Saturday, January 7, 2012

2001: Music that has endured? My top 10 looking back

Doo Doo Doo
Bom Bom Bom

Laasssstttt Niigghhhttt I tried to listen to the strokes again
After a decade of ignoring them
And they bored me to tears, and I fear that the White Stripes will continue to do the same to me.

For the longest time I have been feeling like just looking back at the past year really doesn’t tell the story of what was good and bad beyond initial reactions.  Especially when it comes to music I think that’s it’s more and more important to see what is still listenable a decade later. For that reason I present the top ten albums of 2001 as culled from my memory banks by me.

Adam West: Right On!
The Billy Nayer Show: The American Astronaut STK
The Damned Grave Disorder
The Faint: Dance Marcrba
The Flaming Sideburns: Hallelujah Rock 'N' Rollah
The Groovie Ghoulies: Freaks on Parade
Monster Magnet: God Says No
The Soundtrack of our lives: Behind the music
Hemi Cuda- Music for Lovers
Manic Hispanic: The Recline Of Mexican Civilization

I look at this list and think, really? Did I miss something along the way? There are a couple of album here that I really like and find that I still listen to plenty, and then there are some that I don’t love so much and some that I can’t imagine being my fave from 2001. Was that year in music really that bad? I am not sure that I can even point to a number 1 album from the bunch. If there was one that I had to pick for your average rock fan it would easily be the Soundtrack of Our Lives albums and after that, either the Damned album or the Flaming Sideburns. The Ghoulies provided another solid fun pop garage punk record that contains some of their best songs ever.

And honestly if there is one record from that year that I can recommend it’s a box set and I have left it off the list as all of the music was from the 60s. Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 was the real find of the year, and while not as classic as the first Nuggets Box it is a must for any real rock fan.

What haven’t I talked about? Adam West and Hemi Cuda, a pair of high-energy rock and roll groups from the good old USA. Adam West was fronted by Jake Starr a true gent and a man that I have been happy to have known and spent some time with in the late 90s and early 2000s.  Hemi Cuda appears to have been a one shot wonder from somewhere out west. They were a Fistful of Rock type bands, and speaking of the Fistful of Rock comps, they launched in 1990 and faltered pretty quickly. What was proposed as a one year project took several years and morphed along the way. It was an interesting attempt to get the Hi Energy Garage Punk underground into people ears, and maybe someday will be rediscovered…. But alas too many people were too busy listening to the Strokes or the White Stripes and thinking that was Rock and Roll.

2001 wasn’t a great year for much and to me the music of the time wasn’t much better. There were a few gems and a lot of hums. Just looking at my 2002 list (Tune next year for that one) I am more impressed and excited.

The 2001 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll
1. Bob Dylan: "Love and Theft" (Columbia)
2. The Strokes: Is This It (RCA)
3. Bjork: Vespertine (Elektra)
4. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Sympathy for the Record Industry)
5. Radiohead: Amnesiac (Capitol)
6. Ryan Adams: Gold (Lost Highway)
7. Jay-Z: The Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella)
8. The Coup: Party Music (75 Ark)
9. Lucinda Williams: Essence (Lost Highway)
10. Rufus Wainwright: Poses (DreamWorks)

Pitchfork Top 20 of 2001
20 Fugazi  The Argument  
 19 Dntel  Life is Full of Possibilities
18 Beta Band  Hot Shots II 
17 Cannibal Ox  The Cold Vein
16 Jim O'Rourke  Insignificance
15 Strokes  Is This It
14 Dismemberment Plan Change
13 Les Savy Fav  Go Forth
12 Mouse on Mars Idiology
11 Autechre  Confield
10 Prefuse 73  Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives
09 New Pornographers  Mass Romantic
08 White Stripes  White Blood Cells  
07 Múm  Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK
06 Radiohead  Amnesiac
05 Circulatory System Circulatory System
04 Unwound Leaves Turn Inside You
03 Avalanches  Since I Left You
02 Fennesz  Endless Summer
01 Microphones  The Glow, Pt. 2

Thoughts, comments, your faves of 2001?

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