Pooplist 2003

Mike Jurkovic The Rock ‘n Roll Curmudgeon Wallkill, NY

Lucinda Williams - World Without Fear
You’ve got to love and laud Lucinda Williams. At fifty, she not only delivers the hardest rocking, most heart broken record of her career but also unearths the great lost Neil Young & Crazy Horse album.If you think I’m going to say anything bad about ‘World Without Tears’ you’re crazier than I ever claimed to be. Album of the year, hands down. (Lost Highway)

The Wayfaring Strangers - This Train
The search for intelligent musical life on Earth is over. Matt Glaser’s spacious and victorious vision of bluegrass opens the horizon like no other. Free roaming the world music map, with violin, piano, vocals, banjo, slide guitar; octave mandolin, guitars, drums, and percussion, creating a repeatedly gratifying and enriching listening experience. (Rounder)

Warren Zevon -The Wind
Choosing the party over the pout, revelry as opposed to regret, Zevon, like George Harrison before him, offers his parting gift with an undying spirit both humble and brave, making this his strongest disc in years. Many top shelf friends join in Warren’s trip, but the last mile, for all of us, is a private journey. Farewell faithful mutineer, your song remains true. (Artemis)

Over The Rhine - Ohio
No bombast, slick production or hip-hop duets color this somber 21-song twin-set. What rules the day is thoughtfully crafted, rustic, textured intelligence and lyrical emotionalism. Over the past decade, OTR have quietly built a substantial body of work and ‘Ohio’ is their crowning moment. (Backporch)

Tori Amos - Tales Of A Librarian
‘Tales’ is Amos’ musical autobiography. Restless and willing to challenge even her own history, Amos not only remixes and remasters, she reworks and reconditions some of her best and our favorites. The bonus DVD with its live tracks,and photo galleries will keep the hard core heads buzzing. (Atlantic)

Ricki Lee Jones - The Evening Of My Best Day
“The depth of our democracy is only as good as the voices of protest she protects” Jones knows something’s rotten in the USA and she makes no bones it. Her strongest work in years and proof perfect that our older voices needn’t fade away or become totally irrelevant. (V2)

eastmountainsouth - eastmountainsouth
I heard the tail-end of this eerie, droning version of Stephen Foster’s ‘Hard Times’ on a membership supported station (where else?) and thought “That’s interesting.” Then I heard the celebratory ‘You Dance’ and thought “That’s interesting.” Then the spectral drum loops and banjo of the riveting ‘Ballad Of Young Alban and Amandy’ caught my ear and all of a sudden it seems like I’m always listening to ems or have always been listening to ems or have always heard them in my head. Signed by Robbie Robertson, the haunted duo of Kat Maslich and Peter Adams jumble mod and trad into an impressionistic crossbreed of ghosts and the hearts they inhabit. (Dreamworks)

Bob Dylan -The SACD Remasters
If it weren’t for these, we’d be relevating over SACDs of Bobby Darin, Lawrence Welk, and Percy Faith. Far worse fates there are I know, but is anyone willing to take the chance? (Columbia/Legacy)

Bob Marley And The Wailers - Live At The Roxy
Essential Marley. (Tuff Gong/Island/UME)

Led Zeppelin - How The West Was Won
‘How The West Was Bludgeoned’ really. Vintage ‘72 Zep (Atlantic)

Steve Earle - Just An American Boy
Keeper! Recorded very live ‘somewhere in North America’ this twin CD is a fiery and passionate reminder of free speech at work in the land of those strapping on the muzzles. (Artemis)

Emmylou Harris - Stumble Into Grace
As she moves her regal body of work from the interpretative to the highly, yet universally personal, a nagging question follows in the wake: If other songwriters had presented some of these songs would she consider them worthy of her divine talents? Only Harris knows the answer, but on the strength of her past brilliance, I’d be remiss not to wonder aloud. ‘Stumble Into Grace’ may not be one of her greatest triumphs, but it is the small ones that make our days bearable. (Nonesuch)

The Kennedy’s - Stand
I swore nobody wrote songs this ringing and effortless anymore. It all seemed like Big names writing small songs. I could go on but I’d rather listen to ‘Stand’ over and over and over again. (Koch)

Miles Davis - The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
Five discs of exploratory fusion/funk, resulting in what Miles raspily declared as “the greatest rock ‘n roll record ever made.” If it ain’t, it’s bitchingly close. (Columbia Legacy)

The Temptations - Psychedelic Soul
A dear friend recently inquired: “We’ve already got the next generation of rappers, rockers, jazzers, and folkies. But where the hell is the next generation of Temptations, Four Tops, Sly Stones, etc? With the thrilling release of this two disc set of the Temps greatest and most experimental period, that question begs some quick and serious answering. (Motown/UMG)

Hiromi - Another Mind
Like Patti Smith’s ‘Horses’, ‘Another Mind’ blows open the doors of jazz convention with a new energy, a new commitment to making the piano trio matter not only to the loyalists but to the greater audience at large. (Telarc)

Sly & The Family Stone - The Essential
This stuff caught Prince’s ear. Did I fail to mention that it influenced no greater an artist than Miles Davis to carry jazz into the then unknown reaches of sound, form, and fury. Well it did. (Columbia/Legacy)

The Minus 5 - Down With Wilco
Beats the hell out of me how to describe this ragged suit of hobo art. Bride of ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’? Son of ‘Apple Venus’? Cross-eyed cousin of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’? All I know is I can’t get damn thing out of my player. (Yep Rock)

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