It’s January 31,2002 as I write this and reflecting upon the year past, I think it’s safe to say that 2001 didn’t exactly go as planned. Between planes flying into buildings, anthrax, and the revitalization of that god damn Lee Greenwood song, there were enough disasters to last a lifetime. Thankfully, there was enough good music being released to get me through those dark days I spent fretting over the whereabouts of Dick Chaney. By the way, have we found Mr. Enron yet? It looked like some heartless, soulless robot at the state of the union address. Oops, my mistake, that was Chaney. (Sorry for the wayward political commentary, ny ACLU card has been burning a hole in my pocket since 9/11) Anyhow, this is music that rocked in 2001. I hope we all have a happier, terror free 2002. Joey Ramone, this one’s for you, in some particular order…
1. Old 97´s – “Satellite Rides”
The record I want to listen to everyday. Hooks galore, great lyrics, rock lives!
2. Alkaline Trio – “From here To Infirmary”
The power trio is alive and well Best line of the year: “You said goodbye in your special way / you slashed the tires on my car”. I think I had that happen once. Or twice.
3. Blake Babies – “God Bless The Blake Babies”
Lots of hook filled pop songs. I’m glad they reunited, maybe they’ll stick around for a bit
4. International Noise Conspiracy -“A New Morning”
Garage/mod/soul flavored rock from Sweden. I like.
5. Jimmy Eat World – “Bleed American”
Emo kings kick out the jams in the power pop/rock vein.
6. Built To Spill – “Ancient Melodies Of The Future”
Nifty pop guitar noodlings from the Northwest.
7. American Nightmare – “Background Music”
Crunchy US hardcore with the throaty vocals we all love! Best hardcore record of 2001.
8. Pete Rock – “Petestromentals”
The Rock returns with his laid back, jazzy productions.
9. Donnas – “Tarn 21”
Tighter pants and more metallic rifis. The Crue will always live as long as they’re around.
10. Ken Stringfellow – “Tonched”
Lush pop-folk-country songs that are perfect for those gray days.
11. Guided By Voices – “Isolation Drills”
The big power pop record Mr. Pollard always had in him
12. Dilated Peoples – “Expansion Team”
Big beats and rhymes make it the best hip hop album this side of Pete Rock.
13. Gillian Welch – “Time (The Revolator)”
Appalachian music is big in California, right? A really beautiful record. It should be higher but I don’t feel like retyping anything.
14. Whiskeytown – “Pneumonia”
Did this come out in 2001? I can’t remember, so I dropped it down. Mr Adams should lean on his cohorts more as his latest solo effort sounded like Boz Scaggs.
15. Bjork – “Vespertine”
It took some time to grow on me, but I put it on again and again. No Thom Yorke, hooray!
16. Beachwood Sparks – “Once We (I forgot the rest of the name)”
Jangly, psychedelic country rock ala The Byrds, Parsons, et al. I loaned it to somebody and they haven’t given it back yet.
Here’s the best of the rest
White Stripes – “White Blood Cells”
Rainer Maria – Better Version of Me”
H20 – “Go”
Pernice Brothers – “The World Won’t End”
Jay Farrar – “Sebastopol”
Weezer – “Green Album”
Stephen Malkmus – “Self Titled”
Rival Schools – “United By Fate”
Fugazi – “The Argument”
Radiohead Don’t Believe The Hype Award: The Strokes
Biggest Disappointment: Ryan Adams – “Gold”
My great Hope For 2002: That the 2 CD Paul Westerberg album due in April doesn’t suck
Guilty Pleasure Of 2001: The “Josie & The Pussycats” soundtrack.
Best Song Title:
From Connecticut hardcore band Self Defense: “We Have Seen The Future Of Rock & Roll And Radiohead Has Nothing To Do With It”. Preach it, brothers!
Best Live Shows
Rival Schools @ Valentines Albaiy,NY
Blake Babies @ The Knitting Factory
Weezer / Get Up Kids @ SUNY Albany
Saves The Day @ The Chance Poughkeepsie,NY
How I forgot the Mercury Rev album and the 3 songs Superdrag contributed on their split EP with The Anniversary is beyond me! Oh, did I also fail to mention the Ramones, Art Ensemble Of Chicago, X, and John Cale re-issues? Early onset alzheimers is a drag…
That’s it for me