Jim Finnigan Poop 2019

Listening to old faves this year — not a lot of new stuff:

Buy Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Rainford New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – Rainford / Heavy Rain / Makumba Rock 10″ -> Scratch and Adrian Sherwood at the top of Billboard’s reggae chart? What is this world coming to? Sherwood adding wilder spacier effects to the mix. Also groovy On-U Sounds on the Pay It All Back Vol. 7 compilation.

Buy Peter Stampfel & The Atomic Meta-Pagans ft. Shelley Hirsch - The Ordovician Era New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Peter Stampfel & The Atomic Meta-Pagans ft. Shelley Hirsch – The Ordovician Era – left field folk zaniness (mentioned last year but didn’t have a chance to really get into it ’til this year). My most-listened to musician this year – recommend other recent albums such as The Cambrian Explosion and Holiday for Strings. The Jalopy Theater / Brooklyn Folk Festival gang continues to produce good rootsy stuff – the series of 7″ ep’s on the Jalopy label is worth searching out. Also liked Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage’s Bad Wiring album and a Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones live set on Ole Bunny Brown. And RIP to Down Hill Struggler and New Lost City Rambler John Cohen.

Buy Mark Stewart & The Mafia Learning To Cope With Cowardice New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Mark Stewart – my soundtrack to the impeachment. Crazy / noisy On-U dub effects and a man screaming into a megaphone. Reissues of Learning To Cope With Cowardice / The Lost Tapes (an early version of the Learning album) and of The Pop Group’s ‘Y’ / Alien Blood – significantly improved mix of the original and an alternative version of ‘Y’. Whenever the Fake President or MoscowMitch pop up on some newsfeed I just feel like drowning them out with Stewart.

Buy Barrence Whitfield's Soul Savage Orchestra Songs from the Sun Ra Cosmos  New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Cover versions galore! – last year’s fave Angélique Kidjo comes back with her tribute to Celia Cruz – a bit more laid-back than the Talking Heads thing but quite nice anyway. And Barrence Whitfield’s Soul Savage Orchestra’s Songs from the Sun Ra Cosmos is now my fave Sun Ra tributy. Leave it to Whitfield to turn up the energy!

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Katie Jacoby from Ed Palermo’s Big Band (speaking of cover versions) is breaking out on her own – besides touring with The Who (violin solo on Baba O’Riley) she’s put out two 10″ vinyl records (gotta love it) – a good 6-song effort of originals, and a self-titled one by The Showdown Kids that is liberally spiced with Hot Club de France / Django stylings. Ed Palermo’s A Lousy Day in Harlem is pretty good too, and gotta recommend the live gigs at The Falcon in Marlboro or The Iridium just north of Times Square too.

Buy Apositsia Orchestra Spaceship Earth New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
Speaking of jazz, been getting back into some free jazz stylings: Spaceship Earth by the Apositsia Orchestra (wth Dok Gregory, Famoudou Don Moye, Henry Kaiser and…?Peter Stampfel?) mixing it up in St. Petersburg, and Some Bad Western by local aggregation Audiocanvas (with Steve Rust, Ted Orr, Rick Warren and Bill Ylitalo and a bit of narration) and El Tren Fantasma by Henry Kaiser / Alvaro Domine / Mike Pride (release gig at Quinn’s in Beacon) all caught my ear.

Instrumental stylings: favorite gigs of the year include Simon’s Dream -> Penguin Café Orchestra alums Jennifer Maidman and Annie Whitehead with local faves Scott Petito, Jerry Marotta, Liam Singer and others re-creating PCO repertoire – playing at Singer’s own HiLo in Catskill, plus the R & R Taproom and The Colony both in Woodstock. Investigated some legacy stuff from Jennifer Maidman (Dreamland) and Annie Whitehead (Home) – both pretty good -> really liked the Whitehead. Simon Jeffes’s son Arthur continues with his own Penguin Café in the UK – Handfuls of Night was a worthy addition to the catalog.

