Articles by Mark Zip

Main Poop Analysis 2023

January 2024 Dear POOPsters: The 37 th Annual POOPlist now lights up your screens. Despite the tenuous state of the world (and this country’s inglorious contribution to it), we musical know-it-alls meet in the shadows once again to share our POmpous and OPinionated thoughts and ramblings. If nothing else compiling lists of the records that brought us joy and solace sure beats assembling lists of, I dunno, the most horrible climate disasters or the vilest actions on the world stage. The (only) 16 of us who contributed this year have decided that wildfires, droughts, floods, global hostilities and human atrocities…

Jim Meyers Poop 2023

This is my lame intro to my lame list. The end. The Replacements, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, Young Fathers, Olivia Rodrigo, Bakar, Cat Power, Ratboys, Anders Parker, Son Volt, Yo La Tengo

Mark Zip Poop 2023

Google Bard prompt: “Write a year end top ten list in the style of Lester Bangs using the following music albums”. With any errors struck through and corrected in red 2023: A Year-End Sonic Boom Through Lester Bangs’ Eyes Forget your Top 10s, these records ain’t for faint hearts or Top 40 charts. This is the year punk turned the volume to 11 and tripped over its own power cord, the year dance cradled death in its sweaty palms, and the ghosts of folk past whispered secrets into electronic ears. Buckle up, Bangs-bots, ’cause here’s the sonic shitstorm that was…

Mark Zip Poop 2022

Chat GPT promt: Write a “Best of 2022” List with commentary in the style of (with errors struck through and corrections in red) listing the following music albums:
Alvvays, Yard Act, Kae Tempest, Fontaines D.C., Vieux Farka Touré & Khruangbin, Arctic Monkeys, Horace Andy, Black Country, New Road, Rachika Nayar, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nova Twins, Diplo, Chase & Status, Shygirl, Nia Archives, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Jockstrap

Mark Zip Poop 2021

Black Country New Road, Elvis Costello, Mdou Moctar, Sleaford Mods, Saint Etienne, Toumani Diabaté & London Symphony Orchestra, Madlib w/ Four Tet, Kiwi Jr., black midi, Susana Baca

PoOP 2021 – Omicron Edition – Call for entries

Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night nor frickin’ COVID shall stay the couriers of POmposity and OPinionation from the swift completion of their appointed ruminations. Although, admittedly, last year’s turnout was a wee thinner than usual, the POOP goes on. Please feel free to share this invitation with anyone who might make a contribution to the POOP effort

Jim Meyers Poop 2020

I’m just going to skip this part. All things must pass. — — — — Pernice Brothers, The Beths, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit-Reunions, Fiona Apple, Pup, Dogleg, Fontaines DC, Districts, Jeff Rosenstock, Brian Fallon

Mark Zip Poop 2019

V.A – “Nigeria 70: No Wahala: Highlife, Afro-Funk & Juju 1973-1987” Nick Cave – “Ghosteen” (What’s next after complete heartbreak?) Billie Eilish – “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go” (Disruptive, freakish, ASMR, a new sound) Amyl and the Sniffers – “Amyl and the Sniffers” (Snotty rock n roll should never die) Sleaford Mods – “Eton Alive” Angel Olsen – “All Mirrors” Chemical Brothers – “No Geography” FKA Twigs – “Magdalene” Underworld – “DRIFT Series 1” (A song/video every week for a year? Sure, why not?) Chase n Status – “RTRN II JUNGLE” Vampire Weekend – “Father of…

John Stewart Poop 2018

What else can be said that hasn’t been said already. This is the first best of post-print. I guess we can blame the millennial’s for the print edition of Poop dying. Heck we have blamed them for everything else. As far as I am concerned its tough to accept things are changing. Somehow Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” is given a good review in Pitchfork. Does anyone really think Ariana Grande is good at all? I am sure some like her, but I am not afraid to say I don’t like pop music. Does anyone think Queen could gain traction today? Most likely not.

