Tom Whalen Poop 09


Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
 Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic

1/ Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
2/ Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
It is with a slight spine-shiver of embarrassment that I present this pair of perennial year end front runners as my Top Two. I would love to cover my tracks and affect some contrarian shtick to keep up appearances (by the way, has anyone else noticed that some versions of Word and other word processing engines underscore “contrarian” with a red line indicating “that’s not a word”? Is this computer humor?), but fuck it: these two have been for me the most spun and most richly enjoyed records of the calendar year by several piping hot miles. There was a point, around mid-summer, when I couldn’t listen to “1901” just once; similar obsessive streaks were focused on a number of cuts from Merriweather, which has the ability, like Panda Bear‘s record Person Pitch, to seem absolutely perfect for all seasonal and emotional environments. The very fond memory of blasting Wolfgang in LG’s car while cruising to see Wilco is dear to me and still very vivid, particularly since I rarely have the opportunity to indulge in the dizzy thrill of rocking-in-locomotion, a ritual for which the Pheonix record is particularly well-suited. Fold it!

Only Built for Cuban Linx, Pt. II   Buy New or Used through amazon  OR   @ eMusic
3/ Raekwon – Only Built for Cuban Linx, Pt. II One downside to my well-documented and by now probably very annoying Wu Tang obsession is that it is a retrospective, turn-back-that-clock phenomenon, clearly separated from the “now” and tinted with a weird nostalgia for a time and place unlived. And so it was quite exciting to have this year’s Linx sequel turn out to be even better than I or anyone else expected it to be, allowing me to throw quite a few Ws up in the current moment, a respite from redundantly singing the praises of a group whose praises have long since done been sung. Rae and the rest of the Bees are elite from bell to bell and the production ranges from more than adequate to very excellent (with the exception of Dr. Dre’s predictably weak sauce,) but the real charm, of course, is Ghost “layin niggas like ceramic tiles” throughout. I have Tony’s verse on “New Wu” almost completely memorized. I can recite it for you, if you’d like.

Japandroids - Post-Nothing   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
4/ Japandroids – Post-Nothing
The old acronym-adage “Keep It Simple, Stupid” (KISS) seems to have lead people to mistake that which is simple for that which is stupid (it seems natural to blame the confusion on KISS, the stupid rock band). Post-Nothing is simple but not stupid: consider the punk rock haiku in “Wet Hair”: “She had wet hair/ say what you will / I don’t care/ I couldn’t resist it.” If you’ve had at least one summer-time boner at any point in your life then a line like this should strike you as nothing short of genius. This stuff is just so pure, particularly when it’s shouted over power chords and pummeled skins. To boot, the coining of “Bikini Kill” as a pejorative term for unappetizing romantic prospects (i.e. “These girls are all Bikini Kill / We need a ride to Bikini Island”) is my vote for Neologism of the Year, though my efforts to put this term into circulation have been less than promising.

Nosaj Thing - Drift   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   2eMusic
5/ Nosaj Thing – Drift
This is the part where I get juuuuuust a little sheepish over discussing a record that I wouldn’t be nearly as enthusiastic about if I didn’t indulge in cannabis on the semi-reg. Drift is a stellar instrumental hip-hop/electronic record from a producer in LA who is, somewhat depressingly, younger than I am (I can just feel the searing vibe-lasers emanating from my fellow PooPsters as they collectively sneer: “Get used to it, you smug jerkoff”). I’m sort of surprised that this record didn’t get as much buzz from the beat-silly blogosphere, but what do I know, I’m just a useless stoner
(both “blogosphere” and “stoner” get the redlines, by the way). Anyway, my buddy Jason and I punctuated countless nights over the summer by retreating to my apartment from some Bikini Killed bar flop with the express purpose of indulging and zoning out to this bad boy. Please, try out the track “Light#2” and see if your ass is left intact.

Summons of Shining Ruins - Bird Requiem
William Basinski - 92982
 Buy from Humming Conch
 Buy New or Used through amazon OR   from the artist

6/ Summons of Shining Ruins – Bird Requiem
7/ William Basinski – 92982
When I tell you that Ihave taken a number of extremely satisfying naps to these tworecords, I mean that as the highest of compliments. Bird Requiem is a series of damaged-sounding, reverb-heavy guitar and tape-loop instrumentals that are reminiscent of Belong and early Flying Saucer Attack dunked even further underwater. Basinski’s latest vault-clearing document is more lucid than his famous Disintegration Loops but is just as mesmerizing, and mercifully bereft of any high-concept baggage. Truly beautiful stuff.

