Monday, August 31, 2009

The Next Best 111 Albums of the 00s:

I'm going to tease this out just a bit more before the reveal of the Top 11 of the decade. Until then, here are the runner-ups. Those who were good...but maybe...just not good enough.

The Next Best 111 Albums of the 00s:
  1. ...And You Will Know Us - Source Tags & Codes
  2. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
  3. Against Me! - New Wave
  4. Alicia Keyes - The Diary of Alicia Keyes
  5. Animal Collective - Feels
  6. Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
  7. The Anniversary - Your Majesty
  8. At The Drive-In - Relationship in Command
  9. Band of Horses - Everything all the Time
  10. Beck - Guero
  11. Black Rebel Motorcycle - Black Rebel Motorcycle
  12. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
  13. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake and It's Morning
  14. Bright Eyes - Cassadega
  15. Burial - Untrue
  16. Cat Power - The Greatest
  17. Cold War Kids - Robbers and Cowards (Hospital Beds)
  18. Cursive - Happy Hollow
  19. Cursive - The Ugly Organ (Sierra)
  20. Damien Rice - O
  21. Danger Mouse and Jemini - Ghetto Pop Life
  22. Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse - Dark Night of the Soul
  23. The Darkness - Permission To Land
  24. Dashboard Confessional - The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
  25. Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism (The New Year)
  26. Death Cab For Cutie - We Have The Facts and We Are Voting Yes
  27. The Decemberists - Her Majesty
  28. The Decemberists - Picaresque
  29. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
  30. DJ Shadow - The Private Press
  31. Drive By Truckers - Dirty South
  32. Elliott Smith - Basement on the Hill
  33. Explosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
  34. The Faint - Danse Macabre
  35. FELT - A Tribute to Lisa Bonet
  36. Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
  37. The Foo Fighters - There Is Something Left To Lose
  38. Fugazi - The Argument
  39. Girl Talk - Feed The Animals
  40. Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks
  41. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
  42. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
  43. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  44. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
  45. Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
  46. Iron and Wine/Calexico - In The Reins
  47. Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams
  48. Jay-Z - Blueprint 3.0
  49. Jay-Z - MTV Unplugged
  50. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
  51. Joanna Newsom - Ys
  52. John Legend - Get Lifted
  53. Kayne West - 808s and Heartbreak
  54. The Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
  55. The Knife - Silent Shout
  56. The Libertines - The Libertines
  57. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter II
  58. Loretta Lynne - Van Leer Rose
  59. Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor
  60. M. Ward - Post War
  61. Manu Chao - Proxima Estacion
  62. Mastodon - Leviathon
  63. Matisyahu - Live at Stubbs
  64. The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
  65. Metallica - Death Magnetic
  66. M.I.A. - Arular
  67. Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther
  68. Missy Elliott - Miss E...So Addictive
  69. Modest Mouse - The Moon And Antarctica
  70. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
  71. Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
  72. Mr. Lif - I Phantom
  73. Muse - Absolution
  74. Nas - Hip Hop Is Dead
  75. Neko Case - Fox Confesor Brings The Flood
  76. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
  77. Okkervil River - Stage Names
  78. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
  79. Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block
  80. The Polyphonic Spree - The Beginning Stages Of...
  81. Q-Tip - Kamaal: the Abstract
  82. Queens of the Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf
  83. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
  84. Radiohead - Amnesiac
  85. Rilo Kiley - The Execution of All Things
  86. Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela
  87. Ryan Adams - Rock N Roll
  88. Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell
  89. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
  90. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
  91. Santogold - Santogold
  92. She and Him - Volume One
  93. Sia - Colour The Small One
  94. Sigur Ros - ()
  95. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (The Ghost of You Lingers)
  96. The Strokes - Room On Fire
  97. The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth
  98. Talib Kweli - Quality
  99. Tapes and Tapes - The Loon
  100. Tegan and Sara - The Con
  101. Tool - 10,000 Days
  102. Tool - Lateralus
  103. Travis - The Invisible Band
  104. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
  105. U2 - How To Build An Atomic Bomb
  106. Usher - Confessions
  107. The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows
  108. Whiskeytown - Pneumonia
  109. The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
  110. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
  111. Wilco - The Album

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The 11 Best Song By Matisyahu

