Mark Rosen Poop 2022


My POOP DISC-CLAIMER (disc-lamer?): As years go I’ll give 2022 a semi-meh. As usual a good chunk of my list is made up of albums that in one way or another look back in time. It’s apparent that much of the music that called out to me in my teens and twenties still seems to drive my car. Music in the rear view mirror remains closer than it appears.


Buy This Machine STILL Kills Fascists - Lyrics of Woody Guthrie - Dropkick Murphys New or Used via Amazon
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1 – DROPKICK MURPHYS – This Machine STILL Kills Fascists
Dropkick Murphys are the latest artists to give unknown Woody Guthrie lyrics a melodic home. They are the perfect choice to deliver Guthrie’s hell-raising, union-championing politics and attitude, all with acoustic ebullience.

Buy FREAKONS – Freakons New or Used via Amazon
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2 – FREAKONS – Freakons
Members of Freakwater and the Mekons (or Freaks and Mekes as they like to say) deliver a folk noir exploration of the mining industry, demonstrating that the gulf between the mines of Wales and the mines of Kentucky is not all that great. In both mining areas the dollars craved by the mine owners relies on the dolor experienced by the miners themselves, and this forms the heart of this unique and powerful record. Extra points for the cover art.

Rent LOU REED – I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos via Amazon
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3 – LOU REED – I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos
Two very different demo collections of Lou’s early works came out this year but this one is my preferred choice. I never cared for Lou’s first post-VU record, partly due to the horrible production. Here the stripped down renditions allow the songs to shine and reveal Lou’s confidence in his new material. Words and Music, May 1965 gets honorable mention but this is the one I kept coming back to.

Buy CORB LUND – Songs My Friends Wrote New or Used via Amazon
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4 – CORB LUND – Songs My Friends Wrote
Corb Lund typically brings charm and sunniness to his own songs and, along with his Hurtin’ Albertans, he brings both to these well-chosen, (mostly) obscure cover versions of his favorite songwriters. Ian Tyson rates two songs, possibly chosen with the knowledge that he would not be around for that much longer, come what may.

Buy THE BEATLES – Revolver (Special Edition Super Deluxe box) New or Used via Amazon
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5 – THE BEATLES – Revolver (Special Edition Super Deluxe box)
Giles Martin’s 2022 mix sounds wonderful. Revolver is rendered richer and fuller (and, significantly, is given more logical stereo separation). Many of the outtakes are pretty cool too. I’m not exactly sure how to rank one of the best albums ever against this year’s more mortal competitors so my placing it Number Five is absolutely arbitrary.

Buy VARIOUS ARTISTS – Jem Records Celebrates Pete Townshend New or Used via Amazon
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6 – VARIOUS ARTISTS – Jem Records Celebrates Pete Townshend
This is Jem Records’ third album in their tribute series (John Lennon and Brian Wilson, so far) and their best. This tribute has just the right amount of song-tweaking—never excessively faithful but never too far out-there for out-there’s sake. Talking ‘bout my re-generation.

Rent LEN PRICE 3 – Ip Dip Do via Amazon
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7 – LEN PRICE 3 – Ip Dip Do
Of the BritModsters six albums, this is one of their best (along with Rentacrowd). Most songs hover around the two minute mark, basically all the time these lads need.

Buy ANGELINE MORRISON - The Sorrow Songs: Folk Songs of Black British Experience New or Used via Amazon
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8 – ANGELINE MORRISON – The Sorrow Songs (Folk Songs of the Black British Experience)
A traditional English folk album that is anything but traditional. In a bare-bones style Morrison tells eleven stories about the seldom referenced experiences of enslaved Africans in the British Isles. Relating these stories using the familiar and usually white English folk tradition could have obscured her dark subject matter but it ultimately renders these bleak accounts even more vivid and more sorrowful. A unique record, with scholarly and indispensable liner notes, that took its time getting under my skin but now reveals more and more with each listen.

Buy VARIOUS ARTISTS – If You Gotta Go-Go, Go-Go Now New or Used via Amazon
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9 – VARIOUS ARTISTS – If You Gotta Go-Go, Go-Go Now
When 24 female-led bands have such catchy and timeless pop melodies to work with, that’s when they fall in line. Heartfelt interpretations of still relevant songs.

Buy WILLIE NELSON – A Beautiful Time New or Used via Amazon
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10 – WILLIE NELSON – A Beautiful Time
This is Willie’s fourth consecutive record in which he continues to address his own mortality. Each of these records sounds like he thought it could very well be his last. Even the cover art has him riding off into the sunset, presumably after he “sits down and drinks a beer with Father Time.” I get the distinct impression that when he does take that final ride, he’ll be the least sad of all of us. An American icon proves that “dirty bottles pour a finer glass of wine.”


11 – ANDY PARTRIDGE – My Failed Songwriting Career-Vols 1 & 2 / My Failed Christmas Career-Vol 1
These three 4-song EP’s consist of songs Partridge wrote for other artists (all but one of them rejected), each poppy as all hell. Volume 1 is from 2021; the Christmas EP could have made this list on its own. To be continued, I hope.

12 – SETH SWIRSKY –Songs From the Green Couch
On each of his four albums, Connecticut boy and pophit songwriter, author, baseball memorabilia collector, documentarian, power popguy Seth Swirsky gets in touch with his inner-Nilsson with textured, crafted songs. It’s hard to go wrong with any of his four albums. And he recently sold his Bill Buckner ball to Steve Cohen.

13 – ROLLING STONES – El Macambo
It’s 1977 and the barely rehearsed Rolling Stones become a bar band again for one night in front of 300 fans in Toronto. The Stones actually sound like they’re having a blast playing off each other as they work their way through what was then a mere 14 year career catalog.

14 – BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – Rolling Golden Holy
Soft and jaunty folk . . . and much better than my description just made it sound.

15 – STEPHEN McCARTHY & CARLA OLSON – Night Comes Falling
McCarthy was always my favorite member of the Long Ryders and it’s nice that he finally gets the room to show off his rootsy bonafides.

16 – THE SADIES – Colder Streams
The Sadies are like no one else. In a span of two-and-a-half minutes, they can create a unique soundscape under which lies strong melody propelled by their crack rootsyspaghettisurfcountry musicianship. Unfortunately this collection is also noteworthy for being Dallas Good’s last recording.

Like his previous Texas songwriter tribute Guy (to Guy Clark), this collection had the added benefit of inspiring me to check out a few titles from Jerry Jeff Walker’s catalog. In each of his three Texas songwriter tributes (the third being Townes), Earle’s enthusiasm for his subject drives the record.

18 – THE INTERRUPTERS – In the Wild
Discovering this hook-filled SoCal punk ska album led me to their first few records which were a bit more edgy and Rancid-y (and probably better for it). Nevertheless Tim Armstrong’s appearance here keeps things from getting too radio-friendly.


LOGAN LEDGER – Logan Ledger (2020)
Ledger’s music is not really country or rockabilly or folk or pretty much anything else for that matter. A crack band of studio pros certainly doesn’t hurt. A nice discovery.

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Jesus Rocked the Jukebox (2017)
A collection of mostly mid-50’s and early 60’s gospel recordings that were as close to old R&B and doo-wop as gospel could ever get. The liner notes provide good context.

DAKHABRAKHA — Yahudky (2007) [and much of the rest of their catalog]
The horrific events in Ukraine served to make their 2015 Tiny Desk Concert go viral, alerting me and apparently others to their unique and powerful music. I chose to not go see them in a small, packed, shoulder-to-shoulder club this summer (Colony, Woodstock). Damn you, pandemic. Watch them here: Or here: