Best of the 00s

Top 200 Albums of the 00s | Top 60 Artists | 00s Breakdown: Top 13 Genre Lists | Top 100 Movies | Television | Top 60 Shows | Top 13 Books – Fiction; Music & Rock ‘n’ Roll Fiction; Graphic Novels & Comics
TV On The Radio

It’s been a blur of stolen elections, downspiraling economies, mounting debt, and a paranoid entertainment industry relentlessly jerking their customers around, yadda yadda. I’ll skip the futility of trying to encapsulate what it all meant. Despite everything, some great albums were written, recorded, released, sold, bought, consumed, ripped, and re-consumed. Despite alarmist reports to the contrary, the album is not dead. Nothing has effectively replaced it, and every album of this list can still be found on CD. There are certainly some people who stopped buying or even listening to whole albums, but they don’t really like music all that much anyway and don’t count. The era of blockbusters of course is over, because the industry no longer has a stranglehold on bottlenecking the variety of what we choose to listen to. As much as they’d like twenty million people to all buy the same ten albums at Walmart, we have a far wider variety of choices than ever before. The era of consensus is over, and canons are always questionable. That may sound strange coming from a compulsive listmaker, but I’m all for supporting a variety of opinions. Lists aren’t very interesting if they’re all alike. Just because lists can be challenged doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. When I first started working on my decade list in 2007, I used critic’s polls and books like the MOJO Collection and 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die to find albums I’ve overlooked, reconsidered ones I’ve dismissed, and get a different perspective on ones I’m familiar with. Whether I agree or not, I often hear things I didn’t notice before.

Even with the endless streams of new music and the explosion of music blogs (and for the past couple months, albums of the decade lists), some cluster groupthinking does occur, and many of the artists at the top of my list will seem, *yawn*, predictable. That part is inevitable. The top of my list is dominated by bands I love beyond logical reason – TV On The Radio, Colour Haze, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Radiohead, Queens Of The Stone Age. I could have inserted more "interesting" entries to be cool, but I think it’s important to be honest here, and go with my gut. Don’t let it distract you from digging deeper and finding out what’s so special about Nação Zumbí, King Midas Sound, Sussan Deyhim, Torche, Boris, My Computer, Sketch Show and Arto Lindsay. You just might find a new obsession to start of the new decade with.

The Best Albums of the 00s

  1. TV On The Radio – Dear Science, (DGC/Interscope) 08TV On The Radio - Dear Science
  2. It’s an unfair burdon to lay on any one particular album to be declared the best of the decade. Most won’t agree, but to me it’s the obvious high point of a band that pretty much started near the top with the astounding Young Liars EP in 2003 (not counting their OK Calculator demo). Some prefer Return To Cookie Mountain, which is certainly brilliant. But it has a couple difficult songs that don’t completely work, while I believe every track on Dear Science is a killer. It’s only a single album, and may not even be the one I play the most in the long run. But it still sounds to me like the best I’ve heard since Maxinquaye. Full review.

  3. Colour Haze – All (Elektrohasch) 08Colour Haze - All
  4. With their inauspicious beginning in the early 90s influenced by grunge and Monster Magnet, Colour Haze locked onto their sound and purpose, a Kyuss-influenced blend of desert stoner rock and their own hypnotic, jammy backgrounds in German rock. They kicked off the 00s with their fourth album, Ewige Blumenkraft in 2001, and reached their dazzling peak with All. No other band came close to releasing six albums in this decade where each one is arguably better than the last.

  5. Radiohead – Kid A (Capitol) 00Radiohead - Kid A
  6. It’s hard to overestimate the impact Kid A made at the beginning of the decade. Post-rock and the sort of glitchy electronica found on labels like Warp were plugging away throughout the late 90s, helping music evolve in small babysteps while maintaining a decent following. But most mainstream listeners remained blissfully unaware. That is, until their favorite bombastic stadium rock band dove into it. Many predicted disaster, that they would lose most of their audience. Thom Yorke’s usually soaring vocals were chopped and mutilated almost beyond recognition. Heck, they even voluntarily leaked it before its release on Napster! Instead, it sold like hotcakes. The music was certainly experimental, but not inaccessible. They managed to marry electronic experimentation with tuneful songcraft and end up with something powerful. It served as a great example of a band’s ability to challenge their audience without losing it, and helped pave the way for many others to more fearlessly pursue their muse without compromise.

  7. TV On The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain (4AD/Interscope) 06TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
  8. This was their most challenging album that demands that you invest time to absorb it (it took me two months), and rewards with some of the most dense but captivating music. Even the couple of experiments that don’t seem entirely successful are still impressive. Even while retired, David Bowie still has a nose for greatness and emerged to contribute backing vocals to “Province.” After most bands release the best album of their career so far, it’s usually doubtfull they will ever surpass it. But with TVOTR, I knew in my gut they had loads more potential in whatever they tackled next, be it avant or pop or both. Full review.

  9. Björk – Vespertine (Elektra) 01Björk - Vespertine
  10. From the ragamuffin post-punk pixy in obscure 80s bands Exodus and KUKL to avant-indie siren in The Sugarcubes to 90s diva, Björk’s persona grew larger which each reinvention. It’s hard to say whether she surpassed the career highlight of 1997′s amazing Homogenic, but Vespertine without a doubt sees her holding her peak with one of the most perfectly gorgeous albums ever. Full review.

  11. PJ Harvey – Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (Island) 00PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
  12. Those who were impressed by Polly Harvey in the 90s simply because she seemed outrageous missed the point. She’s simply one of the best songwriters around. She proves it here by toning down the drama and art damage, and creating her most consistent batch of songs, polished down to a glossy sheen that should have stormed the charts. It didn’t quite happen that way, and her tour with U2 was a gross mismatch in styles. Her subsequent solo shows were triumphant, however, beginning the decade at a highpoint before retreating to more introverted experimentalism. Full review.

  13. The Strokes – Is This It (RCA/BMG) 01The Strokes - Is This It
  14. Following a tradition that goes back at least as far as Jimi Hendrix, NYC natives The Strokes first broke in the UK before debuting their album in the U.S. It worked brilliantly, so well that the Strokes mania seemed like too much hyperbole. Why all the fuss about a simple pop band that references the sounds of the Velvets and mid-70s CBGBs? Hindsight shows that their balance of infectious hooks, grimey lower east-side history, and somewhat affected hipster cool was unsurpassed by anyone else the rest of the decade. They were unable to improve on that perfection with two further solid albums, but earned themselves a fair amount of respect over time, with Is This It topping several decade album lists. It may seem slight for such an honor, but it obviously has staying power. Full review.

  15. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever To Tell (Interscope) 03 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
  16. Like TV On The Radio and The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs showed they were special from their very first EP, released in 2002. I saw them live that fall, and they sold out the venue before even putting out an album. We learned that it wasn’t just hype. This was your new favorite band, one of the very best of the decade. “Maps” became a sensation, and rather than struggle to match its success, the band just kept getting better. Unlike The Strokes, their subsequent two albums could reasonably be considered more consistently great than their debut. However, it’s hard to match the the thrill of first impact, and the visceral tension between their feral Pixies & Babes In Toyland influenced rockers with the emotional whallop of one of the greatest singles of the decade, and “Y Control” and “Modern Romance.” Full review.

  17. Queens Of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf (Interscope) 02 Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf
  18. Stoner rock has been around since the 80s, when bands like Overkill, The Melvins, Earth, Sleep and Monster Magnet mixed influences from two black behemoths – Black Sabbath and Black Flag. In the 90s, Kyuss came up with their own signature desert rock sound, only to break up before they could really take off. Leader Josh Homme took the next step on the first Queens of the Stone Age debut, adding a touch of psychedelia, perhaps influenced by his stint with Screaming Trees. Rated R took a big step forward with catchy hooks and amazing songs like “In The Fade” assisted by Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan. Songs For The Deaf perfected that phase with their most consistent set of songs, nicely balancing the creative tension between Homme and Nick Oliveri, who alternates between screamo punk, and almost sugary pop melodies. The band hasn’t been quite the same since his departure, though they’re still remain the most reliable source of enduring hard rock. Full review.

  19. TV On The Radio – Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (Touch & Go) 04 TV On The Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
  20. TV On The Radio is the band of the decade, but three albums in the top ten? After seeing other lists top heavy with Bob Dylan or The White Sripes, I have no problem with this. They’re my favorite band, and have not let me down yet. Here they reprised the best song from the Young Liars EP, “Staring At The Sun,” which is nearly surpassed by both “Dreams” and “Ambulance.” Six years later, their signature hybrid of doo-wop and post-rock soundscapes is still startlingly fresh. Full review.

  21. Electric Wizard – Dopethrone (Rise Above/Candlelight) 00Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
  22. After a fairly standard doom metal debut, Dorset, England’s Electric Wizard re-wrote the rulebook on what it meant to be heavy on their second album, Come My Fanatics… (1996). But it was their third album that would secure their standing as heaviest band in the universe, with its perfect mix of DDD chords (downtuned, downtempo, distorted) and massive and memorable riffs. They nearly broke up after the tepid response to their second album, but instead they scientifically (or rather herbally) calibrated the heaviest sound ever. While they’ve put out good albums since, they haven’t come close to this kind of greatness.

  23. Colour Haze – Tempel (Elektrohasch) 06Burial - Untrue
  24. After releasing a double album breakthrough, and a perfect sounding masterpiece, it would be understandable if Colour Haze simply accepted their reign atop stoner-psych rock mountain and coasted from there on. Lucky for use the band tirelessly strive to push forward with their chops, their recording techniques, and evolving sound. This time the Hammond organ appears on a few tracks to nice effect, and new harmonics and delays are introduced for a psychedelic twist. Highlights include “Aquamaria,” the epic title track and live favorite, “Gold & Silver,” and the shimmering “Fire.”

  25. Burial – Untrue (Hyperdub) 07Burial - Untrue
  26. Like Drum ‘n’ Bass, Dubstep may just be a short diversion on the twisty path of electronic music. Long after people forget what exactly characterized those genres, Burial should still be remembered for at least one album, much like other artists like DJ Shadow and Tricky. Burial piles mountains of emotion in those moods, reminding me of DJ Shadow’s 1996 masterpiece, Endtroducing. The vocals are brilliantly treated to sound like ghosts that have a secret to share. I’m compelled to listen repeatedly so that I might complete the puzzle. When an album haunts your dreams, it must be doing something right.

  27. Unida – The Great Divide (Unida) 01
  28. Radiohead – In Rainbows (ATO) 07
  29. The White Stripes – Elephant (V2) 03
  30. Fugazi – The Argument (Dischord) 01

  31. Witchcraft – The Alchemist (Rise Above) 07
  32. King Midas Sound – Waiting For You (Hyperdub) 09
  33. Radiohead – Hail To The Thief (Capitol) 03

  34. Colour Haze (Elektrohasch) 04
  35. Colour Haze – Los Sounds de Krauts (Elektrohasch) 03
  36. Four Tet – Rounds (Domino) 03

  37. Spiritual Beggars – Ad Astra (Music For Nations) 00
  38. N*E*R*D – In Search Of … (Virgin) 02
  39. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R (Interscope) 00
  40. The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (Sympathy for the Record Industry) 01

  41. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz! (Interscope) 09
  42. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones (Interscope) 06
  43. Mastodon – Crack The Skye (Reprise/WEA) 09
  44. The Knife – Silent Shout (Rabid/Mute) 06
  45. Café Tacvba – Quatro Caminos (MCA) 03
  46. Amon Tobin – Supermodified (Ninja Tune) 00
  47. Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven (Kranky) 00
  48. Mastodon – Leviathan (Relapse) 04
  49. Primal Scream – Xtrmntr (Creation) 00
  50. D’Angelo – Voodoo (Virgin) 00

  51. Circle – Prospekt (Elektroverde) 00
  52. OOIOO – Gold And Green (Polystar/Thrill Jockey) 00
  53. Sussan Deyhim – Madman Of God: Divine Love Songs of the Persian Sufi Masters (CramWorld) 00
  54. Amon Tobin – Out From Out Where (Ninja Tune) 02
  55. The Notwist – Neon Golden (City Slang) 02

  56. Mastodon – Blood Mountain (Reprise) 06
  57. Opeth – Ghost Reveries (Roadrunner) 05

  58. Ufomammut – Snailking (Music Cartel/Supernatural Cat) 04
  59. Asian Dub Foundation – Community Music (London) 00

  60. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (Anti) 08
  61. Vampire Weekend (Beggars/XL) 08
  62. UFOmammut – Idolum (Supernatural Cat) 08
  63. Robyn (Konichiwa Records) 05

  64. Baroness – Blue Record (Relapse) 09
  65. Patrick Wolf – Wind In The Wires (Tomlab) 05

  66. Sgt. Sunshine – Black Hole (Elektrohasch) 07
  67. Witchcraft – Firewood (Candlelight) 05
  68. Goatsnake – Flower Of Disease (Man’s Ruin) 00
  69. Hawksley Workman – (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves (Universal) 01
  70. Opeth – Blackwater Park (Koch) 01

  71. The Hellacopters – High Visibility (Gearhead) 00
  72. Neko Case – Blacklisted (Bloodshot) 02

  73. Paavoharju – Laulu Laakson Kukista (Fonal) 08
  74. Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna (Social Registry) 08
  75. Torche – Meanderthal (Hydra Head) 08
  76. Boris – Heavy Rocks (Quattro/UK) 02

  77. Gojira – The Way Of All Flesh (Prosthetic/Red) 08
  78. Isis – Oceanic (Ipecac) 02

  79. Kassin +2 – Futurismo (Video Arts Japan/Luaka Bop) 06
  80. Fennesz – Endless Summer (Mego) 01
  81. Mercury Rev – All Is Dream (V2) 01
  82. Sparklehorse – It’s A Wonderful Life (EMI/Parlophone) 01
  83. Ed Harcourt – Here Be Monsters (Virgin) 01
  84. Apparat – Walls (Bpitch Control) 07
  85. Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals (We Are Free) 07
  86. Hawksley Workman – For Him And The Girls (Isadora/Ba Da Bing) 00
  87. My Computer – No CV (Tesla UK) 05
  88. Brian Wilson – SMiLE (Nonesuch) 04
  89. The Walkmen – Bows And Arrows (Record Collection) 04
  90. Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better (Domino) 05
  91. Junior Boys – Last Exit (Kin UK) 04

  92. Boris – Pink (Southern Lord) 05
  93. My Computer – Vulnerabilia (13 Amp UK) 02
  94. Arto Lindsay – Invoke (Righteous Babe) 02
  95. Wilco – A Ghost Is Born (Nonesuch) 04
  96. Franz Ferdinand (Domino) 04
  97. Arto Lindsay – Salt (Righteous Babe) 04
  98. Sketch Show – Loophole (Third Ear) 04
  99. Colour Haze – Ewige Blumenkraft (MonsterZero) 01

