Matt Nerney Poop 2023


M.Nerney: POOP 2023

I just want to say that I’m thankful for all the creative artists who are still making transportive music that can guide us through the mayhem of the modern world. Listening to this kind of expansive, mindful music is one of the ways that helps me make it through the day in the increasingly bizarre and logic-free world we live in.

Sit Down I Think I Love You

Buy African Head Charge ~ A Trip to Bolgatanga New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
1. African Head Charge ~ A Trip to Bolgatanga : A bewitching brew of Afro-funk, Ethio-jazz, and dub reggae from two old friends who have reconnected and are branching out into new realms of sound. The rhythms of Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah, under the influence of his Ghanian environs, have an immediacy and rawness that grounds them, shaking like an earthquake. The production and mix by Adrian Sherwood breathes mystical light into the songs, transporting them to some transcendent, astral plane. This is essential listening.


Rent Darkside ~ Live at Spiral House via Amazon    Rent via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
2. Darkside ~ Live at Spiral House : Some new jams and old songs, reimagined live in the studio. The addition of drummer T. Esparza is seamless, propelling the chaos of Harrington and Jaar into oblivion. While the songs are pulled and stretched, they are also liquified, the atmosphere dripping with a molasses-like murkiness and distortion that lives up to their name. Consider this a companion for exploring the dark places we sometimes wander.


Buy Chocolate Hills ~ Yarns from the Chocolate Triangle  New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
3. Chocolate Hills ~ Yarns from the Chocolate Triangle : A perfect way to go blissfully astray. Dr. Alex knows just how to blend your afternoon cuppa to daydream all your worries away, guided by a raft of intriguing vocal samples (including a warped little snippet of Anne Briggs, I believe). Now, just breathe in the ether … slowly … count backwards from 10 … and dream.


Buy Vanishing Twin ~ Afternoon X New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
4. Vanishing Twin ~ Afternoon X : Dreamlike, surreal, and strange, a perfect combination for me. I haven’t embraced their previous albums, but somehow this collage of sounds and songs feels just right. Maybe it’s just a bit more serious this time around, while their last album had a “cutesy” kind of feeling, which is not my usual thing. RIYL Stereolab, Broadcast, Dummy.


Rent Dave Harrington ~ The Pictures via Amazon    Rent via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
5. Dave Harrington ~ The Pictures : If you like the guitar, you should probably own this album, although it doesn’t necessarily track as a “guitar” album. An homage to the cinema, the album weaves through jazzy noir and lilting slide guitar drifts, from abstract noise excursions to menacing funk grooves, ambient washes and everything else in between. I’m not sure why Harrington isn’t more well-known at this point, as he is a master of style, technique, and tone, all on fine display on this sprawling album. Personally, I think he’s a genius, adept at channeling the diverse sounds of Jerry Garcia, Bill Frisell, and Adrian Belew & Robert Fripp, but with his own creativity and design. Plus, he’s on a tear this year, with releases by Darkside, Taper’s Choice, and this solo album, all of which are top shelf quality.


Buy New Pornographers ~ Continue as a Guest New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
6. New Pornographers ~ Continue as a Guest : Carl Newman and company continue to age like a fine old scotch whiskey. The band lets its maturity and wisdom show, but only once you’ve taken it in, letting it warm its way through your veins and into your heart.


Buy Gaadge ~ Somewhere Down Below New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
7. Gaadge ~ Somewhere Down Below : This band hits my ‘90’s sweet spot, with the Swirlies, the Breeders, and Autolux as likely reference points. Really, this is just a carefree and joyous jaunt into woozy, distorted nostalgia for me. It seems to get better with loud, repeated listening.


Buy Truth Club ~ Running from the Chase New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
8. Truth Club ~ Running from the Chase : Another ‘90’s throwback. They’ve taken bits of Pavement, Polvo, and My Bloody Valentine and hit pulse. Guitars are at the forefront, with serpentine riffs and staggering rhythms bolstered by shards of distortion and tremolo. The singer shares the languorous qualities of Steve Malkmus, if you’re into that kind of thing.


Buy Gnoomes ~ Ax Ox New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
9. Gnoomes ~ Ax Ox : Stargaze, trancewave, motorik. Whatever you want to call it, I’m all in. This is another immersive transmission from the far outpost of Perm, Russia, where these outsiders continue crafting deep wave pulses from whatever gear they can get their hands on. Beeps, boops, drones, and loops are spun through a cosmic phase shifter and coalesce into beautiful and trance-inducing waves of noise that come out sounding like mechanical transcendence. Is that even a thing? I don’t know, but it seems about right for the times.


Buy Panda Bear | Sonic Boom ~ Reset in Dub New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
10. Panda Bear | Sonic Boom ~ Reset in Dub : While I was not enthralled by the original album last year, the remix by Adrian Sherwood is irresistible. Sherwood seems to be experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately, with the excellent Spoon remix album last year, while 2023 brought this dub and releases by African Head Charge and Creation Rebel. For my money, this batch of albums has produced some of the most imaginative mixes he’s conjured up in years.


11. Rozi Plain ~ Prize : A beautiful little diamond in the rough, unassuming, but brilliant in its quiet charms. The sound is a mix of indie-folk, muted beats, and wandering jazz lines that form intricate, cyclical, and hypnotic melodies and counterparts that cast a magical spell.

12. Alabaster DePlume ~ Come with Fierce Grace : Recorded at the same time as last year’s GOLD album. Apparently, these were the outtakes. Funnily enough, I like this album better. Fewer vocals, more melancholy, and still plenty strange. This is right in my wheelhouse.

