Matt Nerney
PoOPlist '04

A Kinder, Gentler POOP 2004

Well, here it comes again ... just as surely, and slowly, as in the past.
It seems like it's becoming more and more a labor of love to track down something new to fill that need for music. I'm not complaining mind you, in fact, it's almost reassuring, comforting somehow, to earn the satisfaction from a long-sought or well-researched musical treasure. Thankfully, there were plenty of treasures this year, and I didn't even get all the albums I wanted to! So here's to new music, and also to new milestones in life. For those whom I haven't spoken to in a while, Nat and I are happy, hardworking homeowners in Kingston, NY, and are expecting a little Nerney sometime in mid-May! A new generation of poopsters, perhaps?

Top of the Pops

john vanderslice - cellar door
Buy from amazon
1 : Cellar Door ~ Johm Vanderslice : A further refinement of JV's unique sound. Darker, lusher, and more paranoid than his previous work, but somehow also more accessible. A singular songwriter, who can work in a wide diversity of styles, but also an amazing producer. Grafting pristine sonic landscapes to house his obsessive, semi-delusional lyrics. Step Inside.

a.c. newman the slow wonder
Buy from amazon
2 : The Slow Wonder ~ AC Newman : An instant classic, from the first song to last. A nice progression from his other band, the New Pomographers, with an even richer, mellower sound. So much for collaboration. Kinky new porn the Imperial Bedroom.

ted lep + the pharmacists - shake the sheets
Buy from amazon
3: Shake the Sheets ~ Ted Leo & The Pharmacists : Can he do no wrong? Leaner and meaner than rts of Oakth a more direct punch, but somehow not quite as satisfying. Still, a handful of great agit-pop that will keep your neurons firing and your toes tapping.

rogue wave - out of the shadow
Buy from amazon
4 : Out of the Shadow ~ Rogue Wave : One of those great discoveries that appear out of nowhere. Rogue Wave are a quirky little band out of SF, who, thankfully, caught a ride on James Mercer's coattails. A lo-fi combo of the Shins, Elliot Smith, and Simon & GarfunkeL Nice.

beta band - heroes to zeroes
Buy from amazon
5 : Heroes to Zeros ~ Beta Band : Beta Band is dead, long live Beta Bandi This swan song brilliantly combines all the wonderfully contradictory facets of this confounding band into a doped-up mess of beautiful music Like diamonds and pearls in honey and molasses swirls.

oranger - shutdown the sun
Buy from amazon
6 : Shutdown the Sun ~ Oranger : Transcending their early, obvious influences (beach boys, beatles, who), Granger come into their own on this album by coming to terms with the modern world. A heady, giddy mix of old and new sounds, driven by quirky, eccentric songwriting.

steve earle - the revolution starts now
Buy from amazon
7 : The Revolution Starts Now ~ Steve Earle : A nice return to form for Steve-0. Rough, raw, and ready, this album delves into politics of the head and the heart with both sensitivity and humor.

hodoo gurus - mach schau
Buy from amazon
8 : Mach Schau ~ Hoodoo Gurus ; An unexpected and pleasant surprise to find a new Gurus release this year. After a lengthy retirement, Dave Faulkner and Co. return with one of the best albums of their careers. With some new tricks, plenty of hard rockers, and some classic Guru sounds, this is one of those rare welcomed reunions in rock. God Bless Australia.

the hives - tyrannosaurus hives
Buy from amazon
9 : Tyranosaurus Hives ~ The Hives : No surprises here, just another fabulous collection of furious, fuzzed out neu-garage rock. Gotta love the suits, as well. Viva la Sweda!

secret machines - now here is nowhere
Buy from amazon
10 : Now Here Is No Where ~ Secret Machines ; A real guilty pleasure from this NYC-via-Texas trio that sounds like a combo of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Flaming Lips. A little cheesy, but it still rocks.

arcade fire - funeral
Buy from amazon
11 : Funeral ~ the Arcade Fire : Another new discoveiy, this time from the great wintery wilds of Canada. A little self-important, but still a good listen, with a unique sound for the times, a little bit Bowie, a little bit Talking Heads, and a smidge of the Dambuilders. Indie chamber music?