  100. Mammoth Volume – A Single Book Of Songs (Music Cartel) 01
  101. Terra Firma – Harms Way (SPV) 01
  102. Spiritual Beggars – On Fire (Music For Nations) 02
  103. Circle – Forest (Ektro/No Quarter) 04
  104. Cowboys & Aliens – Love Sex Volume (Buzzville) 02
  105. Fatso Jetson – Toasted (Bong Load) 01
  106. Circle – Taantumus (Bad Vugum/Ektro) 01
  107. Radiohead – Amnesiac (Capitol) 01

  108. Gary War – Horribles Parade (Sacred Bones) 09
  109. Circle – Sunrise (Ektro/No Quarter) 02
  110. Circle – Tulikoira (No Quarter) 05
  111. The Very Best – Warm Heart Of Africa (Green Owl) 09
  112. The Bug – London Zoo (Ninja Tune) 08
  113. Opeth – Watershed (Roadrunner) 08
  114. Tom Waits – Alice (Anti/Epitaph) 02

  115. Matias Aguayo – Ay Ay Ay (Kompakt) 09
  116. The Streets – Original Pirate Material (Locked On UK) 02

  117. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours (Modular) 08
  118. Graveyard (Tee Pee) 08
  119. Max Tundra – Parallax Error Beheads You (Domino) 08
  120. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner) 02
  121. Rob – Satyred Love (Source/Virgin Fr) 02
  122. Nina Nastasia – The Blackened Air (Touch and Go) 02
  123. The Rakes – Capture/Release (V2 UK) 05
  124. Kate Bush – Aerial (Columbia) 05
  125. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) 02
  126. Sleater-Kinney – One Beat (Kill Rock Stars) 02
  127. Nação Zumbi (Trama) 02
  128. Spoon – Kill The Moonlight (Merge) 02
  129. The Libertines – Up The Bracket (Rough Trade) 02
  130. Boards Of Canada – Geogaddi (Warp) 02
  131. Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights (Matador) 02
  132. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm (Wichita/V2) 05

  133. Turbonegro – Scandinavian Leather (Epitaph) 03
  134. The Hellacopters – By The Grace Of God (Polar Music) 02
  135. Fever Ray (Mute) 09
  136. The Hold Steady – Boys And Girls In America (Vagrant) 06
  137. Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position (Universal/Polydor) 07
  138. Matthew Dear – Asa Breed (Ghostly International) 07
  139. Lowrider – Ode To Io (MeteorCity) 00
  140. Jesu – Conquerer (Hydra Head) 07
  141. White Rabbits – Fort Nightly (Say Hey) 07
  142. LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver (DFA) 07
  143. Dead Man – Euphoria (Crusher) 08
  144. Nação Zumbi – Fome De Tudo (Deck Disk Brazil) 07
  145. Björk – Medulla (Elektra) 04

  146. Fujiya & Miyagi – Transparent Things (Tirk) 06
  147. Portishead – Third (Mercury/Island) 08
  148. Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Anti) 06
  149. Domenico +2 – Sincerely Hot (Nippon Crown) 02

  150. OOIOO – Taiga (Thrill Jockey) 06
  151. Joanna Newsom – Ys (Drag City) 06
  152. Isis – Panopticon (Ipecac) 04

  153. Witchcraft (Candlelight) 04
  154. Hot Chip – The Warning (DFA/Astralwerks) 06
  155. Plush – Fed (After Hours Jpn) 02
  156. Isis – Celestial (Hydra Head) 00

  157. Ufomammut – Godlike Snake (Beard Of Stars) 00
  158. Field Music (Memphis Industries UK) 05
  159. Spoon – Gimme Fiction (Merge) 05

  160. Dan Deacon – Spiderman of the Rings (Carpark) 07
  161. Maxïmo Park – Our Earthly Pleasures (Warp) 07
  162. Field Music – Tones Of Town (Memphis Industries) 07
  163. Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (Sub Pop) 05
  164. At The Drive-In – Relationship Of Command (Grand Royal) 00
  165. Sigur Rós – Ágaetis Byrjun (FatCat/Bubble Core) 00
  166. Quasimoto – The Unseen (Stones Throw) 00
  167. The White Stripes – De Stijl (Sympathy For the Record Industry) 00
  168. The Go-Betweens – The Friends Of Rachel Worth (Jetset) 00
  169. The Delgados – The Great Eastern (Chemikal Underground) 00
  170. 16 Horsepower – Secret South (Razor & Tie) 00
  171. Prefuse 73 – One Word Extinguisher (Warp) 03
  172. TV On The Radio – Young Liars EP (Touch And Go) 03
  173. Stars – Heart (Arts & Crafts) 03
  174. Boris – Akuma No Uta (Fangs Anal Satan/Southern Lord) 03

  175. Los Natas – Toba Trance (Ektro) 03
  176. Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner (XL) 03
  177. Otto – Sem Gravidade (Trama) 03
  178. Shack – Here’s Tom With The Weather (North Country UK) 03

  179. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Anti) 07
  180. Broadcast – Hahasound (Warp) 03
  181. Annie – Anniemal (679) 04

  182. Om – Pilgrimage (Southern Lord) 07
  183. Causa Sui – Free Ride (Elektrohasch) 07
  184. Max Tundra – Mastered by the Guy at the Exchange (Tigerbeat6) 02

  185. M.I.A. – Kala (Interscope) 07
  186. Gudrun Gut – I Put A Record On (Monika) 07
  187. Doves – The Last Broadcast (Heavenly/Astralwerks) 02
  188. Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Yanqui U.X.O. (Constellation) 02
  189. Sigur Rós – ( ) (Fat Cat/MCA) 02
  190. OOIOO – Kila Kila Kila (Thrill Jockey) 02
  191. Floor (No Idea) 02
  192. Gang Gang Dance – God’s Money (Social Registry) 05
  193. The Mark Lanegan Band – Bubblegum (Beggars) 04

  194. Benoît Pioulard – Précis (Kranky) 06
  195. Nação Zumbi – Futura (Trama) 06
  196. Tony Allen – Lagos No Shaking (Honest Jon) 06
  197. Burial (Hyperdub) 06
  198. Sunn 0))) & Boris – Altar (Southern Lord) 06
  199. Comets On Fire – Avatar (Sub Pop) 06
  200. Mammatus (Holy Mountain) 06
  201. Tony Allen – Secret Agent (World Circuit) 09
  202. Dâm-Funk – Toeachizown (Stones Throw) 09
  203. Them Crooked Vultures (DGC/Interscope) 09
  204. Kiila – Tuota Tuota (Fonal) 09
  205. OOIOO – Armonico Hewa (Thrill Jockey) 09
  206. Phoenix – It’s Never Been Like That (Astralwerks/Source) 06
  207. Junior Boys – So This Is Goodbye (Domino) 06
  208. Ghost – Hypnotic Underworld (Drag City) 04

  209. Comets On Fire – Avatar (Sub Pop) 06
  210. Electrelane – The Power Out (Too Pure/Beggars) 04
  211. Patrick Wolf – Lycanthropy (Tomlab) 04
  212. Madvillain – Madvillainy (Stones Throw) 04
  213. Tom Waits – Real Gone (Anti/Epitaph) 04
  214. Sonic Youth – Sonic Nurse (Geffen) 04
  215. Sleater-Kinney – All Hands On The Bad One (Kill Rock Stars) 00
  216. Nação Zumbi – Radio S.AMB.A. (Stern’s Brasil) 00
  217. Ed Harcourt – From Every Sphere (Astralwerks/Heaven) 03

  218. Isis – SGNL>05 EP (Neurot) 01
  219. Rocket From The Crypt – Group Sounds (TVT/Vagrant) 01
  220. Gorillaz (Virgin) 01
  221. Daft Punk – Discovery (Virgin) 01
  222. Cannibal Ox – Cold Vein (Ozone Music) 01
  223. The Avalanches – Since I Left You (Sire/Modular) 01
  224. Spoon – Girls Can Tell (Merge) 01
  225. Super Furry Animals – Rings Around The World (Epic) 01
  226. The Microphones – The Glow, Pt. 2 (K) 01

