Fester’s Lucky 13: The Best Albums of 2002

2002 Year-End Summary

In 2002 there was very little consensus as to who was the best, and what kind of music was dominant, from garage rock, country, folk, dance music, electronica to hip-hop. This is good. It means there was a lot of quality to choose from in all genres.

Despite war and terrorism weighing heavily on our minds, our cultural response to world events have remained fairly muted. In an attempt to carry on and take their minds off our collective depression, some of us partied like it was 1982. The gleeful revivalist decadence of the electroclash, nu-wave and post post-punk scenes were slightly dampened by a strong sense of apocalyptic dread, not entirely unlike the cultural and political climate twenty years ago, as the Reagan administration settled in for the cold war’s last hurrah. With exceptions like Out Hud, The Walkmen and Interpol, however, few bands associated with those scenes demonstrated the creative intensity as those in the early 80s.

Along with Sleater-Kinney, Suicide and Steve Earle, those who were brave enough to take risks with social and political commentary were the hip-hop artists. With Rjd2, The Roots, DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, El-P, Dälek, Common, Mr. Lif, Talib Kweli, Anti-Pop Consortium, Cee-Lo, Dead Prez, Jurassic 5, GZA/Genius and more, hip-hop continues an upward arc. Mavericks beat scientists like Amon Tobin, DJ /rupture and Boom Bip are blurring the lines between electronica collage cut ‘n’ pasters and turntablists/DJs, avant-garde and pop, foreign and domestic.

Yet while some cultural spheres mixed and merged, others grew further apart. This is ironically exemplified by The Neptunes and N*E*R*D, comprised of the same people — Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. As The Neptunes, they are a pop production team with a platinum touch, making and reviving the careers of mainly flavor-of-the-week artists with widely varied talent. N*E*R*D is a brilliant mix of rock, soul and hip-hop who have gone virtually ignored in both sales and critics polls. They also put out the album of the year, In Search Of… And with very few exceptions, like Missy Elliott, Eminem, and to an extent Queens Of The Stone Age, few critical favorites approached even a fraction of the popularity of Nelly, The Dixie Chicks and Justin Timberlake. And in a situation similar to the late eighties, you’d hardly know any artists existed outside of the mega-platinum sellers if you only had television and radio to rely on. Thank god for the Internet, which brings us to…

Villain Of The Year Award

The music industry, particularly the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the five (or is it four now?) corporate mega-media conglomerates. Though they handily squished Napster like a bug, I didn’t think they would be able to successfully win at the whack-a-mole game of all the other file-sharing networks that were more slippery and crafty than Napster. But they did. Through a litigious effort far more energetic and effective than our government’s war on terrorism, the Industry successfully bullied and frightened file-sharing services to the point that even if they weren’t shut down, they were mere shadows of their former selves. It is suspected that those on label payrolls planted thousands of dummy MP3s containing viruses. Ironically data published by the RIAA themselves shows that the downturn in sales happened after Napster was shut down. Not only do they ignore the factor of our economic recession (some people understandably choose to pay their heating bill rather than pick up the new Christina Aguilera), but also the fact that the number of new releases dropped drastically from 38,900 in 1999 to 27,000 in 2001. Then they blame the consumers and treat us like criminals, rather than try to figure out how to offer real value. These ham-fisted tactics will bite them in the ass big time.

In fact, the biting has begun. Antitrust lawsuits have been brought from 43 states against the major media conglomerates, alleging that they conspired to illegally raise the prices of prerecorded Music Products by implementing Minimum Advertised Price policies, in violation of State and Federal laws. While the defendants deny all claims of wrongdoing, they obviously must be afraid they’ll lose, because they offered combined cash payments totaling $67,375,000, and $75,700,000 worth of albums from the distributor defendants. Claim your $5 to $20 at www.musiccdsettelment.com, though if enough people claim, the cash will instead be distributed to not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes or programs for the benefit of consumers who were ripped off by the music industry. Now if Courtney Love could win her lawsuit, the industry might also be held accountable for ripping off the artists. What blows my mind is, how was there ever any doubt that the real criminals were the music industry-weasel scumbags?