camper van beethoven - new roman times
Buy from amazon
12 : New Roman Times ~ Camper Van Beethoven : Another unexpected reunion from the 80's! Who would have thought that CVB would get back together? I, for one, am glad that they did, even though this is another little guilty pleasure (I suppose I should really have matured beyond silly college bands by now, but I just love these guys). CVB still have the chops, musical adventurousness, and sense of humor that they had back in the glory days, and this album sounds like a riotous ransacking of all their previous work.

sam philips - a bot and a shoe
Buy from amazon
13 : A Boot and A Shoe ~ Sam Phillips : I really love the simplicity of this album. Just a few musicians, a handful of sassy songs, and a sultry voice to bring it all together. A smoky, folky, jazzy cabaret experience for the late night or early morning. Makes the case for scotch and cigarettes.

the figgs - palais
Buy from amazon
14 : Palais ~ The Figgs : Another band where I simply have no objectivity. Everything that they do, I love. While this double CD could have probably been pared down to make an awesome single set, I'm kind of glad that they just put this material out there. Also, had a really good time seeing them in Albany with Greak.

reigning sound - too much guitar
Buy from amazon
15 : Too Much Guitar ~ Reigning Sound : Who ever heard of such a thing? Nothing groundbreaking here, just a good album of old-fashioned, 60's influenced, reverb-drenched, gritty, grungy, garage rock. Check it.

Other Notable News (and Olds)
The Tain ~ The Decemberists : a new take on an old Irish myth via folk-cabaret-prog epic.
Blueberry Boat ~ Fiery Furnaces : freak out, motherf*#kersl a strange brew, with a few moments of genius.
Seven Swans ~ Sufjan Stevens : a little preachy, but you still have to love a guy with a banjo.
the Milk-Eyed Mender ~ Joanna Newsom : crazy-80-year-old-Cambodian-woman-sounding girl with a harp.
Tell It to the Dust ~ Anders Parker : actually still trying to get into this one, but it's Anders, after all.
The Chrono Show ~ Richard Thompson : a live, career retrospective, with some really great, obscure songs.
Richard Thompson ~ re-issues : all the great early albums, with better sound and bonus tracks, all is good.
Brian Eno - re-issues : all the vocal albums, plus some, with continued tweaking of the Eno sound world.
Echo & The Bunnymen ~ reissues : all the great early albums, nicely remastered with bonus tracks.
Elvis Costello ~ reissues : is that everything? maybe one left, and the bonus discs are everything.
The Delivery Man ~ Elvis Costello : not great, but a nice little rough-and-tumble honky tonk album.
Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) ~ Hilsinger / Beatty : a great remake of a great album.
From a Basement on a Hill ~ Elliot Smith : still puzzling, a fair send off, though.
Want Two ~- Rufus Wainrght : still more drama from the unique world ofRuftis.
S/T ~ The Concrete : VU + MC + Mazzy Star
Everyone is Here ~ Finn Bros. : another nice collection of tunes from these NZ lads.
Within a Mile of Home ~ Floggin' Molly : the pogues' punk little brother keeps up the good fight.
Magic and Medicnie ~ The Coral : kinky, 60's throwback, with authentic sound.
S/T ~ Futureheads : strictly robot-rock, but friggin' rockin' robot rock.
Make Yer Own Fun ~ The Monarchs : i while the Gurus were on hiatus. Brad had some fun in the garage.
Universal Audio ~ The Delgados : pretty, precious, and pained from another Scottish guy/girl thing.
Dial M for Monkey ~ Bonobo : a great collection of down-tempo grooves.
Winchecster Cathedral ~ Clinic : a unique sound, but too close to their last album.
S/T ~ Franz Ferdinand~ the Scottish Strokes?
Half Smiles of the Decomposed ~ Guided By Volces : supposedly the last GBV album of all time.

Still haven't heard (but want to) : the Bees, Tower Recordings, PG Six, Animal Collective, Bjork.

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