Duncan Clark Poop ’11

cover of THE DECEMBERISTS - The King Is Dead  Buy New or Used via amazon
1. THE DECEMBERISTS – The King Is Dead – No themes. No prog rock. Just simple literate direct songs by a band that is hitting its peak. Even watching them in concert in a drenching rain did not dampen my enthusiasm for either the band or the album.

cover of BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS - Scandalous  Buy New or Used via amazon
2. BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS – Scandalous – We knew from the first disc that this was a top notch funk and r&b band. The new album has a real edge and energy to it- sort of p(f)unk.

cover of JUNE TABOR & THE OYSTER BAND - Ragged Kingdom  Buy New or Used via amazon
3. JUNE TABOR & THE OYSTER BAND – Ragged Kingdom – Their last collaboration was 21 years ago with Freedom & Rain. It was the most accessible work Tabor’s ever done and it energized the band which went on to its best work. Like the first album, the music is all over the place seamlessly covering Joy Division, PJ Harvey to James Carr to traditional material.

cover of RAPHAEL SAADIQ - Stone Rollin’  Buy New or Used via amazon
4. RAPHAEL SAADIQ – Stone Rollin’ – Continuing his journey through old school soul and r&b that he started with his last album.

cover of FLEET FOXES - Helplessness Blues  Buy New or Used via amazon
5. FLEET FOXES – Helplessness Blues – By all accounts, this was a more difficult album to make than their debut and it shows. On the other hand there is a level of complexity here that shows a band still consciously growing.

cover of THE BEACH BOYS- Smile  Buy New or Used via amazon
6. THE BEACH BOYS – Smile – Somewhere there’s a great movie in all this about genius, madness and the thin line between the two. Plus it has a bitchin’ soundtrack.

cover of THE CIVIL WARS - Barton Hollow  Buy New or Used via amazon
7. THE CIVIL WARS – Barton Hollow – Several of people asked me if this was the new album by the Swell Season. Wrong country but I can see how people might make that mistake. I love the harmonies on this record.

cover of TOM MORELLO THE NIGHTWATCHMAN - World Wide Rebel Songs  Buy New or Used via amazon
8. TOM MORELLO THE NIGHTWATCHMAN – World Wide Rebel Songs – This came out in the fall and it’s the perfect soundtrack for the OWS movement.

cover of PAUL SIMON - So Beautiful or So What  Buy New or Used via amazon
9. PAUL SIMON – So Beautiful or So What – The most I’ve listened to one of his albums since Graceland.

cover of THE JAYHAWKS - Mockingbird Time  Buy New or Used via amazon
10. THE JAYHAWKS – Mockingbird Time – I was lucky enough to catch the band in NYC last winter and could tell that the band had found new life. The dynamic of the group succeeds much better than the last Louris-Olsen duo cd.

cover of THE BLACK KEYS - El Camino  Buy New or Used via amazon
11. THE BLACK KEYS – El Camino – A late entry for the year but it sounds like more of the low fi garage, soul and blues that made Brothers so good.

cover of GILLIAN WELCH - The Harrow & The Harvest  Buy New or Used via amazon
12. GILLIAN WELCH – The Harrow & The Harvest – Welch and Rawlings are two of the best writers around. All of their songs have a timeless feel.

cover of TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND - Revelator  Buy New or Used via amazon
13. TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND – Revelator – Seriously, what took so long for this to happen? Tedeschi is a natural front for the band and a good match for her husband’s guitar playing. Be advised- they are even better in concert.

cover of THE LOW ANTHEM - Smart Flesh  Buy New or Used via amazon
14. THE LOW ANTHEM – Smart Flesh – In many ways this has the spirit and adventurism of Big Pink. It’s not only the ancient instruments but the attention to detail in each song.

cover of BOY WITH A FISH - I Put My Tongue On The Window  Buy New or Used via amazon
15. BOY WITH A FISH – I Put My Tongue On The Window – A band with a strong pedigree, their first album was too laid back. Here, the band rides one groove after another. “Wish I Had a Plan” should have been my theme song.

16. WILLIE NILE – The Innocent Ones – For a guy who once went 17 years without recording, Nile has been on a remarkable run with 3 very good albums in 5 years.
17. GARLAND JEFFREYS – The King of In Between – Another journeyman, I’ve liked various songs by Jeffreys over the years but the is the first album I’ve been able to appreciate as a whole.
18. CHARLES BRADLEY – No Time for Dreaming – Here on the other hand is a guy who records his first album at 63. When he rode into town last year with the Dap-tone Soul Revue, he looked like he was scared shitless. Then he sang like his life depended on it. A really nice story.
19. DAVE ALVIN – Eleven Eleven – He’s one of the consummate story tellers and musically diverse performers around.
20. THE SMITHEREENS – 2011 – Forgetting the cover, tribute and novelty albums, this is their first studio album in 12 years.
21. SIGUR ROS – Inni – Actually since it’s a live album shouldn’t it be “Outtie”? In any event, it’ll hold me until the next studio album.
22. PJ HARVEY – Let England Shake – And watch the sun set on the British Empire. War’s to blame- even when you’re victorious.
23. LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM – Seeds We Sow – An outside producer might have added some perspective but about half of this album would have made up the best of a pretty decent Fleetwood Mac album.
24. NEIL YOUNG INTERNATIONAL HARVESTERS – A Treasure – Not one of my favorite periods for Neil’s studio work but apparently the concerts were killer.
25. FEELIES – Here Before – They’re not breaking any new ground like they did on their first album 31 years ago. But they ask early on in the album whether they can still do it and the answer is an emphatic yes.