Other fave gig of the year was a weird one – Grandmaster Flash presented by the Bardavon Daytime Series -> playing to a whole theater of bused-in junior high + high school students. I had my doubts at first – Grandmaster Flash talking? Never heard him say a word before – usually The Furious Five took care of all that. And with so much energy? – but I went up to the stage, and it was him. Thoroughly delighted that all the students were rapping along to all of the original Bronx-era and Harlem- era foundation hip-hop records from way before these kids were born. Flash back to my 1970’s high-school senior-week “theme” of doo-wop oldies: the kids from my era all knew the words to ‘Charlie Brown’ by The Coasters and ‘Book of Love’ by The Monotones. So, I guess this is the modern-day equivalent to that…

Other faves:

  • Moondog releases this year: Sax Pax for a Fax Remix (by Ensemble H), Piano Trimba (by Dominique Ponty & Stefan Lakatos both of whom studied with Moondog), Erk (played by various musicians), and The Stockholm 1981 Recordings (by Moondog himself). And a quite shambolic gig at Moondog’s Corner itself by Amaury Cornut and other friends from France (but – oops! wrong corner!) during Make Music New York
  • Janelle Monáe Dirty Computer – always liked the idea of Janelle Monáe but thought the “chunes” were missing. Lotta people rated this one last year so I gave it a listen. Happy with the result.
  • Amy Rigby Girl to City: A Memoir – The Salty Dog’s own writes up her pre-Wreckless life – quite fun. The Slits gig at Tier 3? I was there -> Amy was the coat-check girl! Lotta other near-misses with people I kinda knew or knew of, too. And the book-launch at Spotty Dog, where she illustrated her text with the relevant songs from her catalog, was great too.
  • Rhiannon Giddens There Is No Other (collaboration with BF Francesco Turrusi) and Songs of Our Native Daughters (collab with Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell).
  • Daisy Age – Ace Records compilation of late ’80’s light-hearted rap with old faves De La Soul, Digital Underground, Digable Planets, A Tribe Called Quest, etc. (but no P.M. Dawn?)
  • Motor City Soul (rare early stuff) MOJO cover-mounted compilation from the April 2019 issue
  • King Ayisoba 1000 Can Die – African flourishes, Prince Far I type vocals, plus Lee Scratch Perry
  • Brian Eno Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks Extended Edition -> outer space soundtracks
  • Joe Fielder Open Sesame (jazz covers by former Sesame Street musical director)
  • Bob Lukomski Society of Grace
  • Portico Quartet Memory Streams
  • Kelly Finnigan The Tales People Tell (better production than his dad ever got)
  • William Eliot Whitmore Kilnova (with a good cover of Bat Chain Puller)
  • The Niro featuring Gary Lucas The Complete Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas Songbook


  • Liana Gabel – great live gigs at Quinn’s and at 2A – looking forward to new recordings
  • Laraaji with Arji OceAnanda at Elsewhere Rooftop in Brooklyn (the ultimate new age gig!)
  • SUNY New Paltz’s quite unique Burmese Hsiang Waing Ensemble
  • Gamelan Çudamani from Bali at Symphony Space (top Balinese group)
  • Gamelan Chandra Kanchana & Gamelan Giri Mekar at Bard (my groups!)
  • Jamie Saft’s new New Zion Trio at Quinn’s Beacon
  • Natural Velvet and U+1F631 at Trans-Pecos Brooklyn
  • Music for Enophiles – live covers of the rock songs not the ambient stuff
  • Los Pleneros de la 21’s El Sancocho Musical at Harlem
  • Bierstrasse and their ‘Plenópera del Empache’ at Noche Plena at Teatro SEA on Norfolk Street
  • Baby Gramps – great gig at The Falcon Underground in April
  • Peekskill’s Juneteenth Parade
  • Sinterklaas Rhinebeck

  • RIP Neil Innes