Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Top 100 Albums of the Aughties: 25 - 1

Wassup hepcats!

OK, kids, it's been real. And now, as promised, we gonna end this "Best of the Aughties" lunacy, so that we may get back to quantifying our enjoyment of things in different and entertaining ways. Also, with lists!

In the recent past: 50 - 26.

And now!

25. Give Up (2003)
The Postal Service
Best jam: "Nothing Better"

And yes, Owl City totally ripped them off, so can we stop talking about that? YOU'RE LETTING THE TERRORISTS WIN.

24. Satellite Rides (2001)
Old 97's
Best jam: "Buick City Complex"

Fun fact: I'm a good speller, hepcats, really good. Terrible typist, but good speller. But I couldn't spell "satellite" without spellcheck if I had an elephant gun pointed at my testes.

23. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007)
Best jam: "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb"

Worst album title ever? Maybe. This album makes me think of the phrase "tasty licks" for some reason. I'm gonna have to start saying "tasty licks" more. Not in that way, sickos.

22. Welcome Interstate Managers (2003)
Fountains of Wayne
Best jam: "A Bright Future in Sales"

I was living in Austin when they were filming "Office Space", working room service at a hotel with a TGI Friday's. The rumor was they were going to film some scenes for this Jennifer Aniston movie in our restaurant. Well, they ended up using the OTHER Friday's, across town. Which means Jennifer Aniston never met me and fell madly in love, which, let's face it, sucks for her. I would have paid more attention to her than to Twitter, I can tell you that right now.
Which is to say this album reminds me of "Office Space".

21. More Adventurous (2004)
Rilo Kiley
Best jam: "Portions for Foxes"

I miss lyric sheets. I was reading the lyrics to this album the first time I listened to the CD (remember, guys?), and when I got to the end of "Does He Love You?" I almost spit out beer and had to go back to the beginning. I know you can find lyrics online and stuff now, but whatever. This was a change for the worse.

20. The Airing of Grievances (2009)
Titus Andronicus
Best jam: "Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ"

"My Time Outside the Womb" is good, too.We need some noise, once in a while.

19. Vampire Weekend (2008)
Vampire Weekend
Best jam: "Walcott"

The lead singer of Vampire Weekend looks like a Disney cartoon. He's got Disney eyes. I think that's mostly the reason for the backlash against this band: Disney eyes.

18. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
Flaming Lips
Best jam: "Fight Test"

My friend really hates the Scientologists, and somehow now he's gotten the Flaming Lips mixed up in that whole thing. I forget what the reason was, I was kinda drunk when we were talking about it, but I think it something to do with them being friends with Beck. See, what I forgot to say at the time is that the Lips and Beck are in a feud. They are feuding. So I declare The Flaming Lips innocent of any Scientology related crimes.

17. Is This It (2001)
The Strokes
Best jam: "Barely Legal"

This album came out when I was 25, living in an apartment just off Hollywood Blvd, single for the first time since I was a teenager. We'd walk to the corner to go to Goldfinger's, or cross the street to hit Boardner's, go to Beauty Bar or Star Shoes if we were feeling trendy. Sometimes just walk around and wander into a seedy strip club or two. It will always remind me of youthful debauchery. And cocaine.

16. The Crane Wife (2006)
The Decemberists
Best jam: "The Crane Wife 1 & 2"

I think I've mentioned this before, but concept albums are always disappointing. You read about it and it sounds cool, but when you listen to it, you would have no idea it was a concept album without that prior knowledge, and like three songs mention someone named "Icarus" or something lame like that. But this is a good one. Plus the cover cracks me up.

15. Neon Bible (2007)
The Arcade Fire
Best jam: "(Antichrist Television Blues)"

My friend gave this album a two word review: "Impossibly good". I always think of that when I listen to it. And then think about Win Butler stealing some guy's basketball. And it makes me sad. It's still really good, but the frontman's basketball stealing ways may have cost it a spot in the top ten. Justice!

14. Elephant (2003)
The White Stripes
Best jam: "The Hardest Button to Button"

People slag on Meg White's drumming. I'm gonna be honest here, hepcats, I consider myself a knowledgeable music fan, but I wouldn't know a good drummer if it bit me on the heinie. Which would be weird if that happened, right? Dave Grohl is supposedly good.

13. Fever To Tell (2003)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Best jam: "Maps"

Yeah Yeah Yeahs is a really good name for a band. I used to keep a list of good band names, just in case. I feel like I had Yeah Yeah Yeahs on there at some point. Right after The Cool Monkey Heads, I think.

12. The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (2007)
Josh Ritter
Best jam: "To the Dogs or Whoever"

This album here, I liked a fair amount when I bought it. I would listen to it every now and then, once a week or so. Normal for an album I like a fair amount, once a week or so for approximately six weeks. But this one I never...really..stopped. I realized like 4 months in that I had it pretty much memorized. That fucker snuck up on me!