Independent Music: The Beat Goes On

Despite an industry that’s more concerned with keeping their executives flush with coke and stripper money than with providing great music, they couldn’t stop the music’s flow, thanks to independent labels. 81 of Fast ‘n’ Bulbous’ top 100 albums were released on indies. This is up significantly from 2001, where indies comprised roughly half of the top 100.

Without the benefit of any particular “scene” or “movement,” the best albums of the year were produced by highly individual artists who follow their own orbits. N*E*R*D, The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Amon Tobin, The Notwist, Nina Nastasia, Queens of the Stone Age, My Computer, Rob, Plush, Arto Lindsay, Tom Waits and Neko Case are all in widely varied stages of their careers. Tom Waits has been making albums for 30 years, The Flaming Lips are nearly geezers themselves, having been around 18 years, My Computer just came out of nowhere, and Plush can’t even get it’s album released in the U.S. They’re from the U.S., Canada via England and Brazil, Germany, England and France. They sound like no one else, but what they do share is integrity and vision.

British music continued a strong showing with My Computer, the unique post-garage hip-hop of The Streets, the brilliant collaboration between Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and O’rang’s Rustin Man, The Doves, Cornershop, Gomez, Clinic, Primal Scream and young upstarts The Coral and The Libertines. Icelandic avant-rock made a strong showing with the majestic somnambulists Múm and Sigur Rós, while the enigmatic Montreal nine-plus piece Godspeed You! Black Emperor should be awarded honorary citizenship in Reykovik. Post-punkers The Fire Show immolated in a last flash of brilliance, and Sonic Youth stayed true to their name by retaining a youthful sense of wonder and discovery well into middle age. There’s more eclectic, difficult listening and avant-garde albums to choose from than ever. My expertise in this area is limited, but I admired The Books and Blevin Blectum the most. Electronica did well, with the tuneful blip-pop of Schneider TM, the dreamy yet unsettling psychedelia of Boards Of Canada, the funky Soul Center, the scratchy DAT Politics, and the synth/electro-rocking Add N To (X) and Ladytron. One of the most intriguing labels is San Francisco’s Tigerbeat6, formed by Kid 606 and teen prodigy Rjyan Kidwell (who performs and records as Cex). It’s roster boasts the owners’ projects, and artists who are pushing the definitions of and borders between laptop electronica, avant-garde and hip-hop — DJ /rupture, Max Tundra, Stars As Eyes, Electric Company, Kevin Blechtum and Dälek.

2002 was a good year for heavy music, with Isis turning in a frightening, glacial performance. Opeth epitomized the best fusion of Swedish death metal and prog, while Black Dice helped drag, kicking and screaming, noise rock back into vogue. And Lemmy might have fixed his teeth and removed (and sold!) his wart, but Motörhead are as vital and nasty as ever.

The closest success a Global artist enjoyed to the caliber of Manu Chao was the Mexican dance pop of Kinky. Rather than focus on venerable artists as if they were a musicologists’ field recordings, I’m interested in what the young musicians are doing. Cuba reportedly has developed a great hip-hop scene, but I have not been able to hear any of it yet. The most notable creative energy the past few years is coming from Brazil. Bubbling under with hard-to-find import releases are the sophomore albums by Nação Zumbi, Moreno Veloso’s (yes, Caetano’s son) band Domenico +2, DJ Dolores’ collaboration with Orchestra Santa Massa, and Lenine. Associate producer Arto Lindsay called Nação Zumbi the best band in the world, and he may be right. They supported singer/MC Chico Science before he was tragically killed. There’s no reason their energetic blend of rock, hip-hop, funk and traditional Brazilian music shouldn’t be at least as popular as the far less exciting Kinky. Domenico +2’s Sincerely Hot is only available as a Japanese import. Only the reformed Trio Mocotó had any significant sales attention outside of Brazil. Perhaps 2003 will be their year, along with Otto and Lucas Santtana.

Comebacks of the Year

The fact that Joe Strummer was last year’s winner makes our loss sting even more, as he was obviously on a creative roll, not to mention just too damn young. It makes us appreciate and treasure the legends who are still with us, such as Solomon Burke, the great soul man who recorded his best album in probably more than 30 years. Runners up are Wire, who’s two EPs of new material are utterly fresh, with more angry punk energy, amazingly, than even their first album. We’re talking some serious thrashing in the order of Ministry, Screaming Blue Messiahs and Motörhead. Howard Devoto should get special mention for his collaboration with Pete Shelley, who has continued carrying on with The Buzzcocks.