13. Taper’s Choice ~ History of Taper’s Choice, Vol. 1 : One of the few “jam” bands that I’ve taken a shine to. I think it’s because, really, they’re just kind of weird. While there’s a fair bit of diversity in the songwriting, I must admit I’m drawn to the jammy bits, and Harrington certainly knows how to coax a few Jerry licks into the space provided. While it doesn’t necessarily sound like the Dead, it kind of feels like the Dead. The band, with pedigrees from Darkside, Real Estate, and Vampire Weekend, doesn’t sound anything like any of those fine bands, but is something unique to itself. Maybe I’m just obsessed with Dave Harrington.

14. Deeper ~ Careful! : More seemingly simple, but intricately constructed, post-punk pop with that early ‘80’s vibe from these Chicago hipsters. I’m not usually a fan of the hipsters, but these songs are so catchy, I can forgive myself (maybe). RIYL the Cure, Gang of Four, Wire.

15. Everything But the Girl ~ Fuse : I wasn’t expecting this, but I’m glad that it’s here. Even though it’s been over 20 years since their last album, this sounds pretty much what you would expect it to sound like. Of course, there was very little fanfare because, you know, they’re old.

What I Like About You

16. Peter Gabriel ~ I/O : I didn’t care much when I heard that Gabriel would be releasing a new album this year. To be honest, I haven’t been a fan since the turn of the millennium. However, I took a listen to the monthly single releases and was pleasantly surprised. While he’s obviously been obsessing over these songs, there seems to be a sense of fun (to a few of them, at least) that’s been absent for awhile. I also like the ‘80’s sound that he’s come back to.

17. The Orb ~ Prism : This appears to be the pop version of the Orb, with most of the strange samples and dream-like diversions scrubbed clean. There are a few cracking tunes here, but also some sleepy moments that feel less than inspired. While not the Orb at their brilliant best, it will do, especially with the addition of the deeply narcotic Chocolate Hills release.

18. Protomartyr ~ Formal Growth in the Desert : More thoughtful and insightful rants from these Detroit curmudgeons. While the bitterness of a broken social system still fuels a simmering rage, the fury is tempered on this album by a slightly softened edge, recounting personal loss and grief, accented by the use of minor keys and mournful pedal steel guitar.

19. King Creosote ~ I DES : Growing old gracefully, but with enough of the quirky charm left to make things interesting. Anderson is still writing some of my favorite modern lullabies.

20. Mitski ~ The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We : Another new album, another new sound, this time a folk/country/orchestral melange. Lyrically, Mitski is still grappling with the chaos that love can unleash on the troubled souls (especially hers) who inhabit our lonely world.

21. Chip Wickham ~ Love & Life [EP] : More mellow jazz, featuring Wickham’s flute skills. Gathered from sessions of last year’s Cloud 10 album and carries over that classic 1950’s vibe.

22. John Vanderslice ~ Crystals 3.0 : JV continues his idiosyncratic journey into fractured, scattered, and glitched-out digital pop miniatures. While intriguing, I do long for a more substantial, traditional album from Vanderslice, as he had a decade of brilliance (2001-2011), releasing a string of inventive and thought-provoking albums (including Time Travel is Lonely, Cellar Door, and Pixel Revolt) that are still in regular rotation in my day-to-day listening.

23. FACS ~ Still Life in Decay : Still mining that inexhaustible vein of claustrophobic post-punk that was founded in the late ‘70’s. RIYL Gang of Four, the Pop Group, early Public Image Ltd.

24. Animal Collective ~ Isn’t It Now? : This is a strange one, even for An Co. A mixed effort, with some levity, but some deep beauty, as well. Of course, I like the moody, trippy bits.

25. Gorillaz ~ Cracker Island : Very poppy. While this is a logical conclusion to their recent run of albums, I’d like a return to vintage, weird, kind of grimy Gorillaz, please.

26. Creation Rebel ~ Hostile Environment : Another blast from On U Sound. While definitely not the creative apex of their discography, a few brain benders from Sherwood make it worthy.

27. The Thugs ~ Holy Cobra Dub : A strange, kind of retro, Italian pseudo-dub album.

28. Salami Rose Joe Louis ~ Akousmatikous : Weird, synth/jazz, dystopian sci-fi journeys.

29. James Holden ~ Imagine This is a High Dimensional Space of All Possibilities : Trancey.

30. Harp ~ Albion : Tim Smith left Midlake back in 2012. He just released this as his debut solo album. Underwhelming for the wait time, but I suspect this will gain stature over the years.

We’re Going to Be Friends

Brian Eno ~ Foreverandevernomore (Forever Voiceless mix)
The Ullulators ~ Mighty Dub Collider : Chapter 1
Aphex Twin ~ Black Box Recorder 21f & In a Room7 [EP]
Mary Lattimore ~ Goodbye, Hotel Arkada
Easy Star All-Stars ~ Ziggy Stardub
James Elkington ~ Me Neither
Groundation | Brain Damage ~ Dreaming from an Iron Gate
Natural Information Society ~ Since Time is Gravity
New Age Doom | Tuvaband ~ There is No End
Sam Wilkes ~ Driving
Anders Parker ~ The Black Flight
Yo La Tengo ~ This Stupid World
Blur ~ The Ballad of Darren
Sparklehorse ~ Bird Machine
The Hives ~ The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons
Brandee Younger ~ Brand New Life
Sufjan Stevens ~ Javelin
The Pretenders ~ Relentless
Bonnie “Prince” Billy ~ Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You
New Age Doom | Lee “Scratch” Perry ~ Remix the Universe

The Replacements ~ Tim (Let It Bleed edition)
Bob Dylan ~ Bootleg Series Vol. 17 : Fragments (Time Out of Mind sessions)
Devo ~ Fifty Years of Devolution
Neil Young ~ Chrome Dreams
Pharoah Sanders ~ Pharoah

Shane McGowan