  227. Cappablack – Facades and Skeletons (Scape Germany) 06
  228. Lansing-Dreiden – The Dividing Island (Kemado) 06
  229. Various Productions – The World Is Gone (XL) 06
  230. Sufjan Stevens – Greetings from Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty) 03
  231. Super Furry Animals – Phantom Power (XL/Beggars) 03
  232. Pulp – We Love Life (Uni/Island) 01
  233. The Arcade Fire – Funeral (Merge) 04

  234. Zeke – Death Alley (Aces & Eights) 01
  235. The Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat (Rough Trade) 04

  236. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – The Doldrums (Paw Tracks) 04
  237. Orphaned Land – Mabool: The Story of the Three Sons of Seven (Century Media) 04
  238. Mark Lanegan – Field Songs (Sub Pop) 01
  239. No Doubt – Rock Steady (Interscope) 01
  240. Unwound – Leaves Turn Inside You (Kill Rock Stars) 01
  241. The Black Keys – Rubber Factory (Fat Possum) 04
  242. Life Without Buildings – Any Other City (Tugboat) 01
  243. Colder – Again (Output UK) 03
  244. Editors – The Back Room (Kitchenware UK) 05
  245. LCD Soundsystem (Capitol/DFA) 05
  246. Paavoharju – Yhä Hämärää (Fonal) 05

  247. Richard Youngs – Under Stellar Streams (Jagjaguwar) 09
  248. K’NAAN – Troubador (A&M/Octone) 09
  249. Colour Haze – Co2 (Homegrown/MonsterZero) 00
  250. Matias Aguayo – Are You Really Lost (Kompakt) 05
  251. Broadcast – Tender Buttons (Warp) 05
  252. Go-Betweens – Oceans Apart (Yep Roc) 05
  253. Gorillaz – Demon Days (Virgin) 05
  254. Anti-Pop Consortium – Arrhythmia (Warp) 02

  255. Lord Vicar – Fear No Pain (The Church Within) 09
  256. Shellac – 1000 Hurts (Touch & Go) 00
  257. Entombed – Uprising (Threeman) 00

  258. Boris – Smile (Southern Lord) 08
  259. Black Moth Super Rainbow – Dandelion Gum (Graveface) 07
  260. Tinariwen – Aman Iman (World Village) 07
  261. Baroness – Red Album (Relapse) 07
  262. Razorlight – Up All Night (Vertigo UK) 04
  263. Utada – Exodus (Island) 04

  264. Pete & the Pirates – Little Death (Stolen) 08
  265. Out Hud – S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D. (Kranky) 02
  266. Schneider TM – Zoomer (City Slang) 02
  267. M83 – Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (EMI FR) 03
  268. The Rapture – Echoes (DFA/Universal) 03
  269. The Mars Volta – De-Loused In The Comatorium (GSL/Universal) 03
  270. Amadou & Mariam – Dimanche a Bamako (Nonesuch) 05

  271. Gojira – From Mars To Sirius (Listenable/Prosthetic) 05
  272. High on Fire – Blessed Black Wings (Relapse) 05
  273. Black Mountain (Jagjaguwar) 05
  274. Torche (Robotic Empire) 05
  275. Clientele – Strange Geometry (Merge) 05
  276. The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday (French Kiss) 05
  277. M.I.A. – Arular (XL) 05
  278. Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs (Righteous Babe) 05
  279. Animal Collective – Feels (Fat Cat) 05
  280. Rhythm & Sound – See Mi Yah (Burial Mix) 05
  281. Konono No. 1 – Congotronics (Fat Cat) 05

  282. Dungen – 4 (Kemado) 08
  283. NOMO – Ghost Rock (Ubiquity) 08
  284. M83 – Saturdays = Youth (Mute) 08
  285. White Denim – Exposion/Workout Holiday (Transmission) 08
  286. DJ/rupture – Uproot (Agriculture) 08
  287. Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock and Roll (Rough Trade) 05
  288. Mastodon – Remission (Relapse) 02
  289. Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People (Paper Bag) 02
  290. Tom Waits – Blood Money (Anti/Epitaph) 02
  291. Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress (Sanctuary) 03
  292. The Wrens – Meadowlands (Absolutely Kosher) 03
  293. The Darkness – Permission To Land (Must Destroy) 03
  294. The Lord Weird Slough Feg – Traveller (Dragonheart) 03
  295. The Lord Weird Slough Feg – Down Among The Deadmen (Dragonheart) 00
  296. Lightning Bolt – Wonderful Rainbow (Load) 03
  297. Rjd2 – Deadringer (Def Jux) 02
  298. Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man – Out Of Season (Go Beat UK) 02
  299. The Books – Thought For Food (Tomlab) 02
  300. El-P – Fantastic Damage (Def Jux) 02
  301. Dälek – From The Filthy Tongues Of Gods And Griots (Ipecac) 02
  302. Blackalicious – Nia (Quannum Projects) 00
  303. Common – Like Water For Chocolate (MCA) 00
  304. Sonic Youth – Murray Street (Interscope) 02
  305. Dizzee Rascal – Showtime (XL) 04
  306. Stars – Set Yourself On Fire (Arts & Crafts) 04
  307. Ed Harcourt – Strangers (Heavenly UK) 04
  308. Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City) 04
  309. Dungen – Ta Det Lugnt (Subliminal Sounds) 04
  310. Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks (Fat Cat) 04
  311. The Soft Pink Truth – Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth? (Tigerbeat6) 04
  312. M.I.A. & Diplo – Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1 (Hollertronix) 03



The Best Artists of the 00s




  1. TV On The Radio

  2. Colour Haze
  3. Radiohead
  4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

  5. Circle
  6. Mastodon

  7. The White Stripes
  8. Spoon
  9. Opeth
  10. Queens Of The Stone Age
  11. Boris
  12. Ufomammut
  13. OOIOO
  14. Nação Zumbi
  15. Patrick Wolf

  16. Amon Tobin
  17. Sleater-Kinney
  18. Neko Case
  19. Tom Waits
  20. Sigur Rós
  21. Hawksley Workman
  22. Björk
  23. Witchcraft
  24. Spiritual Beggars
  25. Ed Harcourt
  26. M.I.A.
  27. Broadcast
  28. The Bug/King Midas Sound
  29. My Computer

  30. The Knife/Fever Ray
  31. Franz Ferdinand
  32. Arto Lindsay
  33. Moreno/Domenico/Kassin +2
  34. Burial
  35. Godspeed You Black Emperor!

  36. Gang Gang Dance
  37. Junior Boys

  38. Max Tundra
  39. Field Music

  40. Baroness
  41. Paavoharju
  42. Wilco
  43. Maxïmo Park
  44. Tony Allen
  45. LCD Soundsystem
  46. The Hold Steady
  47. Torche
  48. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  49. Joanna Newsom
  50. Super Furry Animals
  51. The Rakes
  52. Stars
  53. Dizzee Rascal
  54. Gorillaz

  55. White Rabbits
  56. OOIOO
  57. Sonic Youth
  58. Om
  59. M83
  60. Phoenix



00s Breakdown

Focusing on sub-genres presents an opportunity to look beyond the rock and pop albums that dominate the top of the list and focus on albums that might otherwise be overlooked.

Electro/Dream Pop
The Notwist - Neon Golden Inspired by 80s synth pop, jangly UK bands, 4AD, shoegaze, and electronica, Electro/Dream Pop is a slippery subgenre I’ve made up (and constantly renamed) to draw some attention to a more delicate side of indie rock. Weilheim, Germany’s The Notwist had a long road to their greatest album that started with hardcore punk and metal, navigating through 90s indie rock to finally incorporate influences like Oval to produce some pristine electro pop.


