The triumphant but still half-assed return of Friday Poop Shoot

As most of you don’t care, I used to write an almost weekly Poop Shoot around Friday. It was pretty meh, but could be fun at times, and I liked the buzz of self-righteousness I could get describing music that many of you haven’t heard. Then Brando would write his own Friday Random 11, and it would be better than my Poop Shoots in every respect. Brando is simply a better writer, funnier, and more interesting than I am. But with news that Brando is hanging up the Random 11 after his elegiac opus describing the 22 songs that are most significant to him, I feel that there is a place for the Poop Shoot once again. At minimum, I can keep Billy Pilgrim company and work towards fulfilling my MBO (minimal blogging obligation). If possible, I’ll try to link to sources for the songs, but am not counting on finding many:

1) The Walkmen – Lost in Boston: Well isn’t that title appropriate. I think it’s impossible to live in Boston without getting or feeling lost. This album is from A Hundred Miles Off, which was kind of a letdown for the most part. The song is all singing/strained screaming that is too high to feel comfortable and loud guitar. I guess it is just kind of inelegant. The lyrics make no sense to me, but that’s typical. 6/10

2) Supertramp – Rudy: I’m so glad this song is actually on my iPod. Although Blue Girl might be the only person honest enough to back me up on the awesomeness and non-lameness of Supertramp, I am not ashamed to expouse my love. Rudy is a musically complex song, developing in several movements (at least four). It has all the trademark piano chords, some wanky proggy exposition, and a very moving and relatable main character. We’ve all been on that train to nowhere. At over seven minutes, this song is perfection. 10/10

3) The Innocence Mission – Over The Rainbow: I can’t remember why I bought their CD of lullabie covers, but I’m glad I have it. It is impossible to listen to any version of this song without feeling a little misty and nostalgic. What strikes me most about this cover is how strong the Scottish accent is, and how the slow and stripped-down rendition beautifully captures all the spirit of the song. The singing is just exquisite and delicate. 8/10

4) M. Ward – Eyes On The Prize: This must be the mellow component of the Shoot. Every song on Post War is simple and satisfying. This particular song has a vague Westerny percussion and some beautiful backup harmonizing. Very pleasant. 8/10

5) The Wrens – Safe And Comfortable: Musically, the songs from Secaucus are all over the place, from punky to Brian Wilsony. What is constant is the emotional intensity and honesty of the songs. Safe And Comfortable reeks of irony and bitter insolence. It is musically raw and a little grungy, but a big thrill. 8.5/10

6)  Grandaddy – Disconnecty:  Grandaddy had been through a decade+ streak of uniformly acclaimed albums until Just Like The Fambly Cat, their last CD.  It’s not that it is a bad album by any means – but it is definitely their least compelling.  Attempting to be a little rawer than the the polished Sumday, Disconnecty is a pretty typical sampling.  The synthy stuff is still there and the bass/drum beats are just as relentless, but it’s just a little boring.  6.5/10

7)  Clem Snide – Fontanelle:  Clem Snide is a bit of an acquired taste.  Eef Barzelay’s voice is distinctive and pretty rootsy sounding.  I think you were to really like M. Ward, you would probably like Clem Snide.  It is old music made now.  Fontanelle is a very slow vocal / acoustic guitar piece.  It’s more of a ballad than anything else, and is not one of the better Clem Snide songs out there.  It sounds more of a throw-away.  6/10

8)  The Secret Machines – I Want To Know If It’s Still Possible:  Secret Machines are virtually unknown and really great.  Their music is late ’70s inspired and I think super interesting.  This would be their slow song from the massively under-appreciated Ten Silver Drops, and sounds almost nothing most of their other songs.  What it does sound like is an homage to some of the great works by Elton John and Queen.  Think Love Lies Bleeding (Funeral For a Friend) from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  It feels composition-y if that makes sense.   There is some absolutely beautiful singing and great solo instrumentals.  Totally under-rated.  8.5/10
9)  Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions – Lose Me On The Way:  Hope Sandoval, previously of Mazzy Star, likes to make slow and thoughtful music.  Lose Me On The Way is a long and winding song, over 7 minutes in length.  It is atmospheric and textured.  Think of an indie tone poem.  Guitars string touching give sealion-like yelps in the distance and time is only communicated as rolling cymbals.  It could be boring if you don’t pay attention, but it is really very lovely and thoughtful.  I think Brian Eno and Robert Fripp tried musical experiments along these lines as well.  8/10

10)  The Minders – If You’re Lonely:  This is pure Elephant6 pop.  Imagine Apples in Stereo but even more treacly.  I eat this kind of stuff up with the la la la choruses and mallet percussions, but it is not sophisticated by any means.  Still, some of the catchiest stuff out there is very simple.  I dare someone to dislike this song!  7/10

22 Responses to “The triumphant but still half-assed return of Friday Poop Shoot”

  • UC, I needed you to give me some musical poop to round out my 1K artists.