Let's talk bonus tracks. The new Matisyahu album (Light) on itunes may be one of the better bonus tracks versions of any recent album. Normally, I'm only partial to B-Sides. And lots of them. Sometimes a bonus concert is good, too. But on Matisyahu's album...he takes a radically different approach to his music. It's bigger, more produced, and even bordering on the realm of mainstream hip-pop. The only thing missing are vocals by Fergi. Now the bonus tracks do inclucde a couple B-sides...a track with the Crystal Method (from their album)...but also studio sessions. These studio sessions are gold. For the fans of traditional Matisyahu...his new album may turn you away (even I'm having trouble liking it). But on the studio sessions, he takes the songs from the album...and strips them down to their bare bones melodies...similar to his past albums. One song is an epic 13-minute jam...that kicks ass on just about everything he's ever done. So for the price of get two albums: ne of the Matisyahu you love...and one of the new Matisyahu. Record companies take note...this is how you do it.

Here are the 11 Best Song By Matisyahu:

1. Jerusalem (Youth)
2. King Without A Crown (Live at Stubbs)
3. Chop 'Em Down (Live at Stubbs)
4. Youth (Youth)
5. Watching The Wheels (Instant Karma)
6. Message in A Bottle (Chop 'Em Down)
7. WP (Youth)
8. Fire Of Heaven/Altar Of Earth (Youth)
9. Exaltation (Live at Stubbs)
10. Close My Eyes (Live at Stubbs)
11. Warrior (Live at Stubbs)

Buy the new Matisyahu album, Light.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The 11 Best Arctic Monkeys Songs

What? Did you think I would reveal the top 11 albums of the decade without a little suspense? I'm taking a pit-stop for a couple of days to focus on some new releases this week. First up...the new Arctic Monkeys album, Humbug, produced by QOTSA melody maker, Josh Homme. It's a much darker turn for the AMers...sounding like Josh had a big influence on the sound. Is it a good direction for the band? Hard to say...still giving it some spins before I lay out my verdict.

What are you thoughts on the new album?

The 11 Best Arctic Monkeys Songs:

1. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Whatever People Say I Am)
2. Still Take You Home (Whatever People Say I Am)
3. Fake Tales of San Francisco (Whatever People Say I Am)
4. Do Me a Favour (Favourite Worst Nightmare)
5. Dancing Shoes (Whatever People Say I Am)
6. Brainstorm (Favourite Worst Nightmare)
7. The View From The Afternoon (Whatever People Say I Am)
8. Too Much To Ask (Favourite Worst Nightmare B-Side)
9. From The Ritz To The Rubble (Whatever People Say I Am)
10. If You Were There, Beware (Favourite Worst Nightmare)
11. Settle For a Draw (Whatever People Say I Am B-Side)

Buy The new Arctic Monkeys, Humbug, right NOW!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (12-22)

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (12-22):

12. Coldplay - A Rush of Blood To The Head (2002)
- If Viva La Vida is this generation's Joshua Tree...A Rush would be this generation's Unforgetable Fire.

13. Ryan Adams - Gold (2001)
- If charting was based on most material released...RA would win by a landslide. But Gold feels the most personal...that the most time went into crafting this one. (La Cienega Just Smiled)

14. Jay-Z - The Black Album (2003)
- Jay-Z turned the industry on its head when he allowed the public to freely remix and distribute his momentary swan song.

15. The Strokes - Is This It (2001)
- The Jam who? The Strokes tight and underplayed debut was a snub in the face of the loud and obnoxious music of the day. (Soma)

16. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am (2006)
- The Jam who? The AM's loud and obnoxious debut was a snub in the face of the quiet and mopey music of the day.

17. Bright Eyes - Lifted Or The Story is in the Soil (2002)
- This is the album that earned him the nickname: "the next Bob Dylan" or "the next Bob Dylan until the next Bob Dylan comes along." (You Will.)

18. Zero 7 - Simple Things (2001)
- If there was ever a soundtrack to this decade...Zero 7 did it first.

19. Interpol - Antics (2004)
- 20 years later...Ian Curtis is cool again.

20. Death Cab For Cutie - Plans (2005)
- The emo masterpiece from a band who has done everything in their power to be anything but... (Someday You Will Loved)

21. Bruce Springsteen - The Rising (2002)
- In the wake of 9/11, it was Bruce who came to the rescue to lead us out of the darkness. No album has ever said more about the strength and resolute nature of our country than the Rising.

22. Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak (2004)
- The Kings emerged this decade as the last true patriots of American rock n roll. And no where is that more clear than on their second effort.

Buy these albums now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (23-33)

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (23-33):

23. The Shins - Oh, Inverted World (2001)
- Did you see Garden State? Enough said.

24. Outkast - Stankonia (2000)
- The only bad thing about this album is that it wasn't a double album.

25. The Killers - Hot Fuss (2004)
- Hands down the hardest rocking Mormons to ever come out of Las Vegas.

26. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (2007)
- Album number 2 is louder, faster, stronger, bigger, braver, and better.
(New York I Love You)

27. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
- A concept album that isn't a concept album. Would expect something from the Flaming Lips to make sense?
(Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots)

28. The Postal Service - Give Up (2003)
- Don't side projects usually suck?
(This Place Is a Prison)

29. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III (2008)
- Just because you're short and ugly doesn't mean you can't make good music.

30. Kanye West - Late Registration (2005)
- Just because you're loud and obnoxious doesn't mean you can't make good music.

31. Spoon - Gimme Fiction (2005)
- Do these guy know how to make bad music? (Sister Jack)

32. Johnny Cash - American IV: Man Comes Around (2002)
- F.U. Trent Reznor.

33. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me (2002)
- Who ever thought sappy piano ballads could be so good?

Buy these albums now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (34-44)

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (34-44):

34. TV on the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain (2006)
- No album felt as obscure as TV's sophomore release. And no obscure album ever rocked this hard. It was like the band knew that rock was growing stale and they were going to show us all how it was done...the right way.

35. Feist - Let It Die (2005)
- Feist's debut played like a classic album. With one half original work and one half covers, Feist followed in the footsteps of her vocal idols who commonly did this on their albums. The result was an emotionally rich tapestry that had as maturity as it did youth.

36. Jack Johnson - Brushfire Fairytales (2000)
- Since JJ's break into commercial success, I think everyone has forgotten how much indie cred he scored on his debut. This was one of those albums that spread through word of the way good music is supposed to succeed. Years after its release it was still gaining momentum. none of his other albums are as true as this one...and the reason why this one lands so high on this list.

37. Coldplay - Viva La Vida (2008)
- If the 80s had Joshua Tree...then the 00s get Viva La Vida. Yeah...that's right, I'm comparing the epic 80s U2 album to Coldplay. Like JT, VLV was a statement. It was Coldplay thinking big and not holding back. One million people logged into the website at 4 in the morning to grab the first song, "Violet Hill." If you get that much buzz doing anything, you're doing something right.

38. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (2006)
- There's no argument that Amy is a trainwreck and maybe she's one of those people who shouldn't be a star. That doesn't mean her album sucked. Quite the opposite. Most people were blown away after first hearing her...especially when they found she was a Jewish kid from England...and not some songstress from the Bronx. Her vocal range puts to shame anyone who has stepped on the American Idol stage. Folks...this is how it's done.

39. The Frames - The Cost/The Once Soundtrack (2007)
- This is the only true cheat on the list. It was hard to choose between the two since The Once Soundtrack is really just a recreation of The Cost. And without the strength of the Cost...the movie Once would have never been as good or as successful...they would have never won an Oscar...making the Soundtrack more notable, which in turn helped the original album. Get it? (People Get Ready)

40. Danger Mouse - The Grey Album (2004)
- A true landmark album. Was it proof that the Beatles were the greatest rock band of all time...or that Jay-Z was the best rapper? Or was it a combination of a brutal one-two musical punch? It took balls for Danger Mouse to be so confindent to use the Beatles...and it took a lawyer to keep him from getting his pants sued off. It was one of those albums that everyone had to hear...and there was no way to hear it. But if you were lucky enough to find a friend of a friend who could burn it for were not disappointed. (Encore)

41. Kings of Leon - Because The Times (2007)
- The Kings third album feels like a wild party. It starts off mild enough...but with every track, it escalates to a new level of rowdiness. There's a definitely drunken stupor that permeates through the tracks...and an uncertainity of which song will be coming up behind the next corner. This isn't just an's an experience...and one that leaves you with a great feeling just like a wild party worth remembering.

