The Best of the ’00s Part 7: #40-31

On we go!

40 Death Cab for Cutie – Plans (2004) (left) – Fact: I listened to “Marching Bands of Manhattan” on my way to my Seattle bus stop every day for almost 5 months. And I’d do it again.

39 The White Stripes – De Stijl (2000) – The first of three from Jack & Meg on my list, probably the rawest and could easily have fallen almost anywhere in the top 40.

38 Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) – It is odd, I thought that their debut would have fared better in my mind than the 38 slot, but here we are. Maybe I’m just not as dark as I was 8 years ago.

37 Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock and Roll (2006) – Really, this album is pure pop fluff. Not that it is pop music as such – closer to post-punk than anything, but at least at this stage of the Art Brut career arc, they still existed as almost a novelty. That being said, “Emily Kane” might have been one of the catchiest songs of the decade.

36 Jens Lekman – When I Said I Wanted to be Your Dog (2004) – Not to say this was a transformative album for me, but “You are the Light (By Which I Travel into This and That)” could be the song I listened to the most in the first half of the decade.

35 Metric – Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003) (right) – It is hard for me to deny the fact that a large portion of my love for Metric lies with Emily Haines. So I won’t.

34 The White Stripes – Elephant (2003) – I think I read somewhere that “Seven Nation Army” might be the most downloaded song of the 2000s. Is this really a surprise? However, it is “Ball & Biscuit” that really stands out on the White Stripes top 10 smash.

33 Morrissey – You are the Quarry (2004) – Would you have guessed that Moz would have such a late career surge? Yeah, probably. He is the Sinatra of modern rock – just look for his “Duets” album sometime around 2018.

32 New Pornographers – Electric Version (2003) – I think I’ve already mentioned the idea that the New Pornographers, in my mind, have always been better than the sum of their parts. I’ve tried to get into all the Neko Case or Destroyer or  A.C. Newman albums, but nothing gets me going like all their powers working together.

31 Blue Scholars – Blue Scholars (2006) (left) – Very few people outside of Seattle have likely ever heard of the Blue Scholars, and yes, I am likely subconsciously biased by an hip hop act with an MC called Geologic, but the Blue Scholars debut was enthralling from start to finish (especially “No Rest for the Weary”).

Here is the iTunes iMix for #40-31.

And if you missed them, here are #100-9190-8180-7170-6160-51, 50-41.

The Best of the ’00s Part 3: #80-71

Off we go!

80 The Breeders – Title TK (2002) (left) – I’ve forgiven Kim Deal for the bodily injury inflicted on me in 1994. I have also forgiven her for taking her time between Breeders albums. I think many people were disappointed with Title TK as it had no “Cannonball” and felt more like a home demo than an album 8 years in the making (well, it might not have been in the making for all those years).

79 Amon Tobin – Supermodified (2000) – I remember having a conversation with someone in 2000 about how electronic wasn’t just a flash in the pan but it was hear to stay. Sadly, looking back on that, it was sort of like Homer claiming that the height of rock and roll was Grand Funk Railroad. It doesn’t mean that the decade was bereft of excellent electronic, it just means that it quickly receded into the background (or hybridized effectively).

78 Passion Pit – Manners (2009) – Speaking of which, this might be a prime example of the electro-hybridization. There is a level of uncomfortableness in the album, maybe with the forced falsetto vocals or children yelling the chorus, but really, that is what made it so fascinating. Or maybe I just like music that makes me feel a little uneasy, much like …

77 Xiu Xiu – Fabulous Muscles (2004) – I give a lot of people a hard time for listening to bands that I consider, well, unlistenable because all they seem to do is f&%k around with instruments and suddenly get praised for their genius. Then I think that I might not have an appendage on which to stand because of my undying love for Xiu Xiu. Too bad, I’m going to go on living with this inconsistency.

76 The Faint – Danse Macabre (2001) – My friend Melissa, who seems to have vanished into oblivion, introduced me to the Faint in a record store somewhere in Cambridge. I probably spent a good part of the next year listening to this album.

75 New Pornographers – Mass Romantic (2001) (right) – I checked both Mass Romantic and Electric Version out from the Corvallis Public Library (nice job on the part of the music purchasers there), not really knowing what to expect beyond the fact that I had read “hey, the New Pornographers are good.” The last thing I expected was a pile of power pop that was like a lo-fi revival of the Cars (but better).

74 Hot Chip – Made in the Dark (2008) – Sometimes I think that Hot Chip will slowly climb into the top 10 of my favorite bands – sort of like a Pet Shop Boys 2.0. Made in the Dark did nothing to dispel that notion.

73 YACHT – I Believe in You. Your Magic is Real (2007) – I think this album is a fine example of what happens when a band that spent too much time dithering around on previous albums trying to be “experimental” sits down and tries to write pop songs. And yes, it works like a charm. Note to many bands: being catchy and succinct isn’t a sin.

72 Ratatat – Remixes Vol. 1 and 2 (2004/2007) – Maybe I cheated a little bit by including these unreleased (well, released briefly for free on the internet) remix albums on this list, but very few ‘mix tape’ adventures had as much of an impact on my listening habits as Ratatat’s. I eagerly await Vol. 3.

71 Tilly & the Wall – Wild Like Children (2004) (left) – I am a sucker for charming bands and Tilly & the Wall turned the charm dial up to 11. Tap dance percussion? Check. Mixed male-female vocals? Check. Songs about love? Check. They might be a little gimmicky, but you know, sometimes that AOK.

Here is your iTunes iMix for 80-71, which sadly lacks any of the Ratatat remixes and oddly, the Breeders (go figure, iTunes lacks Title TK). Thankfully you can find Ratatat’s remix of Allure on Youtube (audio only) and the Breeders’ “Huffer” (on Conan) as well.

Best of the ’00s Part 1: 100-91

Best of the ’00s Part 2: 90-81

And so it begins … Erik Gonzalez 100

So, starting tomorrow I will be posting the Erik Gonzalez 100 in segments of 10, working our way up to the top over the next few weeks. I’ll have commentary on each album, so it might take a few days between entries. Feel free to comment on any of my picks or comments.

I thought as a teaser, I’d list my numbers 110-101 as sort of a “just missed.” It might give you an inkling of what is to come (and to show how hard it is to make the list and try to make it be something beyond a qualitative list … heck, a lot of these albums might have easily made the top 100).

  • 110. AC/DC: Back in Black
  • 109. Beastie Boys: Check Your Head
  • 108. Violent Femmes: Violent Femmes
  • 107. Chemical Brothers: Exit Planet Dust
  • 106. New Pornographers: Mass Romantic
  • 105. Amon Tobin: Bricolage
  • 104. The Streets: A Grand Don’t Come for Free
  • 103. Guns ‘N Roses: Appetite for Destruction
  • 102. The Roots: Things Fall Apart
  • 101. Quasi: Featuring ‘Birds’

The rest will be coming soon!