Overrated of the Year

There’s always at least one artist where a majority of critics share a collective brainfart and vote their album one of the best of the year. While I too have an affection for The Boss, and he did earnestly attempt to come to grips with post-9-11 grief, that doesn’t mean Bruce Springsteen was entirely successful. While the music wasn’t necessarily bad, I’d say there were probably about a thousand albums that came out in 2002 that were better than The Rising.

Disappointment of the Year

It was a good year, and few artists who I had big expectations for let me down. However, one of the era’s most promising hard-rock bands, At The Drive-In, just when things seemed to be coming together for them, chose to break up, and instead gave us Sparta’s Wiretap Scars. Stupid, stupid, stupid! However, the other spinoff band, The Mars Volta, holds more promise, though they only gave us the teasingly short Tremulant EP.

Debuts

For every fading light there’s a new one to take its place. 2002 saw strong debuts from My Computer, Out Hud, Rjd2, The Streets, DJ /rupture, Beth Gibbons, The Walkmen, Interpol, The Coral, Belvin Blectum, The Books, Gemma Hayes, The National Trust, The Libertines, Radio 4, The Decemberists, Boom Bip, Eileen Rose, DAT Politics, Richard Hawley, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Metro Area, Sondre Lerche, Cody ChestnuTT, Vitesse, The Polyphonic Spree, Ikara Colt, Bellini, Mr. Lif, The Warlocks, The French Kicks, Song Of Zarathustra, The Rogers Sisters, Kinky, Horse Stories, Hot Hot Heat, Pepito, Position Normal, Boas, Caitlin Cary, Leaves, Jute, Cousteau, Cee-Lo, Jay Bennett & Edward Burch, Chris Brokaw, +/-, McLusky, The Party Of Helicopters, The Mercury Program, Xinlisupreme, OK Go, Woodbine and Piano Magic. Find your next favorite artists at Best New Artists of 2000-02. It’s an embarrassment of riches, more than most humans have time to listen to. It’s all a matter of finding what fits your tastes. If you missed out on an album first time around it’s never too late, especially when stuff gets reissued merely a year later. Even the hardest-to-find albums like Plush and Rob are linked so you can order them. And a good selection of the top 100 of the year are currently featured in the Fast ‘n’ Bulbous Radio Bucket O’ Nasties playlist. Dig in, then.

Fester’s Lucky 13 — The Best Albums of 2002

  1. N*E*R*D, In Search Of . . . (Virgin)

    An earlier version of In Search Of had been kicking around since summer ’01. After about a hundred spins, including some excellent driving time, it sounds better than ever. Will the Neptunes Ever Really Die? I hope not. As The Neptunes continued to rule over mainstream pop, producing artists like Busta Rhymes, Mary Blige, Clipse, Beenie Man, Britney, Justin Timberlake, Air and Nelly, In Search Of, which should have been bigger than Prince’s Sign ‘O’ The Times, or even Thriller, was inexplicably ignored. Full review.

  2. The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (WB)

    Crabcakes and fussbudgets sniffed and complained that the new Lips offering wasn’t nearly as good as 1999’s The Soft Bulletin, while the rest of us appreciated it for the beautiful, soulful album that it is. Plus, it came out on my birthday! Full review.

  3. Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) 

    If there was any album that got any sort of critical consensus, it was Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It was a sweet victory on many levels. Wilco made the album available for free on the Internet for a while, after being famously dumped by Reprise. Three-quarters of the audiences at shows knew the new songs by heart before Wilco even finalized a new deal with Nonesuch. With the RIAA’s logic, the album should have bombed, since most of the fans already had it. But instead, Wilco fans cast their votes for artistic integrity with their wallets, and bought the album anyway, making it their biggest seller by far, and making Reprise look like the biggest assholes ever. That it was a classic was icing on the cake. Full review.
  4. Amon Tobin, Out From Out Where (Ninja Tune)Heads and drum ‘n’ bass fans alike were blown away by Amon Tobin’s first three albums. That his fourth and best album was critically ignored shows just how fickle some critics can be. Go ahead and chase the latest fads while you can (electroclash backlash anyone?), but it’s just plain wrong to miss out on the godhead skills of this maniac.Full review.
  5. The Notwist, Neon Golden (Virgin/City Slang)

    Normally pegged as frosty experimentalists (i.e. Kraftwerk), the Germans (at least The Notwist and Schneider TM) have recently shown quite a knack for passionately emotive electro-indie rock. Come hear the new version of Teutonic pop perfection. Full review.

