Eric Fine Poop 07


I have been thinking a lot lately about Happiness. I recently found out that the derivative of the word itself, hap, means random, or by chance. Like happenstance. My first assessment of my personal happiness resulted in the realization that I just happen to be an extremely moody person. (By the way, my wife was on to this years ago.) All too often we all leave happiness to chance. Well, time to take things back into our control. Own your feelings. Create a path for yourself. Turn a negative into a positive. So, personally, my first crack at happiness is, stand back, turning those negative moods into a positive expression of self by taking my favorite records of the year and categorizing them by some of my many moods. (Mark, here is my accounting system: Take the first 2 titles per category, call it a top 10, and then do what you want with the rest.)



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Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga My pick for record of the year. They are my new Flaming Lips – each record is better than the last, peaking here.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Living With The Living One of the most underrated bands out there today. You can feel their energy through the speakers.
Ween – La Cucaracha Funny to say a band as diverse as Ween have finally found their niche. It’s coherent, lyrically schizophrenic rock.
Dinosaur Jr – Beyond This was a nice surprise. It has all the elements of classic Dino Jr… melodic… heavy… and sloppy at times. You’re Living All Over Me it’s not, but few are.



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Iron & Wine – The Shepard’s Dog Sam Beam’s latest is a sharply crafted, well produced
masterpiece that will still be spinning on my stereo for years to come.
Wilco – Sky Blue Sky One of the few bands whose records could fit into anyone of these other categories on any given day. Today, it’s a solid, subdued singer-songwriter album.
Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger It’s easy to dismiss this as just another Ryan Adams record, but this ones shows again how accomplished he has become. 40 years from now we will be talking about him reverently, like the Dylan of
his day.
Josh Rouse – Country Mouse, City House Also subdued, yet his most confident album so far.
Radiohead – In Rainbows I’ve got to give ‘em credit, even with all the hype, the managed to make a cohesive, straight forward, old fashioned rock record.



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Cornelius – Sensuous Anther aptly named album from this genius behind the boards. Atmospheric, soundscapes describe this LP well.
Dntel – Dumb Luck Moody and frenetic at times, it works as a cohesive album all the way through.
The Sea and Cake – Everybody Hypnotically smooth, as usual.
Panda Bear – Person Pitch The Beach Boys on modern day drugs.



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Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It I almost feel like this category should be called the Sloan sound. Another one of the most underrated bands of our era, they outdid themselves with this double album, loaded with pop gems and nuggets to hum along to for years to come.
Dr. Dog – We All Belong Now, they surely have been studying their Sloan playbook. It has to be their soulful harmonies that stand out.
The Shins – Wincing The Night Away Synthesizers, sing-alongs, and sincere lyrics make their 3rd go-round strong.
The Apples in Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder He’s back! Robert Schneider returns with his slant on pop music. Less lo-fi, more hi-fi.



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Band Of Horses – Cease To Begin Melancholy at it’s best.
The National – Boxer / Robert Wyatt – Comicopera Together, they sure would make one great record. Replace the deep, smooth baritone of the vocalist from The Nationals with Robert Wyatt, and you have his best record in years. Replace Wyatt’s vocals on his latest and you have a less ethereal, more authoritative story.
Winterpills – The Light Divides They sit somewhere right in-between the two.


A Nod to Soundtracks, Compilations, and Reissues:

I’m Not There – Soundtrack
I loved this movie. Everything about it. The bizarre interpretation of what the man was thinking. From the 12 year old black kid through Richard Gere, I was spellbound throughout the entire movie. And the soundtrack complements the visuals beyond belief
John Lennon Tribute – Instant Karma
Here’s what gets me through the night: Deftones – “Jealous Guy”; Flaming Lips – “Starting Over”; The Postal Service – “Grow Old With Me”; Snow Patrol – “Isolation”.
The Band Tribute – Endless Highway
A fine mix of contemporaries and current heroes remind everyone of the great band from up north who could explore the Americana sound better than the locals.
Juno – Soundtrack
Sonic Youth’s “Superstar” might not be my favorite Carpenter’s cover on the their tribute CD, but it fit’s in nicely amongst The Kinks, Belle & Sebastian, and the feel good closing song you take away from this movie humming in your head, “Anyone Else But You”.
Robbie Fulks – Revenge!
He is a modern day Loudon Wainwright III. Quirky, intelligent, moving folk songs.
Afghan Whigs – Unbreakable
So, I can be a bit sophomoric too. Stills stand up today.
Neil Young – Live at Massey Hall
Could it get anymore depressing? Could it be anymore moving? I don’t think so.
The Traveling Wilburys – Traveling Wilburys
Watch the accompanying documentary; feel the sadness of a world without Roy Orbison.
Elliot Smith – New Moon
Let me rephrase my last statement; feel the sadness in a world with Roy Orbison and Elliot Smith. Sadly, his shaky vocals and guitar allow you to feel his pain.


My life is starting to resemble a tribute album. Career starts off a bit raw and undisciplined, and becomes a bit more sophisticated and focused. And like any great tribute record, the covering bands want to show all sides. My son has become that band, already replaying my greatest hits as well as some of my greatest misses. And like that proud band being covered, I watch in awe of this beautiful creation – looking forward to his next interpretation of my “hit single”; and his follow-up to my best songs still to be sung. Cheers to me, my wonderful wife, Andrea, without whom none of this would be possible, and of course, Jaden – the heart of the band.