James Blackshaw - The Glass Bead Game   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic
8/ James Blackshaw – The Glass Bead Game
More gorgeous nap fodder, “gorgeous” here referring to both the fodder and the nap (I really like taking naps). Blackshaw’s integration of piano into his arsenal of 12-string titillation is particularly arresting on the 20 minute closer “Arc”, a track which was bumped on the Young God site as having been so pretty that it made Michael Gira weep, as if making Michael Gira weep didn’t seem equivalent to shooting fish in a barrel with, like, fish-seeking missiles.

The Thermals - Now We Can See   Buy New or Used through amazon  OR   @ eMusic
9/ The Thermals – Now We Can See
Marked dips in tempo and overall velocity have not hampered the cumulative power of the Thermals by one single iota. There are so many vintage Thermals moments on this guy, those moments of sheer rock ecstasy that make you (i.e. me) want to jump on the bed so that you don’t hurt yourself when you inevitably take a spill during some flamboyant and complex air-guitar/sky-point/pogo combo. Hyperbole alert: TheThermal’s first non-punk album is irrefutable proof that they are still the Best Punk Band on the Planet.

Bibio - Ambivalence Ave.   Buy New or Used through amazon
10/ Bibio – Ambivalence Ave.
I’m always excited to discover an artist and subsequently find out that s/he is kind of prolific and stylistically eclectic, especially when these prolific and eclectic stylings all orbit around yrs. truly’s Eclectic Personal Tastes. Ergo, Bibio (Ergibio; Bibirgo; Er, Go Bio; ER Bib). Amibivalenc Ave. is the best of Stephen Wilkinson’s trio (!) of ’09 releases and it contains a plethora of looks that can only be described by using obnoxious compound words, from sun-spotted brit-folk to Dilla-style cut-up-funk. 09’s Vignetting the Compost is more focused on folk songs and is also very excellent; 2004’s Fi is probably my favorite Bibio record, a gorgeous set of guitar instrumentals that makes me thankful for large windows and natural light.


// jj – nº2
// Future of the Left – Travels With Myself and Another
// Oneida – Rated O
// Mountains – Choral
// The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – s/t
// Emeralds – What Happened
// Jackie-O Motherfucker – Ballads of the Revolution
// Es – Kesamaan Lapset
// We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls
// OOIOO – Armonico Hewa
// Alasdair Roberts – Spoils
// Fever Ray – s/t
// Tortoise – Beacons of Ancestorship
// Burial/Four Tet – “Moth”/“Wolf Cub”
// Opsvik & Jennings – A Dream I Used to Remember
// Animal Hospital – Memory
// Oneohtrix Point Never – Rifts
// The Field – Yesterday and Today
// Six Organs of Admittance – Luminous Night
// Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
// The Mountain Goats – the Life of the World to Come
// Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Beware
// Wooden Shjips – Dos
// Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle
// David Tagg – Wind Blown Guitar
// Ducktails – s/t // V/A – 5 Years of Hyperdub
// The Antlers – Hospice
// White Rainbow – New Clouds


// The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving
// The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
// Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
// Stars of the Lid – … And Their Refinement of the Decline
// Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker
// Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
// Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele
// The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree
// The Hold Steady – …Almost Killed Me
// Saves the Day – Stay What You Are
// The Books – The Lemon of Pink
// Panda Bear – Person Pitch
// The Thermals – Fuckin’ A
// The National – Alligator
// Burial – Untrue
// Wooden Wand and the Sky High Band – Second Attention
// Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – The Letting Go
// Cave-In – Jupiter
// Broken Social Scene – You Forget It in People
// Six Organs of Admittance – School of the Flower
// Ballboy – A Guide for the Daylight Hours
// The Drones – Wait Long By the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By
// Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury
// Grails – Burning Off Impurities
// Jackie-O Motherfucker – The Magic Fire Music
// Yo la Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
// Black Dice – Beaches and Canyons
// Kammerflimmer Kollektief – Cicadidae
// Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts of the Great Highway
// McLusky – … Do Dallas

Many thanks to Damian Cleary for lending me his apartment, the wood-paneled and large-windowed Rhino heirloom. In the interest of decorum, the sordid
details of various obscene and unspeakable sexual favors demanded in recompense for said apartment loan have been omitted. When we all strike it rich and buy enormous houses, 9 North Apt.4 will be our club house, with plenty of ash trays and couches and fridge space and Operation Ivy records. Until then, the torch is hot in my hands.

I sense that 2010 is going to be pretty sweet.
We still have two zeros but now there’s a one in the middle, as a buffer.
For me this signifies symmetry, temperance, and adjustment, all of which bodes very well.
I’m excited to make and embrace new things,
and to treat the old reliable things with the saucer-eyed reverence of a wise and humble child.

Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.” dfw

Twistin’ the night away, for Jack