  1. The Notwist – Neon Golden (City Slang) 02
  2. My Computer – No CV (Tesla UK) 05
  3. Fennesz – Endless Summer (Mego) 01
  4. Junior Boys – Last Exit (Kin UK) 04
  5. My Computer – Vulnerabilia (13 Amp UK) 02
  6. Sketch Show – Loophole (Third Ear) 04
  7. Radiohead – Amnesiac (Capitol) 01
  8. The Dismemberment Plan – Change (De Soto) 01
  9. The Boredoms – Vision, Creation, Newsun (WEA Japan) 01
  10. Gary War – Horribles Parade (Sacred Bones) 09
  11. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours (Modular) 08
  12. Max Tundra – Parallax Error Beheads You (Domino) 08
  13. Matthew Dear – Asa Breed (Ghostly International) 07
  14. LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver (DFA) 07
  15. Fujiya & Miyagi – Transparent Things (Tirk) 06
  16. Hot Chip – The Warning (DFA/Astralwerks) 06

Avant Rock & Out Pop
Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To HeavenMontreal’s Godspeed You Black Emperor already stood apart from the pack of instrumental post-rockers with their 1998 debut, F# A# (Infinity). The almost oppressively long and heavy followup is GYBE at their peak, with each of the four compositions taking unpredictable turns, making the album a completely engaging experience, never wearing out its welcome a decade later.


  1. Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven (Kranky) 00
  2. Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna (Social Registry) 08
  3. Arto Lindsay – Invoke (Righteous Babe) 02
  4. Arto Lindsay – Salt (Righteous Babe) 04
  5. Björk – Medulla (Elektra) 04
  6. Sigur Rós – Ágaetis Byrjun (FatCat/Bubble Core) 00
  7. TV On The Radio – Young Liars EP (Touch And Go) 03
  8. Broadcast – Hahasound (Warp) 03
  9. M.I.A. – Kala (Interscope) 07

  10. Gudrun Gut – I Put A Record On (Monika) 07
  11. Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Yanqui U.X.O. (Constellation) 02
  12. Sigur Rós – ( ) (Fat Cat/MCA) 02
  13. Gang Gang Dance – God’s Money (Social Registry) 05

Experimental & Ambient
OOIOO - TaigaWhen I was younger, my idea of experimental and ambient music was of sterile intellectuals in labcoats and bloodless modern classical avant garde composers. When The Wire magazine started loosening up their boundaries in the mid-nineties, I slowly started discovering artists that can be experimental but still exciting, whimsical, or powerful. With their chaotic live shows and neon body paint, the four women from Japan in OOIOO practically define whimsey and redefine weird. Lead by The Boredoms’ Yoshimi P-We, they were together for over eight years when they produced the brilliantly original Taiga. With wild bird calls and polyrhythms, it sounds like they’ve re-imagined themselves if they came from the jungles of the Amazon or in Africa.


  1. OOIOO – Gold And Green (Polystar/Thrill Jockey) 00
  2. OOIOO – Taiga (Thrill Jockey) 06
  3. Om – Pilgrimage (Southern Lord) 07
  4. OOIOO – Kila Kila Kila (Thrill Jockey) 02
  5. Sunn 0))) & Boris – Altar (Southern Lord) 06

  6. OOIOO – Armonico Hewa (Thrill Jockey) 09
  7. The Boredoms – Vision, Creation, Newsun (WEA Japan) 01
  8. Paavoharju – Yhä Hämärää (Fonal) 05
  9. NOMO – Ghost Rock (Ubiquity) 08
  10. The Books – Thought For Food (Tomlab) 02
  11. Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks (Fat Cat) 04
  12. Moon Wiring Club – An Audience of Art Deco Eyes (Geophonic Audio Systems) 07
  13. Jim O’Rourke – Insignificance (Drag City) 01
  14. Om – Conference Of The Birds (Holy Mountain) 06

Electronica, Techno & Dance
Four Tet - Rounds Kieren Hebden comes from an instrumental post-rock background with his band Fridge. In 1999 he took a detour to explore electronica, and pretty much surpassed everyone in warmth and musicality, particularly with his third album, Rounds. His diverse experiences as a musician helped him coax more emotional nuance and melodic shadings from electronic music, making most other stuff seem sterile in comparison.


  1. Four Tet – Rounds (Domino) 03

  2. The Knife – Silent Shout (Rabid/Mute) 06
  3. Amon Tobin – Supermodified (Ninja Tune) 00
  4. Amon Tobin – Out From Out Where (Ninja Tune) 02
  5. Apparat – Walls (Bpitch Control) 07
  6. The Bug – London Zoo (Ninja Tune) 08

  7. Matias Aguayo – Ay Ay Ay (Kompakt) 09
  8. Boards Of Canada – Geogaddi (Warp) 02
  9. Fever Ray (Mute) 09
  10. Dan Deacon – Spiderman of the Rings (Carpark) 07
  11. Prefuse 73 – One Word Extinguisher (Warp) 03
  12. Burial (Hyperdub) 06

  13. The Avalanches – Since I Left You (Sire/Modular) 01

Heavy Rock
Queens of the Stone Age - RR is an important album in that it showed that heavy guitar rock could continue to evolve into the new millennium without being completely beholden to stale retro rock sounds. It still rocks hard, slightly tweaking Homme’s desert rock guitar tone so that it’s versatile enough to either bite with sharp teeth or float on a serene magic carpet (some of the best parts of the album are the ethereal “Auto Pilot” and “Better Living Through Chemistry”).


  1. Witchcraft – The Alchemist (Rise Above) 07

  2. Colour Haze (Elektrohasch) 04
  3. Colour Haze – Los Sounds de Krauts (Elektrohasch) 03
  4. Sgt. Sunshine (Abstract/Elektrohasch) 03
  5. Queens of the Stone Age – R (Interscope) 00

  6. Ufomammut – Snailking (Music Cartel/Supernatural Cat) 04
  7. Ufomammut – Idolum (Supernatural Cat) 08
  8. Baroness – Blue Record (Relapse) 09
  9. Torche – Meanderthal (Hydra Head) 08
  10. Boris – Heavy Rocks (Quattro/UK) 02
  11. Isis – Oceanic (Ipecac) 02
  12. Fugazi – The Argument (Dischord) 01
  13. Boris – Pink (Southern Lord) 05
  14. Graveyard (Tee Pee) 08
  15. Jesu – Conquerer (Hydra Head) 07

Metal
Mastodon - Crack The SkyeCheck out some metal magazines and ask another dozen metalheads, and you’ll probably get a different answer as to what the best metal album of the decade is. Metal has splintered into so many sub-genres, some of which I addressed here, that it’s difficult for any band to dominate the consenesus the way Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Slayer used to. Yet in my book, Mastodon owned the decade. With all four albums in the top ten, you’d think I might not have listened to enough. Perhaps, but I do check out well over 50 metal albums a year, and there’s no shortage of great bands that could easily dominate the coming decade, suck as Gojira, Hacride, Raise The Red Lantern, Cobalt, Krallice and many others. With every album Mastodon got more ambitious, absorbing more prog influences, making their sound more detailed and complex while remaining heavy as ever particularly live. That’s my kind of metal. As is Opeth, who I was lucky enough to catch live this year before they announced taking an extended hiatus.

