Eric Fine Poop ’11

Wow, Mark… 25 years of PooP!!! Congratulations!!! Although I know I have not been there since day 1, it sure feels like I have been pooping my whole life! I think 2011 is the year I finally I felt old. Tons of my favorite bands from years ago put out records, although I did not enjoy any of them. I see hall of fame baseball players retire – younger than I am now. And the majority of music I listened to this year was from 20+ years ago. However, my addiction to seek out new music keeps me coming back to find the musical jewel in the LP stack. And here are some of the keepers…

cover of Wilco – The Whole Love  Buy New or Used via amazon
Wilco – The Whole Love why does it seem like every time they put out a new record, I suggest it would be impossible for them to top previous efforts – yet they do each time? I could spend an entire PooP dissecting this record – from the psychedelic, hypnotic opening of Art of Almost to the masterful, even keeled closing of One Sunday Morning [Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend]; there is not a bad track on this record. Each time I listen, it gets better. And their live show is never a disappointment. To me, 3 words come to mind: Best. Band. Ever.

cover of The Decemberists – The Kings is Dead          cover of The Decemberists – Long Live the King (EP)
Buy New or Used via amazon          Buy New or Used via amazon

The Decemberists – The Kings is Dead & Long Live the King (EP) I think I finally understood them year. Check out Don’t Carry It All – I believe Colin Meloy has found his musical match with the mandolin in this song of pure Americana. I can’t forget to mention the cover of Row Jimmy on the EP – a straight forward interpretation that they can call their own.

cover of The Muppets – The Green Album  Buy New or Used via amazon
The Muppets – The Green Album from the beginning of the record with OK Go’s take on the Muppet Show Theme Song followed by Weezer’s Rainbow Connection, this soundtrack is a true winner. Don’t forget to check out Alkaline Trio’s Movin’ Right Along. In other words… bands I would never listen to pulling off decent covers.

cover of Wye Oak – Civilian  Buy New or Used via amazon
Wye Oak – Civilian bigger sound, bigger production, bigger band – I look forward to bigger things from this duo for years to come.

cover of Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues  Buy New or Used via amazon
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues so, this is what the future of folk much sounds like. Based around simple harmonies, the image of sing-alongs and campfires comes to mind.

cover of Real Estate – Days  Buy New or Used via amazon
Real Estate – Days more grown-up then their previous effort, this is a solid collection of jangly, college rock songs.

cover of Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine  Buy New or Used via amazon
Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine quite promising and different – I am looking forward to this spacy, warm LP growing on me for a long time.

cover of Bon Iver – Bon Iver  Buy New or Used via amazon
Bon Iver – Bon Iver another atmospheric, masterful creation. Each track constructed around a place is completely appropriate from this troubadour. Larger in sound, yet starker in sound, this record makes me want to go for a long drive in the middle of winter.

cover of Panda Bear – Tomboy  Buy New or Used via amazon
Panda Bear – Tomboy as I always say, the more loops the better. Hypnotic in sound and feel, it is almost a religious record.

cover of The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient  Buy New or Used via amazon
The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient such a bad band name for such tightly crafted songs.

This, that and the others (otherwise known as things I liked but didn’t spend lots of time with):

The Feelies – Here Before most appropriate title, like they never left
Robert Pollard – Lord of the Birdcage not as good as 2012 GBV, but solid
Radiohead – The King of Limbs solid, spacey typically strong
Arctic Monkeys – Suck it and See classic party
Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys too much keyboard, not enough guitar, but it will do Stephen Malkus – Mirror Traffic really growing on me
Josh Rouse – Josh Rouse & the Long Vacations too long of a vacation from making a good record
I Break Horses – Hearts absolutely dreamy
Mayer Hawthorne – How Do You Do laugh all you want at me – this is my kind of soul
Washed Out – Within and Without screaming 1980’s, this record makes for a good soundtrack

On the reissue, soundtrack, and comp side (otherwise known as classic rock revisited):

Nirvana – Nevermind flannel was never my thing, but you cannot deny the impact on the uprising of a generation.
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon still a sonic masterpiece. I still get chills (maybe they are flashbacks).
Rolling Stones – Some Girls Nice batch of Stones tunes that have been sitting around from this great era.
Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan in Concert: Brandeis University 1963 every time I think I am done… he pulls me back in.
The Grateful Dead – Europe ’72 Vol. 2 sorry to all the haters – Bertha, Greatest Story Ever Told, Deal. ‘nuff said.
The Beach Boys – The Smile Sessions sounds almost like a brand new record, not pieces lying around the studio.
Miles Davis – The Bootleg Series, Volume 1: Live in Europe 1967 pushing his arguably best quintet to the limits, this could be seen as the best of the beginning of the end of electric jazz.
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (40th Anniversary Edition) a full album of classic funk soul instrumentals, not to mention the landmark original classics in sonic clarify.
Sebadoh – Bakesale I was lucky enough to see Lou Barlow this year. I’ve never heard someone create such beautiful music yet incite such anger in an audience. He is a one man ying/yang.
Jimi Hendrix – Winterland (Box Set) really? You want me to try and describe the king in his court? How about you just pick this set up and listen for yourself.

All in all, really what I will remember most from 2011 is watching my son start kindergarten and growing up right before my very own eyes. It is such an honor to be a part of his life. And I will also remember most Andrea still fighting for our success and happiness after all these years, even though she would deny it – thank you.

Eric Fine NYC