  6. Nina Nastasia, The Blackened Air (Touch and Go)

    With her second album, Nina Nastasia won over a small but fanatical following. This quiet, autumnal classic seems unassuming at first, but anyone who cared to listen was captivated by its devastating power. Recommended to fans of Cat Power and PJ Harvey’s Is This DesireFull review.

  7. Queens Of The Stone Age, Songs For The Deaf (Interscope) 

    Queens Of The Stone Age are one of those bands that has that special chemistry that legends are made of, like The Who or Led Zeppelin. So few bands have that these days, and for that, QOTSA should be cherished. And despite his monster drumming contribution on the album, not even Dave Grohl’s own band (bless his little heart) The Foo Fighters can come close. Hell, I’d say QOTSA would blow his other old band off the stage too. Full review.

  8. My Computer, Vulnerabilia (13 Amp)

    While it has yet to be released in the U.S., My Computer should become huge, if not enormous. With inventive programmed beats and a voice to rival Jeff Buckley, Vulnerabilia is easy to love, as long as some enterprising label gives people a chance to be introduced to them. Full review.
  9. Rob, Satyred Love (Source/Virgin Fr)

    This pop masterpiece is currently only available on a French label. It would be a pity if it languished in obscurity. Too quirky and unique to be a hit on this side of the Atlantic, it’s destined to become a cult classic, mark my words. Not bad for a 24 year-old genius who worked so fanatically on the album that he was hospitalized, and continued to work on the album while hooked up to an IV flowing with morphine. Full review.

  10. Plush, Fed (After Hours Jpn)

    Yet another unsung eccentric genius, Liam Hayes wasn’t hospitalized making this album, but he did nearly ruin his life, accumulating a debt that will take three lifetimes to pay off in normal musician’s wages. Unless his album sells millions in Japan and he has a massively successful year-long stint in Vegas with a full orchestra. One can always dream. Full review.

  11. Arto Lindsay, Invoke (Righteous Babe)

    Arto Lindsay should be earning belated hipster points with the no-wave revival currently raging, with his history of leading DNA. Perhaps in another twenty years all the hipster-come-latelys will realize how groundbreaking his fusion of electronica, funk, sambas and bossa nova was, starting with 1996’s O Corpo Sutil and continuing through this year’s daring Invoke. Full review.

  12. Tom Waits, Alice (Anti/Epitaph) 

    Tom Waits is a rare case of an artist who, after 30 years of making records, is still capable of creating some of the best albums of his career. Perhaps it’s because in the seventies, he tried to sing as if he were an old geezer, and now he really is one. Blood Money is just about as good, and is greatly enhanced by seeing the actual production of Woyzeck. Now if some adventurous theater companies would just exhume The Black Rider and Alice… Full review.

  13. Neko Case, Blacklisted (Bloodshot)

    From her infectious vocal contributions to The New Pornographers, and her barnstorming shows with Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Neko Case is hot stuff. Blacklisted proves that she’s no flash-in-the-pan, with classic songwriting skills to match her enormous voice. Full review.

2002 Breakdown

Albums Released in 2001 but reissued in 2002, just to confuse us

 

  1. Ed Harcourt * Here Be Monsters (Virgin)
  2. Pulp * We Love Life (Uni/Island)
  3. Hawksley Workman * (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves (Universal)
  4. Super Furry Animals * Rings Around The World (Epic)
  5. Sahara Hotnights * Jennie Bomb (Jet Set)
  6. Fischerspooner * #1 (Ministry of Sound/Capitol)
  7. The Liars * They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top (Gern Blandsten/Mute)
  8. Elbow * Asleep In The Back (V2)
  9. Röyksopp * Melody A.M. (Wall Of Sond/EMI)
  10. Soundtrack Of Our Lives * Behind The Music (Hidden Agenda/WEA)
  11. You Am I * Dress Me Slowly (BMG)
  12. Kylie Minogue * Fever (EMI)
  13. Tim Hecker * Haunt Me, Haunt Me Again (Substractif)

Albums released in 2001 that should be reissued cuz we missed ’em.

 

  1. Four Tet * Pause (Domino)
  2. !!! (Chik Chik Chik) (Gold Standard)
  3. Otto * Condom Black (Trama)
  4. Max De Castro * Samba Raro (Trama)
  5. Explosions In The Sky * How Strange, Innocense (Temporary)
  6. Even Johansen * Quiet & Still (FiveOne)
  7. Nicolai Dunger * Soul Rush (Delores/Lakeshore)
  8. Hood * Cold House (Aesthetics)
  9. Ben Christophers * Spoonface (V2)
  10. Lali Puna * Scary World Theory (Morr)
  11. Broken Social Scene * Feel Good Lost (Noise Factory)
  12. Moreno Veloso +2 * Music Typewriter (Hannibal/Natasha)
  13. Animal Collective/Avey Tare & Panda Bear * Danse Manatee (Cats Up Plate)

Rock & Pop

 

  1. The Flaming Lips * Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner)
  2. Rob * Satyred Love (Source/Virgin Fr)
  3. Plush * Fed (After Hours Jpn)
  4. Sleater-Kinney * One Beat (Kill Rock Stars)
  5. Interpol * Turn On The Bright Lights (Matador)
  6. The Walkmen * Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone (Startime)
  7. John Vanderslice * The Life And Death Of An American Fourtracker (Barsuk)
  8. Spoon * Kill The Moonlight (Merge)
  9. Gallon Drunk * Fire Music (Sweet Nothing UK)
  10. The Coral (Sony UK)
  11. Doves * The Last Broadcast (Heavenly/Astralwerks)
  12. Cornershop * Handcream For A Generation (Luaka Bop)
  13. Gomez * In Our Gun (Virgin)

Avant Rock & Out Pop

 

  1. The Notwist * Neon Golden (City Slang)
  2. My Computer * Vulnerabilia (13 Amp UK)
  3. Arto Lindsay * Invoke (Righteous Babe)
  4. Out Hud * S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D. (Kranky)
  5. Múm * Finally We Are No One (Fat Cat)
  6. Sigur Rós * ( ) (Fat Cat/MCA)
  7. The Fire Show * Saint The Fire Show (Perishable)
  8. Cornelius * Point (Matador)
  9. The Books * Thought For Food (Tomlab)
  10. Sonic Youth * Murray Street (Interscope)
  11. Godspeed You Black Emperor! * Yanqui U.X.O. (Constellation)
  12. The National Trust (Thrill Jockey)
  13. 90 Day Men * To Everybody (Southern)

Hard Rock & Metal

 

  1. Queens Of The Stone Age * Songs For The Deaf (Interscope)
  2. Isis * Oceanic (Ipecac)
  3. Wire * Read & Burn 01-02 (Pink Flag)
  4. Black Dice * Beaches And Canyons (DFA)
  5. Pretty Girls Make Graves * Good Health (Lookout)
  6. Ikara Colt * Chart And Business (Fantastic)
  7. Bellini * Snowing Sun (Monitor)
  8. Hot Snakes * Suicide Invoice (Swami)
  9. Song Of Zarathustra * A View From High Tides (Troubleman)
  10. McLusky * McLusky Do Dallas (Too Pure)
  11. Motörhead * Hammered (Sanctuary)
  12. Panthers * Are You Down?? (Troubleman Unlimited)
  13. The Fucking Champs * V (Drag City)

Death Metal

 

  1. Opeth * Deliverance (Koch)
  2. Dimension Zero * Silent Night Fever (Century Media)
  3. Bloodbath * Resurrection Through Carnage (Century Media)
  4. Dark Suns * Swanlike (Voice Of Life)
  5. Meshuggah * Nothing (Nuclear Blast)