  1. Mastodon – Crack The Skye (Reprise/WEA) 09
  2. Mastodon – Leviathan (Relapse) 04
  3. Mastodon – Blood Mountain (Reprise) 06
  4. Opeth – Ghost Reveries (Roadrunner) 05
  5. Opeth – Blackwater Park (Koch) 01
  6. Opeth – Watershed (Roadrunner) 08

  7. Gojira – The Way Of All Flesh (Prosthetic/Red) 08
  8. Orphaned Land – Mabool: The Story of the Three Sons of Seven (Century Media) 04
  9. Entombed – Uprising (Threeman) 00
  10. Mastodon – Remission (Relapse) 02
  11. The Lord Weird Slough Feg – Traveller (Dragonheart) 03
  12. Shrinebuilder (Neurot) 09
  13. Gojira – From Mars To Sirius (Listenable/Prosthetic) 05

Global
Café Tacvba - Quatro Caminos It’s a tricky endeavor to determine what should fit into this category, as there are plenty of non-Western, non-English singing/speaking/rapping artists that are included in the other categories. This is a good thing, as music from around the world becomes better distributed and gains a wider range of fans. Café Tacvba, for example, has more in common at this point with Radiohead than any artists from Mexico. But they retain plenty of elements of their own culture that no one will mistake them for Brits. Simply put, they’re one of the best live bands in the world, and Quatro Caminos is their best album. I shouldn’t go without mentioning Nação Zumbi, with four albums in the top 13. You can read more about them in my feature here.

  1. Café Tacvba – Quatro Caminos (MCA) 03
    – Mexico
  2. Sussan Deyhim – Madman Of God: Divine Love Songs of the Persian Sufi Masters (CramWorld) 00
    – Iran
  3. Paavoharju – Laulu Laakson Kukista (Fonal) 08
    – Finland
  4. Kassin +2 – Futurismo (Video Arts Japan/Luaka Bop) 06
    – Brazil
  5. The Very Best – Warm Heart Of Africa (Green Owl) 09
    – Malawi
  6. Nação Zumbi (Trama) 02
    – Brazil
  7. Nação Zumbi – Fome De Tudo (Deck Disk Brazil) 07
  8. Domenico +2 – Sincerely Hot (Nippon Crown) 02
  9. Otto – Sem Gravidade (Trama) 03
    – Brazil
  10. Nação Zumbi – Futura (Trama) 06
  11. Tony Allen – Lagos No Shaking (Honest Jon) 06
    – Nigeria
  12. Tony Allen – Secret Agent (World Circuit) 09

  13. Nação Zumbi – Radio S.AMB.A. (Stern’s Brasil) 00

Americana, Country & Folk
Neko Case - Blacklisted No matter how tired I get of country, folk and Americana, I can never get enough of Neko Case, who’s talent is simply otherworldly. She never released an album that wasn’t great, but Blacklisted is by far her strongest, most moving collection.


  1. Neko Case – Blacklisted (Bloodshot) 02
  2. Tom Waits – Alice (Anti/Epitaph) 02
  3. Nina Nastasia – The Blackened Air (Touch and Go) 02

  4. Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Anti) 06
  5. Joanna Newsom – Ys (Drag City) 06
  6. 16 Horsepower – Secret South (Razor & Tie) 00
  7. The Mark Lanegan Band – Bubblegum (Beggars) 04

  8. Fatso Jetson – Cruel & Delicious (Rekords) 02
  9. Tom Waits – Real Gone (Anti/Epitaph) 04
  10. Sufjan Stevens – Greetings from Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty) 03
  11. Mark Lanegan – Field Songs (Sub Pop) 01
  12. Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs (Righteous Babe) 05
  13. Tom Waits – Blood Money (Anti/Epitaph) 02
  14. Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City) 04

Hip-Hop & Rap
The Streets - Original Pirate Material I can hear the shrieks of protest already, complaining that The Streets is not hip-hop, and I’m missing Outkast, Ghostface Killah, Kanye West (who I like just fine, they’re just further down the list) and Jay-Z and Lil’ Wayne (who I am indifferent of). I’ve been listening to hip-hop for 27 years. On the other hand, it’s not the primary music I listen to. So take this list as it is, with a grain of salt. All the artists below stretch the boundaries of hip-hop. Contrary to recent articles, I don’t think it’s dead, or that it should die. There’s still loads of untapped potential that I’m surprised hasn’t been reached yet, with all the available technology and talent out there.


  1. The Streets – Original Pirate Material (Locked On UK) 02
  2. Quasimoto – The Unseen (Stones Throw) 00
  3. Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner (XL) 03

  4. Madvillain – Madvillainy (Stones Throw) 04
  5. Gorillaz (Virgin) 01
  6. Cannibal Ox – Cold Vein (Ozone Music) 01
  7. Cappablack – Facades and Skeletons (Scape Germany) 06
  8. Anti-Pop Consortium – Arrhythmia (Warp) 02
  9. Rjd2 – Deadringer (Def Jux) 02
  10. El-P – Fantastic Damage (Def Jux) 02
  11. Dälek – From The Filthy Tongues Of Gods And Griots (Ipecac) 02
  12. Blackalicious – Nia (Quannum Projects) 00
  13. Common – Like Water For Chocolate (MCA) 00

R&B, Soul & Dancepop
N*E*R*D - In Search Of ...No One Ever Really Dies, according to N*E*R*D, but great soul singers (like D’Angelo and Bilal) really know how to lay low. I loved N*E*R*D because they seemed to tap into that playful post p-funk vibe that too future artists were willing or able to carry the torch for in the 00s. Erykah Badu finally perked up and showed some of that influence in New Amerykah Part One and hopefully will run with that in the next decade. I’m also a bit disappointed that N*E*R*D didn’t seem to fulfill their promise shown on their 2002 debut, but it’s not too late.


  1. N*E*R*D – In Search Of … (Virgin) 02
  2. D’Angelo – Voodoo (Virgin) 00
  3. Robyn (Konichiwa Records) 05
  4. Annie – Anniemal (679) 04

  5. Daft Punk – Discovery (Virgin) 01
  6. Missy Elliott – Miss E . . . So Addictive (WEA/Elektra) 01
  7. Basement Jaxx – Rooty (XL) 01
  8. Clone Defects – Blood On Jupiter (Tom Perkins) 01
  9. Jill Scott * Who Is Jill Scott? (Sony/Epic) 00
  10. Bilal – 1st Born Second (Interscope) 01
  11. Anthony Hamilton – The Point Of It All (Jive/Zomba) 08
  12. Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part One (Motown) 08
  13. Erykah Badu * Mama’s Gun (Motown) 00

Top 60 Shows

Iggy & The Stooges, 2007

Nearly every band that I didn’t think I would ever get to see live, reunited and toured in the past 15 years. Yet I still didn’t expect to see The Stooges in their full glory. From all accounts there was too much weird history, bad blood, subpar albums, and, let’s face it, the band could never regain the magic. Could they? They certainly struggled in the studio, with the disappointing The Weirdness. However, this was the band that created the greatest rock album of all time (say anything other than Fun House and I’ll smack ya). Yet after over 40 years, Iggy is more than ever a real pro and consummate showman, and I should have known he wouldn’t let his audience down. Shellac opened, which is unfortunate. Don’t get me wrong, Shellac played some of the best shows I’ve seen in the 90s alongside The Jesus Lizard and Fugazi. But in the cavernous Congress Theater, they sounded twee and puny. I wouldn’t blame Albini and co. if they were just a bit intimidated. I was concerned, because it is difficult to get a good sound in that place. But oh my god, when the band started, it sounded like the hammer of Thor came down and crushed the roof. They rip into “Loose” and Iggy literally sprinted onto the stage, and kept up the velocity and energy throughout the entire show. They played all of the best songs from their first two albums, and a few from the new one. Out of respect for Ron Aseheton and the band, Iggy chose not to play anything from Raw Power, as it was recorded with a slightly different lineup, with guitarist James Williamson. This was not only the best show of the 00s, but the best I’ve ever seen. To see a reprise at Lollapalooza later in the summer was icing on the cake. The fact that Ron Asheton died afterwards makes this show even more important. It’s about time that the band was finally voted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame just last week. The Stooges are planning to tour with James Williamson and perform Raw Power. I can’t wait.Iggy & The Stooges, 2007