42. Gorillaz - Gorillaz (2001)
- Though the brainchild of Damon Albarn of Blur...the truth is the band doesn't really exist. In fact, they are a purely virtual band...and the best selling virtual band of all time. (19-2000)

43. Weezer - The Green Album (2001)
- Very few bands are ever able to come back from the dead. But no one did it with more style and more pure kick ass lightning in a bottle than this Harvard alum. The whole album clocks in at a mere 28 minutes...shorter than most Timo Maas remixes. But it's not the size that's how you use it. (Photograph)

44. Spoon - Kill The Moonlight (2002)
- Spoon really became indie rock's little brother over the decade. Though they came out of the underground...more than anyone. They've spent most of the deceade flirting with big time commercial success...but staying just under the surface. All the while, Britt Daniel continued writing rock solid songs. This second album on Merge exhibits the evolution of their style...that wouldn't stop here.

Buy these albums now...yes...right now!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The 111 Best Albums of the 2000s (45-55)

The 111 Best Albums of the 2000s (45-55):

45. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Sank (2007)
- Add one of the 80s greatest guitar forces (Johnny Marr) to one of the most exciting alternative rock bands of the decade...and what do you get? Pure rock brilliance. (Invisible)

46. The National - Boxer (2007)
- Like a 2000-ton steel train slowly rolling down the tracks. It may not move at record-breaking speeds...but it's a force to be reckoned with. (Start A War)

47. My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves (2003)
- A mammoth album when it comes to alternative country. I assume that this album so good, the band knew they would never top it...and decided to move in other directions. (Golden)

48. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (2007)
- Tweedy & a bunch of other guys put together a record that sounds like someone created a radio that allows you to hear music from the 1970s. One of the perfect lazy afternoon records.

49. Girl Talk - Night Ripper (2006)
- If you don't think you can create your own music...just take all the best music of the past 30 years and mash them all together in one big remix. Greg Gillis takes mash-ups to a whole other level with this epic tour through the history of commercial radio. It takes talent to steal something this good.

50. Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy (2008)
- I'm crazy to include this, right? And not just to include this in my list...but to make the top 50. Just say it. Say I'm crazy.'s my reasoning: During this decade, no album has been talked about, written about, discussed, downloaded, leaked, speculated, even rumored more than this album. It was a tour de force before it even came out. And when it did come had no chance. As many people who wanted to hear...just as many wanted to hate it. And many hadn't even listened to the record. But now, almost a year after its release, the record remains unique but solid effort. The album plays more like a movie score than a rock record. It challenges the concept that every song on a rock album should sound the same. It takes some gutsy chances, it pushes boundaries...sometimes with enormous payoff...sometimes not. But isn't that what great rock is supposed to be about? About challenging the norm? I honestly wish more albums sounded like this...I think rock would be alive and well if they did.

51. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular (2008)
- If GNR set the stage for the future, MGMT is that future. With an album that had more nooks and crannies than your grandmother's house, they rocketed on the scene with the uber catchy "Kids" even though the rest of the album sounded like something that might be featured on the next Nuggets box set.

52. Iron & Wine - The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002)
- If freak folk defined the indie scene this decade...I&W is the grandpappy. With the ultimate lo-fi production, it was like being transported back into time to a more peaceful era...where sitting on the porch drinking lemonade actually meant something.

53. Daft Punk - Discovery (2001)
- If you're looking for albums that weren't just great but helped shaped the decade...DP's album was the album that set the standard for club music. From the likes of Kanye West to Justice to Beck...this was the album that influenced anyone and everyone to bust a move.

54. Feist - The Reminder (2007)
- With a voice like Feist's...she could sing TV jingles and still be captivating. And with 1,2,3,4 as the perfect indie pop song...she had everyone...including pre-schoolers...singing along with her.

55. Hot Chip - The Missing (2006)
- It wasn't dance record...but it had more moves than most club albums could have dreamed for. Like the bastard offspring of Thom Yorke and Beck, it was tantilizing good time. (Colours)

Buy these albums now...right here!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The 111 Best albums of the 2000s (56-66)

The 111 Best albums of the 2000s (56-66):

56. Tegan and Sara - So Jealous (2004)
- Nothing legitimizes a band more than when you're covered by Jack White. It's like Quentin Tarantino selecting you for a soundtrack. But if being identical twin lesbian sisters wasn't enough of a lure...they girls make some of the most enticing friendly folk out there. (Take Me Anywhere)

57. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)
- This album landed like a meteor but sounded like a feather. The perfect album for huddling up in a snowy cabin by a fire. It's warm, comforting, and compulsively addictive listening. (Wolves)

58. Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight (2007)
- Jenny Lewis pushed away some fans with this very hard to grasp mish-mosh of styles. But the album isn't all over the place because they couldn't find their sound...this was their sound. They wanted it to feel like a journey...with hills and valleys. And by the end of the disc, it's a journey worth taking...over and over. (Close Call)

59. D'Angelo - Voodoo (2000)
- The last of the truly great sexual R&B. Was he getting a blow job in the video? Or just happy to be naked?