Wimp Pop

  1. The Aluminum Group * Happyness (Wishing Tree)
  2. Archer Prewitt * Three (Thrill Jockey)
  3. The Delgados * Hate (Mantra UK)
  4. Vitesse * You Win Again, Gravity (Hidden Agenda/Parasol)
  5. Richard Hawley (Pulp guitarist) * Late Night Final (Bar/None)
  6. Sondre Lerche * Faces Down (Astralwerks)
  7. The Polyphonic Spree * The Beginning Stages Of… (Good)
  8. Cinerama * Torino (Manifesto)
  9. Work Of Saws * Pious Flats (Thick)
  10. Simian * We Are Your Friends (Source/Astralwerk)
  11. Luna * Romantica (Jetset)
  12. Tahiti 80 * Wallpaper for the Soul (Minty Fresh)
  13. Cousteau * Sirena (Palm Pictures)

Electronica, Techno & Dance

 

  1. Amon Tobin * Out From Out Where (Ninja Tune)
  2. Schneider TM * Zoomer (City Slang)
  3. Boards Of Canada * Geogaddi (Warp)
  4. Blevin Blectum * Talon Slalom (Deluxe)
  5. The Streets * Original Pirate Material (Locked On UK)
  6. Boom Bip * Seed To Sun (Lex)
  7. Metro Area (Environ)
  8. Soul Center III (Novamute)
  9. DAT Politics * Plugs Plus (Chicks On Speed)
  10. Add N to (X) * Loud Like Nature (Mute)
  11. Ladytron * Light & Magic (Emperor Norton)
  12. Fennesz/O’Rourke/Rehberg * The Return of FennO’Berg (Mego)
  13. Pepito * Migrante (This Record Label)

Global

 

  1. Nação Zumbi (Trama)
  2. Domenico +2 * Sincerely Hot (Nippon Crown)
  3. DJ /rupture * Minesweeper Suite (Tigerbeat6)
  4. Max De Castro * Orchestra Klaxon (Trama)
  5. Various * Red Hot + Rio: Tribute To Fela (MCA)
  6. Totonho & Os Cabra (Trama)
  7. Tony Allen * HomeCooking (Cornet)
  8. DJ Dolores + Orchestra Santa Massa * Contraditoria? (Candeeiro/Stern’s)
  9. DJ Cheb i Sabbah * Krishna Lila (Six Degrees)
  10. Orchestra Baobab * Specialist In All Styles (World Circuit)
  11. Lenine * Falange Canibal (BMG)
  12. Los De Abajo * Cybertropic Chilango Power (Luaka Bop)
  13. Susana Baca * Espiritu Vivo (Luaka Bop)

New Americana

 

  1. Wilco * Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch)
  2. Nina Nastasia * The Blackened Air (Touch and Go)
  3. Tom Waits * Alice (Anti/Epitaph)
  4. Tom Waits * Blood Money (Anti/Epitaph)
  5. Sixteen Horsepower * Folklore (Jetset)
  6. Black Heart Procession * Amore Del Topico (Touch And Go)
  7. The Decemberists * Castaways And Cut-Outs (Hugh)
  8. Eleni Mandell * Snakebite (Spacebaby)
  9. Horse Stories * Travelling Mercies (For Troubled Paths) (Loose UK)
  10. Los Lobos * Good Morning Aztlan (Mammoth)
  11. Chris Mills * The Silver Line (Sugar Free/Loose)
  12. Giant Sand * Cover Magazine (Thrill Jockey)
  13. Songs: Ohia * Didn’t It Rain (Secretly Canadian)

Country & Folk

 

  1. Neko Case * Blacklisted (Bloodshot)
  2. Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man * Out Of Season (Go Beat UK)
  3. Eileen Rose * Long Shot Novena (Rough Trade/BMG)
  4. Beck * Sea Change (Interscope)
  5. Steve Earle * Jerusalem (Artemis)
  6. Radar Brothers * And The Surrounding Mountains (Merge)
  7. Caitlin Cary * While You Weren’t Looking (Yep Roc)
  8. Julie Doiron * Heart & Crime (Jagjaguwar)
  9. Josh Rouse * Under Cold Blue Stars (Slow River/Rykodisc)
  10. Lambchop * Is A Woman (Merge)
  11. Richard Buckner * Impasse (Overcoat)
  12. Tift Merritt * Bramble Rose (Lost Highway)
  13. Kasey Chambers * Barricades & Brickwalls (WB)

