John Lefsky Poop ’11

One of the hardest years to pin down a top 20. It seems like every time I turned around, there was some new music to be heard: some by old standbys and a lot by new acts. A couple of labels seemed to stand out (Sacred Bones, Trouble In Mind). Looking at my list from last year, I noticed that not a lot has changed: a lot of power pop/punk throwbacks alongside the noisemakers and sadsack song-writers. The last couple of years, #1 choices jumped out; I don’t even know what my top choice is as I write this. I might just go with my gut and throw on whatever got the most spins.

cover of Cute Lepers - ADVENTURE TIME  Buy New or Used via amazon
1. Cute Lepers – ADVENTURE TIME. Fits nicely between my plays of the Buzzcocks and the Rezillos. Cotton candy with some ground glass.

cover of The Men - LEAVE HOME  Buy New or Used via amazon
2. The Men – LEAVE HOME. Some screaming borderline metal/noise, post-punk mishigas with a krautrock topping.

cover of The Ex - CATCH MY SHOE  Buy New or Used via amazon
3. The Ex – CATCH MY SHOE. First album with the new ranter. After overcoming my initial Sok-shock, Arnold de Boer fit right in. Still with the jagged guitars, jagged politics, elephant drums, some catchier-than-usual hooks and some blaring brass heralding doomsday.

cover of The Bon - STATIC ELECTRICITY  Lease MP3 via amazon
4. The Bon – STATIC ELECTRICITY. Leather Uppers off-shoot, all killer, no fluffernutter (I shouldn’t write this before I’ve had lunch), twin guitars, 60’s psych flute, cool Kinks cover.

cover of The Mekons - ANCIENT AND MODERN 1911-2011  Buy New or Used via amazon
5. The Mekons – ANCIENT AND MODERN 1911-2011. The Last Of England, through caustic, sad eyes. “We’ll cut the grass after the bombardment..” Raise a glass to decay.

cover of Ivan Julian - THE NAKED FLAME  Buy New or Used via amazon
6. Ivan Julian – THE NAKED FLAME. Former Voidoid first solo, really? Didn’t miss a beat, appearing like the last few decades never happened. passing time is noted with an ode to colleague Robert Quine, and a surprising, and effective, cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Broken Butterflies.”

cover of Mikal Cronin - MIKAL CRONIN  Buy New or Used via amazon
7. Mikal Cronin – MIKAL CRONIN. Lush on a budget. Sweet harmonies, melodies that would chart if this were 1967, some rough edges that keep the Brian Wilson/Beatles references from becoming cloying. “Again and Again” is the best pop
tune of 2011.

cover of Thee Oh Sees - CASTLEMANIA  Buy New or Used via amazon
8. Thee Oh Sees – CASTLEMANIA. Two albums this past year, both great. This one wins because of the nifty covers, including one by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. TOS play psych-garage like they are having fun and not concerned with re-writing the Nuggets recipe.

cover of Dexter Romweber Duo - IS THAT YOU IN THE BLUE?  Buy New or Used via amazon
9. Dexter Romweber Duo – IS THAT YOU IN THE BLUE? High drama and cigarette smoke garage-noir.

cover of Evangelista - ANIMAL TONGUE  Buy New or Used via amazon
10. Evangelista – ANIMAL TONGUE. Carla, Carla, Carla. Another gem, but this one takes awhile. Claustrophobic and bloody.

11. The EttesWICKED WILL     12. Total ControlHENGE BEAT     13. Live OnesYER QUITE WELCOME     14. Ty SegallMELTED     15. Bevis FrondLEAVING OF LONDON     16. Mighty FineGET UP TO GET DOWN     17. Gillian WelchTHE HARROW AND THE HARVEST     18. Haunted HouseBLUE GHOST     19. Howe GelbALGERIAS     20. Amen DunesTHROUGH DONKEY JAW

PJ HarveyLET ENGLAND SHAKE     Half Man Half Biscuit90 BISODOL     Comet GainHOWL OF THE LONELY CROWD     InsomniacsJUST ENJOY IT     Fucked UpDAVID COMES TO LIFE     Master Musicians Of BukkakeTOTEM 3     Richard BucknerOUR BLOOD     Boston SpaceshipsLET IT BEARD     Eleventh Dream DayRIOT NOW     Sweet ClemintinesTHOUGH IT WERE THE KISS OF DEATH     Sex ChurchGROWING OVER     Kurt VileSMOKE RINGS FOR MY HALO     Stephen MalkmusMIRROR TRAFFIC     Case StudiesTHE WORLD IS JUST A SHAPE…     ObitsMOODY, STANDARD AND POOR     Metal MountainsGOLDEN TREES     Shana FalanaIN THE LIGHT     Hayvanlar AlemiGUARANA SUPERPOWER     Kid CongoGORILLA ROSE     Sun Araw ANCIENT ROMANS     TinariwenTASSILI     Twin GunsSCENE OF THE CRIME

There’s more, but space is a place.

CQTHE OUTSIDERS     Bunch o’ Giant Sand     BloodlossTRUTH IS MARCHING IN     Neil DiamondBANG YEARS     Bunch o’ Jesus and Mary Chain     Nick LoweLABOUR OF LUST     Ty SegallSINGLES 2007-10     Eddy Current Supression RingEDDY CURRENT SUPRESSION RING     Southern Culture On The SkidsZOMBIEFIED     Archers Of LoafICKY METTLE

Yo La Tengo, The Mekons, Dave Alvin/Los Straitjackets, Barrance Whitfield/ Mighty Fines, Neko Case.

Poetry. Moneyball. Meloncholia. Higher Ground, Attack The Block.

I’ll slap myself in the head for things I’ve forgotten, but the head Poopster just walked in and I wanna get this done. See ya.