Top 100 Albums 2000-2009: 71-80

Now we’re deep into it.

71. Fantasies (2009) – Metric
72. Vampire Weekend (2008) – Vampire Weekend
73. The Boy With No Name (2007) – Travis
74. The Ecstatic (2009) – Mos Def
75. Show Your Bones (2006) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
76. Come to Where I’m From (2000) – Joseph Arthur
77. Accelerate (2008) – R.E.M.
78. 19 (2008) – Adele
79. Writer’s Block (2007) – Peter Bjorn and John
80. Learn to Sing Like a Star (2007) – Kristin Hersh

Best-2000-71-80comments: The first two of any 2009 albums appear here. It’s hard to judge whether or not Fantasies or The Estatic have staying power, but I can’t stop playing either and both will be at the top of my year end list. Accelerate was a return to form for R.E.M. And 19 was worthy of Adele’s Grammy

Top 100 albums 2000-2009: 100-91

Over then next two weeks I’m going to be posting my favorite albums of the past 10 years, 2000-2009. Note I say my favorites – I know that there are albums that I might have missed or should have been higher, but these are the ones I think rank.

I won’t talk about all of the albums. Only comments where necessary. Would love to hear your comments.

91. Kill the Moonlight (2002) – Spoon
92. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah (2005) – Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah
93. You & Me (2008) – The Walkmen
94. Born Again in the USA (2006) – Loose Fur
95.  musicforthemorningafter (2001) – Pete Yorn
96. You Were Here (2000) – Sarah Harmer
97. Alligator (2005) – The National
98. Sunset Studies (2000) – Augie March
99. These Four Walls (2006) – Shawn Colvin
100. The Weight is a Gift (2005) – Nada Surf

comments: Loose Fur is a side protect of Jeff Tweedy and Born Again in the USA was an album I liked more than most Wilco albums of the decade. musicforthemorningafter by Pete Yorn has some great. Spoon had a great decade and became one of my favorite bands. Kill the Moonlight has some great songs and a lot of songs you’ve heard in movies and television.

Best music of the decade – coming next week

First off – yes the current decade ends on December 31, 2009 at 11:59 PM. No the decade does not end on that same date in 2010. It’s funny how much confusion there is about this. I believe people are remembering that the last millennium ended January 1, 2001, but millenniums and decades are two different things – hence the two different names. Plus…

I don’t care. I will be posting a list of the top 100 albums (my favorites) of the past 10 years (2000-2009) – if you count, you’ll see there’s 10 years there.

It’s been difficult to make sure I don’t miss anything. Also difficult is ranking albums that are very recent or that I haven’t heard in awhile. Getting to 100 was a chore, but they’re all good quality albums and a good snapshot of the decade.

Tune in Monday for albums 100-91.

Getting good music without reading reviews

album-fat-cityBack when I first started buying CDs, prior to the internet, I ended up with some stinkers. I bought many an album based on the cover art alone. Sometimes it worked (Shawn Colvin looking cute on the cover of Fat City), sometimes it didn’t (4 Non-blondes were non-talented).  With all the music I listen to, I never get a bad one – and it has nothing to do with reviews. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t trust them.

I’ve seen a few bad reviews over the past few months of albums I’ve ultimately thought were pretty decent. One that comes to mind is Ida Maria’s album Fortress ‘Round My Heart. I’ve also seen some middling reviews on Wilco’s new album Wilco [The Album]. Let me say that both deserve better, but that’s not the purpose of this post.

idea_mariaWith all the resources available to people, the purpose of a review seems rather dated. Wilco streamed their new album for a month prior to release; Ida Maria was all over Myspace prior to breaking it big. With all the access to free, legal ways to sample music – relying on reviews doesn’t make sense.

I’ve already written about the virtues of Daytrotter – but I can’t say it enough – they provide great access to some of the best up and coming (and some already there) musicians. And it’s all free. Speaking of free; often going to a band’s website will get you access to free music.

Finally I’ve used Metacritic for years; like Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic provides a rating based on averaging a broad number of publications. That way you’re not basing it the opinion of one. If you insist on reviews, this is a great way to go.

I’m not saying that reviews don’t have a purpose. They often point me in a direction. What I am saying is to use the resources available to make your experience better.

Cheap good music: Fanfarlo – “Reservoir”

Thanks to Kelly’s Alter Ego for this one. I downloaded  Fanfarlo’s Reservoir which can be had for the fan-friendly price of $1 through the Fanfarlo website or the link below. For a dollar, I’ll try anything (probably why my iPhone is is loaded with crappy 99 cent apps).  Anyway.

Upon one listen, this is a dollar very well spent. They sort of remind me of Andrew Bird (the voice) meets the Decemberists (friends, that’s a good thing). I love  artists that market themselves this way – I read a book recently about music marketing and it made the statement that “first you listen to music, then you like it, then you buy it; it can happen in no other sequence.” This is how it worked in the past with radio, but the new economy changed how you listen. And the lack of compelling radio meant that people found other often illegal means to listen. Giving people the opportunity to first listen  is crucial to artist success.

You can listen to some songs below and if you like, click the download button.

Juliette Lewis can’t lose – Daytrotter sessions

If you’re a indie or alternative music fan, and aren’t acquainted with Daytrotter, you need to acquaint yourself. Daytrotter is an indie music site like no other. They convince many up and coming and emerging artists to stop by their studios to do sessions with them.  They record these sessions and then offer them on their website for free. Their charge is to feature one new band a day, everyday, and to present 28 Daytrotter Session songs a week.  The list of artists is impressive: Aimee Mann, Death Cab for Cutie, Grizzly Bear, Spoon, Bon Iver, Juliette Lewis (more on her later) and the list goes on.

Recently Daytrotter posted a session with Juliette Lewis – yeah, that Juliette Lewis. I’m not used to actors actually being any good at music. Usually the best you can hope for is that thejuliette-lewis-daytrottery not embarrass themselves. Zoey Deschanel should have changed my mind about that, but it really hasn’t. Anyway, Lewis’ Daytrotter session is actually one of my favorites. It’s loose, spirited, and fun. Reminds me of Maria McKee in spots – that jangly, southern rock thing that started with Janis Joplin. I know I’m throwing out some big names there, but over the course of 4 songs – it’s easy to keep up appearances.

Plus it’s free but for the cost of your time to download and listen.

Juliette Lewis – Daytrotter Session

Aimee Mann – Daytrotter Session

Spoon – Daytrotter Session

Death Cab for Cutie – Daytrotter Session

Music of 2009: Bishop Allen – Grrr…

Grrr...

Bishop Allen has been around for awhile – they come out of that Brooklyn scene that has given us so many bands. Their current album Grrr… gives you more of what they’re good at – smart sounding indie pop, great wordplay, and infectious hooks. A friend of mine  insists  that their song “Click, Click, Click, Click”, from their previous album The Broken String is one of the best pop songs he’s ever heard. I think songs like “Dimmer” and “True Or False” have it matched. Trust me – this is straight out pop – so if you’re looking for thrashing guitars and screaming singers – I got nothing for you today.

 

Listen to if you like: Vampire Weekend or Ra Ra Riot.

Best songs: Dimmer, True or False

Bishop Allen – Grrr… (iTunes) |  (Amazon MP3)

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