Duncan Clark  
PoOPlist '04

brian wilson - smile
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BRIAN WILSON- Smile: What was previously a disjointed mess is remarkably pulled together. Even taking into consideration the passage of time and new additions, it’s a wonderful snapshot of the unlimited potential that seemed to exist in 1967. Wilson apparently had visions of being rock’s answer to Aaron Copland. Pet Sounds remains the masterpiece and this probably would have been a commercial disaster in 1967 but it would have been remembered along with the best of that year. Bring on the box set!

green day - american idiot
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GREEN DAY- American Idiot: Career album that survives the hype. Jesus of Suburbia is not that far removed in spirit from his English cousin, Jimmy from Quadrophenia.

us - how to
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U2- How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

kate rusby - underneath the stars
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KATE RUSBY- Underneath The Stars: She started out simply interpreting traditional folk. The sound hasn’t changed much but she wrote most of the material here and she is now one of the leading figures in the contemporary British folk scene.

the bees - free the bees
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THE BEES- Free the Bees: The only band that matters (from the Isle of Wight). This is an infectious album whose heart lies deep in the British rock of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

wilco - a ghost is born
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WILCO- A Ghost Is Born: I’ve always been somewhat ambivalent about their work but if you program out the white noise towards the end, I think this might be their most consistent album.

detroit cobras - baby
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DETROIT COBRAS- Baby: A full frontal assault on obscure r&b.

steve earle - revolution
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STEVE EARLE- The Revolution Starts Now: Good thing he’s so prolific. We are going to need him a whole lot over the next four years.

patti smith - trampin'
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PATTI SMITH- Trampin’: Ditto.

franz ferdinand
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FRANZ FERDINAND- Franz Ferdinand: Best new band of the year.

tegan and sara - so jealous
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TEGAN AND SARA- So Jealous: As might be expected from a Neil Young discovery, they defy easy categorization. The music has a strong pop edge to it.

the woggles - soul sizzling 7 meltdown
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THE WOGGLES- Soul-Sizzling 7” Meltdown: While they’ve been recording their own material for years, this collection of covers epitomizes garage rock at its best- where attitude and energy mean everything.

dave alvin - ashgrove
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DAVE ALVIN- Ashgrove

sonic youth - sonic nurse
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SONIC YOUTH- Sonic Nurse

the delays - faded seaside glamour
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DELAYS- Faded Seaside Glamour: great pop music. If the La’s hadn’t broken up, this is what they might have grown up to sound like.

steeleye span - they called her
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STEELEYE SPAN- They Called Her Babylon: Somebody’s kids must be in college. In the past year, Maddy Prior rejoins the band after 8 years, they record a new “greatest hits” disc, a Christmas album and (thankfully) their strongest studio album of new material in about 20 years.

soundtrack of our lives - origin vol 1
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THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES- Origin Vol. 1: The best band from Sweden is not the Hives who are too one dimensional. This band pulls its influences from everywhere.

mavis staples - have a little faith
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MAVIS STAPLES- Have A Little Faith: “Pop’s Recipe” was my favorite song from last year.

the forty fives - high life high
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THE FORTY FIVES- High Life High Volume: Think early Who and the mod r&b sound.

ollabelle - ollabelle
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OLLABELLE- Ollabelle: I was expecting a r&b bar band and got a surprising roots-soul-gospel mix with impeccable song selection.

oysterband - big session
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OYSTER BAND & FRIENDS- The Big Session Volume 1: They are primarily the house band here. Best song is the opening track in which “John Barleycorn” meets “Kashmir”.

luna - rendezvous
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LUNA- Rendezvous: Their swan song- another good band done gone.

the transport silver edition
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VARIOUS ARTISTS- The Transports 2004: Peter Bellamy’s 1977 opera about forced immigration to Australia is one of the more important albums in British folk music. Here, it’s re-recorded by the next generation of folk artists and it’s every bit as good as the original.

social distortion - sex, love
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SOCIAL DISTORTION- Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll

the contrasts - fade back in
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THE CONTRAST- Fade Back In: Smart English garage punk band.

FACES- Five Guys Walk Into A Bar: Better than I remember them to be.
KALEIDOSCOPE- Pulsating Dream: The Epic Recordings: They were way ahead of their time and in certain respects, still are.
THE KINKS- Are The Village Green Preservation Society: Along with “Something Else”, the quintessential “English” album.

LITTLE STEVEN’S UNDERGROUND GARAGE FESTIVAL- Randall’s Island: mud, rain, no place to sit and 45 bands over 12 hours: magic.
BRIAN WILSON- Carnegie Hall: The “Smile” album.
GANDALF MURPHY & THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS- Towne Crier Cafe: One of the best damn bands around. Period.
SAW DOCTORS, ALTAN, YOUNG DUBLINERS, ETC- Irish 2000 Festival, Altamont NY: A poor man’s Fleadh Festival. More mud.
RICHARD THOMPSON- 1000 Years of Popular Music, Tarrytown NY: The menage a trois tour.
BOB DYLAN & WILLIE NELSON- Dutchess Stadium: Dylan still sounds like he’s about to cough up a lung but he has a killer band behind him.

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