  1. The Stooges, Congress Theater, 2007
  2. Radiohead, Grant Park, 2000
  3. Walt Mink, Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, 2005
  4. TV On The Radio, Empty Bottle, 2004
  5. PJ Harvey, The Vic, 2000
  6. Scratch Acid, Touch & Go 25th Anniversary, Hideout, 2006
  7. Queens Of The Stone Age, The Hi Dive, 2000
  8. Slough Feg – Double Door, 2008
  9. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Riviera, 2008
  10. Ed Harcourt – Schubas, 2008
  11. Sussan Deyhim, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2000
  12. Asian Dub Foundation, Double Door, 2000
  13. The Pixies, Riviera, 2004
  14. The Cramps, San Francisco, 2004
  15. !!! (Chik Chik Chik) & Out Hud, Empty Bottle, 2002
  16. Baroness – Reggie’s Rock Club, 2009
  17. The Jesus Lizard, Pitchfork & Metro, 2009
  18. Big Black, Touch & Go 25th Anniversary, Hideout, 2006
  19. LCD Soundsystem & M.I.A., Metro, 2005
  20. Gojira, Logan Square Auditorium, 2009
  21. Mastodon, Bottom Lounge, 2004 & Metro, 2009
  22. Opeth, House of Blues, 2009
  23. The Pogues, Congress Theater, 2007
  24. Tabla Beat Science, The Vic, 2003
  25. Amon Tobin & Prefuse 73, Metro, 2002
  26. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metro, 2003
  27. Patrick Wolf, Metro, 2007
  28. Hawksley Workman, Chicago Cultural Center, 2003
  29. Gogol Bordello, Subterranean, 2005
  30. The Police, Wrigley Field, 2007
  31. The White Stripes, Empty Bottle, 2001
    16 Horsepower, Schuba’s, 2001

  32. The Feelies, Pritzker, 2009
  33. Graveyard, House of Blues, 2009
  34. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – House Of Blues, 2008
  35. Bloc Party, Metro, 2005
  36. The Mars Volta, Metro, 2003
  37. U2 & PJ Harvey, United Center, 2000
  38. Joao Gilberto, Ravinia, 2003
  39. Mission Of Burma, Metro, 2004
  40. The Buzzcocks, Double Door, 2006
  41. The Walkmen, Metro, 2004
  42. Witchcraft, Double Door, 2007
  43. Shrinebuilder – Empty Bottle, 2009
  44. The Strokes, Metro, 2001
  45. Sigur Ros, 2000
  46. Nina Nastasia, Schuba’s, 2001
  47. The Very Best, Pitchfork, 2009
  48. The Rakes, Double Door, 2006
  49. The Delgados, Empty Bottle, 2000
  50. Maxïmo Park, Double Door, 2007
  51. Yeasayer – Schubas, 2008
  52. Amadeu & Mariam, Millennium Park, 2006
  53. Fever Ray, Metro, 2009
  54. The Cult, House of Blues, 2009
  55. Big Business, Empty Bottle, 2007
  56. Domenico+2, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2005
  57. N*E*R*D, Metro, 2002
  58. The Darkness, Double Door, 2003
  59. Eleni Mandell, Hideout, 2001
  60. Konono No. 1, Logan Square Auditorium, 2005

The 100 Best Movies of the 00s

Jump Tomorrow

I’m not nearly as obsessive about movies as I am about music, but I do watch a few every week. Know that my tastes favor quirky indie flicks and well done animated kiddie fare, and I absolutely despise violence, no matter how righteously packaged it is. I made a grudging exception for City Of God, but every other minute I have the urge to knock it off the list. Not to say that there isn’t a place for violence. Look at The Usual Suspects from the previous decade. There’s certainly a high body count. However if you pay attention, they never actually show it. Not graphically, not at all. It’s intense enough to know what happened, they didn’t need to show the blood and brains. Of course even if it’s done that way, the accumulated violence depresses me. I’m more tolerant if it’s obviously not realistic, and more campy, like Zombieland. So no There will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, and all the other critic favorites you’ll find on every other list.

Most of you have never heard of let alone seen Jump Tomorrow. I was lucky enough to catch it during its short run in the theaters, and totally fell in love with it. I don’t buy DVDs often, but I did get this one and Sex and Lucia and have seen them both over a half dozen times each. Jump Tomorrow was cheaply done, but everything about it, the mod set design, script, acting, humor, soundtrack, is perfect. I’m a fan of Hal Hartley’s 90s movies, and it reminds me of that style. It stars Tunde Adebimpe, a couple years before he became known for his band TV On The Radio. I had no idea who he was when I first saw the movie. I also had no idea an old college friend, double Emmy-award winner John Kimbrough, did the soundtrack until I saw the finishing credits. A bizarre coincidence, and I don’t think it was a factor in my eventually naming it my favorite movie of the decade. It may or may not be yours, but I believe you won’t be disappointed.

Sex And Lucia (2002)I was shocked when I read prudish reviews that panned Sex and Lucia because of the sex scenes. They were well done and hardly nasty. Much better than the famous ones from movies like 9-1/2 Weeks. Sure, Paz Vega and Elena Anaya were gorgeous and captivating. But it’s the story that truly makes the movie great, with twists, turns, literal rabbit holes and an unbelievably breathtaking Spanish island.

Hoodwinked (2005)The 00s was a great decade for animated children’s movies. Not only was there the groundbreaking technical work of Pixar Studios, but the bar was raised in every respect, from storytelling to voice acting. One of the most criminally ignored of the bunch was Hoodwinked! Probably because it had a smaller budget to work with, it was never properly marketed. But co-writers/directors Cory and Todd Edwards should have won a mountain of awards for their talents. Cory even wrote the songs and provided the voice of Twitchy. Rent it immediately, then go see Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil on April 29, 2011.

