depressing than last year’s masterpiece, but still great)
Ramona Falls/Intuit (the dude from Menomena digs Yes and Rush)
Dave Rawlings Machine/Friend of a Friend (bluegrass/folk veteran’s excellent debut, covers and originals)
Strand of Oaks/Leave Ruin (Palace Music + Sun Kil Moon + A.A. Bondy)
St. Vincent/Actor (complex, dramatic and wonderful, worth a little extra work to figure this one out)
These United States/Everything Touches Everything (Wilco + Sorta + Jackson Browne)
Various Artists/Dark Was The Night (so good it breaks the rule against compilations: a hipster’s paradise)

Animal Collective/Merriwether Post Pavilion
Antony & The Johnsons/The Crying Light
Camera Obscura/My Maudlin Career
The Decemberists/Hazards of Love
Grizzly Bear/Veckatimest

Andrew Stewart
Rhinebeck, NY