60. Stephen Malkmus - Stephen Malkmus (2001)
- No one thought the Pavement frontman could survive on his own...instead...he made a solo album so made everyone root against a Pavement reunion.

61. Royksopp - Melody AM (2001)
- This dancehall classic plays more like a film score than a pop masterpiece.

62. Thom Yorke - The Eraser (2006)
- When this album came out, most people feared that this was the end of Radiohead. It wasn' was just a way for the frontman to release all the fantastic ideas he had floating around in his head. (The Eraser)

63. Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (2008)
- An album that expanded the concept of epic sound from the band that defined the idea of epic sound.

64. The White Stripes - The Icky Thump (2007)
- Jack and Meg deliver yet another collection of kick you in the pants good old rock and roll. (I'm Slowly turning Into You)

65. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (2008)
- If the 90s were the decade of grunge, when rock exploded with feedback...this might be the decade that rejected all that...stripped everything down to simple sounds. Folk dominated...and FF's release of last year showed off that there was as much life in being mellow as there was in being loud.

66. 50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003)
- If anyone says they never once in their life hummed a few bars of the "In Da Club" or "Hey's your birthday..." they are bloody liars...or just deaf. In its day, this album was a landmark, opening the floodgates for thousands of wannabes. This album is so good, even 50's follow-up sounded like knock-offs.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (67-77)

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (67-77):

67. The Decembrists - The Crane Wife (2006) (Get it now for $5)
- Though Hazards was supposed to be Meloy's epic project, the Crane Wife may be the bands best collection to date. With fantastic songwriting that crossed epic 12 minute ecclectic compilations with blissfully Fleetwood Mac-influenced pop songs while pushing their sea shanty style to the forefront, the band delivered an album that made them popular while keeping their indie cred intact. (The Perfect Crime #2)

68. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (2006)
- Was it hip-hop? Was it electronic? Was it R&B? Was it rock n roll? What made this album so spectactular was that it was a little bit of everything...and a Violent Femmes cover that outperforms the original (IMO) never hurts.

69. El-P - Fantastic Damage (2002)
A blast of fire from the hip-hop underground came from a white guy. A new voice would break ground that is still forming the hip-hop world today. Though he keeps shaping his more recent albums in new was his first that fired the bullet from the gun.

70. Spoon - Girls Can Tell (2001)
- When Spoon jumped to Merge...half their fans left them for selling out. (And that's a hardcore fanbase who thinks Merge is selling out) But Spoon made a massive jump not just in audience but in style and substance. This album rocketed them upward as a band that now needs to be reckoned with. (Me and the Bean)

71. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (2008)
- Anytime a band's album is traded on the internet months before it comes out...there's a chance it will be good. Though this album lost some music snobs as it found itself featured on every teeny-bopper movie and TV show soundtrack, it remained one of the most talked about albums of that year....with no signs of slowing.

72. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand (2004)
- As of January, FF was not on this list. But their new releases has really given them a newfound boost of respect and influence. The has-beens are now the right now...and are making us remember that they never left.

73. Ryan Adams - Cold Roses (2005)
- Ryan's Grateful Dead opus was the first of 50 albums he released that year...and maybe his best with the now defunct Cardinals. The Dead style perfectly suited RA's talents that remains fresher than some his newer material. (How Do You Keep Love Alive?)

74. Radiohead - Kid A (2000)
- Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't get this album's popularity. It might be my least favorite Radiohead release. But this album was the one that made them the household name...and trendsetters that they are today. (Idioteque)

75. M.I.A. - Kala (2007)
- Would Slumdog millionaire have been electric with out M.I.A.? Would the Grammy's have been as exciting without her pregnant belly? And would the world of have dance survived with out her?

76. Eminem - The Eminem Show (2002)
A step-down from the epic Marshall Mathers...but still proof that Eminem was no flash in the pan. His rhymes remained crisp as he continued ripping apart his own life and those around him.