  1. Jump Tomorrow (2001)
  2. Sex And Lucia (2002)
  3. Eternal Sunshine On The Spotless Mind (2004)
  4. Amelie (2001)
  5. Memento (2000)
  6. Hoodwinked! (2005)
  7. Up (2009)
  8. WALL-E (2008)
  9. The Incredibles (2004)
  10. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
  11. The Dreamers (2004)
  12. Before Sunset (2004)
  13. High Fidelity (2000)
  14. Love Actually (2003)
  15. Y tu mamá también (2002)
  16. Hedwig And The Angry Inch (2001)
  17. I Heart Huckabees (2004)
  18. Minority Report (2001)
  19. Spirited Away (2002)
  20. Happy Feet (2006)
  21. Almost Famous (2000)
  22. Grosse Pointe Blank (2000)
  23. Big Fish (2003)
  24. Sueno (2005)
  25. Donnie Darko (2001)
  26. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
  27. Ghost World (2001)
  28. Talk To Her (2002)
  29. Brick (2005)
  30. Shortbus (2006)
  31. Milk (2008)
  32. Lost In Translation (2003)
  33. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
  34. Secretary (2002)
  35. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  36. The Man From Earth (2007)
  37. Waking Life (2001)
  38. Garden State (2004)
  39. Children Of Men (2006)
  40. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
  41. The Dark Knight (2008)
  42. Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
  43. American Psycho (2000)
  44. City Of God (2002)
  45. Walk The Line (2005)
  46. Music And Lyrics (2007)
  47. Stardust (2007)
  48. Croupier (2000)
  49. A Shark’s Tale (2005)
  50. Once (2007)
  51. Finding Neverland (2004)
  52. Coraline (2008)
  53. Show Me Love (2000)
  54. Ray (2004)
  55. Happenstance (2002)
  56. Ratatouille (2007)
  57. Frida (2002)
  58. Whale Rider (2003)
  59. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
  60. Juno (2007)
  61. Ghost Dog (2000)
  62. In America (2003)
  63. Kung-Fu Panda (2008)
  64. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  65. Danny Deckchair (2003)
  66. Millions (2004)
  67. Surf’s Up (2007)
  68. I’m Not There (2007)
  69. Control (2007)
  70. The Namesake (2006)
  71. Chocolat (2000)
  72. The Squid And The Whale (2005)
  73. Julie & Julia (2009)
  74. Oldboy (2003)
  75. Knocked Up (2007)
  76. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
  77. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
  78. 24 Hour Party People (2002)
  79. Charlie And the Chocolate Factory (2005)
  80. Hero (2004)
  81. Bend It Like Beckham (2003)
  82. Copying Beethoven (2006)
  83. Farenheit 9/11 (2004)
  84. School Of Rock (2003)
  85. Borat (2006)
  86. Michael Clayton (2007)
  87. Down And Out With The Dolls (2001)
  88. Cars (2006)
  89. Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King (2003)
  90. Horton Hears A Who! (2008)
  91. Casino Royale (2006)
  92. Bad Santa (2003)
  93. Laurel Canyon (2003)
  94. Saved! (2004)
  95. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  96. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  97. Mulholland Drive (2001)
  98. Black Snake Moan (2007)
  99. Bolt (2008)
  100. Meet The Robinsons (2007)

Television

Best Television Show of the Decade: Gilmore Girls

I heard good things about Gilmore Girls, but I missed the first couple years because I figured it was just a girly show. This coming from someone who watched Ally McBeal and Sex And The City. Once I was turned onto it, I was addicted. With a dense script full of fast talking, the jokes, cultural references and plot whizz by at warp speed. The show was populated with quirky characters without being gimicky, great music, and complex relationships between daughter, mother and grandmother that were totally engaging. By the third season, anyone would be sucked in enough to want to live with these characters in Star’s Hollow. Runner-up is Arrested Development, the funniest comedy in the history of television. Its cancellation was one of the stupidest events in human cultural history. It seemed we were doomed to never laugh as hard again, until 30 Rock and then Modern Family came along.

There’s no room for reality TV on this list except for Millionaire Matchmaker. Television makes you stupid enough as it is, why make it worse by watching actual stupid people? Seriously, why? Millionaire Matchmaker is my one guilty pleasure because of the charisma of Patti Stenger and the parade of tools and their prospective gold diggers. Watching their hi-jinks and knowing few of them will know real love warms the cockles of my somewhat evil heart. I’ve seen bits of others like Rock Of Love and Celebrity Rehab, but just like Crack, just because it grabs your attention and might feel fun for a few moments, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to destroy your brain.

  1. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
  2. Arrested Development (2003-2006)
  3. Modern Family (2009-)
  4. Californication (2007-)
  5. 30 Rock (2006-)
  6. Sex And The City (1998-2004)
  7. The Wire (2002-2008)
  8. Firefly (2002)
  9. The O.C. (2003-2007)
  10. True Blood (2008-)
  11. Weeds (2005-)
  12. Dollhouse (2009-2010)
  13. Heroes (2006-2010)
  14. Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)
  15. Gossip Girl (2007-)
  16. The Big Bang Theory (2007-)
  17. Freaks And Geeks (1999-2000)
  18. Invader Zim (2001-2002)
  19. Hung (2009-)
  20. United States Of Tara (2009-)
  21. Dark Angel (2000-2002)
  22. Millionaire Matchmaker (2008-)
  23. The Reaper (2007-2009)
  24. Robot Chicken (2005-)
  25. American Dad (2005-)
  26. South Park (1997-)
  27. Metalocalypse (2006-)
  28. Valentine (2008-2009)
  29. How I Met Your Mother (2005-)
  30. Family Guy (1999-2002, 2005-)

    Probably good but just couldn’t get into: Angel, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos.

Books – Fiction

Michael Chabon - The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay

Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is an epic story that starts with a brilliant Houdini-like escape from Nazis, to the dawn of comics in New York City, friendship, heartbreak, war, betrayal, you name it. I have to admit I read the last few hundred pages in an 8 hour marathon and was left decimated. Not exactly the kind of pulpy sci-fi reading I normally sought out, but definitely memorable.

  1. Michael Chabon – The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay (2001)
  2. Neal Stephenson – Cryptonomicon (2000)
  3. Jonathan Coe – The Rotters’ Club (2001)
  4. Ian McDonald – Brasyl (2007)
  5. Frank Portman – King Dork (2006)
  6. Adam Langer – Crossing California (2004)
  7. Jonathon Lethem – The Fortress of Solitude (2004)
  8. Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2004)
  9. Percival Everett – Erasure (2002)
  10. Brendan Halpin – Donorboy (2004)
  11. Neil Gaiman – American Gods (2002)
  12. Warren Ellis – Crooked Little Vein (2007)
  13. Neil Gaiman – Anansi Boys (2005)

Books – Music & Rock ‘n’ Roll Fiction

Simon Reynolds - Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984

In Rip It Up and Start Again, Simon Reynolds sets out in his fourth book to back up his claim that post-punk was the greatest era of rock music. If you are any sort of fan of the music, chances are you’ll agree by the time you finish the mammoth 556 page history. Absolutely essential, at least for us music geeks.

  1. Simon Reynolds – Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984 (2005)
  2. David Sheppard – On Some Faraway Beach: The Life And Times Of Brian Eno (2008)
  3. Brendan Halpin – Long Way Back (2006)
  4. Brian Costello – The Enchanters Vs. Sprawlburg Springs (2005)
  5. Clinton Heylin – Babylon’s Burning: From Punk To Grunge (2007)
  6. Richard Perez – The Losers’ Club (2003)
  7. Louise Voss – To Be Someone (2001)
  8. Joe Meno – Hairstyles Of The Damned (2004)
  9. Jamie S. Rich – The Everlasting (2006)
  10. Andy Greenwald – Miss Misery (2006)
  11. Marc Spitz -How Soon Is Never? (2003)
  12. Jamie S. Rich – Cut My Hair (2000)

Graphic Novels & Comics

Warren Ellis - TransmetropolitanTransmetropolitan is an epic multiple volume work about Spider Jerusalem, a Hunter S. Thompson-like reporter let loose in a future dystopia world. It’s savagely angry political satire, and also the most bitingly hilarious stuff I’d ever read. If you don’t think comics can be great literature, start here. Comic writers like Warren Ellis, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman have proven that they can write better than most novelists, and indeed turn out to be formidable novelists themselves. The 2000s have seen comics emerge as a fully matured art form that offers a unique experience different, but hardly inferior, to novels and movies.

  1. Warren Ellis – Transmetropolitan
  2. Alan Moore – League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  3. Bill Willingham – Fables
  4. Brian K. Vaughan – Ex Machina
  5. Craig Thompson – Blankets
  6. Ed Brubaker – Dead Enders
  7. Warren Ellis – Doktor Sleepless
  8. Dave Gibbons – The Originals
  9. Chynna Clugston – Blue Monday
  10. Jan Van Meter – Hopeless Savages
  11. Brian K. Vaughan – Y: The Last Man
  12. Ted Naifeh – Courtney Crumrin
  13. Chynna Clugston – Scooter Girl

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