Duncan Clark Poop 08

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1. FLEET FOXES- Fleet Foxes:
Sounding like the bastard children of David Crosby and the Beach Boys circa late 60s and early 70s coming off the commune, this was easily my favorite disc of the year.

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2. DUFFY- Rockferry:
Shades of Dusty, Petula, Cilla, even Amy and a long line of British pop singers. She does them all proud.

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3. SIGUR ROS- Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust:
The lyrics are as undecipherable as the album title (and that includes the one song they sing in English) so the voices simply become another instrument. That said, this is a superbly crafted pop album. Great music to drive to.

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4. THE RACONTEURS- Consolers of the Lonely :
A lot stronger than their first album.

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5. JAMES HUNTER- The Hard Way:
I first heard about Hunter when he first showed up on the Poop lists a couple of years ago. This is English soul music from a time before the beat years.

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6. THE HOLD STEADY- Stay Positive:
Literate rock and roll best played loud.

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7. BELLOWHEAD- Matachin:
Currently the best in English folk music. It took me nearly two years to track down a copy of their first album. Their second disc is almost as good. The material is all traditional but the spirit and energy of this eleven piece band is right out of English music hall.

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8. MUDCRUTCH- Mudcrutch:
Its still essentially a Tom Petty (and two of the Heartbreakers) disc although he hasn’t sounded this focused and having as much fun since he was a Wilbury.

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There are a lot of bands out there trying to be the new Pogues, mostly by playing like drunken louts. Flogging Molly keeps it together better than most. They may lack the poetic finesse of a Shane MacGowan but the music has some real energy and muscle.

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10. RYAN ADAMS & THE CARDINALS- Cardinology:
Adams has found happiness, sobriety and a band that really suits him.

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12. KATHLEEN EDWARDS- Asking For Flowers:
It sounds like Edwards is as unlucky in love as Lucinda, but she’s a lot more melodic (at least this year).

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13. AL GREEN- Lay It Down:
He really seems to have lost nothing over the years.

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14. THE PRETENDERS- Break Up the Concrete:
Chrissie’s strongest collection of songs in years. Knocked down a position for the dyi production.

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15. AIMEE MANN- @#%&*! Smilers:
@#%&*! great!

16. REM- Accelerate: While obviously a very conscious decision to simplify things (and presumably regain commercial viability), this succeeds more often than it doesn’t. The big success is that they were able to make such a significant change without sounding desperate.

17. VARIOUS ARTISTS- The Imagined Village: A lesson in the evolution of the folk tradition. Taking traditional English folk standards and trying to filter them through contemporary folk, rock and world music including a rap “Tam Lyn”. Eliza and Martin Carthy are all over the record and are joined by a number of musicians including Paul Weller and Billy Bragg.

18. MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD- All Rebel Rockers: Not as incendiary as “Yell Fire”, but the revolution still promises to be a dance party.

19. ELI “PAPERBOY” REED & THE TRUE LOVES- Roll With You: Killer Stax-like band. Also gets extra credit for having a cool nickname.

20. RY COODER- I, Flathead: The finale of Cooder’s California trilogy this time grounded in rockabilly and the Bakersfield sound.

21. BRIAN WILSON- That Lucky Old Sun: Yet another tribute to California. With the notable exception of “Smile”, this is probably the best solo album of all new material that Wilson has done.

22. TEDDY THOMPSON- A Piece Of What You Need: The kid finally makes the cut. He gets his voice from his mother and a wry sense of humor from his father. His pop sensibilities apparently come from the Everly Brothers.

23. THE FELICE BROTHERS- The Felice Brothers: In a lot of ways, this is like the Fleet Foxes disc. There is something instantly familiar about their music but it’s totally unique and fresh.

24. JONATHA BROOKE- The Works: The latest installment in the Wonder Wheel project. Brooke doesn’t have the musical chops that the predecessors in this series had but it’s tough to go wrong with Woody Guthrie as your lyricist.

25. RANDY NEWMAN- Harps and Angels: I’d love to see the Disney movie that this is the soundtrack to.


1. FOTHERINGAY- 2: Completed 28 years later with the two principals long gone, a lot of this material was later redone with other groups or on solo albums. The versions here are superior to and more cohesive than the later remakes.
2. NEIL YOUNG- Sugar Mountain- Live At Canterbury House 1968: Sounds incredibly self assured for someone just beginning a solo career.
3. THE CLASH- Live At Shea Stadium: Hardly sounding like a band that was on the verge of imploding. One of rock’s great tragedies.
4. OYSTERBAND- The Oxford Girl And Other Stories: Acoustic reworking of various songs from the band’s past 30 years.
5. THE POGUES- Just Look Them Straight In The Eye And Say Poguemahone!!: Totally excessive and over the top but what else would you expect from Shane MacGowan.


1. LOS LOBOS, JAMES HUNTER– 3/15/08- Bardavon
2. SMOKEY ROBINSON– 6/8/08- Bardavon
3. REM, MODEST MOUSE & THE NATIONAL– 6/19/08- Madison Square Garden
4. ANDY M. STEWART– 3/7/08- Rosendale Café
5. JOE JACKSON– 4/12/08- UPAC