Barack Obama Poop 2017

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.

Eric Fine Poop 2017

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?

PoOP 2017 – Call for submissions

To the POmpous and OPinionated: You POOPin this year? If you’re getting one of these for the first time, POOP is our annual exercise in self-importance wherein we compile “Best Of 2017′ lists, to be published in a quaint ol’ print edition as well as online. This year will be our 31st annual exercise in swillification. A refresher about the rules and deadlines is in order: Limit yourself to what would be 2 sides of 8×11 paper. Leave a slight margin so your swill does not get lost in the binding of the hard copy. Any layout format that works…

Mark Zip Poop 2016

ANOHNI – Avalanches – Billy Bragg + Joe Henry – Kano – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Robbie Fulks – Roisin Murphy – Solange – Sturgill Simpson – Swet Shop Boys – Annie Mac

Tom Whalen Poop 2016

Albums 1. Kanye West, The Life of Pablo 2. Kvelertak, Nattesferd 3. Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial 4. Nails, You Will Never Be One of Us 5. Danny Brown, Atrocity Exhibition 6. The Avalanches, Wildflower 7. Heron Oblivion, Heron Oblivion 8. Bon Iver, 22, A Million 9. The Julie Ruin, Hit Reset 10. Metallica, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct Apologies: Angel Olsen, My Woman;     Nicolas Jaar, Sirens;     Mean Jeans, Tight New Dimension;     Preoccupations, Preoccupations;     Diarrhea Planet, Turn to Gold It’s good that we got life-affirming, politically charged music this year–we needed it. This is the uncynical take….

Mark Zip Poop 2015

Acre – Bjork – CHVRCHES – Courtney Barnett – Florence + Machine – Grimes – Holly Herndon – Jamie – Jlin – Mbongwana Star – Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott – Roots Manuva – Rustie – Sleaford Mods – Sleater-Kinney – Young Fathers

How Signing a Major Record Deal Nearly Destroyed My Music Career

Terra Patrick has a fascinating story at Digital Music News laying out the details of how she used her authenticity to build a following on YouTube and then watched the label wreck it… … the mandate that came from my team at the label. They needed me to be “less accessible” and more untouchable. All these kids on YouTube saw me as an equal, as “one of them” – did I want to be a YouTube star, or did I want to be a rock star? They threw down the gauntlet, and there was no question in my mind. I…

How to illustrate music and process – The NYT and Disney

Accompanying an otherwise rote Jon Pareles piece about how Diplo and Skrillex made a hit with Justin Bieber, is a remarkable video. Alongside interview snippets of the three artists run graphics of the various sounds. The graphics change as the sounds change and as the track is explained and built over the course of the video. It’s a great example of using a visual medium to explicate audio. I can’t embed it here, so click this link to see it: (It’s also amazing to catch glimpses of Skrillex manipulating Ableton on his laptop. The speed and deftness the result…

What does it mean when a “traditional” record store “sells” downloads?

Yesterday I was pottering around FYE in Kingston scanning the “New Releases” display and came across the above (click the image to see it blown up). It’s a slim-line CD case with a folded piece of paper in it. There is no disc in the box and no barcode on the card. The front of the card has the (obscured) full title of the album and Earl Sweatshirt’s name on it. The back has a basic tracklist, copyright information and little else. I asked the manager what it all meant. No artwork, no disc, no barcode. She explained that the…

Genetic Data Tools Reveal How Pop Music Evolved In The US

In modern societies, cultural change seems ceaseless. The flux of fashion is especially obvious for popular music. While much has been written about the origin and evolution of pop, most claims about its history are anecdotal rather than scientific in nature. To rectify this we investigate the US Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Using Music Information Retrieval (MIR) and text-mining tools we analyse the musical properties of ~17,000 recordings that appeared in the charts and demonstrate quantitative trends in their harmonic and timbral properties. We then use these properties to produce an audio-based classification of musical styles and…