3 things to keep in mind before we begin
1.) I am currently medicated (it makes me a bit sassy and sharp tongued -just ask the nurses.)
2.) Some of these albums may seem ‘high schoolish’ (appropriate since i spent the 1st 4 years of said decade in high school- whatever, like you were ‘born’ with great music taste, if you were, your probably one of those d-bags who only likes bands before they went ‘mainstream’ too(yess, because you birthed and invented them…obviously)
3.) This list is heavily bottom weighted. As I think albums have to pass a 3 year expiry test (if you can still enjoy it 3 years later, purely for listening pleasure and not as a reminiscent type thing, then you, my friend, have some quality tunes on your hands)
Lets start shall we:
The Distillers -Sing Sing Death House(2002)
Oh Brody Dalle – 17 yr old me wanted to BE you (or BE with Tim Armstrong, hard to distinguish) this album was great outlet for my teen angst, errr well at least I think it was (hard to tell between her drunken slurr/indecipherable aussie accent – but she sounded angry, so so angry…grr) I even tried to dress like here for awhile, then people called me Avril Lavigne, so I quickly put an end to that shenanigans. Still you can have a good rock out sesh with your Asian counterpart to this album to this day, teen angst or not. I still don’t know what shes saying, but it may be even less important (Brody, not my Asian counterpart, she is quite well spoken)
Taking Back Sunday (2002)- Tell All Your Friends
Aahh yes the emo years. There’s no use hiding from them people! You might think your so sneaky, center parting your side bangs for that “causual im-so-cool-i-dont-do-my-greasy-hair-look”. Im on to you, hipsters. You may have traded your black nail polish in for oversized scarfs but I know your origins. (now wheres my oversized scarf to put over my american apparel v-neck , its cold and not nearly trendy enough in here..)
Alexisonfire – Watch Out! (2004)
BLAAAAH! ARRRRRH ! YARRRR! yeup, thats pretty much all these kids did (self-described as the sound of two Catholic high-school girls in mid-knife-fight, to which I say not nearly enough crying and low self esteem.) When it came to their live shows, I.couldnt.get.enough. 7 times in a year enough. This is an album you listen to, just to remind you of how good the live shows were. With all the screaming, Alexisonfire is surprisingly uplifting and fun. A boatload of screamy fun.
DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album (2004) .
3 of my favorite things!
Regina Spektor- Begin To Hope (2006)
I love a pretty voice and piano. And Regina has the prettiest voice and the prettiest piano. While at first listen, this may seem like an adult contemporary album you could give your mom for Christmas, weirdo lyrics like “hey remember that time I found a human tooth” or the song about waiting for her boyfriend in the ER after he OD’d, might make you want to rethink that decision.
While Regina may have the pretty piano/voice, Adele’s voice/piano would take hers outback in a barfight any day. Powerhouse doesn’t describe the set of vocals on this woman. While “Chasing Pavements” and “hometown glory” make great anthems, its the quirkier tracks like best for last (nothing but that crazy bass line) and First love (where the music sounds like it was jacked from an old school music box) that make you fall in love.
Modest Mouse – Good News For People Who Love Bad News (2004)
At the risk of sounding like a hipster douchebag, yes I know The Moon and Antarctica and The Lonesome Crowed West ARE better albums, but they weren’t released in this decade. (And who cares if float on is “mainstream”, its a good song. so suck it.)
This is an fabulous up and down album. Its got the sad songs, the upbeats songs (some are 2 in 1), what they all have are encoded lyrics and nonsensical plotlines.(or is it the other way around?) I heart this album it showcases two of my favorite aspects of modest mouse – Isaac Brock making the English language his bitch and unpredictable composition.
I will name my children after towns Ive never been to (but Im not done with all the fucking around)
I still firmly believe this is a concept album about death, but Ive never been able to find anyone who agrees (Isaac brock, or the band included for that matter). I still stand by my decision.
M.I.A. – Arular (2005)
Ok this album changed the game for me and it came at a perfect time. Tiring of boys in skinny jeans screaming their hearbreak, someone passed me this gem. It was like nothing Ive ever heard and everything I need to hear. Suddenly your weekly trips to HMV included time in the electronic section – the world was born anew, colors were brighter, people were nicer, kids respected their elders…….
Death From Above 1979 – Romance Bloody Romance: Remixes & B-Sides (2005)
What is dance punk? Well its music you can simultaneously rock out AND dance to. Music to have seizures by really. Superhappyfun seizures- as if there were any other kind. DFA perfected it on romantic rights and then the right people came along and remixed it oh-so-sexily. Joking aside, guys its time for you to put things aside (being french) and get back together, MSTRKRFT is a let down because, well we know what you can really do, and Sebastian Granger and the Mountains??? wtf dude, wtf?
