Jim Finnigan   PoOPlist 2006


The first word in ‘listen’ is LIST – Paul Morley

TOP 10 RECORDINGS – PLUS RUNNERS-UP if you read the details

Buy new or used through Amazon 1. Little Axe Stone Cold Ohio – Tighter, more song-oriented, rootsier than previous Little Axe things, this was my favorite On-U release in years

Buy from the Band
2. Youngblood Brass Band Live. Places – Brass powerhouse, much improved from their debut. Their studio followup, Is That a Riot? (#13) is worth investigating too, just a notch lower in energy. Brass band fans should also check the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s remake of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On (#14) – I could do without Chuck D’s take on the title cut, but the rest is enjoyable

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3. Horacio El Negro Hernandez & Robby Ameen Robby and Negro at the Third World War – Catching up with Kip Hanrahan’s American Clave, this is the best of his recent stuff – Ruben Blades in the house, hot Latin rhythms

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4. Colleen The Golden Morning Breaks /&/ Colleen et les Boites a Musique – Dreamy ambient atmospheres made with jack-in-the-boxes, jangling keys, thrummed guitars and gamelans. The same label, Leaf Recordings, also put out a CD called Be Still (#15) by Adrian Klumpes that will appeal to Harold Budd fans. Fans of ‘industrial ambient’ should also check out Roger Eno + Plumbline’s Transparencies (#16), which sounds like an extension of Budd’s last album

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5. Girl Monster – 60 Tracks! curated by Chicks on Speed – Taking off from last year’s Girlz compilation, this has punk, riot grrrl, electroclash, and a lotta new groups that will appeal to fans of these types of music. Great packaging too!

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6. Hal Willner Productions Rogue’s Gallery – Hal’s back in top form, this time tackling sea shanties and pirate songs. Imagine a Clearwater folk album but with Bryan Ferry, Richard Thompson, Van Dyke Parks and Baby Gramps singing

Buy from Orkhestra International
7. Un Hommage A Moondog a Tribute by Various Artists on the trAce label. The “official” Moondog release this year, Rare Material, was rather ho-hum after last year’s Honest Jon’s release, but this trAce release had a rather unique French take on Moondog’s oeuvre. For more of the same, also search out a companion release L’Information (#17), by Les Productions De L’Invisible on the same label, with more Moondog songs

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8. Adrian Sherwood Becoming a Cliché / Dub Cliché – Japanese 2CD version of Sherwood’s attempt to go commercial – coulda fooled me – the second, dub CD is worth seeking out by On-U fans. Also worth finding is Tackhead Sound Clash (#12), the best Tackhead release ever. Former On-U office manager Little Annie’s Songs from the Coalmine Canary (#11) is totally nOn-U, Annie gone cabaret noir with Antony of the Johnsons at the controls

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9. Clive Palmer Banjoland – Stark album by the Incredible String Band founder, “lost” in 1967, great banjo playing

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10. Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band We Shall Overcome – I’m not a Springsteen fan, but the energy and good cheer on this one, and the familiar songs, made me sing along and smile

18. Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 The original Dance Music label – Mashed Potato! Limbo!
19. Hermine The World On My Plates /&/ Lonely at the Top Ze Outrageous French Accent!
20. Karen Dalton It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going to Love You the Best /&/ In My Own Time
21. Delta 5 Singles & Sessions 1979-1981 – Bush Tetras meets the Gang of Four
22. Lizzy Mercier Descloux Zulu Rock /&/ Best Off – Continuing French Outrageousness!

23. Africa Remix Ah Freak Iya – which leads directly to…
24. Congotronics No.2 Buzz ‘n Rumble from the Urb ‘n Jungle
25. Exuma Exuma II (Air) – The real jonkanoo reissue
26. Gogol Bordello Gypsy Punks (Underdog World Strike)
27. Karsh Kale Broken English
28. Motown Remixed – liked the treatments here better than the Beatles’ Love
29. The Felice Brothers Through These Reigns and Gone (Better Dylan than Modern Times)
30. Parallax Beat Brothers Autek (Pete Lockett + Scanner meet Jon Hassell)
31. Okie Dokie It’s The Orb On Kompakt (Thomas Fehlmann takes over from Dr. Alex)
32. Michael Brook Rock Paper Scissors
33. Jukebox Buddha

Almost – Still not keen on Joanna Newsome, but at least I can listen to Ys

The Slits – Bard College, October 26 – What a fun gig! Slits rule! Their CD EP didn’t tho’
Roger Eno + Plumbline – Tonic NYC, May 24 – Even better than the CD
Bob Weir + The Waybacks – Merlefest, April 29 – Covers of The Dead and The Beatles
Hot Tuna with David Bromberg – Merlefest, April 28
Peter Stampfel + John Kruth – Bowery Poetry Club, January 28
The Chairmen of the Board – Galax VA BBQ Fest, July 15
Neil Innes – The Cutting Room, May 18
IABAS – Bardavon, December 1

FLIX ‘06
Bonzo Dog Band fans should seek out the 40th Anniversary Celebration with Neil Innes, Roger Spear, Mrs. Slater, Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell and even Legs Larry. Watch for the brief snatch of the three-legged dance! Even better is the 2DVD set of episodes from 1968’s Do Not Adjust Your Set. Each episode features at least one song by the Bonzos at their pinnacle, along with low-budget pre-Monty Python skits by Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. On-U fans should seek out the British ghetto crime flick Johnny Was, with a soundtrack of classic reggae and On-U selected by Adrian Sherwood.

Paul Morley’s Words & Music (2003) is yet another attempt by a critic to give us his POOP list in book form. Morley starts back at the Big Bang and puts everything since then in a combined timeline / best of list. Somehow, by some convoluted method, he decides that Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting In A Room and Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head are the greatest recordings of all time. This is the type of book that you’ll either love or hate. I loved the part where Kylie is traveling to some distant planet in her sportscar / spaceship. This leads to a chapter where footnotes take over the book.

I like to read the inside scoop from record moguls. Like Jac Holzman’s Follow the Music – The Life and High Times of Elektra Records, and Joe Boyd’s White Bicycles – Making Music in the 1960’s. Strange thing though – Boyd worked for Holzman in the 60’s, but Holzman doesn’t mention him in his book. More up to date – but still writing about stuff from 30 years ago – there’s Rob Young’s book on Rough Trade in the Labels Unlimited series. This just in - the Raincoats were amateurish on purpose!

R.I.P. James Brown