Jim Finnigan Poop 2020

What a year. First the Chump virus sent the country to the hospital, then Chump’s insurrection tried to send the country to the funeral home.

With the pandemic and lockdown essentially gutting the concert industry, and even record stores shuttered because they were ‘non-essential’, my sources for new music / inspiration were muzzled. What to do? Well, I decided to immerse myself in my collection, to revisit and investigate things that had kinda fallen into disuse for one reason or another. I would think that this audience wouldn’t be interested in me writing about revisiting my collection (or, you can go back and read my past PoOp posts thanks to Zip’s website). But, wouldn’t ya know, I couldn’t absolutely avoid listening to new stuff. Even if it was just new releases from my old favorites, or maybe even their sons and daughters. And eventually, there have been some gigs that started opening up, as well as getting back to the record shops (those that survived – RIP Jack’s Rhythms).

So here’s some new stuff that I got into this year:

  • Buy White Winter Hymnals - MOJO via Discogs    Buy via Discogs
    White Winter Hymnals – MOJO cover-mounted CD from the Feb. 2020 issue – new and old songs for cold days and warm nights.
  • Buy This Road - Denise Sherwood New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
    This Road – Denise Sherwood – Adrian’s daughter – a little more rootsy and radical than Holly Cook’s recent stuff, and better for it. This was about the only On-U thing that really stood out for me this year – oh there were some compilation appearances on download-only things like the Keleketla! Remixes collection from Ninja Tune, and the “Our Music” fundraiser, not forgetting Peter Harris + Mark Stewart’s somewhat bonkers BOMBart collages on Radio Alhara
  • Buy FIONA APPLE – Fetch the Bolt Cutters New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
    Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters – the spirit of Dead Dog’s Eyeball rises again
  • Buy Brian Eno's Film Music 1976-2020 New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
    Brian Eno’s Film Music 1976-2020 – good mix of new and old stuff. Much preferred this compilation to the somewhat turgid Rams soundtrack or the Dokument #2 thingy with Laurie Anderson, and his collaboration with his brother Roger on Mixing Colours / Luminous was WAY too new age-y.
  • Buy Jon Hassell's Seeing Through Sound New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
    Jon Hassell’s Seeing Through Sound (Pentimento Volume Two) Rhythmic swampy voyages.
  • Buy Harold Budd & Robin Guthrie's Another Flower New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
    Harold Budd & Robin Guthrie’s Another Flower – more ethereal piano tinkles and guitar washes. Budd’s download-only soundtrack to Mark Ruffalo’s locally filmed I Know This Much Is True was another mix of new and old stuff that I liked.
  • Buy GAUDI's 100 Years of Theremin New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
    GAUDI’s 100 Years of Theremin is a nice mellow dub album, with mixes from Mad Professor, Adrian Sherwood, Dennis Bovell, Prince Fatty.
  • Download Repossessed by Little Annie Anxiety and Hiro Kone via Bandcamp    Download via Bandcamp
    Repossessed by Little Annie Anxiety and Hiro Kone takes tracks from her first album and some stage banter and reprocesses them. Little Annie’s latest collab With Paul Wallfisch A Bar Too Far was good & blues-y too.
  • Buy Sun Ra Arkestra's Swirling New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
    Sun Ra Arkestra’s Swirling – great to hear the old Arkestra back in the swing. An *excellent* outtake from these sessions was included on the Nov. 2020 UNCUT cover mounted CD Down by The Water (there they go again with those cover mounted CD’s!)
  • Rent The Resistance Revival Chorus This Joy via Amazon    Rent via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
    The Resistance Revival Chorus This Joy another download-only release, highlights include Rhiannon Giddens’ take on Woody Guthrie’s All You Fascists Bound to Lose
  • Leyla MacCalla’s Vari-Colored Songs – a tribute to Langston Hughes a righteous folk / classical mixture. Preferred this to the Kronos Quartet’s Long Time Passing album of Pete Seeger covers and ruminations.
  • Shirley Collins Heart’s Ease as long as we’re talking about folk albums – a much more confident-sounding return to form
  • Mark Lanegan’s Dark Mark Does Christmas 2020 Yes Dark Mark does the Coventry Carol and In the Bleak Midwinter. Fits right in with Shirley Collins. She has the deeper voice these days
  • The Harry Smith B-Sides. Putting aside the censorship brouhaha, a pretty good historical collection, and great sound
  • Ron Dante’s Funhouse – yes, the lead singer of The Archies and The Cuff Links presents his greatest hits.
  • Escape from Reality – yet another MOJO cover mounted CD (Nov. 2020 issue), this collection of 15 Baroque’n’Roll, Art Rock Fandangos had me smiling, thanks to the inclusion of Sparks and Rufus Wainwright into the Prog-rock corpus.
  • Speaking of Prog-Rock, the late great Hal Wilner’s Angel Headed Hipster – The Songs of Marc Bolan & T.Rex is a bit of a conundrum. He’s taken Bolan’s songs, which were the antithesis of prog-rock, and turned them into showbizzy productions. Still trying to decide what to think of this one. John Zorn’s Bolan tribute in his Great Jewish Music series, back in 1998, was more fun. I was disappointed that nobody on either tribute album tried to re-create the weird sound of a T.Rex record, which Tony Visconti amusingly admitted in his memoir was because he didn’t know what he was doing, as a fledgling producer, at the time.
  • Peter Stampfel & The Bottle Caps: Demo 84 – I’m still waiting for Stampfel’s collection of 100 songs of the 20th century (I included an advance preview on my 2018 PoOp list), but this collection, taken from an old cassette, and his collaboration with the Dysfunctionells, also from a cassette-only release, were welcome download-only releases this year.

Some songs:

Steve Earle: Devil Put the Coal In The Ground
I Break Horses: Silence (with sampled Moondog percussion)
Sufjan Stevens: Video Game (channeling Depeche Mode?)
I must investigate Thundercat and Run The Jewels
Bob Dylan’s gurgling problem seem to be clearing up
The vocalist with Grandaddy sounds like Bob Dorough
What has happened to Lucinda Williams’s voice?

I did make some gigs before (and after) the lockdown:

Jennifer Maidman @ The Beverly
Tiokasin Ghosthorse & David Amram @ The Howland Center
Jeffrey Lewis @ The Winter Hoot
The Ghost Train Orchestra Plays Moondog @ le poisson rouge (with Karen Mantler, JG Thirlwell, and Joan As Police Woman)
Eric Person Quartet plays the music of Ronald Shannon Jackson @ The Falcon
Carl Craig @ DIA Beacon
Ed Palermo’s Chemistry Set @ The Falcon
Holidelic’s virtual Christmas show
Gary Lucas on Facebook::Live

Wear a Mask. Stay Safe.