Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunless Shortlist: Best of 2000's (25-21)

This is a daunting list, but here we go. I just had to do this.

This list is for the most important decade of my life. It's my twentieth decade... no wait, my second decade. My twenties. I turned 20 this decade. And 21. And 29.

I also lived in four cities in three states. I got a nephew. And a niece. I went to Seattle. I totaled my car. Broke my neck. Then bought a couple more cars. I swam in the ocean for the first time. Touched a jellyfish... gross. Got a Playstation 2. Then got a Playstation 3. And a Wii. Got and lost Huxley. And Daniel. Still have Sophie and Mika, though. I also got really into running. Then I got really lazy again. Then again. Then again. I really broke down with technology, got a digital camera and an iPod. I went to DC for the first time. And went back a million more times. I got engaged. It's been pretty nice.

I also bought a shit ton of music this decade. Like a ridiculous amount of music. That's why this list was so daunting. I have changed this list a million times, so I figured I better go ahead and start posting and second guess myself later. Which I will. I'm going to post this in sections. As I go through this list, I've been listening to every album again. Being that I work a lot, and have a relationship at home, and there are only so many hours in the day, it's been a slow process. And it will be a slow process. But I think the list is set now. I think.

So I'll begin. This is the 2000s. Or was. Or the two-thousands. Or aughts, right? Or the oh-ohs. Whatever this decade was called. Or is, I guess...

25. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006)

Epic. Everything about this album is epic. Yo La Tengo is famous for their 10+ minute guitar shreiks, and this album starts with one of their best. As if that wasn't enough, the album ends with one that's even better. Epic. Even the intermission at the center of the album is almost 9 minutes. With the length of this album, it's amazing that it never gets boring. Every song skews a musical genre, and makes it a Yo La Tengo song.

24. The White Stripes - Elephant (2003)

There are plenty of bands that appeared this decade that had some flashes of brilliance, but now seem dismissible. Some of those bands appear on this list. The White Stripes do not fall into this category. Jack White's personality falls into this category. No matter what your thoughts on his celebrity, or Meg White's terrible drumming, you cannot deny this band's impact on this decade. This album is the best example of who the White Stripes are. There isn't much experimentation here, and the sound they use is best exemplified in these songs. Plus the best videos of the decade came from this album. So there.

23. The Strokes - Is This It (2001)

The Strokes were the first hype band of the decade. I tend to start the backlash against hype bands before they are even released. This is definitely the case with the Strokes. I really, really wanted to hate the Strokes. Thankfully, I took a chance with this album and loved it. The other problem with hype bands is their value over time. Well I listened to this album again as I was making this list and it still holds up just fine. I'd rather listen to the Velvet Underground, but still not bad for the present wannabe equivalent. That wasn't a burn, by the way. I don't think.

22. Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism (2003)

As I have been working on this list, I have been listening to many albums I know I once loved. Quite a few of these don't exactly hold up over time. Maybe it's my change in taste, and often it's just that the music wasn't as strong as I once thought. I didn't expect to appreciate this album as much as I once did, and I am stunned that I do. Death Cab is definitely not my thing anymore, but I'm glad I'm mature enough to understand good music when I hear it. This is really, really good music.

21. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife (2006)

This album took my life over during the fall of 2006. Even now this album reminds me of the fall. I guess it's hitting me perfectly all over again. I had worn this music out, and now it's like I'm hearing it again for the first time. And it still reminds me of the fall.
And it's just great.