Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Best of the Oughts: Albums 61-70

And so the list continues...

It's actually getting really good around here. I still listen to several of the following records on a regular basis. Dan Bejar makes two appearances on this ten. Three of the bands feature strong female performers. The top two bands on this section of the list are scattered throughout the top-100, making them both strong candidates for band of the decade honors. This is getting fun.

70. M Ward - The Transfiguration of Vincent
This one was given to us by an artist friend who doesn't really follow that much music, but she was right to spread the M Ward. Is there any voice this side of Jim James that is more haunting? I think not.

69. Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams
I realize that this might not be Bejar's best material, but this is the album I've got. He's so weird in his writing and vocal stylings that he draws you in and makes him your favorite New Pornographer every time.

68. Sonic Youth - Murray Street
This one fits somewhere in SY's trilogy of post-9/11 efforts, but I don't exactly remember where. Whatever, for my money, outside of Daydream Nation, this era of Sonic Youth is the best. They were able to take the extremes of experimentation to a place that was listenable and approachable but still not conventional. That's not easy to do.

67. Swan Lake - Enemy Mine
This album grabbed me from the first listen. It's so big and weird and all three male voices intertwined in some three-way action. It's good. It's pure rock.

66. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell
This is the peak of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' ride. They just left their rough, indie beginnings and entered their ready-for-radio era. Before this, they were almost unlistenable. After this, they were practically Britney Spears. And the answer is 'yes, I overuse hyperbole.'

65. Cat Power - You Are Free
What a great protest record, even if it wasn't meant to be. Before Chan Marshal turned to soul and R&B legends, she turned to grunge gurus (Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl) for this excellent post-9/11 work (though recorded prior to that day). Like PJ Harvey, Marshal didn't mean to respond to 9/11, she just did.

64. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
Ominous. That's how we all felt after 9/11 and stolen elections and once we listened to this album. Radiohead encapsulated this time perfectly. (Sorry for all the 9/11 connections. It's inspiring another list. Don't you worry.)

63. Loose Fur - Loose Fur
This album maybe better represents what Wilco was messing around with in the studio when they tried to piece together Yankee Hotel Foxtrot than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot did. That and I love pseudo-super groups.

62. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
This album was so good that it bled into the next release, The Stand Ins. Will Sheff is a fantastic songwriter and he describes show business in a way that makes it familiar to even the most isolated. He has to be one of the most dynamic performers in indie rock and this album showcases that fact.

61. The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows I know that this is where The Walkmen begin and end for most folks. My line of the decade resides in this album. ("When I used to go out I would know everyone that I saw / Now I go out alone if I go out at all") The record is a testament to the most sonic material of the band's young life. Where most of their albums are woozy, boozy bar tributes, this one focuses on the confusion and dissolution we feel after a long night hopping from joint to joint.

1 comment:

Dirk Wayne said...

If you dug Trouble In Dreams, you should really check out This Night. I was talking to one of Dan Bejar's merch guys and he was saying that the musicians on that album are the same ones on this album. I saw Destroyer at the Duck Room in May last year and I felt like I could explode from joy.

Also, that Bay of Pigs EP I mentioned has a sort of different take on the Trouble In Dreams song Rivers called Ravers. He and Dan Boeckner should do a cage fight for the best Dan. Fogerty is not invited.