77. Linkin Park - Meteora (2003)
- Before you start bashing me for this choice. How many nu-metal bands survived? how many continued/continue to sell to this day? Linkin Park just didn't out-last the others...they pushed forward. This album wasn't just proof of their songwriting at its was also the album that launched them into rock stratosphere. And if not for this album...the collab with Jay-Z would have never legitimized mash-ups as we know.

Buy these albums now...especially if you don't have them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The 111 Best Albums of the 2000s (78-88):

May get the next 11 out tomorrow...if on a mini-vaca...will continue on Monday.

The 111 Best Albums of the 2000s (78-88):

78. Jose Gonzalez - Veneer (2005)
- JG's first solo album since his Zero 7 years is a haunting yet beautiful folk record.

79. Beck - Modern Guilt (2008)
- Beck drafts super-producer Dangermouse (whose impact is felt through this list) create an album suited for radio play in the 70s on AM...but somehow feels fresh and new for this decade.

80. The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic (2000)
- The indie supergroup featuring Neko Case, A.C. Newman, Ban Bejar (Destroyer) may be the best release any of them have done. Just a solid example of what happens when great minds think alike.

81. Pete Yorn - Musicforthemorningafter (2001)
- Pete Yorn's debut literally came out of nowhere. There was a very little buzz about this guy prior to the release...and being on Sony...there was very little thought that this might be anything more than a major label's attempt at woeing the indie crowd. But over the past decade...Pete has remained diligent about his craft, keeping it his own. And over that period...his debut has only ripened with age. (Lose You)

82. Jurassic 5 - Quality Control (2000)
- Possibly the release that legitimized the underground hip-hop movement. Though none of their other releases...solo or as a group...came close the originality or personality of this debut, the album continues to be a heralded landmark on the hip-hop landscape. (Lausd)

83. Kings of Leon - Only By Night (2008)
- Six months ago...I may not have included this...but the album has fought and clawed its way in critical and commercial success. Something that is no small feat in today's music industry. But that aside, it's just a good rock record. Not as strong as maybe their last release...but their music has matured as they have.

84. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (2007)
- Though it lacks in life and "fire" that the debut's still a collection of intensely constructed songs...dark but vibrant...morid but alive. Even when they're a half-step off their game...they're still a full step in front of everyone else. (Antichrist Television Blues)

85. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges (2008)
- The one thing severely lacking from the 2000s are the pure old fashioned rock records. A few bands tried to carry the rock n roll torch...but very few came close. But on MMJ's release from last was like the band was harnessing the past and everything that made them what they are. It may be too early to tell how great this record is...and who knows...a couple years down the road...I could see this album hanging out near the top. (The Librarian)

86. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion (2009)
- This year's front-runner is a ecclectic mix of the future of music. Many people are struggling to grasp this album, which only means it's one that takes time. And any album with that kind of attention needed is one that is usually worth the time invested.

87. Kanye West - Graduation (2007)
- Maybe the weakest of KW's non-autotune still a masterful hip-hop album and a scolding lesson of what can be accomplished with smart production. And any album that samples Daft Punk should always get an honorary listing.

88. Elliott Smith - Figure 8 (2000)
- ES' last official release before his death shows the singer growing and expanding. He may have conquered on tunes that were simple bare bones kid & and a guitar folk...but Elliott wasn't satisfied being just that. He was ready to challenge what he was capable of doing and where he could go...too bad we'll never know what he could do. (Somebody That I Used To Know)

Buy the best of the 2000s now!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (89-99)

Here are the the 111 Best Albums of the 00s (89-99):

89. Missy Elliott - Under Construction (2004)
- Her 4th album was by far her best...not that the others are too shabby. She may easily be the best female rapper of her day...if not of all time. This is her at the peak of her game.

90. Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker (2000)
- Adams' first solo album is actually a fairly tame start to the massive amount of music he would unleash on the public in the decade to come.

91. Cat Power - You Are Free (2003)
- Is it folk, it punk, is it indie, is it alternative, is it chamber music? Chan Marshall's massive seductive voice finds its groove on her 5th and best release, setting the stage for a steady impact of other stellar releases in the years to come.

92. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (2005)
- A blast of 80s retro energy, Silent Alarm was a reminder of how much fun alternative music could be. Even Ferris Bueller would have taken the day off to listen to this. (This Modern Love)

93. The Roots - Phrenology (2002)
- The 00s were littered with hip-hop artists testing the genre of what the boundaries were. The Roots had been pushing those boundaries for years...but on this release, they merged some heavy rock groves giving birth to one of the funkiest albums of the decade. (Complexity)

94. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem (2005)
- This album was a like a rocket on the club scene, reminding the world what it was like to dance to actual music instead of mind-numbing pulsating electronic dial tones. The white boy dance movement was born on this puppy. (Tribulations)

95. N.E.R.D. - In Search Of... (2002)
- Now there are two versions of this album. The regular old hip-hop version with computerized beats...and the awesomely 70s throwback version with a full band. I'm referring to the latter. It sounded like something Stevie Wonder would have jammed on with the Jackson 5 had they shared a dorm room in college...had they gone to college. (Run To The Sun)

96. Sigur Ros - Takk... (2005)
- A rich rebound from their second more mellow release. It was giant leap forward in songwriting style, crafting epic musical pieces over plain old pop songs. They also proved that you didn't need to sing in English to captivate an American audience...or that Bjork was the only talented one out of Iceland.

97. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights (2002)
- It had been a good ten years since some sounded as dark, depressed and moody as Interpol sounded on their debut. Ironically, the brooding din was a bright spot in the otherwise morbid landscape of alternative nu metal.

98. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (2009)
- The band debuted in the Billboard top 10 with this year's addition. An unheard of achievement for an indie rock band. And the album doesn't disappoint. It's like the band is breathing fresh life into their music on this glowing release. At times it sounds like they managed to harness the sound of the wilderness into a harmony. It only grows more interesting with every listen.

99. Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American (2001)
- Emo music was behind the 8-ball from the start. You can thank Dashboard Confessional for that. But if more of the releases sounded like JEW's refined pop brillance, the genre would have been much more tolerable. Instead, in its wake, we got Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco. (A Praise Chorus)

Buy these albums now...Best of the 2000s.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 111 Best Albums of the 00s (100-111)

With very few new releases of note coming out these next few weeks...I'm jumping the gun and heading into the uber list that every blogger has been waiting for since blogging was invented. Yes...that's right. It's the best of the decade...and this will be the first decade where bloggers get to weigh in on the count. Even though there's "Nevermind" or "OK Computer" this decade...there was a much stronger middle. Even chipping the list down to 111...I've left well over a 100 albums of equal quality and importance sitting on the sidelines.

And even though we have a solid 4 months of releases coming, there's no telling whether these albums will truly be the best of the decade for at least another few years. I mean what's left Jay-Z? Detox? Strong contenders...but in all honestly...only time can tell.

Here are the 111 Best Albums of the 00s (100-111):

100. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free (2004)
- Mike Skinner's concept rap album was clever, inventive and unlike anything we'd heard....and have yet to hear. (It Was Supposed to Be So Easy)

101. Madvillain - Madvillany (2004)
- One of MF Doom's many monikers found the hip-hop rapper/producer re-inventing what a song should or could be. (Fancy Clown)

102. TV on the Radio - Dear Science (2008)
- Last year's newest offering from this dynamic group didn't have the impact of their previous release (spoiler) but it still pushed the boundaries of where music could go.

103. Common - Be (2005)
- For years, Common was known as the rapper with a conscious. Content at being just underground. But on this release...he merged his smart style with bigger production and created genre-bending classic.

104. Modest Mouse - Good News For People who Love Bad News (2004)
- Isaac Brock and crew dump their artistic side and shoot for commercial success. In doing so, they become the last of the Seattle greats. (Bukowski)

105. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca (2009)
- Still a bit early to figure how mighty this album is...but its praise hasn't slowed yet.

106. Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of the Bewilderbeast (2000)
- Though Damon Gough's career has been uneven over this decade, his first offering is still a solid offering, paving the way to the freak folk bands to follow. (The Shining)

107. Radiohead - Hail To The Thief (2003)
- The Head's anti-Bush album did very little to stop him from being re-elected, or invading Iraq...but it did provide us with some great music. (There There)

108. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (2006)
- CYHSY is the first of the next generation in rock bands. Their success is laid at the feet of the bloggers who spread the praise of their debut album to their readers. They are the first true success story of the blogger-age...and it's a damn fine album to boot. (Yellow Country Teeth)

109. Sufjan Stevens - Illnoise (2005)
- Soulful folk backed by orchestras? Who could have thought that would sound good? One man made it work.

