Jim Finnigan Poop 2014

All About That Bass


TOP 10 (mostly) associated with great gigs in the Hudson Valley

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1. Liana Gabel’s Rest And Heal reminds me of Alela Diane circa “Pirate’s Gospel” – same introspective tunes and Billie Holiday catch in her voice – but with better vocals, better songs and better production. Since Liana was based in the New Paltz area last year, I had a lotta chances to confirm my good impression of her, including a wonderful Tin Roof session (the next door neighbor got out of her bed and came across the street saying “What is this wonderful sound I hear?”) and a gig at Quinn’s with her friends Thomas Wesley Stern where she opened up with a wonderful bawdy sea shanty [Pirate’s Gospel cross-reference?] and indulged in some bluegrass tap dancing. Props to that guy in Rhino for the tip.

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2. JD Samson & MEN – Labor – I was the only person over 22 (way over) at their gig at The Mug at Vassar – updating LeTigre’s sound for the dubstep age, but still plenty catchy danceable agit-prop. “Labor” (and 2011’s “Talk About Body”) will please any riot-grrl fans out there.

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3. Chicks on Speed – Artstravaganza: Who needs Sleaford Mods when you’ve got the Chix?

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4. OOIOO – Gamel: Boredoms drummer Yoshimi P-We’s gamelan pop – very pretty.

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5. Harold Budd’s Jane 12-21 was my fave ambient release last year. Lotta good ambient reissues and archive recording too, including Jon Hassell’s “City: Works of Fiction” (with a bonus concert from the Wintergarden that I was at), Eno’s extremely minimal “Neroli” with the unreleased New Space Music, and Kompakt’s “Pop Ambient 2014”, and Oliver Coates’s “Toward the Blessed Islands” (saw him at a Tin Roof Session).

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6. On-U Sound was pretty quiet this year – buncha new stuff promised for early 2015 – so Asian Dub Foundation’s The Signal and The Noise (Japanese-only, from late 2013) was my fave this year – most of their other stuff was remakes/remodels of older stuff. “For the Love of Money”, a covers album from Tackhead, was laid-back, and all the better for it. Adrian Sherwood’s DJ set at Francois Kervorkian’s Deep Space included a lotta promising stuff.

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7. Eviyan Live – caught Iva Bittova live several times this year – including at Quinn’s, and at Hudson’s Opera House – the gigs with Evan Ziporyn and Gian Riley were cerebral and playful jazz / avant-garde classical fusion.

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8. Michael Hurley’s Northeast tour this year included a sharp gig at Hudson’s Half Moon bar with Tara Jane O’Neil. Late 2013’s Land of Lo-Fi was typical Snock-isms, and his anti-Monsanto protest compilation Doc GMO included his song Bad Monsanto which has a catchy melody so he better be careful that Monsanto’s ad agency doesn’t steal it from him and put other lyrics in place. The Hurley fanzine Blue Navigator issue #11 was an elaborately packaged extravaganza with a CD of Hurley & pals rarities.

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9. V.A.: Star Twerk – great dance comp. with Major Lazer, Diplo, MIA, the usual suspects – just annoying enough

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10. Vashti Bunyan – Heartleap

11. Neneh Cherry – Blank Project Deluxe
12. Ed Palermo Big Band with Rob Paparozzi – Electric Butter (great gigs at The Falcon)
13. Felice Brothers – Favorite Waitress /& / Simon Felice – Strangers (great gigs at the Dutchess County Fair and at Liberty Public House afterwards)
14. Imarhan Timbuktu – Akal Warled (and a great gig at BSP)
15. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Give the People What They Want
16. Glitterbeats: Dub & Versions 1 – various
17. Swans – To Be Kind
18. Holly Cook – Twice
19. Simi Stone – s/t (great gigs at Spiegeltent, The Falcon, and backing Simone Felice and Elizabeth Mitchell)
20. Jeffrey Lewis & the Jrams – s/t (and a great gig at BSP)
21. Peter Stampfel & The Brooklyn & Lower Manhattan Banjo Squadron – Better Than Expected (low-key banjo instrumentals interrupted by occasional Fugs-ish rants)
22. It’s a Wonderful Life – A Journey into Sound compiled for MOJO by Siouxsie Sioux

23. Gary Clail – Nail it to the Mast: He NEEDS On-U Sound     Hyperdub 10.3
24. LaRoux – Trouble in Paradise: She NEEDS Major Lazer     Brian Eno – The Drop reissue
    Meghan Trainor

1. Captain Beefheart – Sun Zoom Spark 1970 to 1972 – quel improved sound
2. Pop Group – Curiosities (We Are Time & Cabinet of Curiosities) – quel improved sound
3. Jon Hassell – City: Works of Fiction (including Live at Wintergarden 1989)
4. Brian Eno – Neroli (including New Space Music)
5. Smoke Dawson – Fiddle
6. Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball Deluxe
7. K. Leimer – A Period of Review 1975-1983
8. Residue of The Residents 2LP

SONGS   Ah Has Spoken!
Pharrell Williams - Happy   image003
Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk   
Jack White - Lazaretto   
Lee Perry & Subatomic Sound System -
Black Ark Vampires
Aretha Franklin - Rolling in the Deep   
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off   
FKA Twigs - Two Weeks / Pendulum   
Linda Perhacs - River of God   
Michael Hurley - Bad Monsanto   

Gig of the year was a transcendent set from Gamelan Dharma Swara in the middle of the dancefloor at Basilica Soundscape, like being teletransported to a temple in Bali, plus some fantastic guitar wizardry from Michael Chapman (and he was even better playing a full set at the Spotty Dog a month later), poetry from Gerard Malanga and a “progressive” Butoh performance (the latter two at Bunnybrains’ pop-up gallery inside Basilica).

Runner-up was the unbelievable bass sounds at Kode9‘s gig at EMPAC at RPI. Also: Doveman’s Tribute to Lou Reed at Spiegeltent with a live performance of The Murder Mystery and a great set from Little Annie. Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild at Jacob Burns Film Center – The Feelies jumped off the screen and did a live concert. A great dub session with New Zion Trio with fantastic percussion from Cyro Baptista at a Tin Roof Session – so hot the police came to shut it down!

Also: County Players Spamalot in Wappingers / Wreckless Eric at BSP and The Schoemer Formation at Half Moon / Tammy Faye Starlite as Nico at WFMU / Battlefield Band at Town Crier / A Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Vassar Chapel / Baby Gramps at BSP / Esopus Puppet Suite with Arm of the Sea Theater / Inner Spaces at Widow Jane Mine / The Pete Seeger Memorial at the Bardavon