Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
This record reflects the musical climate better than any other, and in a most unfortunate way, in that it’s impossible to discuss the music without first looking at the business end of things. It’s absolutely beyond my comprehension that the music industry has become such a quagmire of crapulence that the same company that released Van Morrison’s most challenging and rewarding works would reject this and set the band adrift. Welcome to the modern world. It is especially egregious when one considers the economics involved. This is a band with such a built in, die-hard audience that the record could easily sell l00,000 copies with zero promotional money. Apparently if a “piece of product” doesn’t have the chance to move over a million units it’s not even worth the bother to press the disc. I hope the suits all choke on Creed’s hubris and their own greed. Throw the money changers out of the temple. Special thanks to Eric Fine for the burn.
Ryan Adams Heartbreaker
The tragic events of September 11 transformed New York, New York from a great single to a classic, transcendental song that was all I wanted to hear for weeks. It also had an effect far more personal It reminded me how important music is, how it could reach deep inside and inform all aspects of life like a sixth sense, a memory trigger as strong as smell and sight. But that song is just the beginning. The album is a thrilling work by a talent obviously bursting at the seams. Though badly in need of an editor he seems ready to join the pantheon and become one of those guys. It doesn’t take a swaggering set of balls to stake out The Stones, Van, Dylan and The Velvets. It does, however, take a staggering ability to pull it off.
Weezer The Green Album
This was my hands down fave leading into the fall. Then suddenly I was no longer satisfied by sunny, geeky cheeky quirk pop. It tasted like bliss this summer, like the coldest Guinness looks and the perfect bud smells. Now it sounds similar to redemption, a
reminder that it’s ok to still play air guitar and sing as loud and as off key as you want.
The Strokes Is This It
Don’t believe the hype? Why the hell not when it sounds this good. Look, I’m in my thirties, what do I care about street cred? I traded it in long ago for the love of a good woman. Best deal I ever made. But I digress… I can’t come up with any pithy puns or critical catch phrases so I’ll simply say it ,um, ROCKS!. “In the sunshine having fun, it’s in my blood, I just can’t help it”
The Pernice Brothers The World Won’t End
Lush, orchestral, symphonic pop suicide notes to Cod. Joe Pernice is the sojourner of sadness, a dim light shining bright in the bleakness, a shy sight of sinless smiles and sighs.
6. Beulah The Coast Is Never Clear
7. Jay Farrar Sebastopol
8. Radiohead Amnesiac
9. Superchunk I Here’s To Shutting up
10. The Shins Oh Inverted World
11. Old 97’s Satellite Rides
12. Varnaline Songs In A Northern Key
13. Beechwood Sparks Once We Were Trees
14. White Stripes White Blood Cells
15. Sparklehorse It’s A Wonderful Life
16. V/A We Come From Beyond
17. Rival Schools United By Fate
18. Gillian Welch Time (The Revelator)
19. The Rosenbergs Mission You
20. Alkaline Trio From Here To Infirmary
Best Reggae 2001
African Brothers I Want Some Freedom
Big Youth I Natty Universal Dread
Waiters I Catch A Fire Deluxe Edition
Peter Tosh Live At The One Love Peace Concert
Various I Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown