Jim Meyers Poop ’10

I wasn’t going to write a screed about how I didn’t give new artists enough of a chance and how I tend to be contented within a cocoon of comfort. I have been able, or perhaps, more aptly, unwilling to embrace new acts. I swore this year I would investigate, instigate and embrace the new. However, everything I heard seemed sadly second-rate from where it would originate. Why seek works influenced by or in debt of that which I love when I can simply enjoy the superior original? Oh well, our leader needs a new knee and I’m pressed hard against deadline. Maybe I need a hip replacement.

cover of The Pernice Brothers - Goodbye Killer  Buy New or Used via amazon
The Pernice BrothersGoodbye Killer
I continue to be perplexed by the fact that I seem to be among the only 50 or so die-hards who realize, and or care that Joe Pernice is among the hands down most gifted songwriters, um, ever. From quiet melodrama, to lean, indie-era rockers and even a vaudeville vamp that Ray Davies in his prime would be proud of, this album is a gem of ideas and emotions. The band, which now features guitar genius James Walbourne, also of The Pretenders, is capable of exploring various genres while keeping a continuity that allows appreciation of Pernice’s lyrical gifts. They make lines like, “Sadly, I woke up in Connecticut”, and “I won’t forgive and I won’t forget, but I’d kiss your ass to kiss your ass again,” sound as profound as anything I’ve ever heard sung.

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Ted Leo & The PharmacistsThe Brutalist Bricks
I have no idea what a brutalist brick is supposed to be but this album’s brilliant mix of punk, power pop, and folk had me ready to toss one through any window, TV, or computer screen available. Reminds me in ways of both The Clash and The Pogues. No higher compliment can be paid. Ever.

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New PornographersTogether
This band has a way of making me simply happy to hear them. “Crash Years” is the obvious ear-grabber but it is only the beginning. “My Shepherd” may just be Neko’s best vocal and the band seems more cohesive than before and less like an afterthought or side-project.

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The Hold SteadyHeaven Is Whenever
Mostly more of the excellence I’ve grown to expect from the most reliable band in rock and or roll. Craig Finn’s breathing down Joe Pernice’s neck for best lyricist alive award. I bet his breath reeks of booze. “Sweet Part Of The City” is a nice departure.

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Jakob DylanWomen and Country
I was blinded by the brilliance of his solo debut but feared it was a one off. However, assisted by Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, and T-Bone Burnett, the scion of the mighty bard produces my favorite country album of the year. Any writer who can craft songs that would sound natural if sung by Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits or Gram Parsons/Emmy Lou Harris is all right by me.

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Belle and SebastianWrite About Love
An enjoyable mix of their early twee sound with their latter day soul rock approach. Always an interesting band to my ears and a welcome return.

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Ryan Adams & The CardinalsIII/IV
Apparently Ryan no longer does the drugs. Good for him. However, I’m pretty sure that during the sessions that produced this rambling, rocking record he did. A lot. He calls it a “”concept rock opera about the 80’s, ninjas, cigarettes, sex, and pizza”. Despite that, it’s a kick-ass album that shows, if nothing else, this chameleon has a hell of a record collection.

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The SadiesDarker Circles
For the Byrds.

cover of The Bird and The Bee - Interpreting the Masters Volume One:  A tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates  Buy New or Used via amazon
The Bird and The BeeInterpreting the Masters Volume One: A tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates
Heard this first at Jack’s and fell immediately in love. I’ve long argued, and at times have been laughed at, that Darryl Hall is the best American white soul singer of my generation. Yours?

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The Coal PortersDurango
Ex-Long Ryder Sid Griffin told me he sees his band as “new grass” saying they attempt to merge the, “energy and attitude of blue grass with the energy and attitude of punk.” OK, then, well done. Their cover of “Like A Hurricane” is a blast.

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GorillazPlastic Beach
Mick Jones and Paul Simonon together again at last.

The Hold Steady at Bearsville.

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Rob Sheffield – Talking to Girls About Duran Duran
With entire chapters dedicated to The Replacements, The Smiths, and Tone Loc how could I, or any one who listened to music in the 80’s resist?

Cee Lo Green – Fuck You