Hip Hop & Rap

 

  1. Rjd2 * Deadringer (Def Jux)
  2. The Roots * Phrenology (MCA)
  3. DJ Shadow * The Private Press (Mo’ Wax)
  4. Blackalicious * Blazing Arrow (Quannum/MCA)
  5. El-P * Fantastic Damage (Def Jux)
  6. Dälek * From The Filthy Tongues Of Gods And Griots (Ipecac)
  7. Common * Electric Circus (MCA)
  8. Mr. Lif * I Phantom (Def Jux)
  9. Talib Kweli * Quality (Rawkus/Universal)
  10. Anti-Pop Consortium * Arrhythmia (Warp)
  11. Cee-Lo * Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections (Arista)
  12. Dead Prez * Turn Off The Radio (Loud/Columbia)
  13. Jurassic 5 * Power In Numbers (Interscope)

R&B & Soul

 

  1. N*E*R*D * In Search Of … (Virgin)
  2. Solomon Burke * Don’t Give Up On Me (Fat Possum)
  3. Lewis Taylor * Stoned Part I (Slow Reality)
  4. Missy Elliott * Under Construction (Elektra)
  5. Cody ChestnuTT * The Headphone Masterpiece (Ready Set Go)
  6. Meshell Ndegéocello * Cookie: The Antropological Mixtape (Maverick/Warner)

Singles

 

  1. LCD Soundsystem “Losing My Edge”
  2. The Rapture “House of Jealous Lovers”
  3. The Libertines “What A Waster”
  4. Queens Of The Stone Age “No One Knows”
  5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Bang”
  6. DJ Shadow “Six Days”
  7. Radio 4 “Dance To The Underground”
  8. Doves “There Goes The Fear”
  9. The Coral “Dreaming Of You”
  10. Fischerspooner “Emerge”
  11. The Flaming Lips “Do You Realise?”
  12. Cornelius “Point Of View”
  13. Massive Attack “I Against I”

Shows

 

  1. Queens Of The Stone Age, Metro & Riviera
  2. Amon Tobin & Prefuse 73, Metro
  3. !!! (Chik Chik Chik) & Out Hud, Empty Bottle
  4. N*E*R*D, Metro
  5. The Fire Show & Dälek, The Hideout
  6. The Faint & Interpol, Metro
  7. Sonic Youth, Metro
  8. The New Pornographers & Archer Prewitt, Abbey Pub
  9. Femi Kuti, Metro
  10. Ed Harcourt, Martyrs, Double Door
  11. Sleater-Kinney, Metro
  12. Super Furry Animals, Abbey Pub
  13. John Vanderslice, Empty Bottle

Big Shows I Missed: Mission Of Burma, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Hot Snakes, Eels, Mooney Suzuki, The Damned, High On Fire, Isis, Electric Wizard, Mr. Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Lightning Bolt, Pere Ubu, Gomez, Beck, Flaming Lips, Peaches, Chicks On Speed, Acid Mothers Temple, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Liars, Radio 4, Soundrack Of Our Lives, Lali Puna, Black Dice, Café Tacuba, Dillinger Escape Plan, Corey Feldman Band.

Favorite unsigned Chicago bands: Sapo, Quatre Tete, The Afflictions, Dante’s Voodoo Cabaret.

Movies

 

  1. Sex And Lucía (Lucía y el sexo)
  2. Y tu mamá también
  3. Spirited Away
  4. Secretary
  5. Frida
  6. 24 Hour Party People
  7. Talk To Her
  8. Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
  9. Adaptation
  10. Tadpole
  11. Pumpkin
  12. Igby Goes Down
  13. Being Human

Spider-Man
The New Guy
The Bourne Identity
Mostly Martha
About A Boy
Ice Age

I’m way behind in my movie-viewing. I still haven’t seen Bowling For Columbine, All About Lilly Chou-Chou, Equilibrium, The Fast Runner, Hypercube: Cube 2, The Man From Elysium Fields, Late Marriage, Morvern Callar, The Piano Teacher, Punch-Drunk Love, Solaris, Time Out, and What Time Is It There?.

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