    But here you are, and in one-Poop-ass-half, give me half again as many good sources as half of my commenters felt half-obliged to do.

    Hope Sandoval was brilliant on her JAMC guest spot.

    The Minders? if you’re liking that power poppy stuff, you’d be into my latest acquisitions- 4 Out of 5 Doctors and the Sorrows, both from the 80s. Both extremely tough to find (and even the torrent I found for 4 out of 5 doctors contains vinyl skips. yes, ripped from the breathing vinyl.)

    Clem snide and secret Machines I’ve heard of, but are not present in my HD. Maybe a spot to rectify, no?

    Somehow, I’d forgotten The Innocence Mission. Sounds like a good avenue.

    Supertramp- well, you must have half-missed my half-assed post from last week, wherein we half-discussed affection for this half-lost half-prog band from the 70s. I maintain they are never again to be cool, but I also stopped half-short of half-admitting to having more than half of their discography. I particularly like the extremely obscure first album.

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    Billy, I’m sorry I didn’t stop by. I usually need to be alerted to drop by a location, then reminded, then nagged, and then forced. I’m a little autistic when it comes to blogging. At any rate, I could contribute verification that Supertramp will never be cool, and I couldn’t possibly care less. I love them to death (not halfway to death). Always have, always will. Hell, I even have half of the post-Supertramp solo stuff (half of it is good).

    I would check out Secret Machines pronto. Both their CDs are excellent – you will not be disappointed. Clem Snide is a little trickier. Half their songs are amazing, and half their CDs are worth owning. It would probably be easier to select their top 10 songs, which Pinko or I could figure out. I also see from Pinko’s comment that you don’t have Kingsbury Manx, which caused me to cry. Thanks alot for that!!!!

    I got all nostalgic reading that all old Poop shoot you linked to. In those days, Fulsome and Geenie Cola came by regularly, Teh L4m3 was always good for comic relief, and AG was actually nice to people. Oh well – I guess change is a constant.

  • I second the Secret Machines rec. I saw them in a little club about, jeez, maybe four years ago now. Dudes couldn’t walk around the stage for fear of tripping over a mine-field of guitar pedals.

  • Yay, the return of the shooting poop! I love the ratings on each song.

    I love the drumming on The Secret Machines. It’s so huge and forceful without overwhelming the melodies. I need to get that second album, I only have their debut.

    I picked up Seacaucus a couple months ago. Very accurate way to describe it, UC. It’s no Meadowlands but some of those songs are classic power pop.

    I have never understood the animosity toward Supertramp. They were a terrific amalgamation of pop and prog, for lack of a better word.

    Well done, sir, I am glad to see you back in the saddle.

  • A Hundred Miles Off, which was kind of a letdown for the most part.

    You’re crazy. It’s easily their best album, start to finish. Nothing quite as good as the Rat or Little House of Savages, except maybe Emma, Get Me Lemon, but there isn’t a bad track on it.

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    Seitz, that album just never connected at all with me, except for the Mazarin cover. I think what I really liked about The Walkmen was that different upright piano stuff, and they have been moving farther away from that sound. It’s their artistic prerogative, but I kind of fell off the bandwagon. Even The Rat, I didn’t love so much. I want every song to sound like We’ve Been Had. That probably makes me a bad person, so I want to apologize in advance.

  • I htink if Seitz wrote more Sog of the Days, he could legitimize his Walkmen aggressiveness.

    Black Angels all the way for me this month!

  • Yeah! More Sog of the Day! It is like Prog of the Day, only, um, soggier…

  • today is a very soggy day indeed.

  • I would like to start a Frog of the Day feature….

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    Yet nobody makes fun of poop?

  • These days I rate music exclusively by how doable I find their lead singers.

  • Grr. “Bands,” not “music.”

  • Soo, t3h k1ll3rz?

    Sheesh, anyone with a stache, teh. You are so predicatable.

  • you dis Freddie Mercury at your peril, Pinko…

  • You know I love the Merc, I believe I am dissing Teh’s lackadaisical mustache-riding policies.

  • Not to mention The Killers guy is a Mormon and married. Talk about a white whale for teh.

  • The mustachioed rocker set includes Freddie, so I issued a warning….

    But what about Frank Zappa?

  • Who has the keys? Make a new post, one that makes sense, is funny WHILE making sense, and includes the word psephology.

    Quick! Like a bunny!

  • Ack. Not only mormon and married, but gay-friendly. Huzzah! The trifecta!!!1!

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