11. Pneumonia (2001)
Best jam: "Mirror, Mirror"

I bought this CD (remember, guys?) from Amazon (those were the days, right, guys?) the same day I bought "Satellite Rides", which if you recall was number 24 on our list. Good day for Timmy, in terms of purchasing music!

10. Lifted, or, The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002)
Bright Eyes
Best jam: "Let's Not Shit Ourselves (To Love and to Be Loved)"

Now THIS one, I hated when I first listened to it. I thought it was pretentious, unlistenable. I think I was pretty broke or something and couldn't afford records at the time, though, so it kinda stuck in my Discman (retro!), and then I was listening to it while reading the lyrics, and then I was listening to it all the time, and that, my friends, is how you become Artist of the Decade. You make sure your fans are too broke to buy anyone else's records.

9. Feed the Animals (2008)
Girl Talk
Best jam: Not really applicable to this record here, I guess you could say The Whole Thing

Finally, an album that combines 2 of my passions, DJ culture and hard core hip-hop! Naw, you know that's jokes, hepcats, but all you have to know about this is that at one point Jay-Z is rapping over "Paranoid Android". It it sounds FUCKING SWEET.

8. Transatlanticism (2003)
Death Cab for Cutie
Best jam: "Tranatlanticism"

Or, Music to Recover From a Near Death Experience To. Probably the low point in my life (so far!), recuperating from getting hit by a fucking truck, winter settling in, back in New England. This made it a little easier.

7. Twin Cinema (2005)
The New Pornographers
Best jam: "Sing Me Spanish Techno"

I think to really enjoy this record fully, you need a summer day and a convertible. And good speakers, because if you're on the highway in a convertible, it can be hard to really hear anything. And your hair gets all messed up. Plus sometimes, even on a hot day, it can make you kinda chilly. Don't take your convertible on the highway, I guess is what I'm saying here.

6. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
Best jam: "Jesus, Etc."

Ha ha! Fuck you, Warner Music Group! Bet you never thought this album would make it into a Best of the Decade review in a format you hadn't heard of in 2001!

5. Middle Cyclone (2009)
Neko Case
Best jam: "People Got a Lotta Nerve"

Not really a concept album, but there is a definite theme. And that theme is: don't fuck with nature, Jack. Badass. "Red Tide" makes me kinda queasy, though. Sea life and stuff, gross, right? Barnacles make me throw up sort of.

4. Gold (2001)
Ryan Adams
Best jam: "Harder Now That It's Over"

I didn't have to look up what year this one came out. Those planes hit those buildings, and we were all looking for meaning in things, and the first single off the album had just been released and it was "New York, New York". And we music snobs, we don't like people finding out about our people, we don't want them to succeed, not really, but this time we were okay with it. And it never really happened, but I think most people liked the song. And Ryan Adams went back to being the guy we would see at 7-11 in the middle of the night, looking at pictures of himself in magazines. (I mean that affectionately, it was AWESOME seeing that. I totally would do the same thing if I were ever in Entertainment Weekly.)

3. Boys and Girls In America (2006)
The Hold Steady
Best jam: "Massive Nights"

Tinkly piano, tasty licks (yes!), and enough "whoa-oh-oh"s to choke a water buffalo, plus lyrics that combine smart and funny like nobody since Warren Zevon. This is good.

2. White Blood Cells (2001)
The White Stripes
Best jam: "Fell In Love With a Girl"

The runner up for Artist of the Decade, as well. Even though the drummer is (apparently) sub-par. I first heard the White Stripes on a mixtape (seriously, cassette - we're old!) from a girl I don't remember. The rest of the tape was okay, but I kept coming back the "Hotel Yorba". Which meant rewinding a whole bunch. We romanticize the past, hepcats, but the past sucked, mostly. Except for lyric sheets.

1. I'm Wide Awake It's Morning (2005)
Bright Eyes
Best jam: "Lua"

I almost feel instead of this nonsense I've been putting in these capsules, for this I should just include all the lyrics to this record, along with a note saying "And the music is gorgeous, too". But that would require a whole lot of copying and pasting. Formatting of some sort may be involved. So you can look them up if you want. But this is my favorite, from "Lua": "I know you have a heavy heart, I can feel it when we kiss/ So many men stronger than me have thrown their backs out trying to lift it/ But me I'm not a gamble/ you can count on me to split/ the love I sell you in the evening by the morning won't exist."


  1. Well, since 2 Bright Eyes albums made the list, you've probably listened to it, but just in case: have you checked out Conor Oberst's self-titled solo album? Post-Cassadaga, and perhaps my favorite work by him.

  2. I like it, it just never "popped" to me like some of the Bright Eyes stuff does. I really like "Sausalito", though. I might have to listen to that album tonight, it's been a while. Thanks!