110. Brian Wilson - Smile (2004)
- A hard album to list here. Not that it's not a fantastic album...but does it really belong in the 00s? It was a hard call...there's never a bad time for Beach Boys bliss...but it edges in for purely not getting it fair shot years ago.

111. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - The Last DJ (2002)
- Though it was panned by critics...had minimal sales...and barely any radio play, TP's inditement of the radio/music industry now sounds like an eerie premonition of the decade that would come. Bashing the DJ-less radio playlists, rock stars created from game shows, and soaring ticket prices that milk kids of their last dime, The Last DJ sounds less like a prediction and more like a warning. Too bad no one heeded it. (The Last DJ)

Buy These albums now at Best of the 00s.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The 11 Best John Hughes Music Moments

John Hughes' defined a generation. Not only did his movies provide us a realistic cast of characters that to this day are closer to us than some of the friends that we actually knew in real life...but they provided the soundtrack to our lives. How many of you think of Ferris Bueller anytime you hear Danke Schoen or Twist and Shout? How many of you say "Big Ben...Parliment" anytime you hear Lindsey Buckingham's Holiday Road? How many women dreamed to have a moment when their boyfriend was waiting for them outside of church while the Thompson Twins played in the background? And how many people ran down their school hallway singing the The Airborne Ranger Fight song...thinking it was a U2 song?

Even though Spielberg is considered the ultimate 80s director...I think Hughes may have been the most influential.

The 11 Best John Hughes Music Moments:

1. Danke Schoen - Wayne Newton/Twist and Shout - The Beatles (Ferris Bueller dancing on the float in the middle of the parade - Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
2. Don't You Forget About Me - Simple Minds (John Bender walking across the football field - Breakfast Club)
3. If You Were Here - Thompson Twins (Jake Ryan waiting by his car outside the church - Sixteen Candles)
4. Pretty in Pink - Psychadelic Furs (Theme Song - Pretty in Pink)
5. Oh Yea - Yello (Ferris Bueller checking out the Ferrari - Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
6. She Loves Me - Stephen Hague (Watts and Keith kiss in the garage - Some Kind of Wonderful)
7. This Woman's Work - Kate Bush (Hospital Scene - She's Having A Baby)
8. If You Leave - OMD (Prom Scene - Pretty in Pink)
9. Holiday Road - Lindsey Buckinham (anytime the Griswalds were being chased for screwing up America or Europe - Vacation & European Vacation)
10. Weird Science - Oingo Boingo (Theme Song - Weird Science)
11. Can't Help Falling In Love With You (You look good wearing my future - Some Kind of Wonderul)

Honorable Mention -

March of the Swivelheads - The English Beat (Ferris Bueller runs home - Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The 11 Best Modest Mouse Songs

I'm back from my extended hiatus of vacations...birthday parties...big work projects...and all night drinking binges in North Korea (seriously you have to try the Kanggye if you can). It's been a slow period for big releases...even Modest Mouse could only afford to put out an EP.

That said...probably the biggest news in music occurred this month. One of the greatest websites devoted to music (EMUSIC) has completely changed its operating proceedures. I could do a top 11 (or bottom 11) of all the changes that have impaired a once great pinnacle of musical hope. Prices have gone up...downloads per month have gone down. Sharing eliminated. Site runs slower. Site has more bugs. And what do we get in return? Catalogs by Pearl Jam, Michael Jackson, Modest Mouse and Bruce Springsteen. Whoopee...who didn't own all that stuff already? What a waste.

And why is making a list of the best Modest Mouse songs so hard? What are your lists people?!!

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Modest Mouse:

1. Trailer Trash (The Lonesome Crowded West)
2. Dashboard (We Were Dead Before The Ship Sank)
3. Custom Concern (This is a Long Drive)
4. Teeth Like God's Shoeshine (The Lonesome Crowded West)
5. The View (Good News For People Who Love Bad News)
6. Florida (We Were Dead Before The Ship Sank)
7. Float On (Good News For People Who Love Bad News)
8. Breakthrough (This is a Long Drive)
9. Spitting Venom (We Were Dead Before The Ship Sank)
10. Doin The Cockroach (The Lonesome Crowded West)
11. Fly Trapped in a Jar (We Were Dead Before The Ship Sank)

Buy the new Modest Mouse EP, No One's First, and You're Next.