Matt Nerney Poop 2016

Well … I said my goodbyes to Bowie last year, I guess I’ll say goodbye to America as we know it this year. Not much of a joke, but it seems like we’d better laugh or we’re likely to be crying in the years to come. I did notice this year that many of the albums I had in heavy rotation were instrumental (or mostly … with wordless vocals). I wonder if I’m tired of all the senseless chatter in the world or I’m just taking solace in the silence … goodbye to language, indeed.

Sit Down I Think I Love You

Buy nonkeen ~ the Gamble/Oddments of the Gamble New or Used via Amazon
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1. nonkeen ~ the Gamble/Oddments of the Gamble: Ambient space jazz. By far the albums I listened to most this year … just seemed to be able to listen to these any time.

Buy David Bowie ~ Blackstar New or Used via Amazon
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2. David Bowie ~ Blackstar: Definitely not his best album, but still added 4 classic tracks to the Bowie canon… my favorite (right now) is Dollar Days. What a man … such amazing talent… and an extraordinary life. Unique in our world. He will always be remembered.

Buy Bon Iver ~ 22, A Million New or Used via Amazon
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3. Bon Iver ~ 22, A Million: I just really like this music. I also like that Vernon just does whatever the hell he wants to. Favorite tracks: 10 dEAThbREasT?, 33 “GOD”, & 8 (circle) (See how he just does whatever he wants with the song titles there?)

Buy Radiohead ~ A Moon Shaped Pool New or Used via Amazon
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4. Radiohead ~ A Moon Shaped Pool: Not their best, but like Bowie, adds a few classics to the line-up. I’ll agree with many critics who surmised that it seems like a summation of their experimentation of the past few decades (did I really just say decades?).

Buy the Orb ~ COW/Chill Out, World! New or Used via Amazon
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5. the Orb ~ COW/Chill Out, World!: I’ve dabbled a bit with this band before, but this one really dug in for me. I’m a sucker for this kind of blissed out ambiance. Title is appropriate.

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6. Deakin ~ Sleep Cycle: Didn’t even know about this for a while, as I had pretty much phased out Animal Collective. When I heard this brief dream of an album though, it totally blew me away. Still gutted every time I hear Good House, a contender for my song of the year.

Buy Daniel Lanois ~ Goodbye to Language New or Used via Amazon
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7. Daniel Lanois ~ Goodbye to Language: an ambient pedal steel guitar album by Fuzzy Lanois (I just made that up) … what’s not to like? Resplendent, melancholy, and disorienting.

Buy Steve Gunn ~ Eyes on the Lines New or Used via Amazon
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8. Steve Gunn ~ Eyes on the Lines: Just another little album that I feel at home in. Hadn’t really been too keen on previous releases by Gunn, but this one stuck. Didn’t really get the comparisons to the Grateful Dead at first (but my wife Natalie certainly did, who dismissed it immediately as “noodly”), but after awhile they seem to make some sense.

Buy Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band ~ the Rarity of Experience New or Used via Amazon
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9. Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band ~ the Rarity of Experience: another guitar band who gets likened to the Dead. Saw this a bit sooner, but only if you think of them as the bastard love child of the Dead and Television. Sounds weird, but I think it’s an apt equation.

Buy King Creosote ~ Astronaut meets Appleman New or Used via Amazon
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10. King Creosote ~ Astronaut meets Appleman: sad little man makes sad little record.

11. Mark Pritchard ~ Under the Sun: half moody synth pop, half 70’s documentary soundtrack in the vein of Boards of Canada (sans beats). Like.

12. Tim Hecker ~ Love Streams: glitchy synth sounds with sampled autotune patched in.

13. Eluvium ~ False Readings On: weird operatic samples lilt into distorted ambience.

14. Tortoise ~ the Catastrophist: didn’t really expect this, or expect to like it. But I do.

15. Various Artists ~ Day of the Dead: Could have probably made an incredible 2 CD version, but I love the fact that the Dessner boys dove headlong into the long, strange trip of the Dead. Many really weird and wonderful gems to be found here, among some quite dull bits. Have to take a few points off for not including my favorite Dead med (Scarlet Fire). WTF?

What I Like About You

Alsarah & the Nubatones ~ Manara: hypnotic grooves, heavenly voices from Nubia, natch.
Autolux~ Pussy’s Dead: weird little retro 90’s narcotic pop.
Besnard Lakes~ A Coliseum Complex Museum: no Dark Horse, still epic.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy/Bitchin’ Bajas~ Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties: only for mindless wandering of the soul (expect no rewards but time itself).
Shirley Collins ~ Lodestar: unimaginable this even exists, a miracle that it’s so good.
Dr. Dog ~ the Psychedelic Swamp: diminishing returns, but still a few crackers.
Brian Eno ~ the Ship: kind of a cross between his ambient and weird pop art worlds.
Explosions in the Sky ~ the Wilderness: sometimes you just want a good guitar.
Ian William Craig ~ Centres: disembodied voices, distortion, feedback, & loops.
Jim James ~ Eternally Even: same old line, same old story as the dog.
Marconi Union ~ Ghost Stations: a slightly more rhythmic approach to ambience.
Steve Mason ~ Meet the Humans: if you remember the Beta Band and like, check it out.
Stargazer Lilies ~ Door to the Sun: didn’t really know there was still a shoegaze scene.
Tangents ~ Stateless: kind of like a weird, stoned, little Tortoise.
Underworld ~ Barbara, Barbara We Face a Shining Future: never really got into them before, but liked the way it spread out. I Exhale.

Breathe. Deep. Peace.

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