Wednesday, December 30, 2009
A Decade's Worth of Music in Search of a Theme
"F Minus" by Tony Carillo
I'm of the opinion that decades and centuries and the like should start with the Year One -- that is, the 20th century should have started on January 1, 1901 and ended on December 31, 2000, and the 00's should have started on January 1, 2001 and shouldn't end until December 31, 2010 -- but I'd like to get this decade from hell over with as soon as possible so I'm bowing to popular convention. And since a lot of sites are doing some sort of end-of-the-decade roundup, I thought I'd roundup some of my favorite songs from the 00's.
I originally planned a more complete year-by-year roundup, but it all seemed a little much. This is a more concise collection. This is not a history of the decade in music or a list of the biggest sellers or the most critically acclaimed music; it's just a collection of songs that made me say, "Wow!"
A Perfect Circle - "3 Libras"
The frontman for Tool started A Perfect Circle with a guitarist buddy. It took Tool a while to grow on me, but the side project was a little more accessible. I am a Libra so this worked out nicely.
Coldplay, et al. - "Clocks"
Rhythms del Mundo combined some big hitmakers, like Coldplay, with some Cuban musicians to get that Buena Vista Social Club sound.
Wilco - "Jesus, Etc."
Reprise Records rejected Wilco's fourth album and severed ties with the bands. As part of the buyout deal, the label let the band keep the rights to the album. Wilco eventually sold Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to Nonesuch Records. The punchline? Reprise and Nonesuch are both subsidiaries of the same company, Warner Music Group.
Nickel Creek - "When In Rome"
I don't care too much for country music, but I love bluegrass...and whatever it is, a bluegrass/rock jazzed-up fusion, that Nickel Creek does.
Radiohead - "The National Anthem"
Radiohead really started to test the limits of the envelope in the early 00's. This video was the first runner-up in MTV Latin America's "Make Your Radiohead Video" contest.
Sarah McLachlan - "World On Fire"
Instead of spending the money to produce a lavish video, they shot a stripped-down video with just the singer in a chair with a guitar and spent the money in other ways.
John Mayer - "Neon"
When Mayer released his first album Room for Squares in 2001, rock critic Erik Crawford asked, "Is he the consummate guitar hero exemplified when he plays a cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'Lenny', or is he the teen idol that the pubescent girls shriek for after he plays 'Your Body Is a Wonderland?'" I don't know, but he does pretty well in this live acoustic album track.
KT Tunstall - "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"
I didn't think too much of this song until I saw the performance that generated all the attention, the performance on Later...with Jools Holland where she did the whole song by herself.
U2 and Green Day - "The Saints Are Coming"
U2 and Green Day performed this song on Monday Night Football before the Falcons-Saints game on September 25, 2006, the first game played in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.