Stars – Set Yourself On Fire
I also had metric on this list, but then I was like, I have Stars, why would I waste my time with metric.
If that doesnt spell it out for you. Allow me to elaborate. Every single track on this album is killer. I find it so rare when you can mix female/male vocals without geting that whole cheezy donny/marie osmond incest vibe. But stars can. They can fight in a song, and make it soooo pretty. They can break your heart (calandar girl). Basically they own you. and your firstborn
Wilco -Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2003)
It doesnt matter that the rest of the album is unflappable (I love that word) I am Trying To Break Your Heart is pure love on its own – drunken slurred alliteration and a complete disregard for enunciation and sensical making. You may be trying to break my heart Jeff Tweedy, but Ill be a disposable dixie cup drinker as we assassin down the avenues – FOREVER
Anyone who knows me and my fav rituals knows why I love this album. If you don’t personally know why this album is great, call me, we’ll talk.
Ok, ok, ok, I KILLED this album, once a day for like 18 months, but after a breather I can still go back. And its a good trip. Its got the “hillbilly” vocals that do me in, but also every song is a story teller, and you always get sucked in. In passing the hat, you totally get why the dude is stealing from the collection plate ( hey like they knew where that money was going anyways) or how Hospital Beds takes you back to your days from ‘nam, when you were laid up in the hospital, with nothing to do but whine and complain (and compile year end lists)
Justice – Cross (2007)
If there is one thing I love more than the drunken slurring words of heartbreak and bitter revenge, its child choirs singing popular music. While D.A.N.C.E. is more infectious than (well me, at this point), the rest of the album is rock solid. It makes no sense. Nor does it have to, as they are french, they do what the fuck they want. Plus this album introduced me to Uffie. and edbanger records.
Kings Of Leon – Aha Shake The Heartbreak (2005)
Before KOL made the kind of music that could fill an arena of ex-nickleback fans waiting for U2 to arrive on stage, they made the kind of music that would be the background noise for dirty bar fights in the deep south.( Where Kings of The Rodeo could go and kick the bucket -god I’m punny) We’re talking cowboy boots in the face, chairs over backs or broken bottles into vital organs – THATS what Aha Shake the Heartbreak is all about. Shaky rhythms and dirty vocals. Oh and that not-too-southern slurr….. its oh-so-sexy (and dangerous!-like snakes!).
Side note- it was a tough call between because of the times and Aha, but Aha was my first, and you never forget your first.
Also I only half-halfheartedly mean what I wrote about the latest album, its a good album (but if i hear sex on fire one more time…. )
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm (2005)
Bloc Party is one of those super quick burning super nova’s that still occasionally sputters out inaudible excuses for music these days (Mercury- poisoning is more like it). Bad puns aside I think we all have to agree – the initial explosion- Silent alarm- was incredible. It blew all our little indie minds at the time (“we can dance at shows?””huh”) and still makes a great soundtrack to pantless Saturdays.
Radiohead- In Rainbows – (2007)
Not only do I like rainbows, I like clever marketing and business models. But what Radiohead did with In Rainbows was beyond clever, it was genius. Genius like the crazy beat in 15 step. Also before this album I never really got the “whole Radiohead thing” (bad hipster, bad) but now I get it, and the getting is good.
Digitalism – Idealism (2007)
Dear Digitalism: Please make more music. Use more Cure too, I like that.
Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)
Ok this doenst pass the 3 year test but I gots a good feeling about this little guy. If you ever need to feel sorry for yourself and have a little cry (iunno, some people are into that, its weird) then this is the album for you. This is why girls should continue to break boys hearts, so I have something to listen to on rainy days.
Santogold – Top Rating MixTape (2009)
I Believe In Santogold almost made this list (despite not passing the 3 year test) buttt then this little gem came along. My (unbeknownst to him) lover diplo, is responsible for this. A skim through of these tracks and it makes you think “is there any sound they didnt put on this mixtape?” indian tribal chants, white female rappers, baille funk and a few lazers for good measure, it all worked out in the end. eargasmically.
**Not on this list – The Strokes – This is it
Apparently, from reading the reviews, this album cured cancer, planters worts, brought peace to the middle east and brought back the dinosaurs from extinction, So you would imagine my excitement when I got my own little copy. After being exposed to the strokes, sad to say, my life didn’t change at all, if anything there was more confusion (like when your the only person who doesn’t get a joke). So they are not on this list. Which probly makes me the anti-christ of Indie Rock. I’ve made peace with that.
So Im missing tons, and as soon as I hit publish Ill be like “OH FUCK” but im generally satisfied by this list and am willing to defend my choices (at least till the atavan wears off)