Duncan Clark Poop ’12

It’s official. It was bound to happen eventually. After I started drawing up my list of best music for what was admittedly a less than an exemplary year, I started looking at who I had picked. It was only then that I realized that my picks were more appropriate for AARP than POOP. There were a lot of old guys on this list, some of whom hadn’t made one of my lists in decades. I mean even the Doughboys who have been recording for only 5 years formed in 1963! There was a lot of good (not great) music to listen to last year. There wasn’t any one album that stood out from the others this year. In any event, what I listened to last year:

cover of Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill
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1. NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSEPsychedelic Pill: Americana had me concerned but this made me a believer again.
cover of Jack White Blunderbuss
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2. JACK WHITEBlunderbuss: A good representation of what he’s done in last several years.
DR. JOHN- Locked Down
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3. DR. JOHNLocked Down: With a whole lot of assistance from Dan Auerbach. : With a whole lot of assistance from Dan Auerbach.
cover of BOB MOULD - Silver Age
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4. BOB MOULDSilver Age: His best since his days in Sugar.
cover of AIMEE MANN - Charmer
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5. AIMEE MANNCharmer
cover of OF MONSTERS AND MEN - My Head Is An Animal
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6. OF MONSTERS AND MENMy Head Is An Animal: I had gotten hooked on the group after hearing “Little Talks” on the radio in the fall of 2011. This was the one album that I was really looking forward to last year. And they aren’t even my favorite band from Iceland.
cover of Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
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7. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Wrecking Ball: It’s difficult to think of anyone more eloquent about the times we’re living in.
cover of Father John Misty Fear Fun
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8. FATHER JOHN MISTYFear Fun: His voice is ethereal, the music very straight forward and lyrics just strange. And that’s not even addressing the liner notes.
cover of THE dB's - Falling Off the Sky
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9. THE dB’SFalling Off the Sky: A 25 year layoff had no effect. A great reunion.
cover of LEONARD COHEN - Old Ideas
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10. LEONARD COHENOld Ideas: The album most directly confronting aging and death comes from the oldest person on this list. An album of wisdom, grace and wit.

11. SIGUR ROS – Valtari: A retreat from the pop approach of its last studio album to its more ambient roots. According to my wife, the only disc that mattered last year.
12. BOB DYLAN – Tempest.
13. ALABAMA SHAKES – Boys & Girls: Great voice and retro soul and rock band.
14. THE ALBION BAND – The Vice of the People: Ashley Hutchings has passed the torch and the family business to his son who has formed a new young band. They bring some badly needed energy, electricity and politics to the music. Impressive start.
15. AC NEWMAN – Shut Down the Streets: Dealing with weightier subjects but with Neko Case all over the record, it very much sounds like the next New Pornos disc.
16. JIMMY CLIFF – Rebirth: Terrific pairing with Tim Armstrong from Rancid. The first reggae album to make my list is a number of years.
17. DJANGO DJANGO – An inspired mix of electronic, artsy pop.
18. BELLOWHEAD – Broadside: More of the British music hall approach to trad songs.
19. OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW – Carry Me Back: One of the youngest bands on this list which of course has the oldest sound of anyone (except for possibly Dylan).
20. GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR – Three Chords Good: Another impressive reunion that should have been greeted with more fanfare than it did.
21. RICHARD THOMPSON – Cabaret of Souls: RT has always had a knack for writing good songs about quirky people. Here he lines them up (the art critic, the glutton, etc.) in purgatory and then has Harry Shear casting judgment on them.
22. THE SHINS – Port of Morrow
23. THE DOUGHBOYS – Shakin’ Our Souls: My favorite rock band celebrating its 50 year anniversary. Kudos for getting Mark Lindsay back into the studio.
24. THE BAND FROM ROCKALL – Courtesy of the 2 brothers who founded Runrig (and thus sounding very much like that band).
25. THE BEACH BOYS – That’s Why God Made the Radio: The title song was fun and if this turns out to be the true final Beach Boys album because of Mike Love’s ego, then the trilogy of songs that ends the album is a perfect cap to a great band.


1. ALEX CHILTON – Free Again: The 1970 Sessions: The missing link between the Box Tops and Big Star.
2. VARIOUS ARTISTS – Complete Pop Instrumentals Hits of the Sixties: An exhaustive project to collect every instrumental song that made the top 100 charts. The first two volumes covering 1960 and 1961 are out. They are a microcosm of what am radio was like in the early 60’s.
3. THE WHO – Live at Hull: I was lucky enough to see them around this time and are still the most powerful band I ever seen.


1. SIGUR ROS – Celebrate Brooklyn, Prospect Park, Brooklyn 7/31/12.
2. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E ST. BAND – Metlife Stadium, Meadowlands 9/22/12.
3. GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOR – Bardavon, Poughkeepsie 11/25/12
4. FAB FAUX – UPAC, Kingston NY 2/11/12
5. LUCKY PETERSON – The Falcon, Marlboro 2/19/12

Duncan Clark